Jervis Bay: home to a myriad of clear waters & white sand beaches.
With its white sand beaches, sparkling blue waters and abundance of native wildlife, including koalas and kangaroos, Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast is a spectacular seaside escape bursting with water and land activities. Swim in crystal clear waters, spot a pod of dolphins and whales on a wildlife cruise, explore lighthouses and oyster sheds, and experience thrilling and relaxing water sports. Home to over 150 dolphins, Jervis Bay is also famous for its ‘sea sparkles’ or bioluminescence, and amazing opportunities for stargazing.
How to get there
Located in the Shoalhaven region, about a three-hour drive south of Sydney, Jervis Bay is a coastal paradise. Embark on the scenic route — — one of Australia's prettiest drives, winding through rainforests, seaside villages along a curvaceous coastline. Starting at the raw wilderness of Royal National Park just south of Sydney, this 140km coastal journey will have you gasping at the breath-taking scenery.
On the way to Jervis Bay from Sydney, pop into Symbio Wildlife Zoo, where you can get up close to kangaroos and koalas, and visit The Famous Berry Donut Van and taste one of their delicious cinnamon donuts.
Berry has the perfect blend of tranquil village charm and city style. Shop at boutiques and browse for locally made gourmet products.
Spot whales and dolphins
The area is home to two magnificent national parks, as well as Jervis Bay Marine Park — an aquatic haven for bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, little penguins, sea dragons and migrating whales. It’s renowned as a spot to catch a glimpse of the magnificent humpback whales breaching and playing with their newborn calves.
Jervis Bay is about halfway along the whales’ 4,000km annual migration trip, so they often stop to rest and play. There are many vantage points to choose from along the pristine coastline. For breath taking views, head to Point Perpendicular Lighthouse on the northern tip of the bay and Cape St George Lighthouse on the southern side.
Alternatively, swim with whales and seals on a tour with Dive Jervis Bay or jump on a cruise with to dolphins all year round and migrating whales from May to November.
Swim and snorkel at pristine beaches
The beaches in the Shoalhaven region are among the safest and most alluring in the country. Famed for its dazzling stretch of fine white sand, Hyams Beach is a small village in Jervis Bay. Stroll along the beach and feel the soft sand underfoot, taking in the sights and sounds of the waves.
Found on the southern shores of the splendid Jervis Bay Marine Park, the calm turquoise waters are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing and stand-up paddleboarding. Discover the fascinating underwater world and rich marine life. There are also group guided kayak tours available.
Don’t forget to stop into the famous Hyams Beach Store and Cafe for some local fish and chips. It’s the only shop in the village!
Known as the jewel in the Booderee National Park, Murrays Beach also offers swimmers and snorkelers clear waters to explore. It’s situated in a protected bay, which is sheltered by Bowen Island.
The natural splendour of Jervis Bay is a drawcard for many visitors. The area has an impressive number of scenic walking tracks and bike trails, making it an oasis for those who love the outdoors. Spot kangaroos and other native wildlife on walking trails in Jervis Bay National Park and Booderee National Park. Spend an hour following the Hyams Beach trail, also known as the bird spotter’s walk, and keep an eye out for colourful rosellas.
Alternatively, embark on the beautiful White Sands Walk, which begins in Vincentia and finishes at Hyams Beach. For the perfect Instagram picture, head to Hole in the Wall Beach, located inside Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay. It gets its name from the sandstone rock wall with a hole in it. Although the hole has now collapsed to form a U shape, it is a popular photography spot.
Shop in the villages
The relaxed seaside towns in the region have a range of boutique stores, galleries and craft shops. Browse beach fashion and local handmade jewellery in boutiques, pick up surf wear from Aquatique, a family-run surf shop in Huskisson, and visit the Huskisson Market, a treasure trove of arts and crafts, and fresh produce. The markets are held on the second Sunday of each month.
Sample Shoalhaven wines
The Shoalhaven Coast wine region is home to more than a dozen elegant wineries. As the first site of European settlement on the South Coast of NSW, Coolangatta Estate has a rich history dating back to the 19th century. Taste some of the best south coast wines at the cellar door and enjoy a long lunch at their popular restaurant, Alexander's Grill. The Bigfoot 4WD Mountain and Winery tour operates from Coolangatta Estate. Jump in the huge 4WD open sided tractor-bus, which takes you on a one-hour tour up to 1000ft elevation on the historic property of Coolangatta Estate where some of the best views of the South Coast can be enjoyed.
Between Milton and Ulladulla, you’ll find the delightful Cupitt’s winery. Enjoy views of the Milton countryside as you sample award-winning wines, and taste local produce at Cupitt's Restaurant, which overlooks the spectacular vineyard.
Other wineries in the region include Silos Estate near Berry, Cambewarra Estate near Nowra and Bawley Vale near Bawley Point.
Places to stay
There are a range of accommodation options in Jervis Bay including seaside cottages, luxury tents, holiday homes and beachside campgrounds at Green Patch, Bristol Point and Cave Beach.
The stunning Paperbark Camp offers safari-inspired tents with outdoor showers nestled among paperbark, gum and mangrove forests. Close to the white, sandy shores of Jervis Bay and only 2.5 hours from Sydney, relax and unwind on the outdoor deck as you admire the divine bushy backdrop and native wildlife.
Enjoy a spectacular dinner at The Gunyah Restaurant and unwind with a glass of wine on the deck or on the lounge in front of an open fire.
Credits: Tourism Australia, Hutchings Camps Pty Ltd
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