Jervis Bay should definitely be on your shortlist if you are looking for a relaxing weekend getaway from Sydney. Another in our Beyond Sydney series, Jervis Bay is a relatively undiscovered, nature lovers paradise with crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches. We visit for one week at the end of summer each year and always return to Sydney feeling completely rested.
Today Jan Robinson from Budget Travel Talk shares her insider knowledge with us so you can plan a great trip away.
- Why You Should Visit Jervis Bay
- Jervis Bay Activities
- Where to stay in Jervis Bay
- How to get to Jervis Bay from Sydney
- Join the Sydney Expert Community
Why You Should Visit Jervis Bay
There is a multitude of Sydney Weekend Getaways on offer, and one of my favourites is an enjoyable three-hour road trip south of Sydney. The road south will deliver you to the shores of Jervis Bay in the scenic Shoalhaven district of New South Wales. I think it’s one of the best weekend trips from Sydney.
While it is common knowledge that New South Wales’ beaches are spectacular, it’s not widely known that so many are in this one bay. If you looking for a longer break at a holiday destination near Sydney, a week in Jervis Bay would be the perfect length of time to unwind and get your mojo back.
From Point Perpendicular on the northern tip to Murrays Beach in the south, Jervis Bay has a stellar line up of show-stopping white sand beaches.
If your idea of a rejuvenating break involves strapping on your hiking boots, the never-ending supply of Jervis Bay hikes will blow your socks off. Non-hikers need not worry though because Jervis Bay activities can be as leisurely as you want.
Jervis Bay Activities
Enjoy the Pristine Environment
Thanks to Jervis Bay Marine Park and adjoining Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay is one of the best weekend trips from Sydney for nature lovers.
This relatively enclosed and protected environment attracts pods of dolphins and migrating whales, while the National Park provides walking tracks and protection for land-based wildlife.
Environmental conservation underpins all Jervis Bay activities.
Swim, Surf and Relax at Jervis Bay Beaches
Ringed by sixteen white sand beaches, all washed by the same crystal clear blue water, it’s a no-brainer to prioritize beach gear when packing.
While Hyams Beach claims the whitest sand in Australia, neighbouring beaches are equally white and far less crowded. Take a look at Chinamans Beach just to the north of Hyams, which can also be seen as part of the White Sands Walk.
White Sands Walk
The White Sands Walk is an easy flat walk between Nelson Beach in Vincentia and Plantation Point Vincentia. The trail can be anywhere from 5km-7km, depending on where you start and finish. It takes in Nelson Beach, Blenheim Beach, Greenfields Beach, Chinamans Beach and ends at Hyams Beach. All of these beaches are picture-postcard beautiful. Check out the Google Trekker view of the walk here.
Tip: You can also cycle the White Sands Walk.
Go Whale Watching in Jervis Bay
Between May and November whales can be seen from Jervis Bay shores. Cape Perpendicular on the Beecroft Peninsula is a well-known whale watching spot, as is the ruined Cape St. George Lighthouse, or get up close on a whale-watching cruise.
Tip: Pack binoculars for land-based whale watching.
Visit Jervis Bay National Park
Formerly known as Jervis Bay National Park, Booderee National Park at the southern end of Jervis Bay, is a big draw-card for lovers of the great outdoors. It abounds with natural walking tracks with tempting ocean glimpses, a botanic garden, umpteen beaches and a ruined lighthouse.
Wallabies and kangaroos graze through campsites with lorikeets and parrots flitting through the trees. The shy echidnas are a more elusive find. Read more about the flora and fauna here. There is an $11 entry fee for the park. They also sell multi-day and annual passes.
The appealing thing about Jervis Bay Hikes within Booderee National Park is the trailheads are at or near beaches. Perfect for the family whose interests are divided between hiking and leisurely beach time.
With the obligatory white sand, boat ramp and jetty, rock ledges to snorkel around, hiking tracks and beach walks, Murrays Beach is a good starting point. It offers some magnificent sunsets too.
Murrays is the closest beach to Bowen Island and its breeding colony of Little Penguins. As a conservation zone, Bowen Island cannot be visited but listen at dusk for the penguins chattering on their way home.
Visit Governors Head on a direct 1.1 km 20-minute hike from Murray Beach or as part of the 2.5 hours 5.4 km Munyunga Waraga Dhugan loop. However you arrive, Governors Head is a known lookout for whales, dolphins, penguins and seals.
Related: Check out our recent getaway to Newcastle for more beach fun
Explore the ruined Cape St. George Lighthouse
Back in the early 1800s, this lighthouse was central to life in Jervis Bay. It was designed as a lifesaver for the ships so vital to life in that era.
Incredulously, it was built in the wrong position, making it invisible to ships heading north. The grisly tales of resulting shipwrecks can be discovered at the lighthouse.
Jervis Bay Activities for Kids
Jervis Bay is an excellent choice for families; there is plenty to keep everyone busy here
Popular activities include:
- Safe beaches to explore
- Family-friendly hiking across the area
- Moona Moona creek for swimming and picnics
- Kayaking and SUP at Currambene Creek
- The historic Huski Pics Theatre
- Lots of great playgrounds
- Plenty of treats from Huskisson Ice-cream Parlour
Tip: Pack goggles, snorkels, towels and extra beach clothes for the kids.
