There are so many great reasons to visit the NSW south coast
We are fortunate in Australia with such an incredible number of family friendly destinations are within a few hours driving distance of most capital cities. Taking a road trip with the family is a fairly common way for Australians to travel and many people consider it a part of our culture. In fact, according to Destination NSW’s report for the year ended September 2012 there were 6.2 million domestic overnight trips undertaken by NSW families versus just 0.9 million who went overseas. Most of us have fond memories of playing games in the back seat of the car, counting cars and asking my parents ‘are we there yet’.
Our landscape lends itself well to tourism given that along our coastline, we have a number of stunning beaches and natural scenery that is unmatched in the world. Several locations, such as the far north coast of NSW, the central coast or even up near the border in Byron Bay, were considered by Rob and myself when we thought about what makes a good location to manage family friendly holiday rentals.
However, with the southern region of NSW only about 150 kms or so away from Sydney, 200kms from Canberra or 350kms from Melbourne, the Jervis Bay area is probably one of, if not the best choice for taking your family on holiday.
What makes the NSW south coast so unique?
The NSW South Coast is a unique combination of coastal scenery, lush grazing plains, and a breathtaking hinterland. It boasts a wide array of natural wonders which make it an ideal place to take part in a variety of outdoor activities or go exploring. The best part is that they are all within easy reach and only a short drive away from each other; there are more than 40 villages, close to 100 beaches and mountain ranges respectively.
The stretch of coast from Kiama to just past Nowra has countless beaches and coastal spots to visit which provides choices both in and out of the water. There is the pristine crystal clear waters of Jervis Bay with its gentle waves and soft sand through to the fine dining options available in Berry or Kangaroo Valley. Head away from the ocean and there are wildlife parks, wineries, bushwalks, waterfalls & even the famous Robertson Pies.
While nearly any location is suitable for couples, the best part about the places around the South Coast is how kid friendly they are. Many regard it as one of Australia’s most beautiful natural regions for families to visit & that is why we have a collection of luxury holiday rental properties in this area.
Apart from the Daintree Rainforest in far north Queensland, the Shoalhaven region is one of the few locations where the lush rainforest straddles the rugged coastline to create an intoxicating mix of natural beauty with plenty of wide open spaces & fresh air.
That is why Rob & I love it down here so much. Locations further north are more developed, more heavily populated and a lot of the natural bushland has been removed to make way for high density living.
Planning a trip with your family that is two hours from Sydney
Most Sydneysiders are constantly looking for new things to do. Driving up to Palm Beach or over to Manly is nice, but as soon as the weather is warm both locations are packed and the roads are congested, taking all the fun away from travelling.
So, lots of people start turning their attention to locations a little further away. With the upgraded freeways going north and south there are quite a few locations that are now within an easy two hours drive of Sydney which make them perfect for short holiday trips with the family.
Locations within 2 hours include;
- Central Coast – densely populated in most locations and quite busy with lots of development.
- Newcastle – next major city to Sydney, nice coastal location but busy.
- Port Stephens – our next choice compared to staying in Jervis Bay, but not as much to do for families.
- Hunter Valley – top destination in NSW, but if you don’t like wine and have kids it can reduce the amount of enjoyment had.
- Katoomba – many attractions but costs can add up if you have kids.
- Lithgow – sleepy historical town with not too much to do for kids.
- Bathurst – another major city centre famous for motor racing.
- Kiama – great little spot but does get busy on weekends.
- Jervis Bay – our favourite location for its untouched natural scenery.
- Kangaroo Valley – lush forest and rolling hills.
- Bowral – lovely old town with lots of charm.
- Berry – a great place for shopping, eating and visiting the nearby hinterland or wineries.
You can also quickly discover what other people think about each destination by reading some of the reviews for the location. Location reviews are generic & not connected directly with a business, hotel or tourist attraction, so they are a great way to get a general ‘feel’ for a location you are thinking of travelling to.
Jervis Bay for example has more than 600 reviews from people who have visited.
Huskisson, Vincentia & Callala Beach
Stunning crystal clear beach coastline
Mostly visited for:
- White sand beaches
- Snorkelling and diving
- Maritime history
- Whale watching in winter
Just past Wollongong is the seaside community of Jervis Bay, which includes Huskisson, Vincentia and Callala Beach. They may not be as popular as Byron Bay, Nelson Bay or Terrigal but if you want to have a holiday with your family where it isn’t too busy, there aren’t too many crowds and it doesn’t feel overly ‘touristy’ then these three locations should be on your list for 2022.
