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Everything You Need to Plan a Perfect Weekend in Mollymook

A Slice of Paradise on the NSW South Coast

Heading south and trying to plan a perfect weekend in Mollymook? Below we share our advice for what to see, do and eat in Mollymook and Milton. This weekend getaway plan will give you ideas for exploring Ulladulla, and Huskisson too!

We recently spent some time exploring the wine and whales of the Shoalhaven and found an abundance of fabulous food and so many stunning views we booked a return visit. So today we are sharing our favourites, everything you need to know to plan a perfect weekend in Mollymook.

Where is Mollymook?

Mollymook is in the Shoalhaven Region on NSW South Coast about 3 hours south of Sydney and a similar distance from Canberra. It sits on the southern side of Jervis Bay and is surrounded by white sand beaches and lush green dairy country. Perfect surroundings for a weekend of relaxation.

Our Shoalhaven Attractions Map

We spent three days and two nights based in Mollymook and taking in the sights between Huskinson and Ulladulla. Highlighted on this map are the places we ate, drank, slept and explored.

Our Top Things to do in the Shoalhaven

We have been visiting the Shoalhaven region for many years, usually staying near Booderee National Park, the small town of Berry or at Seven Mile Beach in Gerroa. This time, however, we chose Mollymook as our base, each of these spots offers a very different type of holiday.

While Mollymook is the perfect destination for a do-nothing holiday, there are some great things to do nearby while you are based in the area. Our biggest tip; don’t over plan, leave time to sit on one or more of the stunning white sand beaches and to chill out in some of the cool bars that have popped up.

Explore the waters of the bay with Jervis Bay Wild

Jervis Bay is renown for its crystal clear waters and attracts lots of marine life, so spending some time out on the water is a no brainer. You can get active and rent a kayak or go diving, or you could be lazy like us and head out on the Port Venture.

Jervis Bay Cruise
Whale and/or Dolphin Cruises run all year

We took a whale-watching cruise on a chilly winter morning earlier this year and had a fantastic day out. The staff made sure everyone was comfortable and gave a great commentary on both the bay and the whale migration.

Jervis Bay Wild Point Perpendicular Whale
Point Perpendicular makes a great backdrop for the whales

Jervis Bay Wild also offer dolphin cruises and another trip called the Jervis Bay Passage Cruise which includes a sail past Hyams Beach before getting up close to Point Perpendicular. This is one of the best spots in New South Wales to see marine life up close.

Where: 58 Owen St, Huskisson
When: 10:30am & 1pm for dolphin & whale cruises – check the web for other times.
Price guide: $$
Bookings: (02) 4441 7002

 

Spend an afternoon wining and dining at Cupitt’s Winery

With views like the one below, it’s easy to see why an afternoon here just slips away. This family-run winery also has an onsite fromagerie and brewery and produces sourdough, pickles and sauces meaning even any non-wine lovers will likely find something they like.

Cupitt Estate Winery Shoalhaven
Sit al fresco and take in the view

While there is an award-winning restaurant on site we arrived late afternoon and only a little peckish so settled on a wine and cheese tasting. We were served three portions of cheese and three matching wines.

A hard goats cheese and two cow’s cheeses – my favourite was the nutty cows cheese in the centre.

The brewery produces both craft ales and lager and you can order beer tasting flights instead if that is more your thing. Weekends there is usually some live music and I promise you will find it very hard to tear yourself away!

Where: 58 Washburton Road, Ulladulla
When: Wed-Thur & Sunday 11am-5pm Fri-Sat 11am-10pm
Price guide: $$
Bookings: online or phone (02) 4444 8757

Learn more about Aboriginal Culture with Djiriba Waagura

If you have some spare time on Saturday morning we think you should consider joining Ray on the Timbery Cultural Bush Walk.

This two and a half hour cultural experience was informative and enjoyable, we could not recommend it more highly. It has to be the best Aboriginal owned and guided tour we have ever done and it’s so well priced (only $40)

Timbery's Cultural smoking ceremony
We took turn to cover our bodies with smoke

The tour started with an inclusive traditional smoking ceremony, and while we have been part of these before this was the first time it was really explained to us, and we were invited to participate actively.

Next up was a walk through the surrounding bushland, where Ray showed us native foods and encouraged us to taste. We learned about the way plants are used for medicinal purposes and discussed traditional fire practices, something that we were all interested in learning more about after the fires which had recently destroyed so much of the NSW south coast.

At the end of the walk there was a short cultural performance that included didgeridoo and dance.

Where: Dent St entry to the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum.
When: Saturday 9:30am – 12pm
Price guide: $40
Bookings: Phone  4441-5675 or email r.timbery_at_outlook.com

 

Take the Gondwana Coast Fossil Walk

This award-winning short guided walk along the Ulladulla Harbour last 2 hours with lots of fantastic facts about the fossils here that date back many thousands of years shared by the passionate guides.

