Are there more kangaroos here than people? We mutter this between us as we unpack our things at our AirBNB self-contained cottage a short walk from St George’s Basin. There’s at least six ‘roos lazing out just over the fence in the backyard. It’s a picture-perfect winter’s day: the skies are sapphire, the sun is warming and the outlook is olive green the way only the Australian bush can be. But back to the nation’s famous marsupials. We actually feel a bit outnumbered.
Jervis Bay, located just more than 200km south of Sydney, is famously where the bush meets the beach. Where the white (photographers, I’m talking 255 | 255 | 255 RGB) sand squeaks underfoot and the ocean laps ashore like a tropical island. Turn 180 degrees and you’ll find yourself faced with the unruly, overgrowing perfect tangle of blackbutts, scribbly gums, banksias and grass trees. Having stopped in for just a day here on a South Coast Road Trip back in 2014, we’re thrilled to be back to get to spend more time in this little Aussie oasis.
WALKING ON A DREAM
For us, it’s the great outdoors that is one of Australia’s biggest drawcards. Excluding the obvious novelties of unique flora and fauna, we simply love to get out and see, explore and enjoy the world as it is. Beauty is tucked into so many corners of the Earth, there to enrich you.
As the beaches in Jervis Bay are crowded in by native forest, there are loads of short walks to be enjoyed. With Miss 7 Months happily strapped into her baby carrier, we undertake a few adventures on foot (the full gamut of options here):
- White Sands Walk: Pass through scribbly gum forests in between lookout points and the Bay’s picture-perfect beaches. A lovely easy-grade walk along the coast of the bay from Greenfields Beach Picnic Area to Hyam’s Beach (if you wish). Inclement weather, and the spontaneity of undertaking the meander in the first place, prevented us from making it further than Chinaman’s Beach during our visit.
- Steamers Beach: Hidden between two cliffs and facing the expanse of the Pacific Ocean, Steamers Beach is a 30 minute walk (ish) from the car park. The track, a wide fire trail, meanders down through the trees until you hit the coast. It’s a steep step descent down to the sand that offers you a big picture view of this stunner. Flip a coin to see who wears the baby back up all those stairs!
- Wandering St George’s Basin: Tucked into our AirBNB one afternoon, Miss 7 Months was restless and too young to really appreciate the kangaroos. We found ourselves breaking out the pram (a benefit of driving from home to a holiday!) and exploring the local streets. We found our way to the Basin’s shoreline, where in the vicinity of Sanctuary Point, you can stroll along it via the groomed park area to bird-watch, pier-strut and kangaroo-spot (yes, there’s more).
IT’S T-SHIRT WEATHER
Here we go again – we’v have continued our nack of visiting seaside destinations in the off season (why do we do this?!). Swimmers back in their drawer back in Sydney, we slap our foreheads as we kick off our shoes, roll up our jeans, and wander the ocean’s edge of Hyam’s Beach. Being a native Queenslander, Mr Little Travel Tales often jokes the water temperature needs to be a bath before I’ll go for a splash. But with the water lapping at my ankles and it being t-shirt weather, I might have been swayed to act out of character and dunk myself in had I brought my cossies. Perhaps that’s an excuse to return?
The vast beauty of the area is dotted with small towns to whet your appetite, up your caffeine level, or browse for local goodies. Vincentia, a quiet unobtrusive seaside village has Albert N Miso, a superb little spot where we enjoy breakfast burritos and a flat white at a breakfast bar looking out to the winter sunshine. The town also has all the everyday amenities you need to stock your AirBNB and a few cute stores.
Further north is Huskisson, with its dominating beach views, where there is even more reason to fill your tummy and empty your wallet. We eat dessert for breakfast at 5 Little Pigs before wandering the boutiques on Owen Street. I come home with the gold sandals from Babylon, but not the coloured scarf from Ethik. I still think about that scarf.
TOT TRAVEL TIPS
- Get the baby familiar with the travel cot. Miss 7 Months is currently navigating her way through the inevitable sleep regression; in future we would arrive at our accommodation early enough on Day 1 so that she could nap in her travel cot during the day. In theory so can familiarise herself with her travel cot once again before nightfall!
- Pack a medical kit. Perhaps this is obvious; but it was quite a challenge to remove a tick from Mr Travel Tales shoulder without one (he’s fine)! It was a bit of a wake up call to remember to travel with more than just medical needs for the baby.
- Time: 4 days
- Accommodation: Self-contained cottage via AirBNB
- Transport: By car from Sydney (just under 3 hours). We stopped in Kiama on the return for a baby-break; rewarded with delicious sandwiches from Flour Water Salt whilst Miss 7 Months enjoyed rolling in the park. The surf was not up so the blowhole was just a … water bottle spray.