15 things to do in St George’s Basin (Australia)

This lake and eponymous village on the coast of Shoalhaven is a huge natural playground for a variety of outdoor activities, from stand-up paddle boarding to horseback riding.

St George’s Basin also borders Jervis Bay and is beloved for its white sand beaches, pristine bushland and humpback whales swimming off the coast from May to November.

Over the course of the day, you can watch stingrays swim under your paddle board, take an Aboriginal bush tour, spot wallabies and kangaroos in the wild, barbecue under tall river mangrove gums, and enjoy snow-capped beaches Relax on.

1. St. George’s Basin

St. George's Basin

This 40-square-kilometer body of water is an inland lake or intermediate estuary fed by a creek.

Whatever you want to call it, St. George’s Basin is a delightful place, with large tracts of eucalyptus and swamp oaks along the shore.

There are small beaches in the park and a series of small resort communities along the northern coastline, while much of the southern and eastern coasts are protected by Booderee National Park.

On the water, rent a boat, kayak or paddleboard and head out to find quiet beaches, coves and creeks.

Recreational fishing is also a big deal in the St. George Basin, which is known for its giant dark flatheads as well as plenty of other estuarine sport fish.

2. Budley National Park

budray national park

Starting on the eastern shore of the St. Gerrogers Basin and advancing to the Tasman Sea on the Belleville Peninsula, it is one of the most beautiful national parks in the country.

By Australia’s high standards, this is saying something.

Powder-white beaches and sparkling turquoise waters, towering headlands perfect for whale watching and beautiful native bushland await you, home to jaw-dropping wildlife.

You can visit and learn about the land’s deep Koori Aboriginal culture, trace colonial relics, or bird watch, fish, hike, or just lie on the perfect beach.

Australia’s only Aboriginal-owned botanic garden, Booderee Botanic Gardens showcases the park’s amazing diversity and is the place to learn about the bush, medicinal plants and the Koori people’s long-standing association with the region.

3. Hyams Beach

Hyams Beach

Heading east from the basin, the first Tasman beach you’ll reach happens to be one of the best in the country.

Hyams Beach is famous for its powdery white sand, the grains of which are made of pure quartz.

Other than that, the sand is very fine and squeaks when you walk on it.

Snuggling up safely in Jervis Bay helps keep the waves relatively calm, which makes the turquoise waters rarerly clear, so remember to bring some snorkeling gear.

Although Hyams Beach has a rare and breathtaking view, it is attached to a small and undeveloped seaside community, and in the face of growing visitor numbers, Shoalhaven City Council is brainstorming to help preserve the beach.

4. Muna Muna Creek

Muna Muna Creek

This tidal creek winds its way through Jervis Bay National Park before reaching the Tasman Sea in the lovely town of Huskisson.

The entrance is flanked by two magnificent white sand beaches, Huskisson Beach (aka Muna Muna Beach) to the north and Sailors Cemetery Beach to the south.

At high tide, the creek is a stand-up paddleboard paradise, and you can glide through the crystal-clear waters to observe schools of fish and stingrays in perfect detail.

Protected by a sandbar, the lagoon-like entrance is a very safe place to swim, and the waters resemble a swimming pool.

Moona Moona Park is right next to the bridge, with a small sandy beach and shady grass in the view of the mouth of the creek.

When the tide is high, the bridge becomes an unofficial diving platform for local kids, contradicting the ‘no diving’ sign”

5. Colami Regional Park

Yellow Belly Glider

Head west from the small town of St. George’s Basin and you’ll soon find yourself in about 300 hectares of happy jungle, where the Bantendian Stream flows into the estuary.

Much of the Colami Regional Park is under the cover of swamp oak (casuarina) forests, interspersed with various eucalyptus trees such as mangrove gum.

You can get away from it all at the Wandandian Creek picnic area, where you can contemplate the lazy waters and observe the abundance of birds.

You may spot yellow-bellied gliders and glossy black cockatoos that frequent these woods.

If you can concentrate, you can follow a walking trail, such as the Delta Trail, for 1.5 kilometers along the foreshore of the creek.

6. Jervis Bay Maritime Museum

Jervis Bay Maritime Museum

Just 10 minutes from St. George’s Basin in Huskisson, you can immerse yourself in the rich marine history of Jervis Bay.

There is a wealth of information here about the region’s Aboriginal populations, their lifestyles and customs throughout thousands of years of pre-European history, as well as the ups and downs of postcolonial marginalization and Aboriginal land rights movements.

There are fascinating accounts and artifacts from the many shipwrecks on the dangerous south coast, and you’ll learn about the inner tracks of the abandoned 19th-century lighthouse at St. George’s Point.

Undoubtedly the star of the show is the Lady Denman Ferry, built in 1911 just a short walk from the Maritime Museum and now restored to its 1960s heyday as part of the Sydney Harbour ferry fleet.

7. Paradise Beach Reserve

Paradise Beach Reserve

At Sanctuary Point, a small parcel of land juts into the St. George Basin.

This is home to a quiet residential area filled with holiday accommodation and amenities such as parks, restaurants and the Jervis Bay Golf Club.

On the west side of Sanctuary Point, which stretches along the bay, sits one of the finest parks in St. George’s Basin.

