If you are thinking about booking a family holiday to visit a gorgeous location in New South Wales then why not head off on a road trip adventure to one of the most pristine and unspoilt areas of Australia; the Shoalhaven region. Perfectly situated 150 km from Sydney, 200 km from Canberra or 350 km from Melbourne, Shoalhaven is fast becoming a favourite spot for many Aussie families to visit for a holiday.
From the crystal clear waters and azure coastline of Jervis Bay, to the quaint and characterful Berry and the majestic rainforests and waterfalls of Kangaroo Valley – the Shoalhaven and south coast is one of the most varied and beautiful places in the state.
In addition to being naturally stunning, there’s so much for the entire family to do. Whether you’re on a multi-generational trip with your extended family, or travelling with young children or teens, there’s something to keep everyone happy.
We’ve rounded up some of our favourite family-friendly activities in three of the most popular Shoalhaven destinations to make planning your Easter escape a piece of (chocolate) cake.
- Jervis Bay
- Berry and Surrounds
- Kangaroo Valley
Perfect if you love:
- 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. You’ll find some of Australia’s best beaches right here, including Hyam’s Beach, renowned for the softest, whitest sand in the world. Enjoy the pristine coastline, laid-back seaside charm, incredible marine experiences and stunning national parks.
Family-friendly things to do in Jervis Bay
1. Explore the Wildhood of Whimsy
Are your kids tired of being cooped up in the same four walls day in and day out? Do your kids yearn for a change of scenery, a chance to breathe in the fresh air and let their creative juices flow? Look no further, because we’ve got just the thing to help you and your children ease into the “new normal”!
Wildhood of Whimsey offers exciting, one-of-a-kind outdoor workshops, designed to inspire creativity and promote a sense of calm in your little ones. Led by experienced instructors, these workshops are the perfect opportunity for your primary school aged children to discover the wonders of the natural environment, all while having fun and making new friends.
With various locations around the beautiful Shoalhaven, each workshop offers a unique experience that will leave your children feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
2. Kid-friendly swimming
There are plenty of kid-friendly swimming spots in Jervis Bay, thanks to the protected bays and calm waters. Moona Moona Creek in Huskisson is a family favourite for little ones, and the bigger kids can also have fun jumping off the bridge. Orions Beach in Vincentia is another popular spot, famous for its calm waters and exclusive enclaves – ideal for a day of picnicking and splashing about.
4. 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. Another popular choice is the Granite Falls Walking Track in Morton National Park, which offers beautiful scenery and lots of options for shorter bushwalks.
5. 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. You can pre-book unique wildlife experiences such as feeding a meerkat, monkey or lion and you can even cuddle a koala if you’re lucky!
6. 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. Kids of all ages can test their skills on six long courses with more than 70 challenges and adrenaline-pumping flying foxes.
7. Get on Board an Eco Cruise
From the dolphin cruise to whale viewing excursion, and everything in between, Jervis Bay Wild provides a variety of wildlife-focused boat tours. Take the family out on the water and make some memories you’ll all cherish forever.
8. Climb new heights
If you really want to get the adrenaline pumping, check out Outdoor Raw for a selection of adventure activities including rock climbing and their signature “cliffnics” (AKA a picnic on a cliff!)
9. Indoor fun
If you do get a bit of rain whilst on holiday, there are plenty of wet weather things to do too. The Huskisson Pictures (also known as the Husky Pictures) is a fantastic place to catch a movie, or head to Nowra for a spot of 10-pin bowling.
If you have little aeroplane fans, a visit to the Fleet Air Arm Museum is another fun indoor activity. The museum spans two storeys and features a flying simulator, many aircraft displays, a theatre and an airfield viewing platform. At the nearby Jervis Bay Maritime Museum kids can explore the Lady Denham Boat or feed the fish in a huge tidal fish enclosure.
BOOK YOUR HOLIDAY TODAY
Our Jervis Bay holiday rental properties:
Berry, Nowra and Mayfield
Perfect if you love:
- Country charm and local characters
- Pottering around local shops
- Sweet treats
- Boutique wineries
Berry is a super-popular getaway for families, with rolling hills, country charm and a wonderful selection of boutique wineries, shops, cafes and restaurants. Get ready for a relaxing countryside escape with heaps of things to keep the family entertained.
