The Shellharbour region bridges lush hinterland with the dramatic southern coastline of New South Wales. World-class surf breaks and magnificent national park lands draw families to this holiday spot all year round.
In summer, the beaches are buzzing with surfers, stand up paddle boarders, sunbathers and swimmers. Shellharbour North Beach is the most popular spot in the region for a swim. Patrolled during the summer months, the conditions are usually great for swimming and boogey-boarding.
Shellharbour Village boasts an ocean-front strip of outdoor cafes, restaurants and bars. There are no shortage of family-friendly places to grab a bite to eat or an afternoon ice-cream on a hot day.
You’ll also catch plenty of weekend markets where you can snap up some fresh South Coast produce. Keep an eye out for locally produced wine and small goods like chutneys, jams and preserves.
During the cooler months, outdoorsy types hit the trails in Killalea, Bass Point Reserve and Albion Park. Visit Macquarie Pass National Park to take on the Cascades rainforest walk. The 2km waterfall trail is an easy walk for little legs but older kids might enjoy the more challenging Clover Hill trail. The 6km return walk to Rainbow Falls winds through lush open fields and thick forested areas.
Throw down a blanket at Cascades picnic area and refuel after exploring the rainforest. After lunch, head to nearby Albion Park to discover the train and aviation museums. Ride the old steam train, climb aboard military aircraft or take a scenic flight over the South Coast region.
I was blessed with parents who really saw the value in travel. After our first family trip abroad to Thailand, I became obsessed. I was hungry for anything new and different. I yearned to be in the middle of a city on the other side of the world with a suitcase in one hand and google maps in the other, stumbling around trying to figure out where I was going; literally and spiritually.