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Shoalhaven Shines

  • October 15, 2018
  • By 50 Shades
  • 2 Comments
Shoalhaven Shines

Amongst the many things to do in New South Wales, the magnificent Shoalhaven on the South Coast of NSW is a standout.  The region stretches from the town of Berry to the north and North Durras to the south, a distance of approximately 130 Kms. To say that the Shoalhaven Shines is an understatement!

It boasts a wide range of stunning natural attractions. As well as its magnificent beaches and waterways, the Shoalhaven is home to the famous and beautiful areas of Jervis Bay, the Kangaroo Valley, Ettrema Wilderness, Budawang Ranges and Morton National Park. Nowra is the largest coastal town on the NSW South Coast and the business and administrative ‘capital’ of the Shoalhaven.

Shoalhaven Shines

We have embarked on two trips to the Shoalhaven. In 2014 we visited the areas of Jervis Bay and Ulladulla where we took day trips to the many interesting places in close proximity. Then earlier this year we visited the region again staying at Gerringong and Ulladulla, where my brother lives.

Berry & Kangaroo Valley

Historic Berry, is nestled among rolling hills, and as we discovered one of those places where the drive is as pretty as the town. The country town exudes a lot of warmth and charm with many buildings with National Trust classification.

Shoalhaven Shines

Berry Museum

It is often described as the perfect country getaway and I can see why with a Pub that is adorned with Surf Boats on its roof, a black and white cow statue outside the general store, friendly locals and a veritable food bowl of fresh produce.

Shoalhaven Shines

The Iconic Berry Pub

Inland from Berry, we took the drive to Kangaroo Valley via the narrow roads of the Berry Mountain pass, through lush green rainforests and glimpses of views into the valley beneath.

The village of Kangaroo Valley is right by the Kangaroo River with the famous Hampden Bridge, the oldest suspension bridge in Australia. After a stroll across the bridge and down along the river gorge, we gorged ourselves with Devonshire tea at one of the charming tea rooms in town.

Shoalhaven Shines

Hampden Historical Bridge in Kangaroo Valley

The region is a great place to kayak along the Kangaroo River, explore waterfalls, go bushwalking, see a variety of wildlife, taste delicious wines, visit the welcoming town pub and discover the colonial history at the Pioneer Village Museum.

Shoalhaven Shines

Kangaroo Valley Old Courthouse

On the drive back from Kangaroo Valley we took a short detour to the Cambewarra Lookout where we witnessed the magnificent panorama of Shoalhaven City, stretching from Coolangatta Mountain in the north, way down to Pigeon House Mountain just inland from Ulladulla, in the south. The view also includes Point Perpendicular and the beautiful Jervis Bay National Park.

Shoalhaven Shines

Views from Cambewarra Lookout

Jervis Bay

In the central Shoalhaven, Jervis Bay takes centre stage with a marine park full of dolphins, seals and little penguins.  During the winter months the humpback whales come to visit and frolic in the bay. There are gorgeous beaches with lovely protected swimming spots and rock pools, ideal for snorkelling, and bushwalking in the Booderee National Park. As far as natural attributes go, Jervis Bay really does have it all.

Shoalhaven Shines

We camped at Jervis Bay Cabins & Camping campground on the Currambene Creek, just outside the town of Huskisson. 

Shoalhaven Shines

Currambene Creek

During our two night stay we visited the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum in Huskisson that consists of a number of buildings housing the Lady Denman Ferry, interesting maritime exhibitions and is surrounded by a boardwalk, ponds and gardens.

Shoalhaven Shines

Jervis Bay Maritime Museum in Huskisson

We noticed that the Hobie 16 World Championships were being conducted in the Bay, hosted by the Jervis Bay Yacht Club. Quiet a spectacle with their colourful sails out to sea.

Shoalhaven Shines

Greenfields Beach

On the second day of our stay we drove further around the Bay to the pretty little village of Vincentia that is home to some of the best, and most accessible, beaches in Jervis Bay. Including Blenheim, Greenfields, Collingwood and Orion beaches, that fill the 6.5 Km strip along the Vincentia foreshore.

