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Mossman Gorge: A Magical Experience

Mossman Gorge, Queensland, Australia

Mossman Gorge: A Magical Experience

Located in the southern part of the World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park in Far North Queensland, Mossman Gorge is part of the traditional homeland of the indigenous Kuku Yalanji people.

Mossman Gorge was the highlight of our entire trip. It was serene, blissful, a bit, dare I say it, magical. 

Getting to Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge is around 80km north of Cairns and 5km from the nearest town of Mossman. It’s also about a 20 min drive from Port Douglas. It is easily reachable by car or as part of an organised tour.

There is a large car park at the Mossman Gorge Centre, which is the end of the road for commuting to the Gorge.

From the Mossman Gorge Centre, take the shuttle bus to the heart of the Gorge. No cars are permitted to drive past the Mossman Gorge Centre bar the official shuttle bus. You can walk, however it is a narrow road with no sidewalk and is also quite a long walk especially for kids. 

The shuttle bus service departs departs every 15 minutes, between 8am and 5.30pm daily.

Mossman Gorge Centre

Mossman Gorge, Queensland, Australia

Start your Mossman Gorge experience at the Mossman Gorge Centre. As well as being the place to buy shuttle bus tickets, the centre also houses an Indigenous art gallery, gift shop, cafe and restrooms. 

Mossman Gorge, Queensland, Australia

The staff at the Mossman Gorge Centre can help you organise your Gorge experience, including planning your route as well as booking you onto a Dreamtime Walk.

Mossman Gorge, Queensland, Australia

Indigenous culture

Visiting Mossman Gorge is a golden opportunity to experience the lives, culture and beliefs of the Australian Ingenious community, especially regarding their connection to the natural world. 

The Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk tour is an extremely popular way to learn about Kuku Yalanii culture. Guided by the local Indigenous people, the tour takes visitors along private tracks to visit culturally significant places. Ngadiku (Nar-di-gul) means stories and legends from a long time ago in local Kuku Yalanji language. 

The Dreamtime Gorge Walk welcomes visitors with a traditional ‘smoking’ ceremony that cleanses and wards off bad spirits. The walk then takes place, with the Indigenous guide demonstrating traditional plant use, bush food sources and sharing stories of the rainforest. The tour ends with a traditional bush tea and damper.

Dreamtime Gorge Walk Features (from the Mossman Gorge website):

Traditional smoking ceremony
Stories of the Kuku Yalanji culture and traditions
Experienced Indigenous guides
Intimate group tour (approx 15 guests)
Exclusive access to Kuku Yalanji land
Visit a sacred ceremony site
Soap & ochre paint making demonstration
Bush tea and damper
Free access to the Mossman Gorge shuttle bus
Duration: approx 1.5 hours
Departs: 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 3pm daily
Level/Grade of the walk: Easy – however please note the track is on uneven terrain, slippery when wet and has some inclination
Wheelchair accessibility: No

Mossman Gorge Walks

Mossman Gorge, Queensland, Australia

We decided to take our own adventures through the Gorge, along one of the shorter walking trails and spending most of our time at the main water hole. The tracks we selected were the Baral Marrjanga, which starts at the shuttle bus stop, and the Rex Creek bridge, which joins it. The walks combined took about 20 minutes. The information below on the different walks is from the Mossman Gorge website. 

Mossman Gorge, Queensland, Australia

Baral Marrjanga—270 m (5–10 mins) Grade: easy
Baral Marrjanga leads through the rainforest from the shuttle bus stop to a lookout with views of the Mossman River and the mountain ranges beyond. The track includes two sections of elevated boardwalk which pass through the lower rainforest canopy. The track is suitable for wheelchairs, strollers and the vision-impaired.

Lower river track—300 m (5–10 mins) Grade: moderate to easy
This track starts at the shuttle bus stop and winds along the Mossman River before joining Baral Marrjanga. Several small lookouts along the track provide views of the river. Although most of the lower river track is easy walking, the steps can be slippery. Please take care and use the handrails provided.

Mossman Gorge, Queensland, Australia

Rex Creek bridge—460 m (10 mins) Grade: moderate to easy
To reach the Rex Creek suspension bridge, follow Baral Marrjanga to the lookout and take the short, sign-posted track to the left.

