The Ultimate NSW South Coast Road Trip

Hit the open road and experience oysters, wine tasting and designer accommodation.

By Natasha Dragun 11/10/2021

Sydney to Gerringong

The entire South Coast of New South Wales dazzles, but nature’s drama is dialled up the moment one departs Sydney’s hustle and enters the Royal National Park—the oldest of its kind in Australia.

Just an hour’s drive south of the CBD, this remarkable backdrop unites beaches and rainforest, waterfalls, rock pools and sheer cliffs across 15,000 hectares. Pause at Governor Game Lookout to spot crimson rosellas and yellow-tailed black cockatoos, plus migrating whales if touring from May through to November.

The next stretch of road is arguably one of the country’s most scenic: the 140-kilometre Grand Pacific Drive, which begins on a literal high note—the Sea Cliff Bridge snaking 40 metres above the pounding ocean below. The whole of this section is a joy though, especially when plundering the roads in a piece of elevated automotive engineering.

The road south carves through the city of Wollongong, where refreshments of the gourmet kind are dished up at Babyface, its cutesy name belying a seriously grown-up dining room that serves sophisticated combinations such as malawach (a flaky Yemenite bread) with taramasalata and brown trout caviar, or scarlet prawns with oyster emulsion.

Dovecote on the outskirts of Gerringong.

Sated, continue around Lake Illawarra and through Shellharbour to Kiama. Yes, the quaint seaside town is known for its natural assets (that ocean blowhole breaks world records), but its boutiques and eateries are also worth the detour. If planning on self-catering, be sure to stop past Flour Water Salt for housemade tomato kasundi, marinated baby figs and the best sourdough you will ever break into.

The debut accommodation options unite style and sustainability in equal measure. Dovecote sits on a working cattle farm in Gerringong, its two high-drama lodges (The Headland and The Range) decked out with fireplaces and outdoor cinemas, heated pool and wine fridge. There are no communal facilities, but you can call upon the services of a massage therapist, sommelier and chef to see you through the night.

Alternatively, in Gerroa, The Shed sits pretty on a perch overlooking Walkers Beach. The dreamy, architect-designed space sleeps 10, with niceties like an open fire, pool and gourmet kitchen. Or nearby, renowned Sydney architect Espie Dodds has crafted Ocean Farm, its bucolic setting replete with infinity pool outshone only by impeccably curated living spaces.

Gerringong to Shoalhaven Heads

Drive onward toward Shoalhaven Heads to sip your way down the South Coast’s unofficial wine trail—because bubbles are permitted at breakfast, right?

Mountain Ridge Wines’ on-site restaurant opens early and serves decadent morning and midday meals alongside monthly market-garden dinners and cellar-door tastings. Visit Coolangatta Estate for a wine-tasting paddle (the semillon is highly awarded) and charcuterie board in the garden, then Two Figs Winery on the banks of the Shoalhaven for a perfectly chilled flute of Blanc de Blanc.

Given that heightened and favoured private estates such as Linnaeus Farm require more than single nights, backtrack to the coast to the ease of Bangalay Villas. Here the 16 standalone lodges exude style, their northern outlook guaranteeing a stream of sunshine over furnishings hewn from the pages of a glossy magazine. Watch the day disappear from the back of shiny Regal Riding School thoroughbreds trotting along Seven Mile Beach, before sitting down to a meal prepared by chef Simon Evans at on-site Bangalay Dining. Evans and his team hero native ingredients like warrigal greens, beach mustard, saltbush, turkey rhubarb, oxalis, seablite and samphire, all found within a kilometre of the restaurant.


Shoalhaven Heads to Jervis Bay

Cross over the Shoalhaven River for a breakfast heart-starter at Jim’s Wild Oysters, where you can sit by the water and enjoy prawns alongside freshly shucked rock and Pacific oysters.

A short drive south at Jervis Bay, powdery coves meet sapphire seas, and resident dolphins dance in the waves. Book a private charter with Discover Jervis Bay to meet these playful mammals in their habitat: the Jervis Bay Marine Park. This part of the world also attracts penguins, fur seals and whales during migration. Back on dry land, discover some of the most blinding beaches in the world on the White Sands Walk, a 90-minute loop linking Vincentia and Greenfield Beach. Allow plenty of time to sink into the squeaky shores of Instagram star Hyams Beach en route.

