We’re craving some digital downtime. Why is the Shoalhaven perfect for relaxing and enjoying a moment of calm?
The Shoalhaven has the best of both worlds. You can enjoy everything that cute country towns have to offer, from wineries and cafes to shopping and fine dining before slowing down and soothing your soul in the unspoilt wilderness and ocean. Just two hours from Sydney and Canberra, the region provides the life-leisure balance we have craved after a 2020 spent glued to our screens and primarily in our own homes. There are more than 100 beaches and 70 per cent of national park and forest to explore; you can unwind and unplug away from your inbox and Wi-Fi, reconnect with yourself and enjoy the relaxed country rhythm.
In the Shoalhaven, we recommend at least a three-day stay to enjoy hikes, snorkelling, practising yoga among the trees, connecting with Country on a cultural tour, glamping in the forest and rock climbing to some of the highest viewing points over the escarpment. By breathing in the fresh air you can connect deeper to the place and people both past, present and future. Tune out of digital and tune into nature this autumn.
We’re hitting the road with an empty esky. What local produce should we stock up on? Where should we go?
Everywhere! Many of our cafes and restaurants pride themselves on being part of the paddock-to-plate movement, where ingredients are sourced from local providores with a high level of food traceability. Apart from booking into Cupitts Estate, The Butter Factory and Harvest Berry Mountain (to name a few) that grow local ingredients on site, there is an array of options to find your local spread.
If you’re coming from the south, head to Nowra Fresh, a one-stop local produce grocer hub, or make a quick turn at Shoalhaven Heads to Bangalay Dining for a pre-made produce picnic to take away. Local foodie markets are in abundance, with our farmers ready to share their carefully curated produce from Thursdays to Sundays at any given time and town. Check our Shoalhaven website for what’s on during your visit.
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What should we do or where should we go to:
Connect deeper with self: Hike, climb, explore and reconnect with self with Big Nature Adventures. As you persevere through any bushwalk, whether it be Pigeon House Mountain, Little Forrest Plateau, Florence Head or Murramarang Beach to Bush Walk, you will have the time to listen, learn and explore, igniting a chain reaction of re-connecting to self through reflection techniques.
Connect deeper with Country: The Shoalhaven is a unique natural and cultural environment with rich Aboriginal history, playing a vital role in making this region so special. As Australians it’s important to seek out information to assist in storytelling and understanding our country. Djiriba Waagura, meaning “Two Crows” in the Dhurga language of the Yuin Nation, offers nature tours that inspire connectedness, empower local communities and foster both educational and personal growth through the stories of their elders.
Enjoy a unique experience: Visit Australia’s only “cliffnic”, a cliff picnic. Outdoor Raw has created a rock-climbing experience that starts with learning rock climbing skills and ends with abseiling down to your picnic spot. Dine on a selection of local produce while suspended off the edge of one of the beautiful Shoalhaven clifftops, overlooking rivers, mountains and beaches.
Get out of our comfort zone: Deep dive into the water and out of your comfort zone with Woebegone Freedive, which offers unique and adventurous beach and boat snorkelling expeditions to the seal colonies, sea caves and white sandy beaches of Jervis Bay. Get up close and personal with the wonderful wildlife of the Shoalhaven.
Create some romance: Create your own romance story with Paddle and Portage Canoes. Canoe through calm waters of the Shoalhaven river with some of the most spectacular gorge scenery in NSW. The perfect mix of nature and romance for a Noah and Ally Notebook moment.
Can we be sustainable and responsible tourists of the Shoalhaven region?
As you appreciate the nature around you, it’s important to understand how you can make an impact on how the next generation will see our unspoilt Shoalhaven.
Leave only footprints in nature that do not disturb the natural rehabilitation and growth which protects endangered wildlife, like our beautiful shorebirds and resident wombats. Go one step further and take “3 for the sea” by removing three pieces of rubbish from the natural environment anywhere you go.
Pack your reusable cups, water bottles and shopping bags to reduce waste in our region. If you forget, pop into our friendly visitor centres in Nowra and Ulladulla to pick up some of our Shoalhaven branded stock.
We encourage camping in the region but only in designated areas as we try to minimise the impact on nature one tent at a time.
For more, visit shoalhaven.com/adventure or search #adventureshoalhaven