Twenty years ago we visited Huskisson and Jervis Bay on the south coast of New South Wales. Then, we were returning from a Snowy Mountains holiday with our kids, but this time it was just Marty, myself and our caravan. I felt a tingle of excitement as we drove through the tiny town of Basin View, beside the still waters of St. Georges Basin and into Vincentia. I was looking forward to all the things to do in Huskisson and of course things to do in Jervis Bay in general.
It was great to be back!
Huskisson, our favourite hang-out, was a further 4 km north of Vincentia, where the clear waters of Currambene Creek meet the 16 km x 10 km x 27 metres deep natural harbour – six times the size of iconic Sydney Harbour. The coastline stretches in a lazy oval from Point Perpendicular in the north, past the coastal towns of Callala Beach, Myola, Huskisson, Vincentia, Hyams Beach, and Jervis Bay Village to the southern most point at Murrays Beach.
What You Will Find in This Post
Jervis Bay Territory
As tempting as it is to ignore the subject, I’ll do my best to explain exactly why some of Jervis Bay isn’t part of New South Wales.
Part of Jervis Bay is a Commonwealth Territory – a port for the capital of Canberra and a Navy Training College. Three Quarters of that Territory today is encompassed by Booderie National Park and Botanic Gardens which in turn has been returned to the aboriginal owners.
The Park is managed by a mix of ancient Aboriginal techniques and science and best of all everyone can use Booderie National Park.
Things to Do in Jervis Bay
Jervis Bay is massive, so I’ve broken it down into sections.
Visit Jervis Bay National Park (Booderie National Park)
Booderie National Park is situated on the southern end of Jervis Bay on the Bherwherre Peninsula. All of it’s beaches are excellent, with super white sand, blue crystal clear water and interesting rock shelves. The water is usually calm and extremely refreshing on a hot summer’s day.
For Booderie National Park Walks information skip to Walks Around the Bay (3) section below. Stop in at the Booderee Visitor Information Centre before entering the park to pay.
The only fly in the proverbial ointment is locating a carpark. If your visit coincides with school holidays or summer week-ends, especially long week-ends, it’s best to leave the car parked and explore as much as possible on foot.
Tip: Take an esky (cooler) for a picnic lunch. The last shop to stock up at is Jervis Bay Supermarket.
Booderie National Park Beaches
Jervis Bay National Park beaches on the southern shore of Jervis Bay are Iluka/Green Patch, Scottish Rocks, Hole in the Wall; Bristol Point and Murrays Beach (boat ramp). The beaches are easily accessed with Iluka and Green Patch being more or less joined.
Still within the National Park, but on the outside of Bherwherre Peninsula are the beaches of Steamers, Kitty’s; Whiting Beach; Cave Beach and Bherwherre Beach. Cave Beach on the same road as the Jervis Bay Botanic Gardens, is a surfing beach with a popular right hand point break.
As the name suggests the beach has tidal caves. First walk from the car park to the camping ground and then down to the beach. Remember the walk back is uphill. It is common to see whales off shore in the migration season.
Camp sites are walk in only.
Things to Do in Huskisson
Huskisson remains delightfully the same. The main street (Owen), Huskisson Pub with the million dollar views, the brilliant blue/green Currambene Creek, the blinding white of Myola beach, Jervis Bay wharf and the Huskisson Sea Pool – all waiting for us.
If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it!
1. Visit Currambene Creek Wharf.
You know we love the water and boats. This is our happy place. It is where the Whale, Dolphin and Seal tour boats leave from.
2. Walk through Voyager Park to Huskisson Sea Pool
Huskisson sea pool has been part of the local landscape since 1965. Situated in Voyager Park, it has fantastic views across the creek to Myola Beach and across the bay to Cape Perpendicular. The Pool is free to use and is inspected before opening each day. It offers a confined safe way to swim in salt water, but there is no lifeguard present.
Look for the memorial in the park for the 82 sailors who lost their lives when the HMAS Voyager collided with the HMAS Melbourne off Jervis Bay.
Voyager Memorial Park with Sea Pool and Myola Beach background.
