The WeekenderTravel

The Weekender: Shoalhaven, New South Wales

Travel down New South Wales’ South Coast where food, wine and nature sync together harmoniously!

It’s been a tumultuous couple of months, so treat yourself to a reviving holiday in Shoalhaven, New South Wales!

With picture-perfect beaches, stunning bushwalks, relaxed villages, delectable food and fantastic wineries, New South Wales’ Shoalhaven region is the perfect weekend getaway and the easiest way to #LoveNSW and reboot 2020.

Where is Shoalhaven, New South Wales?

Passing Wollongong, Kiama and Nowra; Shoalhaven is under a three hour drive south of Sydney. On your trip you can even take a detour through Bowral and Kangaroo Valley too!

What to Do in Shoalhaven

White Sands Walk

A must for any Shoalhaven stay, get back to nature by experiencing some of the most incredibly blinding white sands of Jervis Bay. Take on the White Sands Walk, which winds through the coastal forest of Jervis Bay National Park and past some of the purest beaches in the world. The 90-minute return walk begins at Greenfield Beach picnic area in Vincentia and passes Chinamans Beach, before arriving at Hyams Beach. You can also start at Plantation Point for a longer walk that includes Blenheim Beach.

Underwater Experiences

A visit to the Shoalhaven isn’t complete without whale watching or dolphin spotting, and Jervis Bay Wild can help satisfy your needs. The friendly, knowledgeable and skilful crew provide unique and unforgettable experiences, like dolphin tours, whale cruises, boom netting and stand up paddle-boarding. There’s even seals to see with Dive Jervis Bay.

Glenbungle Farm

Enliven the family spirits with an outing to Glenbungle Farm for their Alpaca Afternoon Teas. Enjoy a midday stroll by getting up close and personal with some alpacas, chickens, ducks and you can even meet the Maremma sheepdog. Finish your Glenbungle Farm experience with an afternoon tea in the middle of the farm with coffee, scones and home-made lemonade to devour.

Kangaroo Valley Kayaks

Get wet and wild on Kangaroo Valley Kayaks – the only kayaking company located at the entry of the Kangaroo River. Hire a single kayak, double kayak or family canoe to enjoy meandering down the river over several small rapids and six-kilometres of spectacular scenery and wildlife.


Where to Eat and Drink in Shoalhaven

The Wineries

The regional areas of New South Wales host a smorgasbord of wineries, with unique wine collections and even feasts to be had. Shoalhaven is no different, with many delectable cellar doors where you can taste a drop or two. Silos Estate near Berry, Cambewarra Estate near Nowra, Coolangatta Estate near Shoalhaven Heads, Mountain Ridge Wines at 7 Mile Beach, Two Figs Winery near Berry and Bawley Vale near Bawley Point are just a few of the best cellar doors in the Shoalhaven region.

Seafood Sensations

For fans of great seafood, it’s a must to dine at Rick Stein at Bannisters. The international chef, restaurateur and television presenter’s restaurant at this Mollymook hotel offers superb fresh local seafood in an airy and light-filled coastal ambience. But for something truly unique, make sure to try Shoalhaven’s oysters which are world-renowned! Jim Wild’s Oysters at Greenwell Point is a top spot to get them. Jim is a champion oyster opener and here, at his family oyster farm, you can pick up fresh Greenwell Point rock oysters and Pacific oysters, which are grown in the estuary of the Crookhaven and Shoalhaven Rivers.

The Ultimate Foodie Haven

When you need a blissful day out, Cupitt’s Estate is your best bet. It’s the food, wine, beer and cheese utopia for the South Coast. Cupitt’s Estate comprises a family operated boutique winery, cellar door, restaurant, bar, microbrewery and fromagerie in a beautiful coastal countryside setting in between Ulladulla and Milton.

What a great way to revitalise the senses!

Other South Coast Specialties

For any foodie venturing to Shoalhaven of course there are an array of notable eateries you must consider on your journey south. The old Cheese Factory at Woodstock, Milk Haus, is a wholefoods cafe that aims to deliver fresh, honest, simple fare, free of toxins, preservatives and anything artificial. Then there’s Small Town Food & Wine in Milton, where memorable food has deliciousness and simplicity at the heart. Their menu is in the style that they like to eat – moving from snacks to larger dishes, share plates and something sweet. And finally, there’s Tallwood Eatery in Mollymook, which is a comfortable and relaxed dining experience. Please Note: Tallwood Eatery will be closing for renovations in August and reopening in September 2020.


Where to Stay in Shoalhaven

Exterior view of the Deluxe Plus tent at Paperbark Camp, Jervis Bay. Image: Paperbark Camp

Exterior view of the Deluxe Plus tent at Paperbark Camp, Jervis Bay. Image: Paperbark Camp

Bangalay Villas

Nestled under a canopy of palms and towering eucalyptus trees, the 16 private Bangalay Villas provide the ultimate escape. All villas are fully self-contained, allowing you to enjoy an extended stay in luxury and comfort all with golf course or garden views, as well as a fireplace and a sun-filled, north-facing deck.

Bannisters By The Sea

Recommended as one of the best winery spas across New South Wales, Bannisters By The Sea was originally built in the 1960s as a seaside motel in Mollymook and has since become a luxury getaway offering 4.5-star rooms with panoramic ocean views and private balconies, along with a cocktail bar to help shake up your stay. There is also their sister hotel, Bannisters Pavilion, that’s just a short wander from one of the South Coast’s most beautiful beaches. And thanks to its chic, Hamptons styled rooms and suites, you’ll never want to leave.

Paperbark Camp

With luxury tents and superb food, Paperbark Camp lets you get back to nature in style and comfort. Nestled in a peaceful bush setting just minutes from the coastal village of Huskisson, the gorgeous safari tents with solar-powered lighting are placed amongst the gum trees on elevated decks.

For more information on the Shoalhaven region head to the Visit NSW website.


Love the South Coast? Venture out to the Southern Highlands with our latest weekender guide! And if you have a bit of time, pack the car and head out on one of the best New South Wales road trips visiting towns affected by the 2020 bushfires.

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land mentioned in our article, the people of the
Tharawal and Yuin Nation, and we recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.

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