Family-friendly things to do in Berry and surrounds
1. 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 is famous for its cinnamon doughnuts but also offers a selection of savoury treats and coffees. Their doughnuts are made 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.
2. High tea at Merribee Gardens
Treat your family to a delightful high tea experience during school holidays at Merribee Gardens. Enjoy a scrumptious spread of sweet treats and savoury delights, including old-fashioned scones, lemon meringue pie, sausage rolls and ribbon tea sandwiches. Served with a glass of bubbly for the grown-ups and tea or coffee for the kids, all in the picturesque Mayfield Cottage overlooking the Lavender Paddock and Heritage Rose Garden. Book now for a day of pure joy!
3. Shop Local at the Berry Farmers Market
The Berry Farmers’ Market takes place every Thursday afternoon and shines a light on the regional growers, producers and makers. The perfect place to stock up for a special holiday dinner or picnic, you’ll find fresh seafood, locally farmed beef, eggs, milk, honey, gelato made with local milk, wine, cider, fresh vegetables and a range of fresh cakes and tarts at the weekly markets.
4. 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!
5. Catch the sea breeze at Seven Mile Beach
In between Gerroa and Shoalhaven Heads is Seven Mile Beach. Famous for its golden sands that stretch on for miles, this famous location is the perfect spot to catch the sea breeze while staying in Berry. For an extra special experience, you can do a horse riding tour along the beach with Regal Riding School.
6. Indulge in sweet treats
The Treat Factory & Dairy Bar in Berry is a must-do 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 – you’re on holiday after all!
7. Boongaree Nature Play Park
Looking for a great way to spend your school holiday? Look no further than the Boongaree precinct! This amazing playground is perfect for kids of all ages and abilities, with plenty of nature and sensory play options, a flying fox, bridges, tunnels, sand and water play areas, climbing nets, and accessible equipment. There’s even an exercise zone for adults!
Adjacent to the playground is a Learn to Ride area that’s perfect for young riders. And that’s not all – the Boongaree precinct also features a brand-new Skate Park and Pump Track, as well as netball courts and cricket nets. And if that’s not enough, upgrades to the existing sporting fields and facilities, a Reconciliation Garden, and a dog off-leash area are all planned for future stages.
With so much to see and do, the Boongaree precinct is the perfect destination for your next school holiday adventure!
BOOK YOUR ESCAPE TODAY
Our holiday rental properties near Berry:
Perfect if you love:
- Waterfalls and rivers
- Rolling countryside
- Delicious food and wine
The stunning Kangaroo Valley combines rolling farmland and stunning cliffs, punctuated by the powerful Kangaroo River. Quaint historic buildings and restored weatherboard cottages pepper the main street, and whatever direction you turn, you’ll find a breathtaking natural landscape to take in.
Family-friendly things to do in Kangaroo Valley
1. Check out ‘SWEET AS’ sweet shop
Sweet As Kangaroo Valley specialises in cult confectionery, gelato, chocolate, fudge and other goodies. Operating for more than 20 years, this spot has been a family favourite for generations.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Kangaroo Valley Fudge House
A trip to the Kangaroo Valley Fudge House is a must for all families holidaying in Kangaroo Valley. The multi-award-winning fudge, which is handmade the traditional way, is the best you’ll ever eat. Be sure to take a box home as a memento of your trip.
5. 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.
BOOK YOUR ESCAPE TODAY
Our holiday rental properties in Kangaroo Valley:
Our holiday rental homes are designed with families in mind
- Holiday homes are equipped with high chairs, cots and cutlery for toddlers so you can pack light.
- All homes are equipped with a microwave for warming up baby meals and a dishwasher to help make sure everything is properly sterilised.
- Most of our larger properties have separate playrooms for kids.
- All homes have 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 like where to shop and even the option to order food in advance and have it delivered to your door.
- Recommendations for the best child-friendly places to eat and attractions nearby.
- Most properties include a full-size bath, and baby baths are available on request.
- We love fur babies too and have a selection of dog-friendly rentals; Luna, Minerva and Bay Keepers, Villa Salina and Bethany Beach House