The Long Road to Horsehead // Bermagui (NSW)

Camel Rock? Horsehead Rock? If you’re a fan of quadrupeds and flaming big rocks, you’re literally going to be in heaven in Bermagui.


Highlights

  • The drive down the south coast is stunning; stops in Kiama and Berry for coffee, and then Pebbly Beach for a swim and chill with the local kangaroos!
  • Watching the sunrise behind Horsehead Rock
  • Golden hour at Camel Rock

The Lowdown

My girlfriend and I decided we’d go away for the long weekend at the very last moment, and one of the last places on the South Coast of NSW with any accommodation left was in Bermagui. A perfect opportunity to see the famous Horsehead Rock if there was ever going to be one!

So we left my place in the Shire early in the morning, and began the long 5h drive south. We stopped for Coffee in Kiama, and then again in Berry, before grabbing a bite to eat and a glass of wine at Cupitt’s Winery/Brewery in Ulladulla. No sponsorship here, they just do terrific froths and whites.

One of the best things about the drive, ignoring the winding roads through towering gum trees, is the number of great excuses for rest breaks.

Our last stop was at about 3 when we pulled into Pebbly Beach. Quite a few tourists here, but we saw a group of kangaroos spring their way across the sand in the late afternoon sun; which I can’t say I had ever seen before, despite living in the country for almost 23 years.

After that, we finished the last leg of the drive and found ourselves pulling into Bermagui’s local pub for a chicken parma and a beer before an early night.

We woke up at 5 am to a blaring alarm.

Rubbed the eyes, brushed the hair, tried putting jeans on the right way, and jumped into the car. If you stay in the town, you’ll be a 7-minute drive from Camel Rock, which was terrific for the sunrise session we’d planned. You park your car in the small carpark for Camel Rock, which fits maybe a dozen cars (no real problem at 5 am), and wander down onto the beach. You can’t miss it. It’s the enormous rock jutting out of the ocean which looks exactly like a camel. Go figure.

Something important I need to mention though is the tides. At low tide, it’s a tad sketchy to walk along the rocks on the coast to see Camel and eventually make your way to Horsehead. At high tide, it’s impossible. Check that the tide lines up with what you want to do there! For photography, I wanted low tide, so I could get to Horsehead for sunrise. Which is exactly what we did; it’s a 5-minute walk around from Camel Rock along the shore of rockpools to reach Horsehead.

Horsehead Rock has a presence far too imposing for you to fully appreciate from photos. I knew it was going to be big, but not that big. It’s incredible that these rocks actually look like their names imply, too; it’s not like cloud-spotting when you’re a kid where you need to use all of your powers of imagination.

It’s an incredible piece of Australia’s coastline, and more than worth the long drive south from Sydney. Personally, I have no interest in seeing the Big Banana or the Big Merino or whatever else we’ve made as tourist attractions; you’d think we were compensating. But anyway, go see the big horse instead. There’s less tackiness and more nature. I know I will definitely be going back sometime.

Essential Gear

  • Towel
  • Camera
  • Shoes you don’t mind walking through rock pools in

How To Get There

Activities

  • Swimming
  • Photography

Skill Level

Beginner

Distance / Vertical Gain

Not even worth mentioning, something like 200m

Check out more adventures in NSW