Unblemished beaches are dappled along the thrillingly rugged Sapphire Coast. More than six hours' drive from either Sydney or Melbourne, the coast between Bermagui and Ben Boyd National Park doesn't receive the same influx of weekenders as other parts of Australia's east coast. Thus it's all the better for seeking out empty beaches between the saw-edged sea cliffs, dense forests and lonely lighthouses. Whale watching from September to November is some of the country's best and many gastronomes visit purely for the local oysters.
The Sapphire Coast is a fulfilling place to trace the long history of the Yuin people, the traditional owners of the land. Former whaling town Eden has an especially fascinating history: Aboriginal fishers worked together with killer whales for thousands of years. Interpretative trails in Ben Boyd and Bournda National Parks are also enriching ways to learn about the land's ancient traditions.