This area has a history of shipbuilding at its heart and the protected bay showcases some of Australia’s best beaches, including Hyam’s Beach, renowned for the softest, whitest sand in the world. We have a number of luxury holiday rental properties in the area that can be rented for a few days (or weeks) where you get complete use of the whole holiday house, just as if it was your own.
For many families, Huskisson is the perfect ‘jump-off point’ to base yourself. This area is surrounded by a marine park full of sea life and untouched bushland with lots of options for animal spotting cruises, stand-up paddle boarding and other water-sports.
Best of all, it is just a short 40-50 minute drive to locations like Berry or Kangaroo Valley to get a taste of the rainforest, waterfalls and some incredible mountain pass driving roads, or to take the kids to Jamberoo Recreation Park in the summer months.
The Jervis Bay holiday rental houses from Supercalla Private Properties include:
Things to do around Jervis Bay
- Kid-friendly swimming; Moona Moona Creek in Huskisson is perfect for swimming with young ones. The waters are calm and for the more adventurous kids (and big kids) there is a bridge that everyone jumps off. Orions Beach in Vincentia is another family secret with its calm waters and exclusive enclaves, ideal for a day picnicking and splashing about.
- Water sports; Water lovers might want to learn to surf at the http://www.jbsurfschool.com.au/. Alternatively, go underwater with https://www.divejervisbay.com/, which offers scuba lessons and daily dive charters to explore the rich plant and animal life that calls Jervis Bay Marine Park home.
- Beachside bushwalks; There are numerous bushwalking options near Vincentia and Huskisson, but the White Sands walk in Jervis Bay National Park, which strolls across Greenfield Beach, Chinamans Beach, and returns into the Scribbly Gum track in a 2.5km loop is the simplest for tiny feet. The trip is popular because it goes to Hyams Beach and provides many opportunities for rock-hopping and splashing along the way. Keep an eye on the bay throughout May through November for whales breaching out of the water.
Another popular choice is the Granite Falls Walking Track in Morton National Park, which offers beautiful scenery and lots of bushwalking opportunities. Visit Bomaderry Creek, an ecosystem surrounded by wooded hills and hanging swamps.
- Meet the wildlife at Shoalhaven Zoo; Shoalhaven Zoo offers visitors the chance to get up close and personal with over 100 species of animals including monkeys, big cats and Australian natives such as koalas, wombats, kangaroos and crocodiles.
Shoalhaven Zoo is open every day of the year, with the exception on Christmas Day. A family pass for two adults and two children (aged 3-15) costs $85. You can even pre-book unique wildlife experiences such as feeding a meerkat, monkey or lion and you can even cuddle a koala if you’re lucky.
- Ropes courses at Trees Adventure; Trees Adventure provides fun for children of all ages. This climbing course is located in Nowra at Shoalhaven Park, on the banks of the Shoalhaven River. The courses and rock climbing activities are designed to take advantage of the trees and natural rock faces.
In this game, children of all ages can test their skills on six long courses with more than 70 challenges. Fly through the air on flying foxes, scale rocky slopes, or put your climbing ability to the test. Begin only two metres from the ground and work your way up to a height of 25 metres in this thrill-a-minute adventure. You may also take a sneaky birds’ eye view into Shoalhaven Zoo’s animal enclosures, which are only adjacent.
There are two sessions each day and they last around 2.5 hours. Adult tickets are $51, youngsters are $28, and spectator entry is free.
- Get on Board an Eco Cruise; What is the most important thing to do with children in Jervis Bay? It has to be the renowned eco cruises from Jervis Bay Wild. From the dolphin cruise to whale viewing excursion, and everything in between, Jervis Bay Wild provides a variety of wildlife-focused boat tours. These last a few hours and depart every day, so you’ll get great views as well as animal sightings that will stick with you forever. Make a reservation right away and don’t miss out on this must-do family vacation activity.
- Indoors fun; The area surrounding the Shoalhaven is jam-packed with exciting outdoor activities but there are also plenty of things to do if the weather isn’t so good. The Huskisson Pictures (also known as the Husky Pictures) is a fantastic place to relax, unwind, and getaway for a couple of hours to watch a movie. There is ten-pin bowling in Nowra for a barrel of laughs and some healthy rivalry. There is also the Flip Out Trampoline Park in Nowra, where the kids can bounce, flip, jump, and play till they are exhausted to help use up some of that pent up energy.
