Shoalhaven Beaches and Surfing
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. Relax on the brilliant white sands of tranquil Jervis Bay with a picnic, discover an amazing array of unspoilt inlets and beaches and share waves with dolphins.
The beaches of the Shoalhaven coast are a great place to learn how to surf. Take a foam board to the gentle waves of Cave Beach in Booderee National Park. The southern end of Seven Mile Beach has reliable beginner waves and is pet friendly. Or take a lesson with surf legend Pam Burridge at Mollymook and Narrawallee.
There are stand up paddleboarding tours available with Jervis Bay Stand Up Paddle, and Coastal Paddle Surf in Ulladulla also offers lessons. Kitesurfing is a thrilling adventure in Jervis Bay, too. You can learn how to kitesurf in Vincentia and Huskisson, where dolphin and whale-watching cruises depart.
To find the best waves, ask a local. Ask at the Southern Man surf shop in Ulladulla about conditions around Bawley Point. At Ocean & Earth in Sussex Inlet, Brian and Wombat (from TV’s The Block) have tips for Cudmirrah. Culburra Beach is a breeding ground for champions like Owen, Mikey and Tyler Wright, and the breaks are at their best in Winter.
Join a Bush Surfaris tour and a local guide will take you to their favourite surf spots. Look out for locals of a different kind in Murramarang National Park – the famous ‘surfing kangaroos’ at Pebbly, Pretty and Depot beaches. Then refuel with a vegetarian Bliss Burger at Pilgrims in Milton or Huskisson, or a pie from Hayden’s in Ulladulla.
Hop on a stand-up paddle board to explore the calm waters of Jervis Bay or one of the area’s beautiful inlets, lakes or estuaries. You can also join a tour or take part in a SUP Fit or SUP Pilates class with Sussex Inlet Stand Up Paddle. Creative Escapes runs SUP and yoga experiences, and offers boutique accommodation in Narrawallee.
The Shoalhaven offers 22 off-leash areas, so all members of the family can enjoy the pristine pet-friendly beaches. Between 4pm and 8pm daily, sections of Huskisson’s Beach, Bawley Point’s Cormorant Beach, Culburra Beach, and neighbouring foreshore reserves include off-leash access.
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.