Rainforest Circuit Track (from Rex Creek bridge)—2.4 km return (45 mins) Grade: moderate to easy
This track begins on the far side of Rex Creek bridge. On the left, 80m from the bridge a small lookout provides views of Manjal Dimbi (Mount Demi). A little way past the lookout the track divides to form a circuit that meanders through the rainforest.

Mossman Gorge, Queensland, Australia Mossman Gorge, Queensland, Australia Mossman Gorge, Queensland, Australia

Swimming in Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge, Daintree

The highlight of our visit was swimming in Mossman Gorge. It was too cold for me but I loved sitting on the giant rocks and watching the bright blue ulysses butterflies flittered over head and the fish swimming in the clear water. I spotted catfish and other unidentified species from my perch.

Mossman Gorge, Daintree

Swimming in the Gorge is not recommended as the water conditions can make it a dangerous experience. Mossman Gorge is unsupervised and unmonitored. If help is needed, it is a long way away – with no mobile phone coverage in the Gorge to call for assistance. Note that people have been injured and died swimming in the Gorge and take every precaution if you choose to swim.

Mossman Gorge, Queensland, Australia

If you’re planning on swimming at Mossman Gorge, be prepared. Wear swimmers under your clothes and bring a towel. The water can be icy cold, too. 

Mossman Gorge, Daintree

Mossman Gorge, Queensland, Australia Mossman Gorge, Queensland, Australia Mossman Gorge, Daintree

Wheelchair accessibility

The shuttle bus, picnic area, toilets and the rainforest boardwalk Baral Marrjanga, which leads from the shuttle bus stop to the Mossman River lookout, are all wheelchair accessible.

What to pack

Insect repellent
Light weight cotton clothing
Hat
Sunscreen
A comfortable pair of walking shoes
Umbrella/Poncho
Snacks/picnic lunch
Water bottle

Mossman Gorge, Daintree Mossman Gorge, Daintree

mossmangorge.com.au

 

A Journey Above The Trees With Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Qld Australia

A Journey Above The Trees With Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

The iconic Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is an immersive journey through and above Australia’s World Heritage-listed tropical rainforest.

Where does the Skyrail begin and end?

Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia

The Skyrail winds it’s way between Smithfield Terminal, located 15 minutes from Cairns and 50 minutes from Port Douglas, and Kuranda.

We chose to take the Kuranda Scenic Railway from Cairns to Kuranda and the Skyrail from Kuranda to Smithfield Terminal. When booking your package you can elect to also get a bus transfer from Smithfield Terminal back to Cairns, however we called an Uber. The Uber took about 12 minutes to arrive and our drive was indeed around 15 minutes back to Cairns.

Get more information on taking the Kuranda Scenic Railway.

What does the Kuranda Skyrail journey entail?

Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia

The full Skyrail experience takes approximately 1½ hours one way, or 2-2½ hours return, including time spent at two rainforest stations. 

I highly recommend jumping out and taking a look at both of the rainforest stations along the way.

Barron Falls 

Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia

If you’re travelling from Kuranda back to Smithfield Terminal, the first stop is Barron Falls, approximately 10 minutes from the Kuranda Terminal and 15 minutes from the Red Peak Terminal.

Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia

Alight here for a spectacular view of the Barron Gorge National Park, including the 260-metre Barron Falls. There are two separate viewing platforms to take in the view, including the new Edge Lookout. The steel and glass structure provides unimpeded panoramic views of the spectacular landscape.

At this stop you can also visit the CSIRO Rainforest Interpretation Centre and learn more about the area’s pioneering past at the historical display.

Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia

Plan to spend around 20 – 30 minutes discovering the rainforest, Barron Falls and the Barron Gorge National Park. The walkways here provide easy access to the two separate lookouts.

Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia

Barron Falls is at its peak during Cairns’ wet season (December to March).

Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia

Red Peak

Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia

If you’re travelling from Kuranda back to Smithfield Terminal, the second stop is Red Peak, home to complimentary ranger-guided boardwalk tours and the Rainforest Discovery Zone.

Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia

This is a great stop to really learn about the ancient rainforest through the interpretive signage and by strolling along the boardwalks through the landscape. 

Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia

Upgrade to Glass Floor Gondolas (Diamond View)

Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia

We have previously taken the standard gondolas so this time wanted to try something a bit different and take the Skyrail’s glass floor gondolas, called “Diamond View”. The regular gondolas have been given an upgrade for this experience with the addition of a glass floor so you can look down onto the rainforest as you fly over the top.

Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia

It’s quite a dizzying experience, truly like flying over the to, with such a cool perspective of the trees from directly above.  

Diamond View gondolas carry a maximum of 5 passengers and depart stations every 7 minutes (approximately). Diamond View passengers can enjoy dedicated boarding queues at all terminals and stations – however the queues were very light when we visited.

Additional fees apply: One Way Skyrail Diamond View upgrade $20.00 Adult, $10.00 Child

Things to do in Kuranda

Kuranda Village, Qld Australia

Allow plenty of time at Kuranda Village exploring the markets, attractions and restaurants. You can get more information on things to do in Kuranda Cairns here.

Kuranda Skyrail packages

Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia

Book your entire package online, including self-drive options and coach pick-up or return to Cairns city, Cairns beaches, Palm Cove and Port Douglas locations. 

Freshwater Railway Station (an option for boarding the Kuranda Scenic Railway) is approximately 7km from Skyrail’s Smithfield Terminal so a coach transfer is required. 

Bookings are essential.

Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia Skyrail Kuranda Cairns Australia

skyrail.com.au

We were hosted by Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. All opinions are my own.

Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Qld Australia

Things To Do In Kuranda Cairns

Kuranda Cairns, Qld Australia

Things To Do In Kuranda Cairns

Kuranda is a mountain village that has become a popular tourist attraction near Cairns, in Qld, Australia. 

Kuranda Village is accessible by car, however it is a popular destination to reach by taking the Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.

Get more information on taking the Kuranda Scenic Railway.

Get more information on taking the Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.

Kuranda Markets

Kuranda Village, Qld Australia

There are two market locations at Kuranda. The Original Markets are located near to the Skyrail and Kuranda Station, making them the first you will come across when visiting Kuranda. The Heritage Markets are further down the main street of Kuranda and contain the entrances to Kuranda Koala Gardens and Birdworld Kuranda.

Kuranda Village, Qld Australia

The Kuranda Markets are a fun place to browse and pick up handmade goods such as jewellery and woodwork. Aboriginal artefacts are also available for sale, and local produce like macadamia nuts and honey.

The shops are mostly locally family owned businesses, which makes it even better to know you’re supporting the local community with purchases made.

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

Kuranda Australian butterfly Sanctuary Qld Australia

Home to over 1500 butterflies, the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is the largest butterfly light aviary and exhibit in Australia and the southern hemisphere. Wear something bright (red, white or hot pink) if you want a butterfly to land on you. 

Kuranda Australian Butterfly Sanctuary Qld Australia

The majestic green and yellow Cairns Birdwing and the Monarch butterfly can be spotted flittering about the aviary.

Kuranda Australian Butterfly Sanctuary Qld Australia

We enjoyed watching the butterflies hatching and eating nectar from flowers.

Kuranda Australian Butterfly Sanctuary Qld Australia

Be sure to walk through the breeding laboratory which houses 4000 caterpillars in their varying stages of development.

Kuranda Australian Butterfly Sanctuary Qld Australia

We did have some luck with butterflies landing on our bags, heads and clothes, but they are so fast that it’s hard to get photos! Some butterflies were extremely tame and landed on people’s shoulders and hats and remained there for quite a long time.

Kuranda Australian Butterfly Sanctuary Qld Australia

There is a free shuttle service operating from the Kuranda Skyrail Terminal and the Kuranda Scenic Railway Station to the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, or it is only a short 10-minute walk.

Get more information about the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary.

Kuranda Koala Gardens

Kuranda Koala Gardens Australia

Cuddle a koala at Kuranda Koala Gardens. The garden is home to a reasonable selection of iconic Australian animals including koalas, wallabies, wombats, snakes and lizards, bilbys gliders and Australia’s freshwater crocodile. 

Kuranda Koala Gardens Australia

Allow around an hour to walk around and meet all of the animals at Kuranda Koala gardens.

Kuranda Koala Gardens Australia

Kuranda Koala Gardens Australia Kuranda Koala Gardens Australia Kuranda Koala Gardens Australia

The attraction is located in the Kuranda Heritage Markets. Free shuttle service operates from the Kuranda Skyrail Terminal and the Kuranda Scenic Railway Station to Koala Gardens, or it is only a short 10-minute walk.

Get more information on Kuranda Koala Gardens.

