If you've hired a rental car in Sydney, check out the Grand Pacific Drive.

This is a popular journey among locals and tourists alike, and is a great way to get the most out of your rental car from the Sydney airport.

Grand Pacific Drive begins just 45 minutes outside of Sydney and will take you all the way to Wollongong, which is 85 kilometres away, and beyond. As your rental car's wheels turn, you will gaze at the glittering ocean, sandy beaches and the natural beauty of New South Wales.

The way is well sign-posted, so you don't have to worry about getting horribly lost or missing out on amazing photo opportunities.

You will begin your journey at the Royal National Park and drive south until you reach Wollongong. It will take you about an hour and a half to reach this exciting city (without stopping), but we recommend you pull over at least once or twice – to stretch your legs, if nothing else!

We recommend visiting the lookout in Bald Hill and walking or driving along the Sea Cliff Bridge. You may also want to get some retail therapy in the quaint seaside village of Thirroul. This is a great place to have a swim or sit on the beach and soak up the sun, and is just an hour outside of Sydney.

Once you've reached Wollongong, make sure you leave enough time to visit the Articles Fine Art Gallery, which is one of the best in New South Wales, as well as the Wollongong Botanic Garden.

If you're not ready to turn back by the time you reach Wollongong, don't – you can actually take the Grand Pacific Drive all the way to Batemans Bay and Canberra, if you want.

You can download a detailed itinerary from the official Grand Pacific Drive website, which contains information about where to go and what to do along the way.