Discovering Paradise: Jervis Bay Things to Do & See

With so many fun things to do in Jervis Bay, it’s no wonder it’s a holiday hotspot for Sydneysiders. We visit at least a couple of times a year. Exquisite white sand beaches and a multitude of water and outdoor activities, combined with a nice slow pace make a weekend or a week here feel like a real break.

Today Jervis Bay regular Jan Robinson from Budget Travel Talk, shares her insider knowledge with us so you can plan a fun trip in this magical part of the NSW Coast.

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One of my favourite weekend getaways from Sydney is just an enjoyable three-hour road trip from the city. Where the road south will deliver you to the shores of Jervis Bay in the scenic Shoalhaven district of New South Wales.

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. Beach hopping around the best Jervis bay beaches is an ideal way to spend a few days in beautiful part of Australia.

Long known as a nature lovers’ paradise, it’s now developing quite a reputation for its local food and drink scene.

From Point Perpendicular on the northern tip to Murrays Beach in the south, the Jervis Bay area has a stellar lineup of amazing white sandy beaches waiting to be explored.

Jervis Bay white sandy beach
The beaches in Jervis Bay have some of the whitest sand in the world

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 hiking track on Beecroft Peninsula
There are lots of great hiking trails in Jervis Bay

Things to do in Jervis Bay

We have just scratched the surface with this list best Jervis Bay attractions. You will find more in nearby Mollymook and Milton and also on our wine and whales weekend has plenty of tips for finding the best places to eat.

Enjoy the Pristine Environment

Thanks to Jervis Bay Marine Park and adjoining Booderee National Park, both the land and the waterways surrounding Jervis Bay are remarkable.

This relatively enclosed and protected environment attracts a vast array of marine life pods of dolphins and stingrays and migrating humpback whales often make a pit stop here on their way north to warmer waters for the winter.

You will find diving and snorkelling opportunities across the park, but if that is not your thing there are sea kayaking experiences that explore the Jervis Bay Marine Park and a number of dolphin cruises to choose from.

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 prioritise 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.

Jervis Beach Hyams Beach
Hyams Beach Jervis Bay

Hyams Beach attracts all the crowds, but there are several great white sand beaches in Jervis Bay. These beaches, protected from ocean swells make for the perfect family beach holiday.

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.

Tip: You can also cycle the 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.

Tip: You can also cycle the White Sands Walk.

It takes in Nelson Beach, Blenheim Beach, Greenfield 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.

Narrawallee Beach Mollymook NSW
Narrawallee Beach at Mollymook is worth the short drive south

Visit Jervis Bay Maritime Museum

One of the most popular Jervis Bay attractions the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum is a great spot to visit for some time out of the sun. View one of Sydney’s most loved ferries, the Lady Denman, explore the Mungurra-Nggul (which means home-belong) exhibition to learn more about the history of the Jervis Bay region from pre-European settlement until now.

Lady Denman Jervis Bay Museum
Lady Denman ferry at Jervis Bay Museum

This is a perfect spot to head on a rainy day. There is free entry for kids and staff will set them up with a treasure hunt activity. In summer, the museum is also home to a monthly twilight market.

Where: Woollamia Rd, Huskisson
When: 10am – 4pm daily

Learn about Aboriginal Culture with Djiriba Waagura

Timbery Cultural Bush Walk leaves behind the museum and runs for about 90 minutes. The tour begins with a traditional welcome to country and a smoking ceremony. You then head off into the bush to learn about native food and medicine. Our guide explained aspects of traditional land management, including fire practice. Which was very topical because of recent bushfires in the area.

cultural tour with Tinbery at Huskinson
Join a cultural tour with Tinbery at Huskinson

We then wandered the mangrove boardwalk learning more about fishing and other food collection practices. If you can add this experience to your days when visiting Jervis Bay I am sure you won’t be disappointed. At the end of the tour, the family gave a short performance.

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. Jervis Bay Wild also offers year-round Dolphin Cruises

Jervis Bay Wild Point Perpendicular Whale
Jervis Bay Wild is a great choice for your whale watching cruise.

Tip: Pack binoculars for land-based whale watching.

Visit Jervis Bay National Park

Along with the Jervis Bay Marine Park, there are two more national parks in the area. The Jervis Bay National Park,managed by NSW National Parks and Wildlife and Booderee National Park at the southern end of Jervis Bay, is managed by Parks Australia. Both areas are a big draw-card for lovers of the great outdoors.

