To Do ~ Trip Planning

7 of the best family activities on the South Coast NSW

Fun, active adventures for a family holiday close to home

  • Kate Mather
  • 28 September 2020

Travel less than two hours south of Sydney and you hit the adventure playground of the South Coast.

If you’re looking for a family getaway close to home, this lovely stretch of coastline is the answer – a place where surfing, hiking, kayaking, swimming and diving await among the picturesque beaches and rolling hills.

Read on for our selection of the best family activities to book now, just in time for the summer months…

1. Learn to surf

Gerroa Surf School

Learning to surf with your kids is a great way to have fun, bond and pick up a new skill. There are surf schools up and down the South Coast, each one offering lessons for all ages and abilities. From north to south, here are a selection of our favourites:

Pines Surfing Academy
The Illawarra: Wollongong, Shellharbour and The Farm (Killalea State Park), NSW
From $50 for two hours

Pines Surfing Academy is the longest-running surf school in The Illawarra region. They have friendly, professional instructors – highly trained in water safety, wave etiquette, board positioning and wave knowledge – who will encourage and guide you through your surfing progression. READ MORE > 

Gerroa Surf School
Seven Mile Beach, Gerroa, NSW
From $50 for two hours

Operating since 1999, Gerroa Surf School is based at Seven Mile Beach in Gerroa. They offer one-off private lessons that help set goals and structure teaching around your ability. They also offer two-seven-day-long surf camps, which include accommodation, catering and gear. READ MORE >

Currarong Surf School
Currarong beach, Currarong, NSW
From $40 for two hours

In the pretty town of Currarong, Sam from Currarong Surf School offers beginner and intermediate group sessions, as well as private and couple lessons. The group sessions are affordable two-hour-long sessions that teach you all the essentials for riding your first wave, no matter your age. READ MORE >

Broulee Surf School
Batemans Bay, NSW
From $50 for two hours

Family-run Broulee Surf School has been surfing Batemans Bay for over 20 years, led by Shane Wehner – a former world-ranked pro surfer and current Australian surfmasters champion. Alongside private and group classes, they run the ‘Surf Squad’ – a junior surfing development program for 6-14 year olds across two-four days, where your kids will learn to surf, make new friends, play games, and have heaps of fun in a safe, supportive environment. READ MORE >

2. Go fishing

MV Signa Fishing Charters

Head off on a South Coast fishing charter with Captain Roscoe of MV Signa Fishing Charters, where you can try your hand at reef fishing, deep-sea fishing, game fishing and sports fishing. Your vessel will be the 44-foot MV Signa (based in Kiama, but serving multiple destinations), with a full kitchen and bathroom on board. All prices include fishing gear, bait and licenses. READ MORE >

Location: Gerringong, Gerroa, Jamberoo, Kiama, Minnamurra

Price: From $130 for five hours


South Coast Experiences fishing day

At South Coast Experiences, we can organise fishing excursions near your accommodation, wherever you’re staying on the South Coast. You can jump onto a fishing charter or remain onshore as you’re taught the tricks of beach fishing. Bring your catch of the day home and – if you choose – be greeted by a chef who has the menu and ingredients ready to cook up a seafood feast. Sit back with a beer and your stories, or stay in the kitchen and get some tips. Reach out to us to book > 

Location: Possible anywhere on the South Coast

Price: From $150 for five hours

3. Go on a guided nature adventure

The South Coast is all about nature – with pristine coastlines, rolling cliffs and beautiful light-dappled forests. There are few more satisfying experiences than discovering and learning about the South Coast’s scenery as a family. Below are a selection of our favourite experience providers offering just that:

Nature Engagement Tour
With Nature Engagement Tour, you can head off on a one-day hike around the beautiful forests of New South Wales. Paul will be your guide – a true expert on the South Coast National Parks, with a passion for the ecology and the protection of these places of wild beauty. He also brings scones freshly baked by his mum on the walk. If you’re looking for a longer trip, he also offers hassle-free family camping experiences – an opportunity to get away from it all without all the extra preparation that goes into camping. READ MORE >

