For a memorable surfing adventure, Shellharbour is one of the world’s best surf destinations. The Farm and Mystics are iconic National Surfing Reserves in the Killalea State Recreation Area, about 90 minutes’ drive from Sydney. You can stay in the campground next to the two famous surf breaks.
Only 500 metres separates The Farm and Mystics, and each offers a different wave experience. The Farm is at Killalea’s northern end and has ‘largely deep water, and an open rolling wave’, while the southern Mystics is ‘short, peaky, thick and wedge-like’, according to the National Surfing Reserves.
Killalea is a beautiful reserve, with littoral rainforest and seabird breeding areas. There are nature walks, as well as picnic areas with barbecue facilities and other amenities. You can spot humpback and other whales migrating along the spectacular NSW South Coast between May and November.
Both Pines Surfing Academy and Australian Surf Tours offer tours to Killalea. The accredited surf schools offer a variety of experiences for all levels of skill, from beginners to surfers wanting to master aerial moves. Learning how to ride a surfboard is fun, and you’ll be riding waves in no time.
There are more unspoilt beaches along the gorgeous Shellharbour coastline where you can enjoy surfing and bodyboarding. Warilla Beach curves 2km from Windang Island, near Lake Illawarra’s mouth, to Barrack Point. You’ll find a quality left-hand wave on the south side of Windang Island.
On either side of the pretty harbour near Shellharbour Village are two popular sandy beaches, Shellharbour North Beach and Shellharbour South Beach. The southern beach is near the heritage-listed Bass Point Reserve, which contains littoral rainforest and an Aboriginal cultural heritage walk.
There are beach breaks along both stretches of sand, and a right-hander off the southern rocks at Shellharbour South. Accommodation options near the Warilla and Shellharbour beaches suit various budgets, from beachside caravan and camping parks to beach houses, apartments and motels.