South Coast (New South Wales)

South Coast (New South Wales)

Infobox Australian Place | type = region
name = South Coast
state = nsw

caption = Looking into Batemans Bay from the south
lga =
pop =
stategov =
fedgov = Eden-Monaro and Gilmore

The South Coast refers to the narrow coastal belt from Sydney in the north to the border with Victoria in the south in the south-eastern part of the State of New South Wales, Australia. It is bordered to the west by the coastal escapment of the Southern Tablelands, which is largely covered by a series of national parks. To the east is the coastline of the Pacific Ocean, which is characterised by rolling farmlands, small towns and villages along a rocky coastline, interspersed by numerous beaches and lagoons (known in Australia as lakes, especially in place names).

The South Coast includes Shoalhaven district in the north and the Bega Valley in the more remote south as well as the Eurobodalla Shire and the Commonwealth Jervis Bay Territory which is adjacent to the City of Shoalhaven Local Government Area. Some definitions of the region include the Illawarra, however it is often seen as a separate and distinct region of New South Wales. [for example cite web| url = | title = Regional map |publisher = Bureau of Meteorology (Australia)| accessdate = 2006-11-12 and cite web| url = |title = Regional New South Wales |publisher = Department of State and Regional Development |accessdate = 2006-11-13. For further references see article on Regions of New South Wales.]


The region has a mild, warm temperate climate. [ [ Australian Bureau of Meteorology: Temperate Zone] ] Maximum temperatures range from a very warm 26 °C (79 °F) in summer to a delightful 17 °C (62 °F) in winter. However, the rainfall is exceedingly erratic because the falls occur as extremely heavy but irregular storms. These storms can occur at any time of year but are most frequent in late autumn and early winter. When a strong anticyclone is located to the south of the of these low-pressure systems, rainfalls of up to 350mm (14 inches) in a day and 500mm (20 inches) in two days occur. For example, in May 1925 the region received an averages of as much as 860 millimetres (33 inches) of rain, with some places receiving as much as 1,270mm (50 inches) for the month. However, in dry years the region can receive as little as 400mm (16 inches) for an entire year. Another example: Bega received 380mm (15 inches) in May 1944 and over 400mm (16 inches) in two days during April 1945 - but only around 200mm (8 inches) in the ten months in between!


This extremely erratic rainfall, combined with the typically ancient and leached soils of Australia, severely limits agriculture. Only in a few valleys is there significant farming. The main industry in areas where agriculture does occur is dairying, but vegetable crops are also grown on relatively better soils. Fishing is also severely restricted: the waters off the coast, owing to the strong warm current, have the lowest animal plankton density of any continental coastal region in the world. In fact, the density of plankton is lower than in many areas of the open ocean ["The World: Oceans"; in "The Daily Telegraph World Atlas"; ISBN 0863672418; p.98] . This has led to fisheries being repeatedly exhausted and moving further and further offshore - which has only led to further depletion. [See Flannery, Tim, The Future Eaters: An Ecological History of the Australian Lands and People. ISBN 0802139434]

Apart from tourism, woodchipping is the major lifeline for most towns in the region. Most woodchips are exported to Japan and the mills are all Japanese-owned. The industry, though highly supported by local residents, has produced a great deal of opposition among the more-educated sectors of Australia society because of its impact on many endangered species.


The Illawarra Steam Navigation Company serviced the south coast and Illawarra by ship transporting passengers and goods from the 1850s to the 1950s.

The CityRail South Coast Line services Berry station before it terminates at Bomaderry railway station, situated approximately 123 km south of Sydney on the northern side of the Shoalhaven River. Bus services operate to locations south of Nowra.

The South Coast region is traversed by the Princes Highway which links Sydney and Melbourne by the coast, but is longer than Hume Highway which is the direct route between the two cities. The region is reached from Canberra to the west by the Kings Highway.

Road linkages north to Sydney were only completed in the second half of the twentieth century when the Clyde River was bridged at Batemans Bay in 1956. Before that a punt was used to cross the river. The bridge at Narooma had been completed in 1931 and was the first major bridge constructed on the Princes Highway by the Main Roads Board as part of its efforts to develop the Princes Highway which had been opened in 1920.


Major towns on the South Coast include:

*City of Shoalhaven towns include: Berry, Nowra, Ulladulla, Culburra Beach
*The Eurobodalla Shire towns of Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma
*The Bega Valley towns of Bega and Eden


External links

* [ South Coast Secrets]
* [ Sapphire Coast of NSW]
* [ Ulladulla Wiki]

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