Check in to the magical Paperbark Camp to sleep in elevated safari-style glamping tents, set amid eucalypts and fashioned with wraparound decks, hardwood flooring, tubs overlooking
native forest and private ensuites. Your dinner tonight is at the retreat’s applauded restaurant, The Gunyah, where a three-course meal might feature barbecued cuttlefish with black lentils, or slow-cooked lamb flavoured with saltbush.

Jervis Bay to Mollymook

Begin the day in Booderee National Park, where visitors can explore Australia’s only Aboriginal-owned botanic gardens. The focus here is on native flora, so you
can taste “bush tucker” and discover the Koori people’s medicinal plants. Lunch is at Cupitt’s Estate: part winery, part brewery, part fromagerie, part farm. At the restaurant and cellar door, register for a matched cheese-and-wine experience or a cheesemaking workshop, and look forward to vivid dreams.

Cupitt’s boasts boutique cottages if you can’t bear to leave, but it’s worth driving the short distance on to Bannisters Pavilion in Mollymook. The Hamptons-esque Penthouse is the epitome of coastal chic, from spacious terrace to designer fireplace. Head to the rooftop for cocktails beside the cantilevered pool, before dinner at the hotel’s sister property nearby.

Beloved chef Rick Stein knows how to cook seafood. And it stars at his eponymous restaurant at Bannisters by the Sea. His nuanced fish stew is laden with mussels, prawns, snapper and ling, while braised ham and Oberon pine mushrooms give pizazz to the roasted swordfish casserole.

Mollymook to Eden

Hard as it is to drag yourself away from Bannisters’ cushy beds, Eden awaits three hours south. First stop is the hamlet of Bawley Point, possessing an ethereal beauty with its cliff shouldered beaches and serene Termeil Lake. A similar outlook adorns Pebbly Beach, where the sand is so pretty that even the local eastern grey kangaroos can’t stay away, and are often spotted lolloping beside (or in) the surf.

You’re now on the “Oyster Coast”, which means briny Clyde River molluscs at the Oyster Shed or Pearly Oyster Bar, where you can sample Sydney rock oysters as well as native angasi, farmed here. If you need a break in culinary scenery, pull up a chair at Dulcie’s Cottage in Merimbula. This establishment occupies historic grounds, its quirky décor the perfect accompaniment to bulging burgers: such creations repeatedly see it take home the title of “Regional Bar of the Year”.

Currajong Retreat.

You’re now fully fuelled to make it to Currajong Retreat, a safari-style tented camp that’s the gem of the Sapphire Coast. Unbroken views over the Towamba River, standalone alfresco tubs, woodburning stoves, loaded breakfast hampers and rain showers all add up to an opulent nature-inspired cocoon. Dinner is included in your stay, or instead head to Banksia Restaurant just south in Pambula for Italian-inspired degustations.


Eden to Kangaroo Valley

It’s time to head back north, with a detour through the idyllic village of Kangaroo Valley—take a stroll through the 1870-built main street and poke around whimsically curated stores and cafés. Paddle down the Kangaroo River in a kayak, or hike to Fitzroy Falls in nearby Morton National Park. You’ve earnt a treat from the legendary Famous Berry Donut Van.

Barranca’s luxe villas.

When it comes time to bed down, it’s hard to look past Barranca. The four luxe villas here are set on an escarpment with views that defy imagination. Book in for private yoga or forest bathing sessions, forage for mushrooms or truffles, or simply bliss out with a massage. Nearby is Ooralba, a sprawling private estate with an on-call chef, butler, housekeeping and concierge. The interior is impressive, but the garden setting steals the scene with its topiary maze, orchards, olive groves and tea house.

Your toughest decision? Which route to take home to Sydney tomorrow.

This piece comes from the new Spring Issue – on sale now. Get your copy or subscribe hereor stay up to speed on all things with Robb Report’s weekly luxury insights.


