The Shoalhaven was hit hard by the recent fires – and while the region finds its feet again, we’ve made it our number one go-to for when that annual leave is approved (and if no dice on that front, you could do it in a cheeky weekend with ease). Start two-ish hours from Sydney and head south along the stretch of coast that will, eventually, land you at Bawley Point’s Depot Beach. If you can make it past Berry’s famous Donut Van (73 Queen St, Berry), that is.
Eat your way down the coast. Many chefs who were, once upon a time, city dwellers heard the call for a seachange and have made the South Coast all that more enticing. Rick Stein’s Bannisters in Mollymook (try the Fish Pie), is just one among many. So yes, Number #1 on our list is where to take that appetite you’re about to work up.
Check out our full Shoalhaven foodie guide here.
Speaking of seafood… Greenwell point is famous for its estuary-grown oysters – drop in to Jim Wild’s family-run waterfront spot for Crystal Bay prawns and freshly shucked oysters (or ask for yours closed to take away for later.)
If you’re going to be pairing wines with those oysters of yours, pick up a bottle (or two) from the Two Figs boutique winery. Take in the breathtaking views of the river before you bed down for the night in one of the many seaside campsites or cottages the region has to offer.
For our recommendations on more places to stay, check out our guide here.
Hit the surf. The stretch of coast has so many beaches, the local tourist board came up with a 100 Beach Challenge. Whether you ride a longboard or a short, there’s plenty of waves to catch. The sleepy town of Culburra (just shy of three hours south of Sydney), gave us world Number one, Tyler Wright. Among our Shoalhaven surf spots? Ulladullah, Bawley Point and, of course, Culburra are go-tos. If you’re just getting started, try the Southern end of Seven Mile beach for gentle waves.
The best plan of attack? Simply head south.
Get wet. Even if you’re not up for a surf, you will definitely want to pack your swimmers. From the crystal-clear turquoise waters and white sand of Jervis Bay to natural rock pools, Shoalhaven has a whole coast full of places to wet those toes of yours. On our list? The Moona Moona Creek Lagoon - A protected entrance to Moona Moona Creek. At high tide, it’s the perfect place to swim a few laps or just float and watch the clouds.
Hit: chill. There’s plenty of R&R to be found on the South Coast. From National Parks – like Jervis Bay – where you can explore the sandy-white beaches and surrounding bushland to rainy day activities. Huskisson Picture House has been standing since 1913 and has been screening movies since the 50s. It’s the perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon.