Jervis Bay

Ultimate guide to things to do in Jervis Bay with kids

A vibrant beach culture, rich Aboriginal history, an array of adventure activities, and the whitest sand in the world. This South Coast gem sits in the Shoalhaven region of NSW and is famed as a family friendly destination.

Not only is it home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia, Jervis Bay is also brimming with wildlife hotspots, adventure trails and a variety of accommodation. Learn to surf, chill out on the beach or hire a bike and cycle around St Georges Basin and Vincentia.

When Jervis Bay National Park was handed back to its rightful Aboriginal owners, it was renamed Booderee – the bay of plenty. It’s owned by the Koori people, and their ancestry reflected in the wind and water. It is the home and spirit of the Wreck Bay Aboriginal people. The Beecroft Peninsula, Jervis Bay’s northern headland, is the location of many highly significant Aboriginal sites.

Shoalhaven NSW
Whale watching at Jervis Bay, Huskisson. Photo: Destination NSW

If you’re up for a whale watching cruise, migration season is from June to July and September to October. Dolphins can be spotted year round.

Make sure to check out the renowned Hyams Beach. The Guinness Book of Records has it named it home to the whitest sand in the world. 

For the history bums, head to the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum in Huskisson. It’s great fun exploring the Lady Denman, an old Sydney Harbour passenger ship that was in service for nearly 70 years. The museum boasts a lovely waterfront location, with native gardens, historic buildings and a mangrove boardwalk. It’s worth heading there on the first Saturday of the month to check out the arts, crafts and produce markets.

Pitch a tent in Booderee National Park, where you’ll find three family-friendly campgrounds. From there, it’s super easy to access nearby surf beaches, scenic picnic areas, bushwalking trails and a magnificent bay.

Top things to do in Jervis Bay

There’s always plenty to do in Jervis. Here are a few of our faves’.

  1. Spot dolphins on a cruise or in a sea kayak.
  2. Watch the sunset from Point Perpendicular Lighthouse.
  3. Check out the whitest sand in the world at Hyams Beach.
  4. Learn about the traditional Aboriginal people in Booderee Botanic Gardens.
  5. Hire a boat and go sailing in St Georges basin.
  6. Have a BBQ at Greenfield Beach Picnic Area.
  7. Walk the White Sands and Scribbly Gum tracks.
  8. Go on a whale watching cruise during migration season.
  9. See shipwrecks and historical vessels at the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum.
  10. Catch a movie at the quaint Huskisson Pictures.

Things to do in Jervis Bay with...

Diving Jervis Bay

Best time to visit Jervis Bay as a family

The weather in Jervis Bay is fairly pleasant all year around. Summer and winter bring hot and cold spikes, with the warmest temperatures occurring between December to March. The coldest months are June to August. You will need to rug up, evenings and early mornings can get pretty cool. 

Gorgeous beaches and fantastic whale watching opportunities, in under three hours drive from Sydney. Jervis is an extremely popular destination year round. This does include NSW school holidays and long weekends, so be sure to book well in advance.

Prime whale watching times are June to July, and from September to late October. For good weather, prices and smaller crowds, the September to October shoulder season is a great time to visit. If you’re on a budget, head to Jervis during winter. Holidaying outside of school holidays means less crowding and less spending.

Jervis Bay kangaroo
Kangaroo by the beach in Jervis Bay. Picture: Destination NSW

Family-friendly places to eat in Jervis Bay

After all that swimming and exploring, you’re bound to have worked up an appetite in Jervis Bay. But with funky cafes, family friendly pubs and a thriving food culture, you’re sure to find something that will hit the spot. Given Jervis Bay is home to so much fresh seafood and produce, you can also guarantee it will be tremendously tasty.  

Jervis Bay is a gateway to Australia’s oyster coast. Greenwell Point is home to several oyster farms, where you can enjoy freshly shucked oysters straight from the farm. Be sure to check out Jim Wild’s Oyster Service. Whilst molluscs may not appeal to younger palates, the World Famous Fish N Chips in Huskisson certainly will.  

Head to Hyams Beach Store and Café for the ultimate milkshake and burger. It’s also worth stopping by Tuscany Wood Fired Pizza, for a kids menu that’ll make the adults jealous. Make sure to save room for a Nutella Dessert Pizza.

Australia camping
The basin at Jervis Bay is great for kids to explore. Picture: Alison Godfrey

Things to do for free in Jervis Bay

  • Sandcastles, swimming, surf and sunshine: spend hours doing absolutely nothing on one of Jervis Bay’s glorious beaches. Be sure to check out Murrays, Greenfields, Hyams, Nelsons and Chinamans Beach.
  • Venture down scenic walking trails into the depths of Booderee National Park, where you’ll stumble across secret waterholes and ruins. See if you can find the gorgeous Green Patch swimming spots, or the old Cape St George Lighthouse, perched on the Booderee cliffs. There’s a small fee to enter, but it’s well worth the experience. 
  • Follow the light White Sands Walk along stretches of dazzling coastline. Start at the Greenfield Beach picnic area, and finish at Hyams for a well needed picnic-lunch. It’s worth driving to Point Perpendicular for an incredible sunset that falls on the lighthouse and sea.
What’s on?

The best annual events for families in Jervis Bay

December/January - Huskisson Carnival

The Huskisson Carnival is an annual event running from Boxing Day through to Australia Day. Every night, kids can enjoy retro roller skating, rides, inflatables, slides and more.

January – Kids Day Out

This annual family day is held in the nearby town of Nowra during the races, with all kids activities entirely free. Join in the fun with jumping castles, miniature train rides, live entertainment and a farmyard nursery.

February - Shimano Ultimate Husky Triathlon Festival

One of Australia's most loved Long Triathlon events, this action-packed program includes Sprint and Enticer distance triathlons, an Ocean Swim, Fun Runs and a kids triathlon.

April - The White Sands Festival

This market boasts over 100 stalls, all day entertainment, vintage and hot rod car exhibits as well as a parade including an amassed Scottish Band, marching groups and floats.

May/June – SeeChange Festival

This colourful festival celebrates all things creative including the wonderful food of the area, Indigenous culture, art, theatre and music.

October - The Shoalhaven River Festival

This fun community event offers something for everyone with a street parade, Artzone, entertainment, a colour run and dragon boat races, and wakeboarding demos.

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