Shoalhaven Shines

Hyams Beach

Further south on the Bay is the must see Hyams Beach. There are plenty of ways to enjoy this pristine beach that claims to have some of the whitest sand beaches in the world. Diving and snorkelling are very popular with Jervis Bay dive sites, widely regarded as being second only to the Great Barrier Reef. Surfing, sailing, windsurfing and sea kayaking are also popular in this idyllic marine park.

Shoalhaven Shines

Snorkelling off the beach in Jervis Bay

On our departure day we visited St Georges Basin, a large shallow lagoon and one of the largest villages around the basin, just south of Jervis Bay. It is an ideal location for water activities such as boating, fishing and swimming.

Shoalhaven Shines

Jetty at St Georges Basin

Milton & Ulladulla

The southern Shoalhaven embraces lush farming lands around Milton and numerous beautiful beaches ranging from Bendalong down to Durras North. There are also four lakes in the area to explore: Conjola, Burrill, Tabourie and Durras South.

Shoalhaven Shines

Entrance to Durras Lake

Pebbly Beach at Bawley Point is known widely as the home of the ‘surfing kangaroos’. Although they most probably won’t be surfing when you visit, you will find a large resident kangaroo population at Pebbly Beach quite happy to be patted or to pose for a photograph.

The Shoalhaven Shines

Pebbly Beach friendly Kangaroos

From our accommodation in Ulladulla we found it was a great central location to explore the surrounding lakes of Lake Conjola to the north and Lake Burrill to the south.

Shoalhaven Shines

Burrill Lake

Adjacent to Ulladulla is the coastal village of Mollymook with it’s fabulous 2 Km stretch of golden sanded beach between Bannister Point and the southern headland where Mollymook Golf Club is located.

Shoalhaven Shines

Mollymook Beach

It’s a fabulous walk along the beachfront and afterwards you can cool off with a swim in front of the Mollymook Surf Club and enjoy a coffee at the cafe.

Shoalhaven Shines

Mollymook Surf Club on Mollymook Beach

There are also a couple of other beaches worth checking out in Ulladulla: Rennies Beach near Warden Head and Racecourse Beach a little further south.

Shoalhaven Shines

Rennies Beach

For food and wine lovers, Cupitt’s Winery located in the hills just west of town, is incredible with views to die for. We treated ourselves to a lunch feast of 3 courses all accompanied with the Estate’s own wines. It was my birthday so I deserved to be spoiled!

Shoalhaven Shines

The view from Cupitt’s Winery

We also visited Warden Head Lighthouse at Ulladulla to take in the sensational views. There are extensive rock pools at the bottom of the lighthouse where my husband tried his hand at snorkelling and spearfishing. However he had no luck so we had to settle for eating fish and chips fresh from the Fishermen’s Co-op on the wharf at Ulladulla Harbour!

Shoalhaven Shines

Warden Head Lighthouse

A short distance away is the National Trust listed town of Milton set on a ridge between green valleys and the Great Dividing Range. To the west, the landscape is dominated by the rock spire of Pigeon House Mountain, one of the most striking features of Morton National Park.

Shoalhaven Shines

Milton Post Office

Milton historic town is worth a visit with a delightful range of colourful shops, old buildings, fascinating galleries and lively food places.

Shoalhaven Shines

Milton Town Hall

As one of the locals said to me, when I remarked on the beauty of the Shoalhaven, “Shush, don’t tell anyone about this place, we like to keep it all to ourselves”. As if this is going to happen!

 

 

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By 50 Shades, October 15, 2018 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 2

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

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2 Comments
  • Life Images by Jill
    October 17, 2018

    We are yet to travel to this part of New South Wales, and in truth have only seen a smigin of the state around Sydney. I love that name – Mollymook! Where did that come from I wonder. We have kangaroos on the beaches at Esperance too. Happy travels Kathy and thank you for stopping by my blog this week.

    • Kathy
      October 18, 2018

      Mystery solved! Mollymook was named possibly after the Mollymoke Albatross. Yes I’ve seen the Kangaroos on the beach at Cape Le Grand near Esperance. It was a magical experience seeing right down by the waters edge. You would enjoy travelling in NSW, either along the coastal regions or further inland. There is so much to see!

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