Jervis Bay is a large protected bay in Shoalhaven 120 km south of Sydney and 20 km south of Nowra. It is home to HMAS Creswell, the Australian Navy's officer training facility. Navy ships are frequent visitors to the bay with the area directly in front of Creswell off limits to the public. It is famous for its white sand beaches (reputedly the whitest in the whole world), safe swimming and snorkelling.
The area is one of the most beautiful parts of the South Coast and is an extremely popular summer destination, making it very busy in peak periods. Accommodation may be fully booked out months in advance of the Christmas/New Year period. Opportunities exist to scuba dive, fish and engage in many other water sports, beach activities, walking, and hiking as well as appreciate the diverse flora and fauna.
Huskisson is the largest town in the Jervis Bay area. It's one of those towns that would be a sleepy little village if it weren't for the short term visitors who in summer comprise about two-thirds of the population.
Vincentia is a small town in the region. It is the holiday-home capital of the South Coast, with rental cottages lining the beaches. In summer families, bikes, swimming and barbecues are the order of the day. If you expect to stay in Vincentia in the summer school holidays, it pays to be thinking about where you are going to stay the proceeding year. The best places are booked out by the same families year-on-year.
Jervis Bay Territory
A curiosity is that Jervis Bay Village, and the nearby beach area of Murrays Beach and parts of the surrounding bay are not part of New South Wales. They are part of a Commonwealth-administered territory known as Jervis Bay Territory. It was planned as a grand "Pacific City" and the port of the nation's capital. This vision was never realised. As of 2016, it had a standing population of only 390, and most of the territory is designated as a national park. This anomaly is usually noticed by travellers when they have to pay a separate entrance fee to the parks in Jervis Bay Territory. New South Wales parks passes aren't valid in Jervis Bay Territory.
The area has significant cultural and historic interest to both the Commonwealth and Aboriginal people of Australia. In 1995 parts of the Jervis Bay National Park were granted to the Aboriginal peoples and this land was designated Booderee National Park and Booderee Botanic Gardens
Jervis Bay Marine Park covers 100 km of coast and adjacent waters, from Kinghorn Point in the north to Sussex Inlet in the south which encompasses Jervis Bay, Crookhaven Bight to the north and Wreck Bay to the south. The waters in Jervis Bay from Captains Point to the northern tip of Bowen Island are part of Booderee National Park. Dolphins & seals are a regular sight in the bay, and it is also home to a colony of fairy penguins.
Currarong is a small town but in the northern area's of Jervis Bay, 60km away from Husky by car. It's the surf capital of Jervis Bay.
Beecroft Peninsula is a military range but open to the public. Home to Point Perpendicular with near perpendicular cliffs and some torpedos that were never used for WWII.
You can visit the area by car on a day trip from Sydney, and it takes only about 2 hours on the road each way. Canberra is slightly closer at 0.5 hours distance. It is the perfect distance for a weekend away from these cities. Huskisson is about 10-15 minutes south of Nowra on the New South Wales south coast. The turnoff is well sign posted - on the left as you travel south on the A1 Princes Highway. If you are worried about being on the wrong road, look for an emu farm on the RHS about 3 minutes along this road. After about 5 km, you will see the sign for the next turnoff - it's on the left. That takes you straight into Huskisson.
The Princes Highway is fully 4 lanes each way from Mascot to the Husky turnoff and a motorway grade route except a small section near Bomaderry, which is expected to open in 2022.
1 Bomaderry (Nowra) Station is the closest train station, and journeys take about 3 hours from Sydney Central Station. From there it is a further 30 minutes by car or taxi to Huskisson. Nowra coaches do operate a few services from station on weekdays, and a single service each way on weekends.
There is a limited bus service from the large town of Nowra to Huskisson, Vincentia and Hyams Beach.
Moruya has a small regional airport with scheduled flights from Sydney. It is 2 hours drive south.
The only airport in Jervis Bay Territory itself is for military use.
Public transport is limited, and having a car is pretty much required. There are scheduled buses between the settlements.
There is a off-road cycleway between Huskinsson and Vincentia. If you're staying along this coastal stretch, you can take the bikes and leave the car in the garage.
In Jervis Bay Territory/Booderee National Park, you distances are long, and you can not go through certain sections without a car. This is because there's some navy operations near here.