Berry, Nowra & Mayfield
Eat, shop & discover history
- History & country charm
- Sweet treats
- Boutique wineries
Berry has a beautiful main street lined with traditional shop fronts housing an array of delectable shopping activities; food, clothing, wine, art & craft. It is a very popular getaway for families with its safe streets that have been made a little quieter since the bypass was built. It has retained its charm and this exquisite hamlet on the NSW South Coast gives you lots of options to dine at wonderful restaurants, do a spot of boutique shopping & of course there is a wide array of luxury holiday rental homes that are either within walking distance from to the main road or on acreage not too far away.
Visit the Berry Historic Museum to learn more about the town’s history, go antiquing and collect antiques in one of the town’s historical structures, or try an arts and crafts class at This Old House Studio.
The holiday house rental properties you can stay in that are near Berry:
- The Berry Lake House
- Mayfield Farm
- Serenity Gerringong
Things to do in Berry
- Get sticky fingers at The Berry Donut Van; A visit to the Shoalhaven wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the renowned Berry Donut Van, which has been operating in the historic town for over 50 years. The distinctive food truck provides a delicious selection that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Hot dogs and meat pies are available, as well as milkshakes and slushies (along with coffee for mum and dad), but we all know that everyone’s coming for the cinnamon donuts. They’re cooked from a secret recipe using fresh ingredients, served piping hot in paper bags (be careful of burnt fingertips) and are best consumed right away on the street
- Shop Local at the Berry Farmers Market; The Berry Farmers’ Market takes place every Thursday afternoon. Focused on the food’s origin and shining a spotlight on growers, producers and makers. Fresh seafood, locally farmed beef, eggs, milk, honey, gelato made with local milk, wine, cider, fresh vegetables, cakes and tarts produced from local produce are generally always on hand.
- Satisfy cravings at Milkwood Bakery; Milkwood Bakery is THE spot to grab delectable treats such as cakes, bread and the most magnificent pastries. Grab a coffee and a treat to fuel your Berry village explorations. The kiddies will love you for the treat while you shop!
- Catch the Sea breeze at Seven Mile Beach; In between Gerroa and Shoalhaven Heads is Seven Mile Beach. Famous for its golden beach that stretches for miles, this famous location is the perfect spot to catch the sea breeze while straying in Berry. Relax beachside or wander through the ancient blackbutt forest before heading home for sunset.
- Indulge in sweet treats; The Treat Factory & Dairy Bar in Berry is a must-see for families! Sample some of their handcrafted chocolates, breathe in the delectable scents of confectionery as they’re made, and be amazed as your favourite foods are prepared right in front of your eyes. Alternatively, pick up a scoop of locally produced South Coast gelato! What youngster wouldn’t want to take a rest here?
Wildlife, rainforests, countryside & waterfalls
- Waterfalls and rivers
- Fascinating colonial history
- Delicious food and wine
Yes, there are lots of wild kangaroos in Kangaroo Valley, so let’s get that out of the way quickly. This is an idyllic location nestled between mountain ranges and sits in the valley with beautiful cliffs and forest on either side.
Spanning the Kangaroo Valley River, the Hampden Bridge with its castle looking sandstone towers, is a Kangaroo Valley icon. The river below winds through the region’s dense rainforests, and lush dairy farming countryside.
It is the sort of location you would see car manufacturers use for their ads with a sports car taking on the curves of the mountain passes lined with lush rainforest or a 4WD taking a family out to their farm.
Not too far away is the Morton National Park that is home to the dramatic, and one of the tallest, waterfalls in NSW called Fitzroy Falls. For those who are a little more adventurous there are lots of other places to explore like Belmont Falls and Upper Kangaroo Valley where you can swim in the fresh, crystal clear, river.
Our holiday rental properties in Kangaroo Valley include:
- Barranca Kangaroo Valley
- The Berry Lake House
Things to do in Kangaroo Valley
- Check out ‘SWEET AS’ sweet shop; Sweet As Kangaroo Valley specialises in cult confectionery, gelato, chocolate, fudge and other goodies. The past 20 years in business is a testament to their success and popularity. A stop by their shop located in the village is a ‘must visit’ on your itinerary.
- Try Wombat spotting; When staying in Kangaroo Valley, you will see wombats, wallabies and kangaroos in the wild. If you’re lucky, you might also spot a koala! Wombats are famous for their digging abilities, and you can see their characteristic holes all over the place. The best time to spot wombats is early in the morning or late evening.
- Go wild swimming; If you’re lucky enough to secure a booking at Barranca, Kangaroo Valley you will enjoy exclusive access to a beautiful freshwater creek. Bordered by soaring trees and lush rainforest, wild swimming with kids is a must do! If you would like to explore a little further, Flat Rock Waterhole in Kangaroo Valley has to be the next best find!
