Representing the heart and soul of the New South Wales south coast, the Shoalhaven is a year-round destination with a wide range of exciting attractions and activities. Just an hour-and-a-half’s drive south of Sydney, it is the perfect place for a weekend escape, or even a day trip. Whether you’re after a bit of rest and relaxation or something a little more action packed, Shoalhaven offers it all.

The food of love

You can certainly indulge in the finer things in life in the Shoalhaven; it truly is a foodie’s delight with a wide variety of places to eat out. From a casual lunch to fine dining in a hatted restaurant, there is something to please everyone, with an enviable range of fresh produce farmed and harvested locally including seafood, market garden produce, wine, dairy, coffee and olive oil.

Cupitt’s Winery, tucked behind Milton on the New South Wales south coast, is an award winning, family run boutique winery and restaurant. It offers extraordinary views across the vines to Burrill Lake and the Budawang ranges.

For those who enjoy following a wine trail, on a green hill just outside Berry stand two silos and a modern Australian restaurant. Over 80 years ago the silos stored grain; today, they cellar Silos restaurant’s wine. At Silos restaurant, you can lunch with friends overlooking the shiraz grapevines, and in the evening you can dine under a high ceiling by the open fireplace. Head chef Nick Gardner (Quay, The French Laundry, Tetsuya’s) and the kitchen team marry native Australian ingredients and local produce with international technique. You can also hang out with the alpacas!

Rick Stein at Bannisters is perched on a clifftop location above the beautiful Mollymook beach. The man himself visits the area twice a year but his touch is evident in the food served. The accommodation at Bannisters has recently been rejuvenated at the hands of Collette Dinnigan, and offers a combination of luxury ocean view accommodation, a poolside cocktail and pizza bar and a rejuvenating day spa.

Tallwood, also at Mollymook, offers a contemporary dining experience while sharing food and experiences over a table. Drawing on inspiration from their extensive travels throughout Europe and Asia, owners Matt Upson and Clayton Till believe that an experience at a restaurant should be more than just about the food, it should also be about creating lasting memories with the people you are sharing with.

St Isidore is the patron saint of farmers, peasants and day labourers, but don’t let the name fool you — this modern restaurant located in the beautiful Milton hills serves award winning cuisine and offers stunning views.

For the ultimate romantic getaway, check out Paperbark Camp. Enjoy a weekend away with a difference by “glamping” at this peaceful bush retreat in the Shoalhaven’s beautiful Jervis Bay, which combines unique luxury tented accommodation with wonderful food (the Gunyah restaurant is superb, built high off the ground so you can enjoy the sea breeze and a wonderful position amongst the tree tops).

Child’s Play

If your holiday includes the kids, you’ll never be short of things to see and do to keep little minds — and hands — busy!

The Shoalhaven is THE place for the ultimate wildlife encounter. Kids — and big kids alike — will be entertained for hours with activities such as Shoalhaven Zoo (the largest zoo on the New South Wales south coast). With over 100 species of native and exotic mammals, birds and reptiles along with some spectacular live animal shows, the kids will be entertained for hours while learning about our unique local wildlife.

One of the best ways for the whole family to take in the stunning scenery of beautiful Shoalhaven is on horseback. Saddle up with the whole family to take in the views on your very own tailored trail ride.
An unusal way to see the Shoalhaven from the top is by channelling your inner Tarzan at Trees Adventure in Nowra. Located inside Shoalhaven Zoo, it features challenging courses high in the tree canopy that will have all the family swinging, leaping, climbing and flying through the forest.

If water is your family’s flavour, Pebbly Beach is already known widely as the home of the “surfing kangaroos” (a myth arising from a photograph of a kangaroo in the low surf, probably chased there by a dog).
Although they will not be surfing when you visit, you will find a large resident kangaroo population at Pebbly quite happy to be patted or to pose for a photograph. The Pebbly Beach is a popular camping area for the whole family, and boasts a great surfing beach.

Change the pace entirely and marry education with fun by visiting the Fleet Air Arm Museum, located at the main entrance of HMAS Albatross, the Royal Australian Naval Air Station at Nowra Hill. The displays trace Australia’s naval aviation history, from its commencement during World War One up to and including current Navy operations at sea with ship-borne helicopters.
Together with over 30 heritage naval aircraft and helicopters, there is a research library and archive, art gallery, gift shop and the Flight Deck Café which overlooks the airfield.

All of this adventure and activity will make even the most energetic family members peckish. Tantalise tastebuds with the unique culinary creations at the Treat Factory in Berry, which has become the largest gourmet food outlet on the south coast of New South Wales. You can buy a massive range of award winning products plus taste and smell the treats. The Treat Factory is an essential stop for families visiting the Shoalhaven.
After a big day, the whole family will need somewhere to rest. Holiday Haven Tourist Parks offer 12 award winning holiday parks, located in Kangaroo Valley, Shoalhaven Heads, Culburra Beach, Currarong Beachside, Huskisson White Sands, Huskisson Beach, Swan Lake, Bendalong Point, Lake Conjola Entrance, Ulladulla headland, Burrill Lake and Lake Tabourie.

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