Booderee National Park is tucked into the south-east corner of Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast. Pack your winter wettie and there’s nothing stopping you from making the most of the park in the cooler months.’
The Beauty of Booderee
Booderee National Park is a pretty stunning spot to explore. White sand beaches, turquoise water, native bush trails – what’s not to like? Like most places on the NSW South Coast it can get pretty busy during summer, but I assure you, there’s still plenty to do at Booderee during winter – minus the crowds.
2020 has been a bit of a kick in the teeth, but on the upside, the park entry fee to Booderee has been waived for the rest of the year, so now’s the perfect time to get out there and explore.
2020 also happens to be the 25th anniversary of the park being handed back to the local Wreck Bay Aboriginal community. For me, that’s what makes this area so special – the chance to learn how the Dhurga Traditional Owners lived at one with the land.
Start planning your winter trip to Booderee National Park and see if you can squeeze in all the best activities while you’re there.
Browse the Botanic Gardens
The Botanic Gardens in Booderee are completely underrated and provide sanctuary to a diverse array of plant life and critters. In fact, I’ve had some of my best Booderee wildlife encounters in these gardens.
Explore different habitats through a variety of peaceful walking trails, then fire up the BBQ at the picnic area for lunch.
2020 also marks the 20th anniversary of the proclamation of the Botanic Gardens. Get out there and celebrate this natural beauty!
Enjoy Pristine White Sand Beaches Without The Crowds
Booderee has some of the best beaches you’ll find on the South Coast! I love the way the classic coastal scrub and forest comes right up to the white sand – it’s definitely an escape to nature here.
As you’d expect, the crowds at popular beaches like Green Patch can rival Bondi Beach. OK, maybe Bondi in winter, but still pretty busy. Pick a beautiful winter’s day and if you’re lucky, you could have this glorious stretch of white and aqua all to yourself.
Surf The Winter Swells
The NSW South Coast is renowned for its solid swells over winter. Cave Beach gets the most swell action out of the Booderee beaches, so if you’re confident on the board, or even if you’re still learning, check out Cave Beach for some beautiful lines and minimal lineups.
Those who prefer a bit of SUP action will find plenty of calmer waters on the protected beaches within Jervis Bay, such as Green Patch and Murrays Beach.
Get Your Scuba (or Snorkel) On
Booderee is renowned for its stunningly clear waters. Combine this with a healthy collection of rocky shorelines and reefs, and the fact that Jervis Bay is also a Marine Park with lots of protected areas and sanctuary zones, and you’ve got yourself world class diving and snorkelling.
Scottish Rocks, Murrays Beach and Green Patch are some prime locations for scuba and snorkelling. Just make sure to pack the winter wettie!
Explore by Boat
While we’re on marine activities, definitely consider exploring the park via boat to access some harder to reach places.
Set sail from Murrays boat ramp and head out around Governor Head. As you travel south past the looming sea cliffs you’ll be treated with some unique views of Cape St George lighthouse.
Continue south and you’ll be able to access Steamers Beach and Kittys Beach – generally only accessible on foot. These remote locations are perfect for an isolated picnic lunch and bush walk.
Bushwalk in Comfort
I’m not a fan of hot, steamy weather, so I jump at the chance to do extended hikes over winter when the weather’s cooler. Booderee has a range of beautiful walking trails to explore, and with the reduced winter crowds you’ll enjoy having these trails mostly to yourself. Plus, winter hiking means less risk of snakes!
From a few hundred metres to a few kilometres long, length doesn’t decide beauty here! No matter where you walk, you’ll be greeted with gorgeous bush and beach scenes.
For a more extended adventure, I highly recommend the Munyunga waraga dhugan trail – this 2.5 hour loop takes in forest trails, panoramic views from Governor Head and some great opportunities for wildlife spotting.
Booderee National Park is definitely somewhere you want to spend a few days exploring, make sure to bring the following gear to ensure you make the most of your time there;
- Surfboard (and winter wettie!)
- Snorkel/diving gear
- Camera and binoculars for wildlife spotting
- Hiking gear
How To Get There
Booderee National Park is found in Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast. It takes about three hours to drive from Sydney or Canberra. The park is open year-round, and don’t forget there’s free park entry until the end of 2020!