Jervis Bay & Booderee National Park, NSW
Just a couple of hours from Sydney, Jervis Bay offers spectacular blue water and some of the whitest sand in the world, not to mention hiking, surfing and snorkelling.
We’ve all lusted after that classic postcard image of calm, impossibly blue water contrasted against lily white beaches and fringed with dense greenery, not a soul in sight, a paradise all of your own. Some Aussies fly all the way to Fuji or even Thailand to fulfil this daydream, but that’s good, because it means the rest of us can enjoy places like Booderee National Park in peace.
Things to do in Jervis Bay
Booderee National park
Located at Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast, two and a half hours’ drive from Sydney, Booderee is defined visually by thick coastal bushland spilling over crumbling cliffs and onto stark white sands which lead to the azure waters of Jervis Bay. So pack the snorkel, the fishing rods, the stand-up paddleboard and the walking shoes, because there are countless stunning beaches and walking tracks to explore.
The best place to set up camp is at Green Patch camping area, a large, shady campsite tucked against a stunning beach, whose waters are calm and safe for kiddies. There are toilets and hot showers here, and it’s suitable for camper trailers. The kids will be delighted by the extremely friendly rainbow lorikeets, crimson rosellas and king parrots that will happily land on your head and shoulders for a snack. There is also an entourage of kangaroos and wallabies that will come in close at dawn and dusk.
A good way to kill an hour and take in the scenery is by walking the Telegraph Creek Nature Trail, a 2.4km round walk from Green Patch taking in pristine bushland and beautiful views of the sea.
Cape St George Lighthouse
Cape St George Lighthouse
It’s also worth taking a look at the ruins of the Cape St George Lighthouse, a place laden with mystery from the time it was built (in completely the wrong location) in 1860. It is thought to have contributed to countless shipwrecks along this rugged coast. This lead to the suspicion that the site was cursed, a tale further enhanced by the bizarre misfortune of the lighthouse keepers and their families who lived there, a number of whom were killed in strange, unrelated accidents. A visit to the site tells the full story, and will capture the family’s imagination.
Jervis Bay accommodation
Jervis Bay Caravan Park has its own boat ramp and jetty, which is perfect for launching your boat, kayak or canoe. The powered and unpowered campsites are pet friendly. Alternatively Jervis Bay Cabins And Hidden Creek Real Camping is found in 5 acres of bushland on the pristine waters of Currumbene Creek, which forms part of Jervis Bay. Make use of golf courses, tennis courts, bowling greens and more, as well as great restaurants surfing beaches and wineries in the area.
Jervis Bay itinerary
Day 1: Snorkelling
Set up camp at Green Patch, then take the snorkel, a fishing rod and a book to the beach. Walk the Telegraph Creek Nature Trail in the afternoon, then return to camp to spot the wildlife — it won’t be hard!
Day 2: Surfing
Take the surfboards to Cave Beach; a fantastic place to learn to surf. Picnic lunch at the camp ground here (not camper trailer-friendly, unfortunately), then drive to the nearby Steamers Beach car park and set-out on the 2.3km walk to isolated Steamers Beach.
Day 3: Walking
Check out Murrays Beach, another calm stretch of sand looking out towards Bowen Island, where the local penguin colony lives. Take the snorkel, there’s a nice rocky headland to explore here. Visit Cape St George Lighthouse in the afternoon.