- Fudge it and the Kangaroo Valley Fudge House; A trip to the Kangaroo Valley Fudge House is a must for anybody with family. The multi-award-winning fudge, which is handmade the traditional way and is said to be the best you’ll ever eat, makes a wonderful memento of your trip.
- Experience nature by water; Ready for some adventure!? Kangaroo Valley boasts numerous outdoor adventure providers. Check out award winning Kangaroo Valley Safaris for self guided eco tours or Kangaroo Valley Adventure Company for a variety of healthy outdoor activities such as bushwalking, mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing and abseiling.
What makes a holiday in a Supercalla managed property family friendly?
We’re baby and kid friendly
We do our best to try to make things as easy as possible for parents by having useful equipment available. Having items like high chairs and cots means parents can travel lighter. We also provide cutlery for toddlers, toys, books and games.
Each property is equipped with a microwave for warming up baby meals and a dishwasher to help make sure everything is properly sterilised.
Kids are easily entertained
Our homes all have generous outdoor areas and if you’re lucky enough to secure a stay at Atra at Callala Beach and Shearwater, the beach is literally at your doorstep.
The larger properties have a separate playroom for the kids to make their own for the holiday. We provide SMART TV sets with easy access to Netflix as well as plenty of toys, games (expect a plethora of cards and classic school board games!), and beach equipment, so kids can amuse themselves and give overworked parents some rest. Handy information is at your fingertips
We appreciate that most families probably aren’t going to want to arrive at their holiday property with a week’s supply of food, so we let you know well in advance where the best places are to shop.
With enough notice, we can also coordinate for your food to be delivered to the door of your holiday home on the day of arrival so it’s in the fridge for when you arrive.
We know the best child-friendly places to eat and attractions nearby
Let’s face it, a holiday for families should be about getting away from it all and relaxing, so it’s likely guests will want to go out to eat at least one evening. We provide a digital compendium that includes information on any local cafes and restaurants that are particularly accommodating to babies and children.
Time for a bath!
We recognise that having a bath in a holiday property can be a godsend for parents of small children, so most of our properties include a full size bath and baby baths are available on request.
Our homes are meticulously maintained and fully equipped so parents can book with confidence knowing their stay will be easy and stress free. Guests often comment that a stay with Supercalla is unlike any other and they instantly feel like they have stepped into their home away from home
Dog friendly holiday rentals
Australians have one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world and for many families a holiday is not complete without being able to take their dog with them. We have three properties on the NSW south coast that are dog friendly;
- Bay Keepers
What's the difference between a holiday rental and a luxury holiday home?
Luxury accomodation that is perfect for families
If you have never rented a holiday home before it can be a little daunting choosing the right house to stay in. These days you can find properties on Airbnb, Booking.com, Stayz and other booking platforms with thousands of rental accommodation choices available.
Although, there is a difference.
Obviously the very first thing you will notice is the price and how the property lookss. There are lots of holiday home rentals that are simply someone’s home where they are not currently staying. So things don’t match, aren’t new and it feels a bit like staying at your grandmother’s house.
Supercalla Private Properties has a carefully chosen selection of houses which are the absolute opposite of this. For a family renting one of our properties we want them to feel like it is their home, we exist to make sure you enjoy a holiday that is comfortable and a luxurious escape from the day to day grind. From the linen sheets, the luxury Appelles toiletries, the guest hamper you received or our signature Supercalla Gin and tonic that awaits you for your arrival.
We pay attention to every detail, we are doyens of hospitality and that is what makes the difference.
Why is renting a holiday house in NSW a good idea in 2022?
Renting a holiday house is safe for a family
One of the big considerations for families thinking about going on holidays in 2022 will be where is it safe to go. With the constant threat of border closures or needing to quarantine as the health of our society ebbs and flows it becomes a dilemma when it comes to choosing a location.
For people living in New South Wales, the South Coast becomes one of the top destinations to travel to in 2022 because of the abundance of wide open spaces available that makes it one of the safest locations to visit with a family.
Consider the options:
- Getting a motorhome means you can keep to yourselves, but then have to share space in a holiday park where other people are coming and going, maybe even shared toilets or showers.
- Renting a room in a hotel means you are sharing facilities with other people including stairs, lifts & dining areas.
- Booking a unit or studio on Airbnb could mean you are sharing common facilities and spaces in a building block or other common areas like stairs etc.
All of these holiday options pose potential health risks. Although, by renting a holiday house you can avoid all of these issues because you will have exclusive use of the property with plenty of space for people to enjoy themselves and most importantly it is the best way to enjoy a holiday while keeping safe compared to the alternatives.