Jervis Bay is renowned for its white sand beaches, most notably Hyams Beach which has an official entry in the Guinness Bay of Records for the whitest beach in the world. Whale watching is also popular in Jervis Bay, as humpback whales come into the bay to rest during both their northern and southern migration. Many dolphins live in the bay.
- Go and see some of the sea life in the bay, including dolphins, or go whale watching in the ocean during the whale season:
Huskisson, Vincentia and Jervis Bay Territory
- Dolphin Explorer Cruises, 62 Owen St, Huskinsson, ☏ , toll-free: 1800 444 330, fax: . Dolphin Explorer Cruises runs 3-hour whale-watching day cruises in the whale season (June to November) in addition to dolphin and seal watching day cruises. During summer they offer dolphin watching day cruises and a twilight cruise.
- DolphinWild cruises, Currambene St, Huskisson (office between the post office and the Husky Bakery), ☏ . DolphinWild is Huskisson's newest and most unique dolphin and whale watching company. The catamaran has 4 underwater viewing ports on either side so the underwater viewing of the marine life in the clear waters of Jervis bay is well worth seeing. Prices are very good too. Staff are really friendly and informative.
- 1 Booderee National Park, Village Rd, ☏ , email@example.com. A large park covering most of the Jervis Bay Territory. Note that New South Wales national parks passes are not valid here, and that the Wreck Bay Village is an aboriginal settlement closed to the public. $11 per vehicle for 48 hours, or $44 per vehicle for a year.
- 2 Jervis Bay Maritime Museum, Dent Street, Huskisson. 10AM-4PM. Historic ships and exhibitions. $10.
- 3 Cape St George Lighthouse, Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay Road. Historic and partially demolished lighthouse from the 19th century. Poorly positioned, it still shows the living conditions of the families tasked to operate it. Great ocean views from the cliffs, and ideal for whale watching in the right season. Reachable along a gravel road with a car park close by. Free.
- 4 Booderee Botanic Gardens, Botanic Gardens Access. 9AM-4PM. Large botanic gardens with aboriginal curation and native plants only. There are a variety of walks, with a 1-hour walk around the lake being the longest. Free.
Currarong and Beecroft Peninsula
- Abraham Bossoms Walk. A walk which'll lead you to the following
- 5 Gosangs Tunnel. A small natural tunnel leading you to a stunning cliff and view of the sea. It's a 40-min walk from the carpark but you'll need to be reasonably fit to crawl under the tunnel, and it's not uncommon for unfit people to get injuries crawling under the tunnel.
- Mermaids Inlet.
- Point Perpendicular Lighthouse (Turn at the Beecroft Weapons Range, and continue for about 9km on a gravel road. Do not get out of the car until PPL as it is an active military range.).
Huskisson, Vincentia and Jervis Bay Territory
- Scuba dive. Huskisson has several dive operators, most near the wharf in Owen Street.
- Beaches - Huskisson has 2 lovely beaches (one in front of the pub, Shark net beach, and the other between the two caravan parks, White Sands). There are also lots of other beaches close by. The nearby National Park (10 minutes drive) has Caves Beach for surfers; Murrays Beach for its isolation and beauty, and the chance to see fairy penguins (thank your lucky stars it's still here, it was very nearly a nuclear power plant); Green Patch for kangaroos and loads of tame parrots (you're more likely to see these around the trails in the campground than on the beach itself); Summercloud Bay for the bluest lagoon with rays and great rock walks.
- 1 Huskisson Pictures, 30 Owen Street. A very cute, very tiny wooden building, shows two or three different movies each week. The program times are usually stuck up in the window at the butchers.
- 2 Jervis Bay National Park. Occupies 4,857 hectares in a number of distinct areas to the west of the shoreline, notably around Huskisson and the northern headland. Some include Jervis Bay shoreline. The park has visitor facilities, areas of access for the disabled and picnic grounds with gas BBQ sites but no accommodation and camping is not permitted.
- 3 Around Jervis Bay Bike Hire and Tours, 311 Elizabeth Dr, Vincentia, ☏ .
- 4 Hyams Beach, 100 Cyrus St, Hyams Beach. The whitest beach in the world. This area is full of beach houses and little else, giving this beach a particularly relaxed feel. There is a cafe overlooking the beach.
- 5 Steamers Beach (take Wreck Bay Road to Wreck Bay Villiage, and take the gravel turnoff sign posted to the car park). Nice walk of about 1 hour each way from the car park to the isolated Streamers Beach in Booderee Park. Boasts great views, a seal colony and sharks which you may or may not see. (included in Booderee entrance).
