Jobs in South Coast, NSW
A narrow strip of earth spread across 300km of prime Australian coast, it’s fair to say that the South Coast of New South Wales doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Wedged between the Southern Tablelands and the Pacific Ocean, this is a region dotted with charming coastal communities separated by stunning national parks.
There are more than a few reasons to visit the South Coast (including the relative lack of other visitors), so where exactly is it? How do you get there? What should you see? And will you be able to find work if you want to stay a while?
To find out all that and more, let’s take a closer look at the South Coast.
Where is the South Coast, NSW?
The South Coast begins in the local government area of Shoalhaven, two hours south of Sydney and an hour south of Wollongong. From there it stretches 300km south, following Highway One all the way to the Victorian border. The area encompasses a wealth of beachside communities and some truly stunning nature, in the form of Jervis Bay, Eurobodalla and Ben Boyd National Parks.
The area is known for its warm and mild climate, its spectacular nature, its laid back coastal communities and its rocky coastline that collapses into a succession of gorgeous sandy beaches.
The major towns of the South Coast, NSW
The 180,000-odd residents of the South Coast are dispersed evenly across its length, with most communities being made up of less than a couple of thousand people. There are a few slightly larger towns that serve as commercial centres, however.
One of the northernmost towns on the South Coast is also the area’s largest: Nowra is home to 20,000 people, and is well connected to the rest of the state, being just one hour from Wollongong, two hours from Sydney, and two and a half from Canberra. This also makes it a wildly popular tourist destination, with thousands of people travelling to enjoy the town’s beautiful beaches.
Depending on where you draw the lines, the town of Batemans Bay is home to between 11,000 and 17,000 people, and is becoming increasingly known as a retirement haven. Oyster farming, forestry and eco-tourism are also big here.
Bega is found in its namesake valley, and is famous for one thing above all else: cheese. This town of 4000 is one of the few on the South Coast that isn’t actually found on the coast, although the Pacific Ocean is just a 15 minute drive away.
While the town of Merimbula is home to 3500, 15,000 more people can be found in a 10km radius, making this the centrepiece of a thriving community. It’s a stunning place, with Lake Merimbula slowly flowing out into the Pacific, forming a wealth of unique beaches all the while. Six hours from Sydney, Merimbula is also a somewhat more secluded destination.
Getting to and around the South Coast, NSW
Train services connect Sydney with the South Coast… but only just. After a 123km ride you’ll be dropped at Bomaderry, just over the Shoalhaven River from Nowra. No need to fret, however, as you can journey the rest of the South Coast by bus.
The Princes Highway stretches the length of the South Coast, connecting all its major communities. The fact that the region is so narrow means that travelling by bus is quite convenient – you can be confident of stopping at almost every community you’d like to visit – though most people will bring their own set of wheels for an added layer of freedom.
5 things to see and do on the South Coast
- Mogo Wildlife Park: A wealth of exotic and endangered species await at Mogo, some of whom can be fed from your hand. Charge that camera, and get ready to meet a local and international cast of animals.
- Morton National Park: We could’ve chosen to highlight any number of the South Coast’s stunning national parks, but the river canyons and incredible waterfalls of Morton see it get our vote.
- Jervis Bay Marine Park: A protected coastal reserve wrapping around a gorgeous bay, if you’re looking for the best coast on the South Coast, this is (arguably) it.
- Eden Killer Whale Museum: Perhaps it’s the name, perhaps it’s thanks to Free Willy, but there’s an aura that surrounds the killer whale. You can learn more about these stunning creatures, and see just how huge they are, at this fascinating museum.
- Disaster Bay Lookout: Found a handful of kilometres from the Victorian border, there’ll be nothing disastrous about the photos you take at this incredible lookout, which offers what could be the South Coast’s best panorama.
6 in-demand jobs on the South Coast
1. Tourism Jobs
While it might not be as renowned a NSW coastal destination as the Northern Rivers or Bondi, the stunning nature and laid back charm of the South Coast has seen it become an ever more popular choice for travellers. This has seen a dramatic rise in tourism jobs in recent years.
2. Hospitality Jobs
Going hand-in-hand with increased tourism, the South Coast’s hospitality industry is on a constant hunt for cooks, cleaners, waiters, bar staff and receptionists.
3. Timber Jobs
Boasting the perfect conditions to generate hardwood growth, the forestry industry is particularly strong along the South Coast. The high demand for labourers means you can be well reimbursed for your efforts.
4. Seafood Jobs
With 300km of coastline to play with, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the fishing and oyster industries are as big as they are along the South Coast. Not only can you find work in the seafood industry, you can also enjoy the fruits of your labour at local pubs and restaurants.
5. Dairy Farming Jobs
Moving inland from the coast you’ll find yourself surrounded by expansive green pastures dotted with cattle. The dairy industry is big here, with Bega supplying cheese to Australia and the world. Be warned that a farmhand needs to be prepared for early mornings and hard labour.
6. Construction Jobs
A wave of retirees recently got the memo about the South Coast, and are moving to the area in droves, which has led to the local construction industry exploding. If you have a trade, your services will be quickly snapped up, but there’s plenty of work for general labourers too.