Shoalhaven beaches and surf

From beautiful sandy beaches to excellent surf breaks, the Shoalhaven region of NSW is one of the best destinations in Australia for a beach holiday and surfing. Relax on the brilliant white sands of tranquil Jervis Bay, discover an amazing array of unspoilt beaches and share waves with dolphins.

The easy-going beach lifestyle on this magnificent stretch of the South Coast is epitomised in Max Dupain’s famous photograph The Sunbaker, taken in 1937 at Culburra Beach. World champion surfer Tyler Wright grew up in Culburra and developed her skills on waves from Culburra to Bawley Point.

Surfer catches a wave in Jervis Bay, near Booderee National Park

There are waves to suit all skill levels. For advanced surfers, try Comorong Island at Shoalhaven Heads, Warrain Beach at Culburra, Green Island near Lake Conjola and Bendalong, Cudmirrah Beach at Sussex Inlet, Dolphin Point Beach near Ulladulla, and Guillotines at Bawley Point’s southern end.

For beginners, practice on gentle waves at Culburra, Mollymook and Gannet beaches. There are surf schools as well. Pam Burridge Surf Schools, in Mollymook and Bendalong, is run by one of Australia’s first professional female surfers who won a world title. Other great places to learn to surf include:

The golden stretch of Mollymook Beach in the Shoalhaven region.

In stunning Jervis Bay, the beaches are famed for incredible white sand and crystal-blue water, as well as the resident dolphins swimming in the shallows. You can experience the natural beauty of Jervis Bay on foot as you follow the gorgeous White Sands Walk from Vincentia to Hyams Beach.

Kitesurfing is a thrilling adventure in the bay, too. You can learn how to kitesurf in Vincentia and Huskisson, where dolphin and whale-watching cruises depart. Stand-up paddleboarding is another fun activity, with Jervis Bay Stand Up Paddle and Coastal Paddle Surf in Ulladulla offering lessons.

Waves lapping Green Patch Beach in Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay.

Want to stay next to the beach? You’ll find beachside accommodation options to suit various budgets, from campgrounds in national parks and holiday parks near superb surf breaks, to beach houses and hotels. At the Pebbly Beach campground, you can meet the resident kangaroos.

Getting to the Shoalhaven region is easy. The drive from Sydney to the Shoalhaven Heads in the north is about 2h 15min and to Bawley Point in the south about 3h 40min. From Canberra, the drive is 2h 20min to Bawley Point and 2h 35min to Huskisson, which is on the pretty shores of Jervis Bay.

Best surfing spots in Shoalhaven