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Escape from the Ordinary

Ponant, the luxury cruise line known for its meticulously planned itineraries and high-end service, ups the ante on their upcoming European Journeys that promise an unrivalled exploration of the Mediterranean.

By Robb Report Team 19/02/2024

Not all cruises are created equally. Ponant, the luxury cruise line known for its meticulously planned itineraries and high-end service, ups the ante on their upcoming European Journeys that promise an unrivalled exploration of the Mediterranean. From the stunning Amalfi Coast to the pristine Greek Islands, the narrow Corinth Canal to the picturesque Dalmatian coast, historic Istanbul and beguiling Malaga, each destination is a unique adventure waiting to be unravelled. With Ponant, these aren’t just locations on a map; they’re experiences that come alive with the intimate knowledge and insight that their expert guides provide.

Ponant’s luxury cruises are renowned for their individuality, with no two journeys the same. This is not by chance. Itineraries are scrupulously designed to ensure that each passenger is left with a feeling of having embarked on a journey unlike any other.

Athens-Venise. Photograph by N.Matheus. ©PONANT

In 2025, their fleet will set sail for a combined 56 departures from March to October, exploring the dreamy locales of Greece and the Greek Islands, Malta, Italy (including Venice and Sicily), Croatia, France, Turkey, Spain and Portugal. These European Journeys offer an intimate encounter with the Mediterranean, its people and culture. As you cruise in luxury, you’ll dive deep into the heart of each destination, exploring historic sites, engaging with locals, sampling scrumptious cuisine and soaking in the vibrant atmospheres.

The company’s small, sustainable ships, which can accommodate from as few as 32 to 264 guests, have the exclusive ability to sail into ports inaccessible to larger cruise liners, affording privileged entry into some of the world’s most treasured alcoves. Picture sailing under London’s iconic Tower Bridge, crossing the Corinth Canal, or disembarking directly onto the sidewalk during ports of call in culturally rich cities like Lisbon, Barcelona, Nice and Venice, among others.

Photo by Tamar Sarkissian. ©PONANT

This singular closeness is further enriched by destination experts who unravel the tapestry of each locale’s history and traditions.

Onboard their luxurious ships, every guest is a VIP and treated to refined service and amenities akin to sailing on a private yacht. Whether at sea or ashore, their destination experts guarantee a fascinating experience, immersing you in the rich cultural and historical diversity of each region.

Indulge in the finest gastronomy at sea, inspired by none other than gastronomic virtuoso and Ponant partner, Alain Ducasse. Each voyage offers an expertly crafted dining experience, from a-la-carte meals with perfectly matched wines by the onboard Sommelier at dinner and lunch, to a French-inspired buffet breakfast, featuring all the favourite pastries, fresh bread and quality produce.

Chef Mickael Legrand. Photograph by NickRains. ©PONANT

For a more intimate discovery, consider Le Ponant, with its 16 high-class staterooms and suites—perfect for private charter—sailing eight exclusive routes between Greece and Croatia, offering guests unparalleled experiences both onboard and ashore. Ponant’s commitment to crafting unforgettable experiences extends beyond itineraries. Aboard their ships, the luxury is in every detail. Unwind in opulent cabins and suites, each offering private balconies and breathtaking views of the azure water and destinations beyond.

Ponant’s upcoming European Journeys are more than just cruises—they’re your passport to a world of cultural immersion, historical exploration, and unrivalled luxury. Don’t miss this opportunity to embark on the voyage of a lifetime: the Mediterranean is calling.

To book European 2025 sailings visit; call 1300 737 178 (AU) or 0800 767 018 (NZ) or contact your preferred travel agent.


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Saint Laurent Just Opened a New Bookstore in Paris. Here’s a Look Inside.

The chic new outpost is located on the city’s arty Left Bank.

By Rachel Cormack 14/02/2024

Saint Laurent is taking over even more of Paris.

The French fashion house, which only just opened an epic new flagship on Champs-Élysées, has launched a chic new bookstore on the Left Bank. Located in the 7th arrondissement, Saint Laurent Babylone is a mecca of art, music, literature, and, of course, fashion.