Where: The Fossil Display Centre is at  275 Green St, Ulladulla 
When: 10am-3pm
Price guide: $10
Bookings: Ulladulla Visitor’s Centre (02) 44448819

Start working your way through the 100 Beach Challenge

While guidebooks and websites always refer to Hyams Beach’s claims to have the whitest sand in the world, the Shoalhaven actually has lots of equally stunning beaches. To encourage you to visit them Shoalhaven Tourism has come up with the 100 Beach Challenge (PDF).

We asked the wait staff at Bannisters for their favourite beach and Narrawallee was the most popular choice.

Download the app to your phone or print out the PDF copy from the link above and start working your way through the list. I am only at 28 so lots of return trips ahead!

Do some window shopping in Milton

You drive through Milton on your way to Mollymook, and I am sure on sight you will be planning to head back and explore once you are settled.

We managed to pick up some birthday gifts and some lovely skincare products. There is a good range of homewares, clothing and cafes along the main street and surrounding streets, easily enough to keep the average shopper busy for a couple of hours.

Head out for a bushwalk

The most popular hike near Mollymook is the track up to Pigeon House Mountain but sadly Morton National Park, home to the mountain and also another great walk in the area, Granite Falls was badly damaged by the summer 2020 fires and is currently closed.

Bannister Headland Track

Instead this time we enjoyed the coastal walk from Mollymook to the Narrawallee Beach, where we took the feature image at the top of the page. There is also a short 500m walk on Bannister Head that has lovely views over Mollymook Beach.

More options

Other options we didn’t get to this time:

  • Enjoying a round of golf at Mollymook Golf Course
  • Kayaking at nearby Lake Conjola or Burrell Lake
  • Taking a swim in the Mollymook Bogey Hole – not really an August activity!
 

Where to Stay in Mollymook

We got lucky on this recent visit and due to a bit of a hotel mix up ended up having to change hotels halfway through our visit. While normally this sort of hiccup is annoying we enjoyed getting to try yet another Bannister experience.

Bannisters Pavilion Mollymook

We spent our first night in Bannisters Pavilion in the main street of Mollymook. Unlike its famous sister property, Bannisters by the Sea, there are no ocean views here, but the hotel’s design and rooftop bar make up for that. It features relaxed, casual styling, and plenty of light. We immediately felt comfortable in the space.

The foyer at Bannisters Pavilion

Our Classic Room was spacious; the high ceilings added to the feeling of luxury. The extremely comfortable king-size bed gave a great nights rest. There was also plenty of room for bags; one of my pet hates is not having enough space to open two cases in a room.

The generous size bathroom was stocked with Kevin Murphy products which I love and a large bath.

Our balcony overlooking the street below did not provide much of a view, but it was well soundproofed, and the natural light from the floor to ceiling windows was lovely. We had read complaints about street noise, but I am a light sleeper and heard nothing. However, if you have the option, request a room at the back of the property for the bushland aspect.

As the day ends we suggest you head upstairs to the pool bar. It’s a great spot to watch the sky change colour. The bar offers a casual dining menu with plenty of share plate options. We went with salt and pepper calamari and the southern fried cauliflower with a serve of flatbread. It was all excellent, and we could have happily worked our way through half a dozen other dishes if we had had a few more days here.

The street facing balcony on our classic room

The Pavilion also has dog-friendly rooms and interconnecting rooms for groups travelling together.

Tip: A free shuttle bus will take guests from here to Bannisters by the Sea for meals or spa treatments.

Read current travellers reviews and see what they say.

Where: 87 Tallwood Ave, Mollymook Beach
Price guide: $$$

 

Bannisters By the Sea

The poster child in the Bannisters group this property has it all, location, stylish design and Rick Stein’s restaurant. For most people, this is a special occasion choice, and the view and facilities lived up to that expectation for us.

The infamous infinity pool

We enjoyed a dinner and breakfast here, our first post-COVID hotel breakfast. Obviously, the buffet is gone, but we didn’t miss it. There were some fruit and yoghurt jars and then the opportunity to order whatever you wanted from the short menu.

There is no reason to venture far from the hotel when your view and the pool look as good as they do here; it’s easy to stay put. There is a track down to the beach (quite a hill), but the pool was good enough for us! The property also boasts an excellent spa, but unfortunately, it was not on our agenda this visit.

Where: 191 Mitchell Pde, Mollymook
Price guide: $$$$

Read more reviews of the more reviews of Bannisters By the Sea and see if it’s right for you.

Ricks Place Beach House Bannisters Point

We moved to Ricks Beach House for our last night due to an overbooking at the hotel, I have to admit at first I was a bit miffed, but this turned out to be great luck.

Ricks Place Beach House Mollymook living room
The downstairs living room


This restored 1965 beach house is just a short walk from Bannisters By the Sea. It’s perfect for a family or two couples with a good-sized second bedroom and bathroom, small kitchen and comfortable living and dining room. The photo of Rick and his partner sitting on the dresser did really make you feel like you had popped in to stay with him.

The Beach house is two-story, and you can book either the whole thing giving you 6 bedrooms – space for 10 guests or just one floor. We were on the ground floor. I am sure the views from the top level are amazing.

