Sweeping soft-sand coves are a hallmark of Gerroa, set at the northern end of legendary Seven Mile Beach and the mouth of the Crooked River. The laid-back village in the Kiama area of the NSW South Coast is a poster-child for waterside living, with the sparkling blue ocean providing conditions catering to everyone from surfers to swimmers. Have lunch The Blue Swimmer which is located at the mouth of the river.
Hit the water
Seven Mile Beach doesn’t hide assets in its name. This 12km stretch of sand comes with opportunities to thrill every type of water baby, from fishers to surfers, swimmers, kiteboard enthusiasts and paddleboarders. Even tiny tots looking for a leisurely splash can enjoy the calm waters at the river mouth.
You can also fine-tune your skills on a board by joining lessons with Land’s Edge Surf School, Surf Camp Australia and Gerringong Surf School, all of which are based on Seven Mile Beach, which is patrolled in the warmer months. Head to the Holiday Park to hire kayaks, and glide along the glassy surface of the Crooked River, an estuary weaving north toward Gerringong.
Most domestic airport runways in Australia today are less than four kilometres long. Seven Mile Beach almost triples that length – small wonder aviator Charles Kingsford Smith saw its potential. Here, back in 1933, the pioneer slipped the surly bonds of sand on the first commercial flight from Australia to New Zealand. If you want to learn more, head to the Sir Charles Kingsford Smith Memorial and Lookout, where you can read more while enjoying spectacular views of the beach and beyond.
Lace up your walking shoes
The family-friendly Sand Track Walk runs north and south from Gerroa to Seven Mile Beach National Park. The latter sweeps around to Shoalhaven Heads, along the ever-changing skyline of the coast. You can also trek along the Gerroa headland and see whales migrating along the coast between May and November, or dolphins any time of year. The local indigenous people have called this land home for more than 20,000 years, and you’ll feel the immensity of their history when you gaze out to sea from these coastal cliffs.
Find a place to picnic
If you can’t get enough of Seven Mile Beach, make a beeline for Black Head Reserve on the northern side of Gerroa’s headland to enjoy a lofty perspective of the stretch of sand. Bring your pooch and your picnic – the area is pet-friendly, and grassy expanses let you lounge while gazing out to sea, whales on the horizon seasonally. From here, follow tracks down to the rock platform, a popular spot for fishing, or wander to Black Head Reserve at low tide to search for fossil shells at or explore the rock pools.
Getting there & where to stay
Gerroa is just 40-min drive from Wollongong and two hours from Sydney along the Grand Pacific Drive – one of Australia’s most legendary road trips. Gerroa the perfect base for exploring wineries along the Shoalhaven Coast, and neighbouring towns of Gerringong and Kiama just to the north. There are also flights available to Shellharbour, which is 32 km north from Gerroa. You'll find plenty of accommodation options too, from resorts and beach houses to holiday parks and campsites.