While summer may be the peak season for beachgoers and sun-seekers, winter unveils a different kind of beauty in this coastal paradise. This year, embrace the slow season in Shoalhaven. Fewer tourists and cooler temperatures offer a unique opportunity to explore and indulge in the region’s many spectacular experiences you’re unlikely to forget.

We’ve curated our top 7 spectacular activities to tick off during winter in Shoalhaven: 

1. Blissful Beaches

Winter in Shoalhaven transforms the pristine beaches into serene sanctuaries. With fewer tourists, you can enjoy long walks along the sandy shores without the crowds. The crisp air and crashing waves create a mesmerising backdrop for reflection and relaxation. 

Our first holiday home and the inspiration behind Supercalla Private Properties, Minerva Cottage, is a 400 meter stroll away from the secluded haven of Orion’s Beach, a magical little spot at Vincentia that we frequent whenever we have time to stay. Before dusk, grab one of our blankets, a bottle of your favourite vino and some glasses, and enjoy sundowners against the backdrop of breathtaking sunsets on the beach. It’s an amazing spot, and doggo friendly too! 

Another beautiful place to unwind at sundown is the infamous Hyam’s Beach. If you find yourself in Jervis Bay, make sure to catch at least one sunset at this picturesque spot!

2. Catch Waves, Not Crowds

Grab your board and enjoy a surfing adventure. If you want to try your hand at riding waves for the first time or hone your skills, there’s nowhere better than the beautiful waters of the Shoalhaven. And with fewer surfers in the lineup during winter, it is the perfect time to take a lesson. Spend a day in the waves with Jervis Bay Surf School, Lands Edge Surf School or Gerringong Surf School. The water might be cooler, but swells generated by winter storms provide an exhilarating challenge for those seeking an adrenaline rush. 

For ladies wanting to learn or improve confidence in the surf and have a bit of fun with other women, Currarong Surf School offers a Women’s Group Lesson, every Sunday roughly 9.30am-11am (depending on tides) at Currarong Beach. Post surf, head down to Peels Coffee and Juice Bar, a South Coast hidden gem, and enjoy a coffee under the beautiful banksia tree overlooking Peel’s Reef. This fab beachside vintage caravan also sells oysters and grazing plates in the afternoons. 

3. Cafe Culture

With fewer tourists in town, winter in Shoalhaven brings shorter wait times and a relaxed atmosphere to Shoalhaven’s bustling cafes. Start your day with a leisurely brunch at 5 Little Pigs at Huskisson, a charming café known for its artisanal coffee and delectable breakfast menu. Take your time savouring each sip and bite, soaking in the laid-back vibe of winter in Shoalhaven. If you’re staying in Berry, Il Locale offers quality coffee and a beautiful sunny courtyard. The menu is designed to include everything you love to eat when you go out—good food that makes you happy. New this season, an airstream pizza van will be out front every Wednesday night –  a perfect addition for those cosy winter evenings. 

For those in Kangaroo Valley, get your caffeine fix at The General Cafe and don’t skip on breakfast. Food offerings change regularly, based on the best produce available – avocado, tomato, fresh cheese and rye, free range scrambled eggs with a delicious and of course, Mrs Bread’s organic sourdough bread, baked onsite daily.

4. Winter Events at Local Pubs & Breweries

There is always something fun on offer at the local pubs within the Shoalhaven region, and winter is no exception. 

Embark on a mystical journey and dress up (Think Pagan, think Druid’s, think fire worship!) for the Winter Solstice Festival at Jervis Bay Brewery on Saturday 15 June, 2024. Celebrate the enchantment of the season and the allure of darkness. Immerse yourself in an evening of magic with an eclectic lineup of entertainment, prizes for best dressed, circus play, whimsical face painting, and live fire twirling. Get tickets. 

Sample brews and beverages from all over New South Wales, all served directly by the brewers themselves at the Beer & BBQ Festival hosted by Huskisson Hotel, Saturday 22 June 12pm-8pm. Bring a picnic rug and enjoy a family day out with live music, smokers cooking up mouthwatering BBQ, and even a Husky Hot Wing Challenge for the daring. Find out more.

5. Warm Up at Wineries

The Shoalhaven Wine Region comes alive during the cooler months – The air is crisp, the vineyards are bathed in golden hues, and the crowds are gone. Spend a leisurely afternoon warming up with award-winning wines at boutique cellar doors, accompanied by hearty cheese platters and panoramic views of the rolling countryside at Coolangatta Estate, Mountain Ridge Wines, Crooked River Winery, Silos Estate and Two Figs Winery, to name a few.

For a great and easy way to explore the region’s wineries, book a wine tour with a local company. Wine Knot Tours, Kenny Escapes Food & Wine Tours and Shoalhaven Shuttle Wine Tours offer a range of itineraries to suit different groups, and of course provide a designated driver for the day. 

Transport Tip: Taxi services are extremely limited within Gerringong and surrounds. If you are looking to visit one of the wineries for lunch without touring others, be sure to book in advance with a Craig from Maxicart – a local transport service who can seat up to 11 people. Pre-booking is essential. 0413325411 OR 0411447971. 

6. Have A Whale of a Time

Image Credit: WoeBeGone

Winter marks the migration season for majestic whales along the South Coast, offering a unique opportunity to witness these gentle giants in their natural habitat. For a truly unforgettable experience, join a dolphin or whale watching tour. It is a fantastic way to experience the local wildlife along pristine white sandy beaches, towering cliffs and clear turquoise water. Jervis Bay Dolphin Watch Cruises operate at 10.30am or 1pm and run for 90 minutes. It is best to book tickets online and secure your seats in advance. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, the team at Woebegone Freedive offers the chance to swim with whales, dolphins and seals at Jervis Bay. WoeBeGone Whale Swims kick off on 15th June and run through to the end of October. These are available Monday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Peak times for whales are July & September, so secure a spot quickly once you’ve booked your South Coast stay. Explore our Jervis Bay properties. 

7. Fireside Bliss

Winter in Shoalhaven is all about warming up with red wine and fireplaces or fire pits. Whether you’re roasting marshmallows under the starlit sky or enjoying boardgames by a roaring indoor fireplace, winter in Shoalhaven invites you to embrace the simple pleasure of a crackling fire with great friends. 

Explore our luxury accommodations with firepits and/or a fireplace. 

The fireside bliss doesn’t need to stop at your holiday home. Embrace the cosy ambiance of winter at venues like Jervis Bay Brewery, where the crackling fire, craft brews and food trucks create the perfect setting for a catch up with friends.  Sit back and relax at Banagalay Shoalhaven’s outdoor terrace with a glass of wine by the fireplace or gather with friends by the firepit with one of their famous saltbush margaritas. Take a tour of Mountain Ridge Wines cellar door before settling down in front of the fireplace for a leisurely afternoon and delicious, hearty slow-cooked lamb.   

Winter in Shoalhaven truly offers a myriad of delights for those willing to embrace the slow season. From uncrowded beaches and thrilling surf to winery escapes and fireside bliss, the cooler months unveil a hidden charm and tranquility that beckon visitors to explore and indulge in the beauty of this coastal paradise. So pack your bags, don your cosiest jumper, and embark on a winter adventure in Shoalhaven, where relaxation and rejuvenation await around every corner.