Nestled three hours south of Sydney, Jervis Bay is undoubtedly home to some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Australia. In fact, with its white sands and gorgeous aqua coloured waters, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve landed on your own Pacific Island paradise.
While Jervis Bay is a popular summer getaway location, don’t rule out a visit in the cooler months when this sort after destination gets a little quieter, and you may be fortunate enough to experience the beaches and walking tracks in relative seclusion.
The ideal holiday destination for any lover of nature, from the diverse and species rich marine park, to the native vegetation and abundant animal and birdlife, Jervis Bay is where you come to escape it all.
A Water Lovers’ Nirvana
It will come as no surprise that Jervis Bay is best suited to those who love the beach and a little saltwater. Home to one of the deepest bays in Australia, Jervis Bay makes an ideal spot to swim, paddle, snorkel, dive or simply laze on one of the pristine beaches.
With its protected marine park, you’ll have a high chance of spotting dolphins, fish, rays, penguins, fur seals and passing whales as they drop in for a spell during their annual migrations from land or sea.
Jervis Bay has ample whale and dolphin watching tours in operation where, at the very least, you will be hard pressed not to encounter one of the 120 resident bottlenose dolphins that reside in the bay all year round.
For the Adventurer at Heart
You can’t go past Mollymook in the south and Culburra in the north for surfing. Both beaches are known for their consistent year round surf where you are pretty much guaranteed a wave. Water sports are a popular activity amongst holidaymakers and locals with many suitable spots including Sussex Inlet, St George’s Basin, Vincentia and Huskisson, whether it be the jet ski, kayak or stand-up paddleboard. For a sunset SUP experience, Jervis Bay Stand Up Paddle in Huskisson has the goods, but ensure you book first.
Jervis Bay and Kangaroo River are two incredible spots for kayaking. Jervis Bay offers the opportunity of dolphin and whale spotting from the vantage of your own personal kayak, along with being able to stop for a snorkel along the way, and in Kangaroo Valley you can hire a kayak for an hour or more, or choose up to a three-day experience. For more information, visit Jervis Bay kayak and Paddlesports in Huskisson, or Kangaroo Valley Safaris Kayak and Canoe Hire.
Rock-climbing is another big attraction in Shoalhaven, with a variety of rock surfaces and routes for the enthusiast. Outdoor Raw in Nowra cater to all age levels and abilities for a guided adventure.
The Walker's Wonderland
The gentle White Sands Walk and Scribbly Gum Track is described as one of the best walks in NSW, and a must do. This free 2.5km trek will take you in a loop through the Jervis Bay National Park, along the whitest of white sand beaches, and through coastal forest where you will take in some of most amazing scenery and birdlife you have ever seen. There is also an option to extend your walk to Hyams Beach if you are feeling up to it, or to just stick to the beach walk, either way, the birdlife will be superb.
For those feeling a little more adventurous, a hike along one of the Booderee National Park’s tracks might be more to your liking, and The Munyunga waraga dhugan (white-bellied sea eagle’s home camp) loop makes the perfect first experience to enjoy the history, culture, plants and animals of Booderee via the 14 signs along the way. For more information and to get your park pass visit the Parks Australia website before heading there.
Other must do walks include the hour return trek to Gosangs Tunnel at the northern end of Jervis Bay, an adventure you’ll never forget that includes a 20 metre rock tunnel one must crawl through to reach the sea cliffs on the other side that will make it well worth it, and the guided Gondwana Coastal Fossil Walk to the south in Ulladullah.
For cyclists, the Huskisson to St Georges Basin Circuit Cycling Route is a must. A medium grade path and road ride that will take you along the foreshore of Jervis Bay to Vincentia, then through the country along the off-road bike path to Sanctuary Point on St Georges Basin before heading back straight to Huskisson on the road. If you are after a more introductory ride, just take in the beautiful coastal sights from Huskisson to Vincentia and enjoy the numerous opportunities to refuel at one of the many cafes along the way.
For those into their mountain biking, the Condoo, Superbow and Butterfly tracks in the Currambene State Forest, just 15 minutes south of Nowra are a good place to start, along with the more picturesque Kangaroo River track, a 24km return ride that starts in the Kangaroo Valley Village.
A History Mecca
History buffs will find Jervis Bay full of interesting sites and tales from yesteryear. The Cape St George Lighthouse ruins here are Heritage listed, and visitors will be intrigued by its fascinating and grisly history. The old lighthouse also makes for some great photography and you’ll be met with spectacular views of the cliffs and rugged coastline.
Located in Huskisson, the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum features a range of vessels and exhibitions relating to the maritime history and heritage of the Jervis Bay area. Open 10:30am-3:30pm daily, you can also drop by to enjoy the mangrove boardwalk, native gardens and picnic area with BBQ facilities.
Visiting with the whole family? There’s plenty to do and see here. Kangaroos on the beach, whale spotting in the winter, and calm waters to make Jervis Bay an ideal place for big and little kids to kayak, paddleboard, snorkel or swim. If the kids need a change of scenery, go bush. There are lots of family friendly walking trails around and you’ll likely make a furry friend or two!
Whatever the season, whatever the reason, Jervis Bay makes an unquestionably idyllic spot for your next holiday destination. Stay at Sussex Inlet’s Haven Holiday Resort and enjoy a tranquil break in a secluded setting to the south of Jervis Bay, and experience the native flora and fauna, with the ocean just outside your door.