Currarong and Beecroft Peninsula
- 6 Outer Tubes (near Point Perpendicular Lighthouse). A 2km (one-way) difficult walking track to some nice viewing areas and to some popular fishing spots. The first km close to the carpark is flat, but after that, it becomes steep with loose surfaces. There are toilets and rubbish bins at the end of the track. Utilise these facilities well as there aren't any other facilities or bins nearby. You may also see some torpedo tubes that were installed in WWII in defence of Jervis Bay from an enemy attack. These were never used and are now heritage listed objects. Please don't touch or interfere with them. This track is also not suitable for children under the age of 10 and pets are strictly prohibited.
- 1 Vincentia Marketplace, 8 Moona Creek Rd, Vincentia, ☏ . A large shopping complex with a large Woolworths and Aldi grocery stores. Other shops can be found here, as can a fish and chip shop and a Thai restaurant.
- 2 Jervis Bay Supermarket, 95 Village Road, ☏ . Opens 6AM. Basic supermarket with snacks and various outdoor supplies. The attached cafe has limited hours.
Huskisson has several good eateries and a couple of ordinary ones! Again, it pays to be aware of the peak seasons, and make reservations for dinner during the summer season. The Indian and Thai are both fine.
- Seagrass, Huskisson. Wonderful - slick interiors and lovely food.
- 1 Supply, 54 Owen Street, Huskisson. It has lovely coffee and great breakfast, may be slow on busy days but hey, you're in Huskisson, where are you going in such a rush!
- 2 Bayview Cafe Jervis Bay Gourmet Pies & Cakes, 2 The Wool Rd, Vincentia, ☏ .
- 3 Hyams Beach Store & Cafe, 76 Cyrus St, Hyams Beach, ☏ . Su-Th 8AM - 4PM, F Sa 8AM - 5PM. Relaxed family-run eatery offering artisan coffee, plus a seasonal brunch and lunch menu. Also offers dinner Friday and Saturday from 6PM.
- 1 The Huskisson Hotel (Husky Pub), Owen Street. Has a large beer garden looking over the entrance to the creek, boats bobbing in the distance. Across the creek is a long white sandy beach - no houses. Truly wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Weekends bring evening entertainment - a covers band, a karaoke competition, some sports event on all the screens. Loads of fun (particularly if you have been in the beer garden all afternoon).
- 2 Fresh at the Bay, 64 Owen Street, Huskisson. Best coffee in town, great breakfasts with dinner and cocktails on Friday and Saturday night.
Holiday cottages are very popular here. They are often booked out for Christmas many months in advance.
- Holidays Collection, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. A number of holiday cottages available to rent in the area
There are also many camping sites around the bay.
Booderee National Park
See the national park website for further details, costs, etc.
There are three campgrounds in the national park. You must reserve a campsite in advance, and also check in at the Visitors Centre before setting up your site. The Christmas and Easter periods are booked as much as four months in advance. The peak period fees apply from the beginning of December until the end of the New South Wales Easter school holidays. To reserve a campsite, contact the Visitors Centre. Additionally, to enter, you'll need to pay $13 for two days. Single day tickets are not available. NSW Parks passes are also not valid in Booderee, since it is not part of NSW.
- 1 Bristol Point Camping Ground, Jervis Bay Rd. This campground is designed for groups of 20-35 people per site. Amenities include a shower block with hot water and wood barbecues. No camping vehicles can be taken on site.
- 2 Green Patch Campground, Booderee National Park, Naval College Rd, ☏ . The Green Patch site is a large campground within walking distance of the peaceful Green Patch beach. Amenities include a shower block with hot water, and electric hotplates as well as wood barbecues. A limited number of caravans are allowed in the campground.
- 3 Cave Beach Campground, Caves Beach Rd, ☏ . This camp ground is designed for people travelling light: all camping equipment must be carried in from the car park 300 m away. Amenities are limited to toilets, cold showers, and wood barbecues. Additionally, there's a high chance that there'll be a kangaroo next to you, so if you're a kangaroo fan, then Cave Beach allows you to go up close to them. Please don't touch them, as you may be passing diseases that they have no immunity to.
There are numerous motels in Jervis Bay.
Ulladulla is about 45 minutes south of Jervis Bay.