On the one hand, Paradise Beach Reserve faces west and offers stunning views from the walkway at sunset.

There is a children’s playground, shade BBQ and picnic facilities, toilets and outdoor fitness equipment for adults.

The calm waters of the basin, combined with the fact that the bay remains shallow for long distances, make it an ideal place for little ones to frolic.

8. Bicycles in the Basin

ride a bicycle

A newly planned network of cycle paths stretches from Sanctuary Point to the beaches of Jervis Bay.

So you couldn’t have chosen a better time to explore St George’s Basin, the tranquil bushland behind and the magnificence of the Shoalhaven coast on two wheels.

Basin’s bikes are right here at Sanctuary Point, and in addition to selling new bikes and doing repairs, there are a variety of models for adults and kids to rent.

From here you can glide along quiet local roads or find out where one of the off-road tracks will take you.

9. Sussex Bay Marine Centre

Fishing in St George's Basin

Between the southern side of St George’s Basin and the Tasman Sea coast lies Sussex Bay, with a charming island town on the west coast.

Now, if you are planning any type of water activity in St George’s Basin, the Sussex Bay Marine Centre is a great choice.

You can rent 12 jet skis (no license required), as well as tackle and lures, canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards.

All jet skis come with petrol, life jackets and paddles, and you can rent a canopy for a small additional fee.

For fun on land, the center also rents out bicycles and scooters.

10. Cave Beach

Cave Beach in Budri National Park

This place of extraordinary natural beauty is located in Booderee National Park, facing the Tasman Sea.

Cave Beach, named for the caves in the rocks at the western end, is a much-loved surf beach that sits on a very shallow slope, leaving a large expanse of ankle-high water for strolling.

You’ll see kangaroos and wallabies in the wild, hop to the waterfront, and if you want to spend the night, you can make the most of one of Australia’s best secluded beach camping areas.

It is located among the tea trees along the coast and has wood and gas BBQ facilities, toilets, fresh water and showers.

11. Whale Watching

Humpback whale, Jervis Bay

From mid-May to mid-November, humpback whales can be seen on an epic migration in Jervis Bay.

They leave their feeding grounds in Antarctic waters, head to warm tropical climates for mating and calving (humpback whales have an 11-month gestation period), and return with their newborns.

There are plenty of places east of St. George’s Basin where you can scan the ocean with your binoculars, looking for whales breaking through, or mist coming out of blowholes.

Humpback whales are curious and known for their acrobatics, despite their size (up to 30 tons), so if you opt for a boat trip, chances are you’ll have an unforgettable experience.

On the travel platform GetYourGuide.com, a 2-hour whale watching cruise requires an in-depth understanding of the species and the background of Jervis Bay.

You’ll also see crystal clear blue waters, the 100m cliffs at Point Perpendicular and some of the whitest sands you’ll ever see.

12. Husky Ferry

Husky Ferry Private Charter

Another great Jervis Bay experience is to catch this weekend ferry service across Currambene Creek before entering the bay.

The service runs between Huskisson Wharf on the south side and Meora on the north side, with departures from Huskisson Wharf hourly from Huskisson and hourly from Meora.

Since there are no bridges down the creek, the ferry can help you avoid long drives.

But it’s also a great way to take in the views of Jervis Bay, and you’ll have a good chance of spotting dolphins or seals.

The operator also arranges private charters and some cruises, including sunset cruises with commentary and bring your own wine and cheese.

13. Valhalla Horseback Riding

Valhalla horseback riding

For over 30 years, this local business has been leading horseback rides into the tranquil bushland of Shoalhaven inland.

Located on over 100 acres of picturesque native bushland on Currambene Creek, this Appaloosa stallion has over 30 horses for every level of skill and experience.

There are a variety of packages to choose from, but for beginners, the best option is a 1-hour ride with a friendly and experienced guide.

If there are smaller clan members in your area, the kids will love the pony rides.

14. Tomerong Market

Tomerong Market

Check the calendar because if you’re in the area on the third Saturday of every month, you can head to Tomerong for a lively community market.

This happened in the halls of the Tomerong School of Art, but also spread into the nearby United Church yard.

On average, more than 50 stalls trade every day, from seasonal fruits and vegetables to gourmet food made on-site, gourmet coffee, flowers, plants, and a variety of handicrafts and upcycled goods.

15. St. George’s Point Lighthouse

St. George's Point Lighthouse

A visit to Booderee National Park takes you to this abandoned lighthouse on the cliffs near the south entrance to Jervis Bay.

The lamp was constructed from Sydney sandstone in 1860 and was replaced at Point Perpendicular in the 1890s.

To avoid the chaos of the day, the tower was demolished in the early 20th century, and the now heritage-listed ruins are affixed with interpretive signs that reveal the building’s past and the lives of its guardians.

To say that the St. George’s Point Lighthouse had a sad story would be an understatement: Between 1867 and 1887, five of the lighthouse keeper’s children died here for a variety of reasons, including illness, cliff falls, horse kicks and accidental shootings.

In 1895, a breeder’s assistant was dragged away by a shark while fishing.

From June to July and September to November, you can watch the migration of humpback whales from the cliffs.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in St George’s Basin, Australia
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