Canberra is surrounded by parks, has beautiful free museums, the people are friendly and relaxed, and the rent is a lot cheaper than Sydney. However, you must have heard a lot of people asking, “Why isn’t Canberra located on the coast?” The good thing is that you are never too far from all the sun, surf and fun. While the statesmen had their reasons to build the city of Canberra inland, the Canberrans love spending their weekends at the coast.

Canberra is the perfect city base for exploring the coastlines of the South Coast and is only a two hour drive to the stunning scenery, unspoilt beaches and quaint towns. The South Coast, spreading from Wollongong to the Bega, includes some of the most loved holiday spots, including Batemans Bay, Ulladulla, Nowra and Kiama.

Three weeks from December 23, there’s an upsurge from the static population of 17,500 at the shoreline to some 40000-50000, and no points for guessing that a major chunk of these visitors come from the National Capital of Canberra. Many Canberrans even have a holiday house very close to some of their favourite beaches.

These coastal locations offer some of the best fish and chips, safe beaches for families and great summer events. Beaches like Surf Beach in Batemans Bay, Surfside Beach near Cullendulla Creek Nature Reserve, Casey’s beach in Sunshine Bay, Seven Mile beach in Shoalhaven Heads and Horseshoe Bay in Bermagui are few of the best and safest beaches for families to visit. They are patrolled by lifeguards during peak periods, have gentle waves and have some great picnic spots as well. In spite of the onset of thousands of visitors every summer, there is space for more.

Some of the best beaches in the area that the locals love are South Broulee Beach, Pretty Beach, Guerilla Bay, Lilli Pilli Beach, Tuross Lake, Cunjurong Point, South Durras, Hyams Beach, Aslings Beach Rock Pool and Tomaga River. Each of these is known for its unique beauty and closeness to nature.

Stretching further south is the unspoilt charms of the Sapphire Coast which is renowned for its natural offerings and coastal wilderness. About 70 per cent of the entire Sapphire Coast is national park and forests and perfect for a coastal adventure. Also, Jervis Bay, an annexe of the Australian Capital Territory, boasts of the whitest sand in the world at Hyams Beach and the towering sea cliffs of Point Perpendicular.

Even though Canberra is not located on the coast, Canberrans are spoilt for choices when it comes to giving in to their love for the coast. So, what is your favourite spot?