There is a large outdoor jacuzzi, in the yard that is shared by both floors. The property is pet friendly (for an extra fee).

Where: Cliff Avenue, Mollymook.
Price guide: $$$$

Self Contained Options

If you prefer fully self-contained accommodation, we have pulled together a list of our favourite Airbnb properties in Mollymook for you to check out.

 

Where to eat in Mollymook and Milton

This is almost something you don’t really need to worry about because everything we ate was great but in these times restaurants, particularly on weekends need to be booked in advance, so it’s a good idea to plan. Winging it might work mid-week out of holiday periods, but at other times we highly recommend booking at least your dinners.

Harvest Bar – Milton

We had a late lunch here along with a very pretty cocktail – ok so perhaps a couple of cocktails 😉

Funky and comfortable space that fills quickly on weekends so be sure to book!

The menu features lots of share plates and good drinking food like Karaage chicken, Buffalo wings, and arancini.

Where: 4/23 Wason St, Milton
When: Wed & Thurs evenings, Fri-Sunday lunch til midnight
Price guide: $$
Bookings: online or phone (02) 4444 8757

 

Rick Stein – Mollymook

Rick’s restaurant is often the reason people consider a visit to Mollymook in the first place. We have all his books and never miss his travel shows, so we were really looking forward to our meal here.

Bannisters  Rick Stein Restaurant Mollymook
The dining room at Rick Stein Bannisters Mollymook

I am pleased to say the seafood dishes were fantastic. The staff were so attentive and the experience overall one I would love to repeat.

Rick Stein Bannnisters Salmon
Salmon main
Ricks Fish Pie at Bannisters Mollymook
Ricks’ famous fish pie

Where: Bannisters by the Sea
When: Lunch Fri-Sun, Dinner 7 days.
Price guide: $$$ mains $36 and up
Bookings: online or phone (02) 4454 7400

The Guild – Milton

We dined at The Guild the night after our Rick Stein experience, and I was surprised to find I enjoyed the food here even more. Stefano, the owner, helped us choose the most delicious wine from a very extensive and impressive list.

The menu was degustation style and featured local seafood, pasta and a delicious lamb dish. The desserts here are the best we had on our visit. Apologies for the less than amazing photos, the light was not the best and the wine was very good!

Where: 3/65 Princes Hwy, Milton
When: 4.30pm-8.30pm closed Sunday and Monday.
Price guide: $$
Bookings: online or phone (02) 4454 5143

The Ruse – Ulladulla

Located overlooking Ulladulla Harbour the Ruse offers fabulous cocktails, great Central American flavours and perfect south coast sunsets.

The Ruse upstairs Bar Ulladulla
The gorgeous Ulladulla Harbour is the perfect spot for afternoon drinks.

We arrived late afternoon and enjoyed the lunch tasting menu and a cocktail each and Charles added a Mexican beer. We wished there had been a taxi available as we would have left the car at home. It would have been great to kick on here, but taxis are in very short supply, and we gave up after an hour of trying.

Charred corn, lime, queso, hot sauce
Charred watermelon, pickled watermelon rind, mint, pepitas, queso

If you are looking for a place to catch up with friends, have a chat and share some interesting fresh and tasty food the Ruse is ideal.

Where: 5/84 Princes Hwy, Ulladulla
When: 5pm-10.30pm (closed Sunday and Monday)

Milkhaus – Milton

Just a few minutes from the heart of Milton is the very popular Milkhaus. We visited just after breakfast to buy some goodies to take home. They sell a variety of locally produced goods including the delicious Lake Conjola lemon cordial that we snapped up.

Along the way, we passed several farms, and these cows were very vocal completely stealing our attention and demanding we stop and say hi 🙂 The cafe menu looked fantastic, and I can see why it’s so popular. Much of the food is made using items grown on their farm. There are also some friendly chickens in the back yard. Make sure you book, so you don’t miss out.

Where: 170 Woodstock Rd, Woodstock
When: 9am-2pm (closed Wednesday)

Pilgrim – Milton

Sydneysiders may be familiar with Pilgrims cafes in Cronulla and Bronte but the Milton cafe is the original.

Pilgrim Milton

The menu features hearty breakfast dishes, interesting juice and smoothie combinations and at lunchtime big tasty burgers. The single O coffee was our favourite in Milton.

Where: 8/9, 97 Princes Hwy, Milton
When: 9am-3pm (8am on weekends)

Want more?

If you are staying in the area longer than a few days pop into the Shoalhaven Visitors Centre at Ulladulla for ideas to fill the rest of your week. The staff are accommodating, and there is so much to do in the area you will have your itinerary filled in no time at all.

We had also written about Jervis Bay before and listed lots more things you can do while you are in the area.

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1 thought on “Everything You Need to Plan a Perfect Weekend in Mollymook”

  1. I have never been to Mollymook however my daughter and her friends have. It was to see a band. They loved it and stayed there for a few days. One day when travel is on again in other states I hope to visit.

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