Landscapes of the New South Wales South Coast

Travel along the picturesque New South Wales South Coast from Sydney to Merimbula with garden writer and landscape photographer Trisha Dixon to discover the diverse gardens, landscapes and endemic species of this less-trodden part of the New South Wales coastline.

Explore the rich natural beauty of the South Coast while visiting select private gardens, artists’ studios and gourmet providores. Discover endemic and native plants at the exceptional Bodalla Estate on Horse Island and the superb Thubbul sculpture garden in Murrah Inlet and travel along the Mimosa Rocks coastline.

Near Eden, visit the thriving port of Boyd Town and walk along deserted beaches of Twofold Bay, following the ancient path of the Yuin people during their annual migration.


Note: At time of publication (November 2018), most but not all garden visits were confirmed. Private owners, in particular, are reluctant to commit more than two to three months prior to the visit. Therefore, while we undertake to operate the tour as published, there may be some changes to the itinerary.

At 10:00 meet Trisha and fellow travellers at the Novotel Darling Square (17 Little Pier Street in Darling Harbour) and transfer to the Royal National Park. Established in 1879 as the world’s second-oldest national park, the Royal National Park is a natural haven with wetlands, eucalyptus forests, grassy woodlands, rainforests, scenic landscapes and sandstone cliffs.

Enjoy a scenic coastal drive along the Grand Pacific Highway to Kiama. Visit this picturesque harbour town and the famous blowhole that can spray water up to 25 metres in the air. The name of the town is derived from the Wadi Wadi word ‘Kiarama’ meaning ‘place where the sea makes a noise’.

Tonight, enjoy a special welcome dinner with Trisha and fellow travellers.


This morning, travel to the delightful village of Berry and visit this historic country town with heritage buildings.

Then, continue to Bundanon Trust, overlooking the Shoalhaven River. This important art centre hosts over 4,000 items with more than 2,500 works by the Australian painter Arthur Boyd and the Boyd family dynasty, also including contemporary works by various artists-in-residence. Explore the art collection, and visit Arthur Boyd’s homestead and studio.

Travel south to Mollymook, arriving in the late afternoon. Check in to the hotel, our base for the next three nights.


Discover the charming historic town of Milton and continue to Cupitt’s Winery nearby, located in the Milton Hills with scenic views over the Budawang Ranges. Enjoy a special wine tasting to appreciate the particular characteristics of the region’s fine wine, followed by lunch.

In the afternoon, visit a selection of private gardens before returning to Mollymook.


This morning, visit a selection of gardens and artists’ studios and galleries near Mollymook.

Return to the hotel and enjoy an afternoon at leisure to appreciate the region’s beautiful beaches.

Dinner tonight is at the acclaimed Rick Stein at Bannisters restaurant, with dramatic cliff-top views over the South Coast shoreline.


Check out of the hotel and travel to Horse Island to discover the outstanding Bodalla Estate. From its origin as the property of 19th century pastoralist and industrialist Thomas Sutcliffe Mort to its present ownership by Trevor and Christina Kennedy, learn about this exceptional garden landscaped exclusively with native and endemic plants, and its elegant colonial era buildings.

After lunch, enjoy a private garden visit near Tilba. Continue to Bermagui and arrive at the hotel in the late afternoon.


This morning, visit the superb Thubbul sculpture garden, home of well-known architect Philip Cox. Built in a series of pavilions connected by a walkway, this splendid sculpture garden is surrounded by an English-style garden and hectares of spotted gums overlooking the ocean and Murrah Inlet.

After lunch at a local restaurant, travel through the Mimosa Rocks National Park and visit some private properties along the coastline before returning to Bermagui.


Check out of the hotel and travel south to the thriving port of Boyd Town near Eden. Then, celebrate the conclusion of the tour with a special farewell lunch with Trisha and fellow travellers.

Enjoy an afternoon walk along the deserted beaches of Twofold Bay following the Bundian Way, an ancient path once used by the Yuin Indigenous people during their annual migration to the high country.

In the late afternoon, continue to Merimbula for the last night of the tour.


Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast.

If you are returning home today, we suggest flights from Merimbula airport to either Sydney or Melbourne. Please speak to the hotel reception for a taxi to the airport nearby.

Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements, including any additional nights’ accommodation, either before or after the tour.


Per person, twin-share

AUD 4,950

Single supplement*

AUD 850

Deposit per person (at time of booking)

AUD 500

*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.

Final payment due

31 January 2019

Tour code


Fitness level

Above Moderate
Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness level definitions.

Suggested airline

Regional Express
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.


New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa to visit Australia.

Tour price includes

  • Accommodation in 4-star and 4-star superior hotels with breakfast daily (B)
  • Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner), including wine with dinners
  • Talks and discussions with your tour leader, Trisha Dixon
  • Comprehensive sightseeing, including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Transportation throughout on comfortable air-conditioned coaches
  • Gratuities for local guides and drivers
  • Hotel porterage (one piece per person)

Tour price does not include

  • Flights to Sydney and from Merimbula
  • Hotel/airport transfer on arrival and departure
  • Items of a personal nature (e.g. telephone, laundry, mini-bar, taxis etc.)
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)


Your hotels
Kiama – The Sebel****
Mollymook – Bannisters Pavilion****+
Bermagui – Harbourview Motel****
Merimbula – Best Western Fairway****

NB. Hotels of a similar standard may be substituted.