Photos and descriptions of six natural sights in New South Wales that are simply jaw-dropping.
While living in Australia, I’ve become infatuated with the nature around me. Venturing along the coastline brings me to gorgeous beaches framed by the bright blue Pacific Ocean. Heading inland brings me through dense forests and green landscapes seemingly untouched by humans.
In the last few months of living in Wollongong, I’ve taken a few day trips around the area to these incredible places where nature is just thriving. I never tire of exploring the natural beauty around me here in New South Wales, so I’d like to highlight some of the beautiful spots I’ve been lucky enough to visit.
1. McQuarie Pass National Park
This lush forest is full of little waterfalls, streams and pools, adventerous hiking trails, and massive gnarled trees that look like they’re been there since the beginning of time. While driving west along the Illawarra Highway, just pull over into the small car parks along the side of the road and venture into the woodland. There were no other people there the day we visited, so we had the serenity of nature all to ourselves.
2. Belmore Falls
Venturing further inwards along the Illawarra Highway will bring you to the Southern Highlands, a peaceful region of New South Wales filled to the brim with natural beauty. Belmore Falls is a particularly impressive waterfall which you can view from afar at the Hindmarsh Lookout, or view from up close by driving around the valley and parking at the top of the falls.
3. Jervis Bay
Probably the most well-known of these six places, Jervis Bay is claimed to have the whitest sand in the world. I wouldn’t doubt this for a second, as the sand at Hyams Beach felt almost blinding due to its sheer whiteness. The sand is also so soft that it squeaks when you walk on it. In all honesty, Hyams Beach is well worth the hype; the turquoise water combined with the white sand looks like something straight out of a travel magazine.
4. Pidgeon House
While visiting the charming towns of Milton or Ulladulla on the South Coast, you can see a mountain in the distance shaped like a nipple. This is Pidgeon House, part of the Budawang Mountain Range. You can climb to the very top of this iconic mountain, but first you have to drive a ways into the hills along a winding dirt road. After that, the hike is a challenging 1-2 hour climb along a little path through dense wilderness. At the summit, looking around at the giant slopes of land and seemingly infinite blankets of trees feels so surreal.
5. Mermaids Pool
In the small town of Tahmoor, about 40 minutes inland from the coast, lies this massive natural pool surrounded by rocky cliffs. After a short but exciting hike through the bush, you’ll find that the only way into the pool is by jumping off the 15 meter-high cliffside. The jump is thrilling and the fresh water feels amazing after hiking on a hot day. To get back out of the pool, you have to climb back up the cliffs alongside the waterfall, but there’s a sturdy rope to help you hoist yourself upwards.
6. Killalea State Park
This large stretch of sandy beach, also known as “The Farm”, is perfect for surfing and soaking in the sunshine. The northern end of the beach has smooth little beginner waves, and the southern end has bigger waves for the more experienced surfers. Bobbing on top of the crystal clear water while gazing at the curves of the distant coastline is the perfect way to spend an afternoon.