Our team also practices the highest levels of accommodation cleaning by taking the following precautions:
- Wearing protective gear while cleaning. We use disposable gloves, aprons and facial coverings.
- Ventilate rooms before cleaning. We open doors and windows while using ventilating fans to increase air circulation in the space before beginning to clean and disinfect.
- Washing hands thoroughly before and after each clean. We make sure to use soap and water, washing for at least 20 seconds.
- Clean, then disinfect. We use detergent or soap and water to remove dirt, grease, dust, and germs. Once the surface is clean, we spray with a disinfectant. We let it stand for a few minutes, then wipe. We will always use a new cleaning cloth for each new guest.
- Avoid touching face while cleaning. We prevent the spread of germs by not touching our face, nose, and eyes with unwashed hands.
- Use the right disinfectant. Most common household disinfectants registered by the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as cleaning solutions with diluted household bleach or at least 70% alcohol, are believed to be effective against the coronavirus. We pay special attention to frequently touched surfaces, like light switches, doorknobs, remote controls, and faucet handles.
- We don’t forget about sofas, rugs, curtains and other soft, porous surfaces. We carefully remove any visible dirt or grime, then clean with the appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. If possible, we will machine-wash items according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Wash all linens at the highest heat setting recommended by the manufacturer. This includes bed sheets, mattress covers, hand and bath towels, kitchen towels, and blankets. We will always wear gloves when handling dirty laundry, and take care to avoid shaking laundry, which could increase the spread of germs.
- Clean and disinfect laundry baskets and hampers.
- Empty the vacuum cleaner after every cleaning. We wipe down the vacuum cleaner with disinfectant, along with appliances like the dishwasher and washing machine.
- Dispose of cleaning supplies. Paper towels, disinfectant wipes, and other disposable cleaning supplies are disposed of.
How can you travel to the South Coast in NSW?
There are many options available to get to the south coast
Getting a family to the South Coast of NSW is really easy, it is less than two hours drive from Sydney, about four hours from Melbourne or around two hours from Canberra. Obviously most people will drive their own car, but renting a vehicle is also an option, the roads are safe, wide and there isn’t much traffic.
You can catch a plane to Shellharbour Airport & then get local transport, although hiring a car or SUV after you land will be your best bet so that you can enjoy some of the locations in the area. If you are planning on just spending time in the holiday home we can organise transfers for you.
You can drive your boat down to Jervis Bay if you have a vessel that can be taken on the open ocean. If you have a trailer boat it can be towed down and put in the water as there are mooring options at Huskinson or Jervis Bay Boat Storage with plenty of boat ramps located around the bay that can be used too.
There are boat transport companies who can also move your boat from another location if you don’t want to drive it or tow it. They can even put it in the water for you, ready to use as you need it.
If you are thinking about treating the family (or a loved one) then you can create the ultimate luxury experience and get a helicopter transfer down to Wollongong which takes as little as 25 minutes to get down there. It’s the ultimate way to maximise your holiday time.
What is the best place to go for a weekend in NSW
A family holiday for a weekend
For many families in 2022 they will be juggling university, school, full time work and most likely a mix of working or schooling from home. It will mean families are under each other’s noses more than ever before.
So while it may not be possible to take an extended holiday during the year for a week or so, you might be trying to figure out what is the best place to go just for a weekend with the NSW South Coast one of the best choices considering its close proximity to Sydney.
You could take a day off on Friday & if you left early in the morning you’d arrive by morning tea time to create a really laid back long weekend. We offer late check out options which means you can stay until late Sunday and make it home with plenty of time to kick off the week on Monday.
A weekend getaway in southern New South Wales is easily to achieve while giving you plenty of time to relax and enjoy yourself. So many people think about Byron Bay, Port Macquarie or Taree but they are between four and eight hours hours drive away thus taking up too much time from a weekend.
What is the best time to visit?
The NSW South Coast enjoys a lovely climate, year round.
Summer is perfect with plenty of sunshine and limited humidity.
Winter is mild with highs of 18-20 °C and lows of around 10 °C
Average summer temperatures hover around 27 °C with lows closer to 15 °C making it a great location to visit any time of year. With the ocean and hinterland so close to each other you can enjoy either location whether that is cosy log fires in winter or fresh ocean breezes on a lazy summer afternoon.
School holiday 2022 dates are;
Autumn: Friday 8th April – Monday 25th April
Winter: Friday 1st July – Sunday 17th July
Spring: Friday 23rd September – Sunday 9th October