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An area of spectacular natural beauty just three hours south of Sydney, Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast is one of Australia’s favourite beach holiday destinations. Fringing an 102-square-kilometre oceanic bay are dazzling beaches, cute beach towns and species-rich wilderness areas galore, with plenty of activities to be enjoyed among them.
While Jervis Bay is incredibly popular during the summer months, the cooler months have their own draws, including less-trafficked hiking trails, a much better shot at securing your campground of choice and even the opportunity to swim with whales and seals. Here are some of the best ways to enjoy Jervis Bay, no matter what time of the year you visit.
Famed for their fine white sand and sparkling blue water, Jervis Bay’s beaches are among the nation’s most picturesque. Ideal for families, snorkellers and paddlers, there are more than a dozen beaches inside the bay, protected from the swell, while Jervis Bay’s Pacific Ocean beaches will satisfy beachgoers keen for more action.
From Hyams Beach with its famous powder-white sand to Murrays Beach with its little penguin-spotting potential, there’s a patch of sand to suit every beach mood.
Jervis Bay is laced with excellent walking and hiking trails, from the well-maintained walking loops in Booderee National Park to the scenic seaside meander in Jervis Bay National known as the White Sands Walk.
On the Beecroft Peninsula, trails in Abraham’s Bosom Reserve include a 2.5km-return walk to a century-old shipwreck, while more adventurous hikers can seek out the remains of Cape St George Lighthouse on the Southern Peninsula, which is also part of Booderee National Park.
The calm, clear blue waters and rocky reefs of the Jervis Bay Marine Park create the perfect environment for snorkelling and scuba diving. Strap on a snorkel and explore the temperate marine ecosystems that thrive just off the beach independently, or book a tour to snorkel with seals and even whales.
Divers have a whopping 65 sites to choose from in the Jervis Bay area, with some of the most popular sites located at Point Perpendicular, the southern tip of the Beecroft Peninsula, where ancient sea cliffs plunge into the Pacific.
The vast wilderness of the Beecroft Peninsula is home to some of Jervis Bay’s top visitor attractions. While only accessible on weekends, Point Perpendicular is well worth the drive to see its heritage lighthouse perched on soaring sea cliffs. On the way, stop at the gorgeous cove known as Honeymoon Bay for a swim or a snorkel.
Just east of Currarong, Abrahams Bosom Reserve is open every day of the week, and has a good handful of hiking trails that’ll take you to secret bays and remote lookout points.
From fish and chips to fine dining, Jervis Bay’s culinary offerings are largely centred in the Huskisson area, with the town’s World Famous Fish and Chips providing a top takeaway option. For something a little more special, reserve ahead to sample the rotating set menu at intimate treehouse-style restaurant The Gunyah at Paperbark Camp.
Great midrange choices include Wildginger for Southeast Asian fare and the Huskisson Hotel (known as the Husky Pub) for quality pub grub. For coffee and brunch, try 5 Little Pigs or Pilgrims.
Jervis Bay has an excellent range of camping options to suit all types of camper. With facilities galore, families love the Holiday Haven campgrounds at Huskisson and Currarong, while visitors looking for a nature fix may prefer Green Patch, Bristol Point and Cave Beach campgrounds in Booderee National Park. And while it lacks facilities beyond a composting toilet, Honeymoon Bay offers a perfectly romantic location to pitch a tent by the beach if you time your visit right.