On the South Coast of NSW, Mollymook is a tranquil beachside resort, perfect for a weekend getaway. Only three hours drive from Sydney, it’s far enough to take a real break for a few days or a long weekend, and close enough so you don’t have a tiring drive. The NSW South Coast is one of our favourite weekend destinations, but usually, we stop at Jervis Bay. I also discovered Batemans Bay not long ago, but for a special birthday weekend, we pushed all the way to Mollymook. This is my guide on how to spend a relaxing weekend in Mollymook.
How to spend a Relaxing Weekend in Mollymook
The population in Mollymook, NSW is only around 1,000, keeping the place small and welcoming. The main purpose of a visit is to relax, sleep and enjoy the surroundings. Activities in Mollymook mainly revolve around the beach and enjoying delicious food. If you are keen on typical Australia beach holidays, I have the perfect guide on the best things to do in Mollymook.
Accommodation in Mollymook
There are plenty of places to stay on the South Coast and we didn’t initially think we would go for Mollymook accommodation. But Airbnb Mollymook had a good choice.
We weren’t looking for luxury, just a cosy place close to the beach where we could relax and maybe enjoy a dinner of locally sourced seafood… We chose a couple’s retreat next to the golf course and we only had to cross the green to get to the beach. It was very neat and comfortable, and the owners were very friendly and welcoming.
Accommodation on the South Coast of NSW can vary a lot, from basic caravan park to luxury retreat, however, there are also plenty of mid-range places. If you need to hire a car for the weekend, I recommend RentalCars.com.
The main attraction is obviously Mollymook Beach, with its surf and pristine sand, easily one of the best beaches in NSW South Coast. The town has a quaint feel, almost as though 1960 was yesterday. Some of the beach bungalows haven’t changed a bit…
Mollymook is very popular during summer and school holidays, but I felt it would work for any season. Wildlife tends to always be a little more active when it’s quiet…
There is a large circular rockpool on Mollymook headland. If you look at a Mollymook map, you will see it’s just south of Mollymook Beach.
The safe, shallow waters are ideal if the surf is a little rough or if you’re not too confident in the water. There are many beautiful beaches along the NSW South Coast but some of them can be a little treacherous.
Warden Head Lighthouse
Guarding the entrance to the Port of Ulladulla, south of Mollymook, is Warden Head Lighthouse. I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to lighthouses and I was especially taken with the ones on Bruny Island, Kangaroo Island and on the Great Ocean Road. So, I wasn’t going to miss this one on our NSW south Coast holidays.
This one is much more modest. It’s only 12m high and now operates on mains power. To give you a point of reference, it has the same design as the Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse. It opened in 1873, and what’s unusual for the time, is that it is made of wrought iron plates riveted together using ship building techniques. There is no masonry or stone construction.
Furthermore, the headland is a good place to observe whales cruising past in winter.
Pigeon House Mountain
We always enjoy some easy walking when we take a break. By chance, hiking is one of the things to do on the South Coast NSW. Pigeon House Mountain is in the Morton National Park, which extends all the way to Kangaroo Valley and Berry, and towers at 720m. The top has a distinctive shape and Captain Cook spotted when surveying the coast. He deemed it “resembled a dove house with a dome on top” and gave it its name.
The closest town to Pigeon House Mountain is Milton and the hike is only 5km. To get there, you need to take Yadboro Road and drive on an unsealed road through the bush. The road is quite pretty and it was dry on our visit, however, I felt it would quite slippery in wet weather.
The hike is a grade 4 and quite steep, so you need a reasonable level of fitness. There is a number of ladders to climb as well. I recommend allowing between 3 and 4 hours for the return climb. There is water and toilet facilities at the carpark but nothing on the climb, so you need to be self-sufficient. This area get very hot in summer so make sure you pack enough water.
The views from the top are stunning, and make the effort absolutely worthwhile. There are several viewpoints along the way and the final platform at the top is not very big, but it’s worth taking a picnic and enjoying the fresh air at the top.
Lunch at Cupitt’s Estate Winery
Tasting wines, as we love to do in Mudgee and Orange, is always something we make time for when we take a weekend away from the city. As it was my husband’s birthday, I did a bit of research on Mollymook restaurants and Cupitt’s Estate Winery looked ideal for lunch… We devoured a delicious tasting plate with a glass (or two) of wine…
Cupitt’s also have craft beers and a cheese making facility, so you can buy some take away for later…
Bannisters Restaurant, Mollymook
Out of all the restaurants in Mollymook, this has to be the most special… That was the special treat of a birthday weekend in Mollymook: dinner at Rick Stein’s Bannisters restaurant. We are both fans of his cookbooks and TV series, for once a cooking show what focusses on the food and not on the competition…
Rick Stein’s restaurant specialises in seafood and mixed European and Asian influences. The result is simply outstanding, we had a beautiful dinner and photos are more expressive than words…
On our last day, we pushed beyond Ulladulla and went to Bawley Point, a very pretty and quiet beach. There is nothing more than a little hamlet with a few shops, and the beach is enchanting. We took a walk around the Murramarang Aboriginal Area and looked out to the far south coast… I’m always looking for new holiday places in NSW so I wanted to explore further south but we didn’t have time in a weekend…
South Coast NSW
Our verdict on Mollymook, Australia for a relaxing weekend? Pretty perfect, really. You need to make it a long weekend to have time for everything and make the drive from Sydney worthwhile. We found enough things to do there, it wasn’t just brunch and walks on the beach. The South East Coast of Australia has plenty of beach towns to explore and Mollymook is a very pleasant for a few days. I am very happy to put it on my map of NSW towns to go back to!
Sydney Weekend Getaways
Weekend in Jervis Bay NSW
Things to do in Batemans Bay NSW
Have you visited Mollymook? Tell me about your experience in the comments below!
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