Birdworld Kuranda

Kuranda Birdworld Australia

Get up close to over 350 birds roaming freely at Birdworld Kuranda, one of Australia’s largest collections of free flying birds and the giant rainforest cassowary. The birds come from all over the world, including plenty of native Australian species. 

Kuranda Birdworld Australia

We spotted Amazonian macaws, the cassowary, rainbow lorikeets, bright coloured parrots, pink galahs and many more. As we entered we were given a handy information sheet with all of the bird species along with coloured pictures of birds to help with identification.

Kuranda Birdworld Australia

Many of the birds are quite happy to get up close to visitors and will swoop down and land on your head, shoulder or arm. You can buy a small bag of bird seed and nuts at the entrance to entice the birds to land on you or feed from your hand. 

Kuranda Birdworld Australia

The birds are attracted to shiny things so you will be asked to remove jewellery and hats when you enter to avoid them being stolen. Also note that while the birds are comfortable around people they are not tame animals and will give you a nip if you get too close and they don’t want a bar of it, so give them plenty of respect and space and you will make some happy feathered friends.

Kuranda Birdworld Australia

The attraction is conveniently located in the Kuranda Heritage Markets. Free shuttle service operates from the Kuranda Skyrail Terminal and the Kuranda Scenic Railway Station to Birdworld, or it is only a short 10-minute walk.

Get more information about Birdworld Kuranda.

Kuranda Cafes and Restaurants

Kuranda Village, Qld Australia

Allow plenty of time for your visit to Kuranda, including a stop at one of the many cafes and restaurants. You can find a full list of the cafes and restaurants in Kuranda here.

Get more information on things to do in Kuranda here.

We were hosted at Birdworld Kuranda, the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary and Kuranda Koala Gardens. All opinions are my own.

Kuranda Cairns, Qld Australia

All Aboard The Kuranda Scenic Railway

Kuranda Scenic Railway, Qld Australia

All Aboard The Kuranda Scenic Railway

Winding its way through the World Heritage-listed Barron Gorge National Park, the Kuranda Scenic Railway is an unforgettable journey through hand carved tunnels and spectacular scenery.

The Kuranda Scenic Railway has been running from Cairns, Qld, over the Great Dividing Range to the town of Kuranda on the Atherton Tableland, since 1891. 

Kuranda Scenic Railway, Qld Cairns Australia

The journey takes approximately 2 hours, including a 10-minute stop at the Barron Falls Station for a quick look at the Barron Falls, and passing through 15 hand carved tunnels, 37 bridges as well as spectacular waterfalls.

Passengers can choose to start their journey in Cairns or at Kuranda, and can also select to take the train in a single direction and take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway the other, or take the train in both directions.

We selected to start in Cairns and end our journey at Kuranda. 

You can get more information on taking the Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway here.

Kuranda Scenic Railway Heritage Class vs Gold Class

The Kuranda Scenic Railway offers two ways to take this special journey – “Heritage Class” or “Gold Class”. 

Heritage Class just includes the basic journey in an original carriage with no added extras.

Kuranda Scenic Railway, Qld Cairns Australia
Kuranda Scenic Railway Heritage Class
Kuranda Scenic Railway, Qld Cairns Australia
Kuranda Scenic Railway Heritage Class

Gold Class offers the ability to travel in comfort with individual lounge-style chairs and dedicated host service. 

Kuranda Scenic Railway
Kuranda Scenic Railway Gold Class

We have previously travelled in Heritage Class but decided to try Gold Class this time. Gold Class includes includes morning or afternoon tea featuring a selection of Queensland and local Tablelands produce such as Gallo Dairyland Cheese, Skybury Coffee, Wondaree Macadamias, Mango to Go (100% pure mango treat), freshly baked muffins, Sirromet wines and Great Northern Brewing Company Super Crisp Lager as well as a complimentary gift pack.

Kuranda Scenic Railway, Qld Cairns Australia Kuranda Scenic Railway, Qld Cairns Australia Kuranda Scenic Railway, Qld Cairns Australia

The Kuranda Scenic Railway gift pack includes Kuranda Scenic Railway badge, pen and postcard.

Gold Class also includes the option to take an exclusive tour of the Heritage-Listed Signal Cabin at Kuranda Station (for morning Gold Class service only. Ask your Guest Service Attendant for details).