The new outpost is a tribute to the connection that Yves Saint Laurent and partner Pierre Bergé had to the Rue Babylone, according to Women’s Wear Daily. (In 1970, the pair moved to a 6,500-square-foot duplex on the street.) It is also inspired by the house’s original ready-to-wear boutique, Saint Laurent Rive Guache, which opened in the 6th arrondissement in 1966.

The exposed concrete in contrasted by sleek marble accents. SAINT LAURENT

With a minimalist, art gallery-like aesthetic, the space is anchored by a hefty marble bench and large black shelves. The raw, textured concrete on the walls is juxtaposed by a soft blue and white rug, a wooden Pierre Jeanneret desk, and sleek Donald Judd stools.

The wares within Saint Laurent Babylone are the most important part, of course. Curated by Saint Laurent’s creative director Anthony Vaccarello, the collection includes everything from photos by British artist Rose Finn-Kelcey to books published by Saint Laurent itself. Some tomes on offer are so rare that white gloves are required for handling.

The store also offers an enviable selection of records that are no longer being pressed. Highlights include Sade’s Promise, Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love, and the debut studio album of electronic band Kraftwerk.

Other notable items on the shelves include Leica cameras, chocolates made in collaboration with pastry chef François Daubinet, prints by Juergen Teller, and brass skull sculptures. You’ll also find an assortment of YSL merch, including pens, lighters, and cups.

To top it off, Saint Laurent Babylone will double as an event space, hosting live music sessions, DJ sets, book readings, and author signings over the coming months.

Saint Laurent’s latest endeavor isn’t exactly surprising. With Vaccarello at the helm, the Kering-owned fashion house has entered new cultural realms. Only last year, the label established a film production company and debuted its first movie at Cannes.

The space is fitted with a Pierre Jeanneret desk and Donald Judd stools.

Perhaps Saint Laurent film reels and movie posters will soon be available at Babylone, too.

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The Best Watches at the Grammys, From Maluma’s Jacob & Co. to Jon Batiste’s Vacheron Constantin

Music’s biggest names sported some outstanding watches on Sunday evening.

By Rachel Mccormack 08/02/2024

Weird yet wonderful watches punctuated this year’s Grammys.

The woman of the moment, Taylor Swift, who made history by winning Album of the Year for an unprecedented fourth time, wore an unconventional Lorraine Schwartz choker watch to the annual awards ceremony on Sunday night. That was just the tip of the horological iceberg, though.

Colombian singer-songwriter Maluma elevated a classic Dolce & Gabbana suit with a dazzling Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon and a pair of custom, diamond-encrusted Bose earbuds, while American musician Jon Batiste topped off a stylish Versace ensemble with a sleek Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon. Not to be outdone, rapper Busta Rhymes busted out a rare Audemars Piguet Royal Oak for the occasion.

There was more understated wrist candy on display, too, such as Jack Antonoff’s Cartier Tank LC and Noah Kahan’s Panerai Luminor Quaranta BiTempo.

For the rest of the best watches we saw on the Grammys 2024 red carpet, read on.

Maluma: Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon

Maluma busted out some truly spectacular bling for this year’s Grammys. The Colombian singer-songwriter paired a classic Dolce & Gabbana suit with a dazzling Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon and a pair of custom, diamond-encrusted Bose earbuds. The sculptural wrist candy sees a four-arm movement floating in front of a breathtaking dial adorned with no less than 257 rubies. For added pizzaz, the lugs of the 18-karat rose-gold case are invisibly set with 80 baguette-cut white diamonds. Limited to just nine examples, the rarity is priced at $1.5 million.

Asake: Hublot Big Bang Essential Grey

Nigerian singer-songwriter Asake may not have won the Grammy for Best African Music Performance for “Amapiano,” but did wear a winning Hublot Big Bang at Sunday’s proceedings. Released in 2023, the Essential Grey model is made purely of titanium for a sleek, uniform feel. The 42 mm timepiece was limited to just 100 pieces and cost $37,000 a pop.

