THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN JERVIS BAY, NSW
So you’ve never heard of Callala before?
Surely you’ve seen an Instagram selfie or two at Hyams Beach, Huskisson or Vincentia… Well, they certainly are all beautiful unique towns and villages of Jervis Bay, stunning destinations that mostly Sydneysiders have been wanting to keep quiet. But not anymore it seems, the secret’s out Callala!
Jervis Bay – The area
To give you some context, these five coastal villages hug the 102 square kilometre oceanic bay and with sixteen of the most pristine white sand beaches in the world found here! you can understand why it’s been a well kept secret for so long. From Sydney to Canberra, Southern Highlands and Wollongong this nature’s playground is fast becoming a mid-week short getaway, friends weekend road trip, let alone couple’s escape and family holiday destination all year round.
However, let’s not forget our dolphins, seals, fairy penguins, seabirds, migrating whales and other protected marine species call it their home, and for locals, including our kangaroo friends, it’s their workspace and backyard paradise every day.
It’s an authentic unspoilt place for snorkelling, diving, swimming, scuba diving, fishing and surfing. While all beaches in the bay are not patrolled, swimming however, is safe here. Other popular activities include paddle-boarding, hiking, bush walking, golfing, kite-surfing, canoeing and sailing – check out these free spirits! And of course there’s shopping, plenty of dining experiences and wineries scattered all around the wider Shoalhaven region to explore. You’d need a lifetime to experience it all!
Jervis Bay – The 5 coastal villages
Now back to the villages, let’s start with Huskisson, the largest tourist town in Jervis Bay. It’s popular for its shopping strip, cafes and restaurants, Husky pub, movies, gallery and beach activities such as dolphin cruises, whale watching, kayaking and scuba diving. It has two beautiful beaches, Shark Net and White Sands. Accommodation in the area includes motels, hotels, caravan parks, and holiday units and homes.
Neighbouring Vincentia is a similar sized town with identical accommodation offerings, a large shopping complex, leisure centre and many pristine beaches like Blenheim Beach, Collingwood Beach and Greenfield Beach.
Next is Hyams Beach, the most southern village of Jervis Bay with one road access in, a small permanent population, predominantly beach shacks and holiday houses, one lovely cafe/store and famous for its “whitest sand in the world” title – how lucky are we Australia! It gets very crowded so you’ll need to time your trip well in advance.
Callala Bay however, is located on the northern shores of Jervis Bay nestled alongside Jervis Bay National Park. This pretty spot comprises a small shopping village, sailing club, a boat ramp, jetty and waterfront bike pathway which takes you to Callala Beach and Myola. A pedestrian bridge over Callala Creek separates it from Callala Beach. The town has no traffic lights and for those of us old enough to remember freely playing outside, it’s still safe for kids to ride their bikes on the street or play hide-and-go seek. The stunning white sand beaches nearby like Hare Bay and Honeymoon Bay offer safe swimming, adventure bush walks amongst enchanted trees, and secluded fishing spots for your day out.
Last but not least, is Callala Beach – this unique coastal village captures your heart. Nestled between Currambene and Wowly Creeks and surrounded by national parks, it’s a 2.5hr drive from Sydney CBD or Canberra, and an hour from the Southern Highlands or Wollongong. It has the longest white sand beach you’ve ever seen! The stunning 5.6km stretch of white sand squeaks underfoot as you walk, bringing a smile to your face and reminds you how amazing nature truly is. The water is crystal clear turquoise blue and here you’ll see the most breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. Often there isn’t a soul in site on this spectacular beach except you, and perhaps your beloved furry friend – truly an unspoilt secluded paradise. In the morning however, when you go for a jog or beach walk, don’t be surprised to find a sea eagle souring above or parade of dolphins close to shore coming to greet you a good morning!
Furthermore, there’s a picturesque 18-hole golf course and two bowling greens that command prime real estate and is popular amongst locals and visitors alike with an abundance of kangaroos and bird wildlife. Club Callala offers good entertainment, recreation, food and beer with a friendly smile, and as designers, gee do we have the vision for what this country club could be, hint hint…
Callala Beach – The favourite
None of us like to admit we have a favourite, however ours is Callala Beach. There’s something magical about this place you can’t quite put into words. From your Sydney road trip it’s closer from the highway than the other Jervis Bay towns with easy walking distance to the beach, plenty of free parking and facilities, and no crowds. Driving in through gently winding Forest Rd and onto Callala Beach Rd, is an exciting adventure for motorbike riders, sports car enthusiasts, photographers or day trippers.
This peaceful village is renowned for its absolute beachfront properties and over the years we’ve seen more new architecturally designed timber constructed homes, like Hazelwood Beach House. Now that’s good for people and good for the planet.
Oh, and a little bit of local gossip….Callala has long been chosen as a holiday destination for celebrities, executives, sports stars and even royalty, sorry can’t name names! It’s no wonder – a combination of utmost privacy with wide open space amongst nature, relaxed luxury and home away from home feels. p.s. No paparazzi here!
This stunning region of the NSW South Coast with it’s warm welcoming people, mild temperate climate and diverse flora and fauna is sure to retain its special sense of place as a sustainable Australian holiday destination for decades to come, and really is the best kept secret.
See you here #Australia – rain, hail or shine! Oh and, bring the beers!!
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Top row image credits: @saltyluxe @ benmack_ @jordan_robins @whitesandjervisbay
Video credits: Hi Hai for beach walk, Ben Mack for HolidayHereThisYear
Image credit: Andy Hutchinson for the best kept secret
Real estate image credits: Ray White Callala Bay, Modern Timber Villas