Jervis Bay is one of my favourite places in Australia. With its pristine white-sand beaches and clear turquoise waters, Jervis Bay is the perfect location for a romantic weekend. First, a fun fact: Jervis Bay is actually a Territory of the Commonwealth of Australia… it has a special status due to the presence of a naval base. This is probably the reason why it’s been preserved so well. Jervis Bay is a large sheltered harbour, surrounded by white-sand beaches and home to a plentiful wildlife. The naval base never developed to its full capacity and Jervis Bay is now a perfect spot to enjoy nature and sunshine only three hours away from Sydney. Following many visits, I have crafted the ultimate weekend guide to Jervis Bay.
Jervis Bay is about 3 hours’ drive from Sydney. It’s an easy drive, with possible stops in Wollongong, Kiama and Berry. A little further inland is also the beautiful Kangaroo Valley.
There is plenty to do in Jervis Bay, but I suggest to focus on relaxation. I like the sheer isolation of the place and I find it so peaceful.
Weekend Guide to Jervis Bay: Booderee National Park
The only Aboriginal botanic garden in Australia, Booderee National Park offers some amazing beaches, gardens, camping grounds, walking trails and a lighthouse. You will have plenty of opportunities to catch glimpses of wildlife.
My favourite place to stay is the Bay of Plenty Lodges now known as The Cove. It’s a small compound of bungalows complete with barbecues and picnic facilities. The cabins are simple but well appointed and some of them have air-conditioning now. It is sheltered from the beach and its isolated location means you can really have a piece of Bherwerre Beach to yourself.
Bay of Plenty Lodges offers self-contained accommodation and is quite isolated so, if you stay there, make sure you have everything you need. As it is inside the national park, there is a park fee. Kangaroos like to visit the place at dusk, which is always special.
Weekend Guide to Jervis Bay: Murrays’ Beach
Murrays’ Beach is a beautiful beach, easily accessible and offering crystal clear waters. I like to relax there for the day. A few years ago, we even had the visit of a pod of dolphins. There are several walking trails starting from Murray’s Beach, including the Munyunga Waraga Dhugan loop trail. Governor Lookout is also a short walk away and offers beautiful views to Bowen Island.
Weekend Guide to Jervis Bay: Green Patch
Green Patch is a great place for camping, with plenty of spaces (to be booked), good facilities and a stone’s throw from the beach. We stayed there with a group of friends a few years ago and loved it. Furthermore, the beach is safe and offers great snorkelling.
Weekend Guide to Jervis Bay: Steamers’ Beach
Steamers’ Beach is more difficult to access but definitely worth the trip. The descent to the beach is a little steep but offers amazing views. Because the access is slightly difficult, the place is more likely to be quiet. I think it’s worth the effort to enjoy the peace of the place. Swimming is not recommended due to strong currents and sharks. And now, you have to climb up again!
Weekend Guide to Jervis Bay: Cape St George
Cape St George is also a great place to learn about early European settlement to the area. I find that there is a little sad feeling there, as a number of children died of illness at the time of the early European settlement but the views over the cliffs are fabulous. There is a longer trail to get there but the views are spectacular and if you’re there at the right time, it’s a great spot to observe whale migration.
Weekend Guide to Jervis Bay: Hyams Beach
Hyams Beach is the more built and busy part of Jervis Bay and the beach has some of the whitest sand in the world, which is worth seeing. There is a nice upmarket feel about Hyams Beach, the Hyams Beach Store & Cafe was booked out when I was there but it looks like a great place for lunch or coffee.
Weekend Guide to Jervis Bay: Huskisson
Huskisson is the main township in Jervis Bay and a good place to shop for supplies. It has a pub, a range of shops and restaurants. However, I prefer the more secluded spots around Jervis Bay.
Weekend Guide to Jervis Bay: Point Perpendicular
Finally, Point Perpendicular is on the opposite side of Jervis Bay and a longer drive. It’s a good idea to visit it on your way out, passing through Callala Bay. It offers spectacular cliff views, walking trails and secluded beaches.
On your way from Sydney to Jervis Bay, you will pass through the NSW Southern Highlands, and I can recommend the following stops if you have time:
And if you are heading further south, don’t miss Batemans Bay!
I am planning a new trip to Jervis Bay very soon, do you recommend any special places?