Drink or dine at the Husky Pub
Built in 1932, Huskisson Hotel otherwise known as Husky Pub, is at the bay end of Owen Street, in Huskisson. With live entertainment every Friday and Saturday night and an emphasis on fresh seafood, it’s a must in our book.
If you are not dining, it’s still worth a visit for the bay views over Myola Spit and Huskisson Sea Pool. Relaxing on the deck of the Husky Pub is what a Jervis Bay holiday is about. This is THE spot to watch the sunset.
Jervis Bay Shopping
While not exactly a shopping mecca, at the northern end of the bay, Huskisson is a tourist village with restaurants, cafes, hotel, RSL, and movie theatre. It is also the departure point for wildlife cruises.
Midway in the bay, the largest town of Vincentia is the local shopping hub with several supermarkets and smaller shops.
To the south, Jervis Bay Village Supermarket is licensed and a good place to collect picnic supplies for a day in Booderee National Park.
Where to stay in Jervis Bay
Jervis Bay Camping
Jervis Bay is a very popular spot for camping holidays. The full range of camping experiences can be found here, from the most rustic to very glamorous romantic sites.
There are three camping areas in Booderee National Park:
Green Patch and Bristol Point campgrounds – shelter in the calm waters and white sands inside Booderee Peninsula.
Cave Beach – Located on the exposed southern shores outside the bay but still within Booderee National Park, Cave Beach is a surfing destination with more golden sands.
Cave Beach campground is considered one of Australia’s best, secluded beach camps. It is a walk-in campsite, but I guess that is what makes it secluded. Book in advance here.
Honeymoon Bay at the northern end of Jervis Bay in Beecroft Weapons Range is a pretty place to picnic, swim and camp. Although busy during school holidays, it is a picture-perfect bay within a bay, and with only wallabies, for company, it could be someone’s idea of a romantic honeymoon spot.
If you are travelling on a budget check this list of free campsites in Jervis Bay
Jervis Bay Holiday Park
This lakefront park has a variety of accommodation on offer from glamping tents and more rustic Bushman’s safari tents to lovely cabins with water views. There is a jetty to fish off and a lovely pool and playground and rental for kayaks, SUPs and RVs.
Check all the photos and reviews on TripAdvisor or find the best current price on Hotels Combined.
Other caravan parks are scattered through the bay at Huskisson, Woollamia, Myola, Currarong, Erowal Bay and Sanctuary Point.
Glamping in Jervis Bay
If you are looking for a romantic couple of nights in the bush should head directly to the luxurious Paperbark Camp at Woollamia and prepare to be pampered.
Paperbark is a member of Eco Lodges of Australia, a group of Advanced Ecotourism certified accommodation providers in Australia.
This is a high-end glamping experience with onsite dining and services like massage available. There is plenty of wildlife to meet, and you are close to all the region has to offer.
Check current reviews on TripAdvisor or prices at Hotels Combined
The Cove sits inside Booderee National Park, right on the point where Bherwerre Beach meets Sussex Inlet. This gives you calm water perfect for paddleboarding and kayaking and surf a surf beach for some action. It’s also a fun fishing spot.
There is a range of self-contained accommodation and glamping tents. It’s a 13km drive through the national park to reach The Cove which makes it a lovely getaway BUT remember to pack everything you need because it is 30km round trip to the supermarket!
We stay here once a year and love it. You can see lots more images on TripAdvisor or check current prices on Hotels Combined.
Holiday Houses – Jervis Bay
There are a selection of holiday homes, B & B’s and motels in Huskisson, Vincentia and Hyams Beach.
I really like this townhouse that sleeps six at Hyams Beach. It has water views and has a late Sunday checkout for weekend bookings.
Choose your location based on the types of activities you are planning.
Woollamia – If you are looking for easy access to the water for kayaking, boating and SUP, look for accommodation in Woollamia. It offers a boat ramp and easy access to the sheltered waters of Currambene Creek.
Currarong – For those planning a series of hikes on Beecroft Peninsula, a holiday home in Currarong would be a practical and beautiful location. It is worthwhile visiting the Cape Perpendicular Lighthouse on Beecroft Peninsula when staying at Currarong.
Huskisson – If you prefer to eat out at night and not do a lot of driving, then Huskisson or Vincentia would suit well.
How to get to Jervis Bay from Sydney
Drive: Jervis Bay is a 3-hour drive south of Sydney on the A1 and M1. On the return, Jervis Bay to Sydney trip I suggest you take the alternate route via Kangaroo Valley and Fitzroy Falls. If you are travelling from Canberra to Jervis Bay take the A23, it’s about a two and a half-hour drive.
Public transport to Jervis Bay: The nearest train station to Jervis Bay is Bomaderry Station, Nowra. From here you need to take a local 102 bus service to Huskinson.
Join the Sydney Expert Community
Got a question about Jervis Bay or weekend trips from Sydney generally? Join our Sydney Expert Facebook Group, where you can ask questions about your plans and find out what’s happening in Sydney.