The South East Coast of Australia has many beautiful places and Jervis Bay is a special one! I call it the white pearl of the South East Coast.
Jervis Bay had been on my bucket list since my first Australia Solo Trip, 11 years ago, but because it's not served by public transportation I couldn’t go. Last year, I finally made it: I went on a three-day solo road trip to Jervis Bay and fell in love with the place!
Why I love Jervis Bay
Jervis Bay has simply blown me away. From its pristine natural beauty, its white sandy beaches to its beautiful walks and its peacefulness. This place has stolen my heart.
Four unique reasons to visit Jervis Bay
There are a few things that are unique to Jervis Bay. Here are just a few:
- Its white sandy beaches. There is nothing like that on the south East Coast.
- Its white sands walk is one of the most beautiful coastal walk on the whole East Coast of Australia.
- Its untouched environment: from eucalyptus forests, to marine eco-system, unique sea and birdlife, Jervis Bay is very ancient.
- Its excellent vantage points for spotting humpack whales.
How to get to Jervis Bay
The fastest way is to get there by car from Sydney. It's a short distance (220 km) and a pleasant drive through the townships of Wollongong, Kiama, Berry, Nowra. There is a domestic airport too. From there you will need to hire a car to be able to explore Jervis Bay though.
Where to stay in Jervis Bay
For my short visit I stayed with locals in Jervis Bay. In Huskisson there are a few motels and plenty of holiday-houses. Another great way to enjoy the place is to stay in one of the many campsites. They offer very good facilities: from tents, different types of cabins on camping grounds, to eco-lodges in tourist parks to suit just any type of traveller and budget. Camping is a great way to soak in the environment and an opportunity to get close up with native animals. Here you can check out all Jervis Bay Camping options.
What to do in Jervis Bay
Before entering Huskisson, stop at the Visitor Information office, beautifully nestled in the bush, and grab brochures and a few detailed Jervis Bay Maps. Huskisson is the main town with shops, pubs, whale watching tour operators and an interesting Maritime Museum worth visiting.
From Huskisson town centre there is a coastal biking and walking path that leads into Vincentia, a smaller village, just 3 km away. Collingwood beach is Vincentia's main beach. I loved walking along this beach, soaking in the ocean breeze and stumbling upon quirky things like this. What looks like a seaweed it's actually a Port Jackson Shark egg (no joke).
If you are a keen walker, keep walking down to the Greenfield picnic park to start the White sands walk.
Take a walk on the white sands of Jervis Bay
I started the White Sands Walk from Greenfield Beach. Drive to Greenfield picnic area and park there. Greenfield is a pretty, secluded beach, perfect for a swim or chill out. I remember that the glare from the white sand was almost unbearable. Start your walk following the walking trail that takes you into a dense eucalyptus forest.
Keep walking further down to some of the whitest beaches of Australia, like Chinamans Beach and Hyams Beach (apparently the whitest beach of Australia). They are both very spectacular. Plan a few hours for this walk, for stops, a swim and maybe a picnic on the beach. 🙂
Go on a Jervis Bay Whale Watching Tour
This is a must-do thing in Jervis Bay. It's one of the best places for whale watching, on the South East Coast of Australia. Tours depart from Huskisson daily through two boat tour operators. I went on a tour and despite the wind and rough sea conditions, we spotted a whale with her calf. It was thrilling to get up close with this giant and graceful marine creature. I still get goose bumps when thinking about it. I would plan a whale watching tour soon after arriving in Jervis Bay. Seek for advice with the local tour operators and find out which days are better for going out on the sea and spotting whales. Learn more about Huskisson Whale Watching.
There are many activities in Huskisson with regards to the whales too: the Jervis Bay Whale festivals and also a marine mammals research a collective of researchers and volunteers, who are managing various educational projects about the humpack whales in Jervis Bay.
Visit Booderee National Park
I hadn’t heard about Booderee National Park, until my hosts suggested visiting it. It’s located about 20 minutes drive from Huskisson to the very southern end of Jervis Bay. There is an entry fee of 11 dollars, but you can use it for two days. The park is huge and you need a car to move around. A full day is the minimum time to allocate here.
What to do in Booderee National Park
I drove from the Booderee National Park Visitor Centre down to Murray’s Boat ramp. From there I walked to Murray’s Beach first, and kept walking into the forest along the coast up to Governor's Head to enjoy the view over Bowen Island and the surrounding headland. It’s a paradise for marine and birdlife and the peacefulness that reigns there is impressive. I was lucky enough to spot a white bellied sea-eagle. And if you are there in season, you may be lucky to spot whales too.
I would suggest, on the way back to the visitor centre, taking a detour on the right hand side at Green Patch. With picnic and BBQ facilities, this is a great spot for a swim in calm waters and a lunch break. To make the most of Booderee N.P. you can also stay overnight in one of the campsites. For more info check out the Booderee National Park website.
For one-day itinerary I would recommend visiting the Botanic Gardens, the only aboriginal-owned botanical gardens in Australia. They offer educational guided-walks or you can go on self-guided walking trails, like the Lake MckKenzie trail. If you love wildlife this is an excellent place to observe birds and animals. From the Botanic Gardens you drive further south to Cave Beach park, from there you can walk to Cave beach and Berwheree Beach.
More things to do in Jervis Bay
If you are planning a visit during school holidays or on weekends, you can visit the Huskisson Sunday Markets and check out the Huskisson events calendar. Furtermore I would add Currarong National Park to your list of things to do in Jervis Bay. This National Park lies on the other side of the bay, with Perpendicular Point Lighthouse at the very end. Since this is a protected environmental area, it's only open to public on weekends and school holidays.
I really loved Jervis Bay. It's one place I enjoyed greatly and would return for a short visit or an extended holiday. If you are planning a visit to Sydney I would definitely recommend adding it to your Australia Itinerary!
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