Trip To Jervis Bay: Or, the Time We Saw Sand Whiter Than in Florida

Jervis Bay, national parks, Sydney Weekend trips
Draw a circle around Sydney for places that one could reasonably drive to for a weekend escape, and the possibilities are daunting. We toyed with visiting places with names like Kangaroo Valley, Shoalhaven, and the Aboriginal equivalent of Beautiful Vista or somesuch. We were eventually won over by a dot on the map called Jervis Bay, which promised both a coastal drive and a beautiful, quiet beach. What a fortuitous choice that dot turned out to be.


The drive to Jervis Bay took about three hours, perhaps longer than necessary because we detoured off Highway 1 in favor of the prettier Pacific Coast Drive.


Upon checking into our hotel, we were greeted by our hotelier who offered us a 30 minute, fully rehearsed, lecture on all that Jervis Bay has to offer. I mean all… Five minutes were dedicated to the local Bi-Lo grocery (which is the largest Bi-Lo in the area and was once open 24-hours, but now only 7 – 10, and attracts residents from miles away, drawing record queues …). My partner in fact, spent considerable effort for the rest of the trip quizzing unsuspecting Bi-Lo employees about whether these facts about the awesomeness of their place of employment were, indeed, true.


Besides the discursive field trips on grocery stores and other titillating topics, our august host did provide us with some useful information, such as the suggestion to eat dinner at the delicious Stonegrill, where to find kangaroos, and which beaches offer the most stunning views (or, as he said, most people can only say two things at Jervis Bay. One begins with an F. The other begins with an S. Both have 4 letters.).


On our first night, we set out to see Hyams Beach, which we were instructed, is honored with the title of Whitest Sand in the World. We did mention that we came from Florida, where we had very white beaches, which was met with considerable consternation and gnashing of teeth from our proud hotelier. We had, rest assured, come to a beach whiter than ours. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my spectrometer, but I can attest that the sand did look rather white. Even more striking was the clarity of the water and the postcard-worthy Pacific Blue hue. We were appropriately awed.


After the beach, we did what any good American tourists do, and set off in search of the mythical kangaroo. We spied some lallygagging on an open field and careened off onto a dirt road to get a closer look. We ended up in the courtyard of a rental property, where the proprietor and his golden lab curiously came out to enquire about our presence. As is the way with Australians, this was not a suspicious or angry confrontation, but a jovial tete-a-tete in which he told us all about his rental properties in the area, the habits of kangaroos, and where we might go to rent bikes and kayaks to enhance our enjoyment of the Bay. Australians, in general, are exceedingly outgoing and genuine.

Oz 006b

We spent the next day at Booderee National Park. It is a little park, in comparison to the expansive Western ones we’ve come to love in the States, but still grand in scope of experience. The best spots we found included the beautiful Murray’s Beach. Again, postcard material. I had a swim in the opalescent water until I got a bit spooked by a nearby jellyfish the size of a dinner plate.


We were surprised to be the only people at the lighthouse, which offered the most breathtaking views yet seen in Australia. We often compare our sightseeing to how it measures up to our “Perfect 10,” Glacier Park, and this was certainly a solid 9.5 view, complete with the dramatic cliffs, crashing waves, and nearly-neon blue water. We expect to come back later in the year to see whales, on their migratory route, from this spot.jervisbay5

At dusk, we visited Green Patch Beach, on the lookout for the holy grail of tourist sightseeing, kangaroos frolicking in the water. We did see kangaroos (actually, there was some discussion by passing parents and children as to the kangarooness vs. wallabieness of the animals, and we Americans are certainly not qualified to weigh in), but alas, they only frolicked on land. There were also parrots and a number of other birds. The scenery was nothing to complain about:


Our final day included a stop at the curious Moona Moona Creek, which doubled as a dog park, family beach, and volcanic rock formation spectacular.


We rented bikes for a quick tool around the town of Huskisson, which hosts a friendly bike trail, and concluded with the determination that we must invest in our own bikes and camping gear for more Australian excursions. We got the feeling that we’d “discovered” the wonder of Jervis Bay, and will certainly be back for more exploration of this dazzling nook.