3. Have a drink at the Huskisson Hotel
The original 1932 building stands tall and solid, with the addition of a wide side verandah and front balcony to maximise views of Myola Beach and the Bay. It’s a good place to nurse a coldie, watch for boats and listen to music.
We dropped in for a pre-movie drink and to ogle menu specialties like the Charcuterie plate for two ($34). It features South Coast produce including Contandino Farm olives, Tilba cheese, locally cured meats and Eden hot smoked salmon served with Sourdough bread. I like that they showcase local produce.
4. Walk down Owen Street
Walk down Owen Street from the pub and bay end toward the picture theatre at the corner of Sydney Street. The footpath on the left is wheelchair friendly and you will pass 5 Little Pigs, which is only one of a collection of restaurants you will want to try. It has some Vegan and Gluten Free options and a great reputation. Look right down Currambene Street as you pass for that view of the creek and wharf.
5. Attend the historic Huskisson Theatre
Don’t miss the 171 seat Huski Theatre at the junction of Owen and Sydney. Huskisson has a history of ship building and the hall was built in 1913 as a community hall for the employees of Joseph Dent’s ship building business. Between then and now it has seen time as a Catholic church, school, library plus a dance and concert venue.
We hardly ever go to the movies, but Huski Pics oozed with a character we couldn’t resist. We caught The Orient Express – what else could we do? It was a fabulous relaxed night and budget friendly to boot. We arrived early and chatted with the friendly owners behind the candy counter.
Watching movies in a historical picture theatre is a charming thing to do. We wouldn’t normally have chosen to see The Orient Express. Serendipity decided for us and we loved it. I’m sure the novelty of the theatre added to our enjoyment. Just Do It.
In November 2017, the seats were all on the one level, although I think that may be changing. Consider bringing a pillow to boost little ones up.
Huskisson Pictures is a top choice for things to do in Jervis Bay when raining.
All Sessions $11.
6. Visit Jervis Bay Maritime Museum and Visitor Information
- Open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- Corner Woollamia Road and Dent Street (access from both streets but wheelchair access Dent Street only)
- Museum $10 Adults $8 concession. Kids under 16 accompanied by an adult are free.
- The helpful Jervis Bay Visitor Information Centre is situated within the complex (but outside of the Museum)
The giant propellor off the HMAS Sydney can be seen in the grounds of the Museum. In 1962 the Sydney became a troop carrier in the Vietnam war and made 23 trips in total becoming known as the Vung Tau Ferry. She was sold as scrap in 1975 (minus the propellor).
We were on a mission to locate the Tourist Information Office and find out about Cape Perpendicular and didn’t visit the Museum. I’m so sorry we didn’t, because I’ve since discovered that – incredibly – it has the whole Lady Denman ferry (that served in Sydney Harbour) on display. Built here in 1911 by Joseph Dent, it was brought home at the end of it’s career, to roost in the Museum’s exhibition building. And there are other historic boats! I still can’t believe it.
Allow an hour – more on a rainy day in Jervis Bay.
Jervis Bay Markets
No holiday is complete with visiting a market as far as I’m concerned and Jervis Bay has two, both of which are at Huskisson.
Jervis Bay Maritime Museum Twilight Market is on the 1st Saturday of the Month from 3 pm till 7 pm in the grounds of the Museum. Set by the pond, it has a relaxed atmosphere with live music and food stalls, craft stalls and fresh local produce.
Huskisson Market is held from April to December on the 2nd Sunday of the month opposite the Huskisson Bowling Club, corner of Kiola Street in central Huskisson. You’ll find plants and bric-a-brac mixed in with veggies, crafts and jumping castles at this market.
If you’re as market crazy as myself, you should know that Cuppitt’s Winery, 45 minutes south at Ulladulla holds a monthly growers market on the last Saturday of the month. Featuring artisan cheese, wine, beer and local produce it has great coffee, scones and views over the vineyard. This line up should entice others less market obsessed fold to come along too. It’s a definite for my next time list.
Things to do in Woollamia
1. Check out the boats at Woollamia Public Wharf/Boat Ramp
The wharf – only a boat ramp on Google Maps – is just 1km north of the Maritime Museum at Huskisson.
Walking beside the wharf, I could see dark shapes shifting in the deep water beside the bank. My mind was agog with thoughts of scary creatures from the deep. Then Marty suggested they were Manta Rays – and they were – waiting for fish scraps from returning fishing boats. Who knew?
You can feed them too, so bring some fresh fish along with you.
The wharf is a great place to view boats and talk to local fishermen. You can also launch your own boat here.
2. Go Kayaking
Currambene Creek at Woollamia is the perfect kayaking spot. The waters are so calm and the banks quite close, making it a good choice for kids or beginners, like me. Hire a kayak and explore.
- Sea Kayak Jervis Bay
- Jervis Bay Kayak Hire
- Jervis Bay Wild
- Sea Kayak Jervis Bay
Things to do out in the Bay
1. Whale Watching Jervis Bay
With 2000 whales migrating north from June to July and then south (with their young) to Antarctic waters from September to November, whale watching is the thing to do. Boats leave from Currumbene Creek Wharf.
BOOK YOUR JERVIS BAY WILD WHALE WATCH TRIP HERE.
For land-based whale sightings, the purposely ruined Cape St. George lighthouse at the end of Stoney Creek Road over in Booderee National Park, is the place. Prepare with sunscreen, binoculars, patience, calm weather and an early morning or late afternoon time slot.
Although you can see whales from the shore, it could take quite some time. It’s probably best to go on a boat tour. There are slow boats and fast boats so take your pick.
This Illawara Mercury article includes video footage of Jervis Bay whales approaching a whale watching boat in November 2017. The protected waters of the Bay are the perfect place for humpback whales to feed and fatten their calves in preparation for the return journey south.
2. Dolphin Watching in the Bay
Fun loving Bottlenose Dolphins always seem to have a permanent grin on their face.
The Bay is permanent home to 80 – 120 bottlenose dolphins. Jervis Bay Wild have a 1.5 hour dolphin cruise around the bay, zeroing in on the Plantation Point and Callala areas where dolphins feed around the reefs.
BOOK YOUR JERVIS BAY WILD DOLPHIN CRUISE HERE.
3. Seal Watching Outside the Heads
There are two seal colonies outside the heads of the bay. The northern colony has about 40 seals and the southern approximately 30. Eco Extreme offers boat tours that take in the cliffs of Cape Perpendicular on the way to the seal colonies.
Things to do at Hyams Beach
1. Play on the Whitest Sand in the world.
Hyams Beach claims to have the whitest sand in the world. I’ve not seen all the beaches in the world – who has? All I can say is that a lot of beaches in Jervis Bay have very white sand. Hyams is White on White. It can also be people on people.
Walk north to Chinamans Beach or south to lose the crowds, or move on to the white sand beaches down the road a bit in the Booderee National Park.
2. Eat at Hyams Beach Store and Cafe
This is the place for breakfast, lunch and dinner at Hyams Beach and an anytime coffee and cake. They also have a range of picnic foods and take-aways. The Cafe is quite cute but doesn’t have water views. We shared a lovely berry and pear cake with one small and one large coffee – $16.
3. Go Looking for Views
The town of Hyams Beach is partially located on a headland, which means views out into the bay. Park at the top (northern) end of Cyrus Street at Hyams Point and walk back down toward the cafe and Hyams Beach Carpark (it will most like be too full to park in anyway). Glimpses of white beach and brilliant blue water flash enticingly through the trees.
A path leads beneath trees and past steps down to a mini beach. Further along on street level is a public walkway between houses leading to a (whale) viewpoint.
Things to do at Point Perpendicular
The 75 metre cliffs of Point Perpendicular and it’s white Point Perpendicular lighthouse, are visible from everywhere in the Bay. One of the best places for a distance view of Point Perp is from Voyager Park near the Sea Pool and Husky Pub at Huskisson. As soon as I saw them, I new we had to see those cliffs up close.
Beecroft Weapons Range – A desolate landscape.
The point is located on the Beecroft Peninsula, within the Beecroft Weapons Range. It is 50 km and 50 minutes from Huskisson so contact the Defence Environmental Rangers (02) 4448 3411, before leaving to see if it is accessible. Jervis Bay Visitor Information centre inside the Maritime Museum has information, but ring the Rangers anyway because it does open unexpectedly depending on Exercises.
The road in to Cape Perpendicular is boom-gated with a manned security box. Pop into the information centre before entering.
1. Explore the Cliffs
There are marked walking trails within the park that lead to the cliffs (detailed below). This particular view can be found by walking left after the lighthouse carpark until the cliffs are reached. There is a trail but it is not one of the recognised walks. Always keep to the trails.
2. Check out the Point Perpendicular lighthouse.
Point Perpendicular lighthouse opened in 1899 replacing the Cape St. George lighthouse (1860) on the other side of the bay, which was built in the wrong place. Disastrously that light was invisible from the northern harbour approach yet it took another 39 years for the new lighthouse to be built here.
The lighthouse complex is 10km from the entrance on a gravel road.
The light is now de-manned and replaced by a lattice work tower with solar light in the same complex. The original lighthouse is well maintained and the Department of Defence has enclosed the whole complex. But don’t despair because they do leave a small gate (some distance to the left of the main gate) open for the public to enter. The lighthouse itself isn’t open, but the trip is worthwhile for the spectacular views and walks within the range alone. Marty is a big fan of this lighthouse.
3. Visit the Outer Tubes
Point Perpendicular is a walkers dream, with a total of ten graded walks. We chose Outer Tubes to see the torpedo tubes from WWII and the cliffs where deep sea fishing takes place in January/February. We also (rightly) thought it would have good cliff scenery. The walk is only 2km return but it leads downhill first so it is a bit of slog back up to finish. It was hot at the end of November and would be easier in cooler weather.
This north facing view is from a high point in the walk.
Other activities near the point include rock climbing, diving and whale watching.
No Dogs Allowed.
4. Visit the town of Currarong
Currarong is a small seaside town, with a grassy park and handy amenities block right on the ocean beside Currarong creek. The park which is on Piscator Street, has picnic tables, playground and fascinating rock formations in the clear shallow water. From Abrahams Bosom Car Park on Beecroft Parade it is a short walk to Abrahams Bosom beach at the mouth of a creek by the same name. The protected beach is popular with families.
Beside the park in Currarong.
We want to return for the 9km Coomies Walk with it’s cliff top views, whale, dolphin and seal watching opportunities, the wreck of the SS Merimbula and Honeysuckle Point, Mermaids Inlet and Lobster Bay.
Walks around the Bay.
1. Round the Bay Path
The Round the Bay Path is a 5.7 km paved path connecting Huskisson to Plantation Point at Vincentia. The Path which is suitable for prams and bikes, passes Shark Net and Huskisson beaches before arriving at Moona Moona Creek. This is a great place for families to play in the protected waters of the creek. There are toilets, space for picnics, parking and at high tide the bridge turns into a creek jumping platform.
Continuing on, the path passes Collingwood, Orion and Barfleur beaches before reaching Plantation Point.
Looking back toward Collingwood Beach.
2. White Sands Walk
Where the Round the Bay Path leaves off, walkers can continue on the White Sands Walk passing Nelsons, Blenheim, Greenfield (optional loop track here) before tracking along spectacularly beautiful Chinamans Beach and finishing at Hyams Beach.
The views on the White Sands walk are pretty special and you can swim at all the beaches along the way – although that could turn into a full day affair. Remember to keep an eye out for dolphins. Marty is so good at spotting wildlife. Me not so much.
The full walk is 6.8 km. Allow 60 minutes non-stop each way.
Most visitors to the Bay won’t be in a position to have two vehicles at their disposal, but if you do have, drop one car at the end of the walk beforehand. This is something we do on our Sunshine Beach to Noosa Walk at home on the Sunshine Coast. It’s just so difficult to face that return walk.
3. Booderee National Park Walks
The Booderee Visitors Centre has details/maps on walks within the National Park.
