Shellharbour Area


Shellharbour beaches and nature

Shellharbour is a naturally beautiful part of the world known for its surf beaches, including Killalea Beach, a National Surfing Reserve located within Killalea State Park. Go fishing at Lake Illawarra, or see marine life up close while snorkelling or diving at Bass Point Reserve. There are also some incredible national parks to explore.

  • Family at The Farm Killalea Beach, Shellharbour
  • Family at The Farm Killalea Beach, Shellharbour


Just an hour's drive south of Sydney, Shellharbour is a tranquil seaside township made up of picturesque beaches, parks and reserves. Located between the ocean and the dramatic Illawarra escarpment, and near the serene Lake Illawarra, the area's unspoilt natural setting provides plenty of ways to relax and explore.  

Along the 20 kilometres of Shellharbour coastline, you'll enjoy surfing and swimming, fishing and snorkelling at the local beaches. A highlight is Killalea State Park, featuring 265 hectares of pristine coastal reserve with some of the NSW South Coast's most alluring beaches. Walking trails here take you through rainforest areas, while other trails pass through extensive estuarine wetlands and seabird breeding areas.

Swimming and surfing are on offer at Killalea Beach (The Farm) and Minnamurra Beach (Mystics), two of the best surf beaches on the NSW South Coast.

Bushrangers Bay Aquatic Reserve offers some fine diving and snorkelling opportunities. Its most prominent feature is an underwater cliff face with hundreds of small cavities that shelter sea urchins, sea dragons and tropical fish. The waters and parkland around Lake Illawarra, ten minutes' drive from Shellharbour, also make for a vast playground, perfect for a family picnic, walks or cycling. Fishing, sailing, water skiing, and rowing are also very popular water sports on the lake.

Air sports and adventure activities nearby are many and varied. Take a scenic flight in a helicopter from Illawarra Regional Airport, learn to fly, try skydiving, microlighting, an aerobatic flight in a biplane or experience the adventure of a Top Gun flight.

Shellharbour provides a great getaway location to explore other nearby beaches and villages, including Albion Park.


View all

Local areas

  • Albion Park Find out about Albion Park, things to do, arts, culture, heritage and lifestyle, accommodation and what's on
  • Shellharbour Find out about beaches, things to do, beaches, accommodation and what's on in Shellharbour

Explore Shellharbour Area