John Legend: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding

Multihyphenate John Legend wore a legendary Audemars Piguet with silky Saint Laurent on Sunday evening. The self-winding Royal Oak in question features a 34 mm black ceramic case, a black grande tapisserie dial, and striking pink gold accents. The watchmaker’s signature is also displayed in gold under the sapphire crystal. The piece will set you back $81,000.

Jon Batiste: Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon

American musician Jon Batiste received four nominations but no wins at this year’s Grammys. The “Butterfly” singer can take solace in the fact that he looked ultra-sharp in Versace and Vacheron Constantin. A tribute to the spirit of travel, the Overseas Tourbillon features a 42.5 mm white-gold case, a bezel set with 60 baguette-cut diamonds, and a blue dial featuring a dazzling tourbillon cage inspired by the Maltese cross. Price upon request, naturally.

Fireboy DML: Cartier Santos

Fireboy DML’s outfit was straight fire on Sunday night. The Nigerian singer paired an MCM wool jacket with a Van Cleef & Arpels bracelet, several iced-out rings, and a sleek Cartier Santos. The timepiece features a steel case, a graduated blue dial with steel sword-shaped hands, and a seven-sided crown with synthetic faceted blue spinel.

Noah Kahan: Panerai Luminor Quaranta BiTempo

Best New Artist nominee Noah Kahan wore one of Panerai’s best new watches to Sunday’s festivities. The Luminor Quaranta BiTempo features a 40 mm polished steel case and a black dial with luminous numerals and hour markers, a date display at 3 o’clock, and a small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock. The timepiece can be yours for $14,000.

Busta Rhymes: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore

Legendary rapper Busta Rhymes busted out a chic Audemars Piguet for this year’s Grammys. The Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph in question is distinguished by a 42 mm rose-gold case and a matching pink méga tapisserie dial with an outer flange for the tachymeter scale. The face is fitted with three black subdials, large black numerals, and a black date display at 3 o’clock. You can expect to pay around $61,200 for the chronograph on the secondary market.

Jack Antonoff: Cartier Tank Louis Cartier

Producer of the year Jack Antonoff took to the red carpet with a stylish Cartier on his wrist. The Tank Louis Cartier in question appears to be a large 33.7 mm example that features an 18-carat rose-gold case, a silvered dial with black Roman numerals and blued steel hands, a beaded crown set with a sapphire cabochon, and a brown alligator strap. It’ll set you back $19,900.

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This 44-Foot Carbon-Fiber Speedboat Can Rocket to 177 KMPH

The new Mayla GT is available with a range of different powertrains, too.

By Rachel Cormack 03/02/2024

We knew the Mayla GT would be one of the most exciting boats at Boot Düsseldorf, but a deep dive into the specs shows it could be downright revolutionary.

The brainchild of German start-up Mayla, the 44-footer brings you the blistering performance of a speedboat and the luxe amenities of a motor yacht in one neat carbon-fiber package.

Inspired by the go-fast boats of the 1970s and ‘80s, the GT sports an angular, retro-futuristic body and the sleek lines of a rocket ship. Tipping the scales at just 4500 kilograms, the lightweight design features a deep-V hull with twin transversal steps and patented Petestep deflectors that help it slice through the waves with ease. In fact, Mayla says the deflectors decrease energy usage by up to 35 percent while ensuring a more efficient planing.

The range-topping GT can reach 185 kph. MAYLA

The GT is also capable of soaring at breakneck speeds, with the option of a gas, diesel, electric, or hybrid powertrain. The range-topping GTR-R model packs dual gas-powered engines that can churn out 3,100 hp for a top speed of more than 100 knots (185 kph). At the other, more sustainable end of the spectrum, the E-GT is fitted with an electric powertrain that can produce 2,200 horses for a max speed of 50 knots. The hybrid E-GTR pairs that same electric powertrain with a 294 kilowatt diesel engine for a top speed of 60 knots (111 km/h/69 mph). (The GT in the water at Boot sported two entry-level V8s good for 650 hp and a top speed of over 70 knots.)