They are divided into walks from:
- Murray Beach – Easy/Easy/Moderate
- Green Patch Beach – Easy/Easy/Easy
- Steamers Beach – Moderate
- Cave Beach (Australian Geographic listed as one of the Best Secluded Camping Areas in Australia) – Easy
On the way to Cave Beach stop at Booderee Botanic Gardens (a fire had just been through when we were there so we couldn’t visit).
This is no ordinary Botanic Garden. It has seven walks varying from 400m to 1.3 km including one around Lake McKenzie.
4. Beecroft Weapons Range/Point Perpendicular
There are ten walks within the range. We collected a pamphlet from the Information Centre at the gate. I’ve listed them here because I couldn’t find an on-line list myself. I’ve shortened the descriptions.
- Green Point – 2.5 km return Easy – wide shaded path to Green Point and Hare Bay – see migratory birds.
- Cabbage Tree Beach – 0.2 km return Easy – leads to swimming and snorkelling beach – marine park no collecting.
- Long Beach North – 50 m return Easy – swimming/snorkelling – protected shell middens – no fishing or collecting.
- Long Beach South – to Figtree Inlet – 1.5 km return Medium – over rock platform to secluded beach.
- Honeymoon Bay & Bindijine Beach – Park in day use car park – walk to beach.
- Target Beach – 4 km return Medium – pretty shaded walk through Eucalypt Forest to beach with views and fishing.
- Silica Cove – 6 km return Medium – Turn off Target Beach track to secluded beach with Aboriginal cultural heritage.
- Little Target Beach – 6 km return Medium – Difficult rock scrabble to Fishermans beach. Access Target beach on rock platform. Dangerous swimming.
- Boat Harbour – 6 km return Medium – Through heath scrubland to boat harbour bay with beach. Great views of harbour entrance across to Bowen Island. Marine Reserve.
- Outer Tubes – 2 km return Medium then Difficult. Track descends through heath to viewing seat. Steep loose surfaces and stairs to fishing spot. WWII Torpedo Tubes. Composting Toilet.
- Phone (02) 4448 3411 for information.
Note: The above is not comprehensive. Collect the pamphlet from the Information Centre before entering.
Huskisson and Jervis Bay Map
You can check off the points of interest on the below map. Use the minus sign to see the route in it’s entirety. Click on the un-named dots and the name will appear – they are all mentioned in the text.
Jervis Bay Accommodation Guide
Accommodation is plentiful and varied. The list below includes Jervis Bay Camping choices. We stayed in our caravan at Jervis Bay Holiday Park.
1. Jervis Bay Holiday Park, Woollamia.
We didn’t start thinking about where to stay in Jervis Bay, until we turned off the highway and then we chose a seafront caravan park from the Wikicamps app. On arrival we noticed formwork ready for an early morning concrete pour. We moved on.
Enter Jervis Bay Holiday Park (02 4441 5046) on the same creek as Huskisson but a couple of kilometres away at 78 Woollamia Road. A good bike/walking path leads into town past the Maritime Museum. Park amenities were clean and close to us. If you’re looking for a Huskisson camping spot, the one here is in a lovely natural setting but be warned, it fills up quickly on Fridays. Book in Advance. We didn’t and had to leave on the Saturday morning.
We parked our caravan down by the creek (Premium Site) with views of sail boats and canoes, but other eye-catching options are:
- Four bedroom waterfront spa villas, with parking beneath
- Two bedroom A/c and self-contained Safari tents – For real!
Powered Premium Site 2 people. (Stay 7 pay for 6). When we stayed it was cheaper to book on line.
As well as camping and caravan sites they have a full range of accommodation.
2. Hyams Beach Accommodation
Pretty aren’t they?
When driving through Hyams Beach you can’t help but notice the cute old whalers cottages on Cyrus Street, but there are bigger and more comfortable homes to rent.
Click here to rent a holiday home in Hyams Beach.
Remember to check Airbnb for similar style accommodation. If you’re a first time user feel free to book in our side-bar (or at the end of the post on Mobile) securing yourself a great discount. Remember it is for first time users only and only if you book through the link.
There is no Hyams Beach Camping as such but close-by Booderie National Park has several options.
3. Booderie National Park Camping
Booderee National Park is jointly managed by the Director of National Parks and the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council.