Location: Bawley Point, Broulee, Bulli, Burrill Lake, Callala Beach, Currarong, Durras, Gerroa
Price: From $160 for the day (seven hours)


Kangaroo Valley Adventure Co.
With Kangaroo Valley Adventure Co. you can enjoy guided outdoor adventure activities in the beautiful Kangaroo Valley – one of the South Coast’s most remarkable landscapes. Outdoor activities include canoeing, kayaking, bushwalking, abseiling, rock climbing, platypus viewing and mountain biking. It’s the perfect way outdoor adventure for friends and family. READ MORE >

Location: Berry, Gerringong, Kangaroo Valley, Shoalhaven Heads

Price: From $150 for three hours


Region X
Head out with Region X and enjoy the best of the South Coast’s countryside, with coastal walks, overnight stays, climbing, hikes and glass-bottom kayak tours. You might discover an army of soldier crabs for the first time, get close to stingrays and other marine life, or sample freshly-shucked oysters straight from the river. It’s all about experiencing New South Wales’ natural environment with your family. READ MORE >

Location: Batemans Bay, Bawley Point, Broulee, Burrill Lake, Durras, Lake Conjola, Pretty Beach, Tathra
Price: From $65 for two hours



4. Find wellness as a family

In today’s busy world, it’s rare that you get a chance to focus on ‘being well’ as a family – specifically exploring nutrition, mindfulness and quality time with each other. With Love Being, you can take part in one-hour family workshops up to multi-day retreats that run up and down the South Coast, each experience focusing on intention, experience and time together in a mindful environment – led by Health, Nutrition and Wellness Coach, Hope. Hope also runs Nourishing Treat Workshops, which focus on good health and the exploration of whole foods – showing kids that healthy food doesn’t have to be boring.

Location: Gerringong, Gerroa, Kiama

Price: From $80

5. Enjoy an open-air movie night

There are few better ways to end a day on the coast than watching a movie on a giant outdoor screen as the sun sets. The team at Wollongong Outdoor Cinema will organise a 2.5m inflatable screen for your garden, with 10 comfy chairs and a movie of your choice (or live TV if you want to watch a big game). They can throw in giant beanbags, a PS4, a Nintendo Switch, a popcorn machine and even a candyfloss maker for the ultimate entertainment experience. It’s a great way to bring a group together for an intimate night-in. READ MORE >

Location: From Sydney to Gerringong and most places in between

Price: From $270

6. Book a family photoshoot

Capture your holiday on camera with a professional photoshoot with one of the South Coast’s talented photographers. You could be relaxing at the beach, out walking in the countryside, or just posing in the garden of your accommodation – the photographs a lasting memory of your time on the South Coast. We really recommend the following two photographers for family shoots:

Cindy Live
Cindy is an award-winning portrait photographer specialising in family photography. Her images speak for themselves. She moved from Sydney to the South Coast of NSW to embrace the slower way of life. You can book a session with her from $495. READ MORE >

Peter Izzard Photography
Peter is an award-winning local photographer. Alongside family photoshoots, Peter also offers family ‘photo walks’ that will teach you and your tribe to shoot and document the beautiful South Coast by camera or phone – great for budding photographers in the family. You can book a session with him from $120. READ MORE >

7. Go rock climbing

You could learn to rock climb in the natural world with Outdoor Raw, where they run sessions lasting from one hour to one week. It doesn’t matter your age or experience – they can support families looking to try climbing for the first time, or teach more experienced groups new tricks. They also run their world-famous Cliffnics (pictured), where you can devour rustic, delicious menus while dining suspended off the edge of one of the epic Shoalhaven clifftops. READ MORE >

Location: Huskisson, Jervis Bay, Nowra, Vincentia

Price: From $200 for five hours


At South Coast Experiences, we’re here to help you plan the perfect trip to the South Coast NSW – free of charge – so please speak to us if there’s anything we can do to make your planning easier. See our full range of Experiences here >

We also help organise accommodation for groups of any size, so talk to us about what you need. See our South Coast family-friendly accommodation here >