Stunning natural walking tracks with tempting ocean glimpses, umpteen beaches and a ruined lighthouse.

Native flowers at Jervis Bay National Park Booderee
exploring the park makes a lovely morning out

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 park’s flora and fauna here.

Booderee National Park is also home to the Australia’s only aboriginal owned botanic gardens. This is a great place to learn about bushtucker andmedicinal plant use. There are also lots of walking paths with some suitable for wheelchair users. Ask at the information centre when you enter for advice.

Go Hiking in Jervis Bay

The appealing thing about Jervis Bay hikes within Booderee National Park is the trailheads are at or near all these amazing 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.

Snorkelling at Murrays Beach Jervis Bay
Murrays Beach is a great snorkelling spot

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 1860s, this south coast lighthouse was central to life in Jervis Bay. The design was intended to reduce the number of shipwrecks that were occurring along this section of the coast.

Surprisingly, it was mistakenly erected in a spot that hid it from ships sailing north. The grisly tales of resulting shipwrecks can be discovered at what remains of the lighthouse today.

In 1899 the Point Perpendicular Lighthouse was built further north on the Beecroft peninsula. It looks very much like Cape Byron Lighthouse on the NSW north coast. Access to the lighthouse is limited with the site bordering Jervis Bay Territory being used for shooting practice for one third of the year.

Both of these headlands are excellent vantage points for spotting whales as they migrate north each winter.

Jervis Bay Activities for Kids

Jervis Bay is an excellent choice for families; there is plenty to keep everyone busy here 

Popular activities include:

  • Exploring as many of the white sands beaches as you can
  • Family-friendly hiking – we suggest Caves Beach Loop
  • Moona Moona creek for swimming and picnics
  • Kayaking and SUP at Currambene Creek or Jervis Bay Kayak hire in Huskinson
  • The historic Huski Pics Theatre
  • Check out the local playgrounds Moona Moona Beach playground is great!
  • Plenty of treats from Huskisson Ice-cream Parlour
  • Have lunch at Greenfield beach picnic area

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.

Jervis Bay Myola Spit
The view from Huskinson Pub

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. Beer lovers may want to check out Jervis Bay Brewing.

Jervis Bay Shopping

While not exactly a shopping mecca, at the northern end of the bay, Huskisson is a tourist village with restaurants, cafes, hotels, an RSL, and a movie theatre. It is also the departure point for Jervis Bay wildlife cruises.

Huskinsson Pictures Jervis Bay
Huskisson Pictures Jervis Bay

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:

Jervis Bay Campgrounds at Green Patch
Green Patch is a favourite with families during the NSW School Holidays

Green Patch and Bristol Point campgrounds – shelter in the calm waters and white sands inside Booderee Peninsula.

Cave Beach camping – 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 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.

Caravan Parks

Jervis Bay Holiday Park

This lakefront park has various accommodations 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 photos and reviews of Jervis Bay Holiday park

Other caravan parks are scattered through the bay at Huskisson, Woollamia, Myola, Currarong, Erowal Bay and Sanctuary Point.

Glamping in Jervis Bay

Paperbark Camp

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.

The Cove

The Cove sits inside Booderee National Park, right on the point where Bherwerre Beach meets Sussex Inlet. This gives you calm water perfect for paddle boarding and kayaking and surf a surf beach for some action. It’s also a fun fishing spot.

Clear Water at Jervis Bay near The Cove
Crystal clear water at the shores of The Cove

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 a 30km round trip to the supermarket!

We stay here once a year and love it.

Holiday Houses – Jervis Bay

There is a selection of holiday homes, B & B’s and motels in Huskisson, Vincentia and Hyams Beach.

I really like this 3 bedroom home at Hyams Beach. It has water views and has a late 4pm Sunday checkout for weekend bookings.

I also love this four-bedroom waterfront home at nearby Myola

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.

Jervis Bay Jetty Woollamia
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.

Cape Perpendicular Lighthouse sits at the opposite entry to Jervis Bay

Huskisson – If you prefer to eat out at night and not do a lot of driving, then Huskisson or Vincentia would suit you 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.

So beautiful beaches, the world’s whitest sand beach, campsites and hundreds of holiday homes make Jervis Bay the perfect spot for a spring or summer holiday.

Want more weekend getaway ideas? Check out these recent posts:

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