Rejuvenate your mind, body and soul in Shoalhaven
Located just two hours from Sydney and two-and-a-half hours from Canberra, Shoalhaven is the perfect getaway to connect with country and adventure for wellbeing. Shoalhaven is made up of 49 towns and villages, 100 beautiful beaches and 70 per cent national parks and forests where you can escape the cities and breathe fresh coastal air. A true haven for soul seekers, nature lovers and foodies alike, Shoalhaven is one of New South Wales’ best-kept secrets.
Shoalhaven is not short of unique experiences to get back to nature and connect with the surrounding environment. South Coast Soul Yoga, together with Salty Lotus, holds SUP yoga classes, combining stand-up paddle boarding in the crystal-clear waters of Jervis Bay for a moment of Zen. Sussex Inlet SUP will take your workout in nature to the next level with stand-up paddle fitness at Swan Lake. The extensive mountain ranges of the Morton National Park and breath-taking coastal walking tracks where the bush meets the beach make Shoalhaven the ideal destination for hiking.
The crew from Region X host hikes through Murramarang National Park with photo-worthy picnic spots with beach-loving kangaroos, while Big Nature Adventures takes you to new heights, conquering the well-known Didthul Pigeon House Mountain (Balgan) and Little Forest Plateau with 360-degree views of the Shoalhaven region. If you want to cultivate the mindset to feel at home in the wild, Bluegum Bushcraft runs rewilding retreats, creating awareness of nature through teachings of bush camping and primitive skills.
Shoalhaven is a nature playground where you can connect deeper to your mind, body and soul by slowing down and enjoying the beautiful surrounds of the South Coast.
Where to stay
Play in nature and stay in nature with a healthy indulgence at one of Shoalhaven’s multiple luxury farm stay retreats. Mt Hay Retreat in Berry is proudly perched high atop the rolling green pastures of Mt Hay, with a handful of luxury suites to enjoy the full view. Mt Hay works with a host of local masseurs and beauticians to bring your spa experience to life in your suite.
The Woods Farm in Jervis Bay has eight individual houses and glamping sites and, as the name suggests, it’s quite literally a farm with a host of local animals to observe on your stay. Find where the rolling farmlands and mountains meet open skies at Barranca in Kangaroo Valley with four self-contained villas offering open firepits, outdoor showers, equine experiences, and relaxation massages upon request in your villa.
Close by in Upper Kangaroo Valley you will find award-winning eco-friendly getaway Brogers End, which is powered by sun panels and a Tesla battery made from recycled and reclaimed materials. Roam the gardens, enjoy an outdoor bath in nature and browse the famous eco shop with a range of local wines, beers and a carefully chosen selection of sustainable eco products.
Shoalhaven is home to passionate farmers and artisanal curators who have pioneered the earth to table movement. New to Queen Street, Berry, Harvest provides high-quality, farm-sourced produce delivered through traditional and sustainable methods from their farm, then to your plate in a fine-dining form to remember. Further south you will find Cupitt’s Estate, with a brewery and fromagerie on site serving up more than local wines. The estate also has award-winning cheeses and an extensive kitchen garden that provides seasonal produce for the fine-dining restaurant with vineyard views.
Tucked behind the beautiful hills of Milton lies widely acclaimed wholefoods cafe Milk Haus, located within an old cheese factory with views of their garden for seasonal eats. Greenwell Point is famous for having some of the best oysters on the coast due to its location where the Shoalhaven and Crookhaven rivers flow from the Great Dividing Range and meet the ocean. Jim Wild’s Oyster Farm is perfect for purchasing takeaways or sitting down along the river while Jim explains the life cycle of an oyster, from spawning to the table.
Local markets are plentiful in Shoalhaven, with locally-made produce popping up in every cafe, restaurant and selective grocer’s, meaning you are spoilt for choice. Find out more at shoalhaven.com/local-produce-stories
Things to remember
The Shoalhaven is a 4567sq km region, making it nearly impossible to visit just once for a short period of time. Shoalhaven will keep you coming back for more, but it is important to pre-plan your trip to ensure everything you wish to achieve is close by, and book ahead to ensure you don’t miss out on any experiences. Be a conscious traveller by engaging with the local community and leaving only footprints in nature so as not to disturb our endangered wildlife and unspoilt environment. Go one step further by removing three pieces of rubbish for the sea.
Shoalhaven’s location is easily accessible by car from Sydney and Canberra. The road trip to the South Coast is both scenic and tranquil when you take the road less travelled through the waterfalls and breathtaking sandstone escarpments of Morton National Park on Main Road 92, or the rolling green hills of Kangaroo Valley.
Visit Shoalhaven at https://www.shoalhaven.com/