Book On-Line starting at $31/night (the majority of sites are walk-in only). If you don’t have internet access call in at the Booderee Visitors Centre, Village Road, Jervis Bay to make a booking. Open Sunday to Thursday 9.30 to 3.00 Saturday + Hols 9.00 to 4.00 for Park Passes, Camping Permits and Park Information.
We were not camping in the park but paid $11 (at the visitor’s centre) to enter.
Green Patch Beach in Booderie National Park has a large campground behind the beach with vehicle access and some caravan sites. Rosellas chatter in the trees and kangaroos frequent the campground. BBQ’s. Hot Showers. No Power. School Holidays are by Ballot. We have plans to return.
Suggested booking 4 months in advance.
4. Point Perpendicular on the Beecroft Peninsula Camping
Honeymoon Bay is a rustic bush camping area within the Beecroft Weapons Range.
Honeymoon Bay Camping.
If you prefer to camp over on the Peninsula while exploring the lighthouse and walking trails, there are a couple of choices. Honeymoon Bay is within the Beecroft Weapons Range. We saw wallabies! This pretty little bay has bush camping on a first come first served basis with a ballot system operating during School Holidays. Mostly closed Monday-Friday for weapons exercises.
$15/night/2 people + $5 each for extras. Kids under 16 free.
Portable toilets. Phone 4448 3411.
Currarong Beachside Holiday Park is 10 km from Honeymoon Bay, in the town of Currarong. This well-grassed park has riverview cabins, powered caravan sites, kids jumping pillow, mini-golf, tennis court, etc. $50/night/powered site/2 people. If bush camping is not your style, this is the place for you.
There are Holiday Homes at Currarong also and these are a good option if you’re planning to concentrate on walks in the area but don’t wish to camp.
Free Camping near Jervis Bay.
We didn’t find any legitimate free camps in Jervis Bay, but there is a free roadside camp at Bewong Rest Area, 17 minutes west via Pine Forrest Road. It is located on the Princes Hwy, Bewong with a grassy area, picnic tables and dry toilets. It is close to the road so bring ear plugs. Good coffee and food at the Service Station across the road.
Jervis Bay Conclusion.
There are 10,685 beaches in Australia. We love Aussie beaches. What makes Jervis Bay special, is the sheer quantity of beaches in the one bay, their brilliant white powder sand and the startling blue green water that laps them. There are so many different ways to enjoy this truly unique environment.
This post lists our favourite things to do in Huskisson and things to do in Jervis Bay we would love to try.
We are already planning the things we will do next time – the Maritime Museum for one!
Sydney to Jervis Bay
Jervis Bay is 3 hours south of Sydney Australia by road.
Read more about Jervis Bay being a Territory here, plus read about another white beach in Australia.
Have you been?
Ruth | Tanama Tales
Wow! So much to see in the area! Those beaches are fantastic but the cliffs took my breath away. Visiting all these places on a caravan sound perfect to me.
We loved those cliffs also Ruth. Timeless really.
Well that was a truly comprehensive list! Southern NSW is gorgeous. I’ve been to Eden but none of those places. I will add it to our wish list.
I was most surprised by the variety within the bay Pinky.
This is a great roundup of Jervis Bay Jan. We visited here in 2014 on our around Australia caravan trip and stayed at Huskisson on the Currambene Creek. Unfortunately we didn’t have very good weather so decided to move on. But we did see most of the places you mention here. Hyams Beach was a standout.
Every time you post about the east coast I want to get on a plane Jan. I wish it wasn’t so far from WA. On my list is Jervis Bay, but now you’ve given me more ideas too. Time to get a caravan methinks!
Our trip down into New South Wales in November last year reminded us also of just how beautiful the east Coast of Australia is Jo. Jervis Bay is gorgeous.
This is one of my favourite areas as we still have family in Nowra and love nothing more than driving out to Huskisson for a visit to the many gorgeous beaches. Just a few weeks ago we were there and took our Rotary Exchange student from Hungary on a Dolphin Cruise complete with boom netting. I wrote a post about it too! Great photos and descriptions of the area.