Whilst most people head to the north coast, under-developed Jervis Bay offers some of the best beaches not only in the state, but Australia. Pristine, natural and beautiful, you won't find sand whiter or water that crystal clear anywhere else in NSW. Craig Makepeace tells us why he loves this beautiful area, and why you should take your next holiday here.
Jervis Bay is my favourite region on the south coast of New South Wales, and at only 180 kilometres south of Sydney (about 2.5 hours drive) it's within easy reach for your next beach side holiday. The town of Huskisson makes for a great base with ample accommodation options for all budgets, plus lots of nice cafes. Here are my top seven things to do:
1. Spend a Day on Famous Hyams Beach
The most popular beach in the region is Hyams Beach, and rightly so. Famous in the Guinness Book of Records for having the "whitest sand in the world", Hyams also has that incredibly clear turquoise water and a beautiful natural backdrop. Whilst it might be famous it's not heavily populated like Sydney beaches and you can easily find a spot on the sand to lay your towel, unlike Bondi. A quiet beach side town (population of just 290) it makes for a perfect family beach day or to just take a swim and read a book.
2. Walk the 'White Sands Walk'
Beginning at Greenfield Beach picnic area just south of Vincentia, the White Sands Walk is one of the prettiest coastal walks in NSW as it meanders through a chain of pristine beaches – Chinamans, Seamans, Hyams and other secluded bays and beaches – all having that pure white sand. Jervis Bay Marine Park offers a stunning back drop as you take in the views, play on the rock formations, and stroll the pristine beaches. If you're lucky you might even spot some dolphins, kangaroos and native birds. Stop for a coffee at the Hyams Beach Cafe before your return leg takes you along the Scribbly Gum track through tall forest and woodland and the finish line at the top of Greenfield Beach picnic area.
3. Explore Booderee National Park
A visit to nearby Booderee National Park is a must ($11 for a 2-day pass). Set on a peninsula, you're spoilt with natural beauty: white-sand, turquoise water, tropical looking beaches and less crowds than at Hyams or Greenfields. Greenpatch Beach within the park is absolutely stunning and a good place to spot kangaroos and parrots bouncing around to greet you of a morning. Scottish Rocks around the headland from Green Patch are these amazing rock formations hugging the cliff and jutting out into the bay and as good as you would see anywhere in Australia.
4. Eat a Famous Husky Pie
The popular Husky Bakery & Cafe in the town of Huskisson is famous for its pies, and the coffee's not bad either. judging by the amount of people in the shop when we visited, word has spread far and wide. And it's not just your traditional meat pies, there's a flavour for everyone with lots of varieties on offer. And if you have young kids like me, you'll appreciate the built in playground at the back of the cafe. Put this cafe on your list for breakfast, brunch or lunch!
5. Coffee and Breakfast at Hyams Beach Cafe
I mentioned the Hyams Beach Cafe as a rest stop on the White Sands Walk, but even if you don't do the walk, check out this cafe on your visit to Hyams Beach. Funky vibe with quality coffee and food, a real locals beach side cafe perfect for a morning visit with a paper or magazine at your disposal.
6. Swim, Picnic, BBQ and Play at any of the Beaches
For a cheap family day out, grab some supplies for a picnic or BBQ and head to any of the stunning beaches in the Jervis Bay region such as Hyam's, Greenfield's and Chinaman's, or head into Booderee National Park and set up at either Green Patch or Murray's Beach.
7. Sunset Drinks at Husky Pub (The Huskisson)
Why not finish your day with a sunset drink at The Husky Pub (The Huskisson). Set on the water, a huge beer garden has views out over the bay and it's the perfect spot for a bite to eat and a cold drink as the sun goes down. If you're in town on a Sunday, check out the live acoustic music in the beer garden, just get there early to jag a seat as the Sunday sessions are popular!