Road trippin’ the Shoalhaven you’ll go from beach to bush in the blink of an eye.
You would be hardpressed to find an area as unspoilt and enticing as the Shoalhaven Region in the South Coast of NSW, where pristine beaches surrounding Jervis Bay, majestic National Parks and lush valleys all reside in close proximity to one another.
Few places can match the panoramic and gastronomic delights on offer, and a weekend away here will be sure to leave your belt a little tighter, your pantry close to bursting and your lungs a lot cleaner.
Only 2½ hours south of Sydney, discover a place so mesmerising in its natural beauty and bursting with options for activities (mild to wild!), you will be thankful you took some time-out to visit this unique haven. Here are three highlights.
# 1 Hyams Beach
Grab the camera, cossie and the suncream and head to Hyams Beach home to the whitest sand in the world no less and is exported all the way to Hawaii! Enjoy the silkiness between the toes and look out towards the heads to view whales and dolphins frolicking around the bay. Just magical.
# 2 Kangaroo Valley
Heading down into Kangaroo Valley ‘The Valley’ you will find one of those little towns you could be forgiven for not knowing it existed. It was the world’s first carbon neutral tourist destination and was the first plastic bag free town in mainland Australia. It’s all about art and activity here and the work of Mother Nature is the draw card. Kangaroo Valley Safaris are soft adventure specialists for canoes, bike and kayak tours. Start the iron-man adventure down by the Kangaroo River Hampden Bridge, the most photographed sandstone bridge in the country. Hire a canoe for the day with return transfers at the end of your trip should your paddling enthusiasm outweigh your stamina or stay overnight and camp along the river. Soak up the serenity.
Thought about Glamping? Get off the beaten track (about 12 minutes before Huskisson ‘Husky’) and into the bush where the closest thing to roughage at this boutique luxury wilderness retreat will be the gourmet greens on your plate. Paperbark Camp, includes Gunyah restaurant perched up in the treetops, offering a unique dining experience amongst the scribbly gums. Book ahead for a massage under the eucalyptus trees, grab your torch and meet the nocturnal residents.
# 3 Berry
The picturesque town of Berry has masses of country charm nestled among its tree-lined streets and bountiful blooms in Spring. Foodies are spoilt for choice too with an array of culinary wonders to tease the tastebuds. First stop, look for the umbrellas out the front of the Berry Woodfired Sourdough Bakery housed in the old 1930s general store. The locals queue to get their hands on the State’s best baked breads, pastries and freshly brewed coffee served in bowls for the caffeine fiends and if you miss it, back on the main street, their sister cafe Milkwood Bakery does coffee and snacks to take away. Delish!