The Sapphire Coast is the southernmost coastal region on the east coast of Australia. Nestled in southeastern New South Wales, it's also known as Bega Valley Shire. As of 2020, it had a population of 34,727.
Cities and towns
The Sapphire Coast is known for having hundreds of kilometres of unspoilt beaches, with some of them attracting one visitor every three days. It's particularly a common spot for Victorians for their summer and easter holidays but attracts tourists from other regions too. The region is also known for its dairy, including the cheese capital of Bega.
From Sydney, take the Princes Motorway and Highway south (M1/A1). Alternatively, you could go through the Hume (M31), Federal (M23), Monaro (B23) and Snowy Mountains Hwy (B72) however, this road can be hard to drive during the winter months of May to July. Generally, most travellers from Sydney use the M1/A1 while google maps tells you to go through the Hume, Federal etc. route. Both take around 7 hours.
From Canberra, simply that the Monaro and Snowy Mountain Highways (B23 and B72)! Simple, and takes only 2 hours.
From Melbourne, take the Princes Freeway and Highway east until the NSW border, then you're at the Sapphire Coast.
It's very rare to spot a tour bus here, meaning tour buses are almost nonexistent here. Most tour buses don't come this far south, but some do, but very rare.
You can use either the A1 or Tourist Drive 9 or 11 to navigate most of the Sapphire Coast. A1 preferable as it's a national route.
The Sapphire Coast is well known for Bega's cheese factory and the beaches all over the region. Usually, it's hard for someone to believe that you went to the Sapphire Coast but did not go to the Cheese Factory in Bega, the Killer Whale Museum in Eden and some of the Merimbula Beaches.
You can never run out of options in the Sapphire Coast. There's walking tracks, like everywhere. And if hiking isn't your cup of tea, swim at the plenty of white unspoilt beaches, or get your surfboard, and surf!
Unless you are going here in summer, it is best to sleep in a motel. Temperatures here are around 5-20°C on average all year around (except summer), and camping might not be ideal if you hate the cold.
- A lot of this area was significantly destroyed by the 2019-2020 bushfires. Respect the community and don't take the bushfires as a joke. The entirety of the Sapphire Coast and parts of the South Coast south of Jervis Bay had to evacuate.
- Mallacoota is the eastern most Victorian town and very similar in nature to the Sapphire Coast
- Explore the Gippsland region, including some Snowy River towns like Orbost
- The Snowy Mountains are just to the west
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