A charming seaside town, Shellharbour is perfect for beach holiday, nature walks and cycling. About 90 minutes’ drive from Sydney, relax on beautiful beaches, wander through rare littoral rainforest, enjoy fishing and boating, explore a World War II shipwreck on a diving tour, or play a round of golf.
A delicious selection of cafes and restaurants is in Shellharbour Village, near the small harbour and the pretty harbourside Little Park. On either side of the harbour are the main beaches, Shellharbour North Beach and Shellharbour South Beach, which is near the heritage-listed Bass Point Reserve.
You can explore the reserve’s littoral rainforest on walking trails and discover more about Bass Point’s ancient past on a sign-posted Aboriginal cultural heritage walk. In the waters off the point are six shipwrecks. The protected Bushrangers Bay Aquatic Reserve is great for diving and snorkelling.
Surfers will be thrilled with some of the best waves in Australia, and there are surf schools such as Pines Surfing Academy for beginners. Other fun water sports include stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking on shimmering Lake Illawarra. You can hire bicycles and pedal around the lake foreshore.
Cycling along the spectacular coastline is wonderful, too. You’ll find an extensive network of shared coastal paths in Shellharbour. Bring your bicycle on the train from Sydney and alight at Shellharbour Junction Station for the short ride to the famous surf beaches in the Killalea State Recreation Area.
You can pitch your tent in the Killalea campground. Other fun things to do and see include walking trails to littoral rainforest and seabird breeding areas. From scenic vantage points, spot humpback whales between May and November. There are lovely picnic areas and barbecue facilities as well.
The picturesque Links Shell Cove golf course is nearby. After a round of golf, savour refreshments at the Tavern. Another tasty destination is Shellharbour Club, nicknamed Shelly’s. There is a vibrant street market-style dining area called the Precinct, and the club’s entertainment caters for all ages.