The GT is suitable for more than just high-speed jaunts, of course. The multipurpose cockpit, which can accommodate up to eight passengers, features a sundeck with sliding loungers, a wet bar and BBQ, and a foldaway dining table for alfresco entertaining. Further toward the stern, a beach club sits atop a garage with an electric transom door.

The garage has an electric transom door. MAYLA

The GT is even fit for overnight stays. Below deck lies a cabin with a double bed, sofa, wardrobe, vanity, and en suite. You can also expect a high-tech entertainment system with TVs and premium audio.

As for price, the GT with the entry-level powertrain will cost between $2.7 million and $2.9, depending on the final configuration. (You can fine-tune the layout, hull color, and interiors, naturally.) Interested buyers can set up a sea trial with Mayla, with test-drives set to begin this spring in Europe.

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Red Centre

First Nations artist Shaun Daniel Allen joins forces with Chopard to create a timepiece inspired by the Australian landscape.

By Horacio Silva 29/01/2024

Shaun Daniel Allen does not look like your typical collaborator on a prestige watch. For one, Shal, as he prefers to be known (“There are many Shauns but only one Shal,” he explains), is more heavily tattooed than your average roadie. His youthful appearance, bad-boy ink and all, belies his 38 years and leads to a disconnect. 

He recounts being recognised on the street recently by a journalist, who, unable to remember his name, shouted out, “Chopard!” “I was with a friend,” Shal says, holding court in his apartment in Sydney’s inner city, “and he’s, like, ‘What the hell? Does that happen to you often?’”

Perhaps because of his body art, he reasons, “People don’t put me and Chopard together.” It’s not hard to understand the confusion, Shal adds; even he was taken aback when Chopard reached out to him about a potential collaboration a little more than a year ago. “When I first went in to see them, I was, like, I don’t know if I’m your guy. I’m not used to being in those rooms and having those conversations.”

He’ll have to adapt quickly to his new reality. Last month Chopard released Shal’s interpretation of the Swiss brand’s storied Alpine Eagle model, which in itself was a redo of the St. Moritz, the first watch creation by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele (now Co-President of Chopard) in the late 1970s. 

Previewed at Sydney’s About Time watch fair in September, to not insignificant interest, and officially known as the Alpine Eagle Sunburnt, the exclusive timepiece—issued in a limited edition of 20—arrives as a stainless steel 41 mm with a 60-hour power reserve and a burnt red dial that brings to mind the searing Outback sun. Its see-through caseback features one of Shal’s artworks painted on sapphire glass.

When the reputable Swiss luxury brand approached Shal, they already had the red dial—a nod to the rich ochre hues of the Australian soil at different times of the day and gradated so that the shades become darker around the edges—locked in as a lure for Australian customers.

Shal was charged with designing an artful caseback and collectible hand-painted sustainable wooden case. After presenting a handful of paintings, each with his signature abstract motifs that pertain to indigenous emblems, tattoos and music, both parties landed on a serpentine image that evoked the coursing of rivers. “I have been painting a lot of water in this last body of work and the image we chose refers to the rivers at home,” he says, alluding to formative years spent at his grandfather’s, just outside of Casino.

It says a lot about Chopard, Shal points out, that they wanted to donate to a charity of his choosing. “Like everything else on this project,” he explains, “they were open to listening and taking new ideas on board and it actually felt like a collaboration, like they weren’t steering me into any corner.”

In another nice touch, a portion of the proceeds from sales of the watch will go to funding programs of the Ngunya Jarjum Aboriginal Corporation—an organisation, established in 1995 by Bundjalung elders, whose work Shal saw firsthand after the 2022 eastern Australia flood disasters ravaged their area. “Seeing Ngunya Jarjum suffer from the floods,” he says, “and knowing how much they do for the community on Bundjalung Country was heartbreaking. I want to see Bundjalung families thriving and supported.”

So what’s it been like for this booster of Australian waterways to be swimming in the luxury end of the pool? “I’ve done a few things with brands,” he offers, referring to the Louis Vuitton project earlier this year at an art gallery in Brisbane, “but nothing on this scale. It’s definitely fancier than I’m used to but I’m not complaining.” Neither are watch aficionados.

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