Other Gold Class benefits on select departures: welcome tropical mocktails served in the pavillion area 20 minutes prior to the arrival of the train when boarding at Freshwater Station in the morning, and welcome drinks served onboard the train, 20 minutes prior to departure, when boarding at Kuranda Station in the afternoon.

The menu can’t be altered if you have any dietary requirements, however the regular menu does always feature a gluten-free / vegetarian option. 

Travelling Gold Class made the journey incredibly special. It was a relaxing, comfortable experience with constant snacks and drinks being supplied, in incredibly comfy chairs. We would absolutely travel this way again in the future.

Kuranda Scenic Railway, Qld Cairns Australia Kuranda Scenic Railway, Qld Cairns Australia

The journey from Cairns to Kuranda

We boarded at Cairns, the igirinating stop. The next stop is Freshwater, where the bulk of passangers board, followed by a pit stop at Barron Falls Station. There is ample time to get out and take photos of the beautiful Barron Falls during this time.

Kuranda Scenic Railway, Qld Cairns Australia

Keep cameras at the ready as the scenery on both sides of the train is spectacular the entire journey.

Kuranda Scenic Railway, Qld Cairns Australia Kuranda Scenic Railway, Qld Cairns Australia Kuranda Scenic Railway, Qld Cairns Australia Kuranda Scenic Railway, Qld Cairns Australia Kuranda Scenic Railway, Qld Cairns Australia Kuranda Scenic Railway, Qld Cairns Australia Kuranda Scenic Railway, Qld Cairns Australia Kuranda Scenic Railway Kuranda Scenic Railway

More information about Kuranda Scenic Railway

The Kuranda Scenic Railway operates daily all year, except Christmas Day.

TO KURANDA TIMETABLE
Depart Cairns station 8.30am & 9.30am
Depart Freshwater station 8.55am & 9.55am*
Arrive Kuranda 10.25am & 11.25am
FROM KURANDA TIMETABLE
Depart Kuranda 2.00pm & 3.30pm*
Arrive Freshwater 3.32pm & 5.02pm
Arrive Cairns 3.55pm & 5.25pm
*Gold Class is available on selected departures

Bookings are highly recommended. Our Gold Class cabin was completely full. I suggest combining the journey aboard Kuranda Scenic Railway with a Skyrail Rainforest Cableway experience in the other direction, and also allowing plenty of free time in Kuranda to explore.

Kuranda Scenic Railway Gold Class

Gold Class offered on the following services:
9.55am departure from Freshwater Station to Kuranda
3.30pm departure from Kuranda to Freshwater
Please Note: No Gold Class service is offered between Cairns and Freshwater Station. All customers are welcome to commence or end their journey at Cairns Station, however the special service does not run between Freshwater and Cairns Stations.

Information regarding prams and strollers

Collapsible prams and strollers can be stored under the Heritage Class seats provided they are no more than 25cm in height once collapsed.

A limited number of non-collapsible or large collapsible prams and strollers may be accepted on a Kuranda Scenic Railway service. They can be stored in the Accessibility (PWD) carriage wheelchair spaces if they aren’t being used for wheelchairs, in the guards van or in the luggage storage section on each service. The acceptance of larger prams and strollers on each Kuranda Scenic Railway service is at the discretion of the onboard staff and subject to available space on the day. Children are not allowed to travel on the train in a stroller or pram for safety reasons.

Wheelchair accessibility​​

Wheel chair access at Cairns, Freshwater & Kuranda stations
Wheel chair Ramp at Cairns station
Wheel chair lift at Freshwater & Kuranda stations
Wheel chair access at Barron Falls station is unavailable
When booking please advise Reservations you require wheelchair access, so that we are able to provide the appropriate assistance

Things to do in Kuranda Village

Allow plenty of time at Kuranda Village to visit the attractions, markets and restaurants. Read more about things to do in Kuranda Cairns.

Kuranda Scenic Railway, Qld Australia

ksr.com.au

We were hosted by Kuranda Scenic Railway. All opinions are my own.

Frankland Islands: A Great Barrier Reef Day Trip

Frankland Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Visiting the Frankland Islands, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

The pristine Frankland Islands are located 10km offshore, 45km south-east of Cairns. Surrounded by healthy coral that is teeming with sea life, a day trip to the Frankland Islands is one of the best and easiest ways to explore the Great Barrier Reef.

There are five islands comprising the Frankland Islands: Normanby, High, Russell, Round and Mabel. The islands are part of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. 

How to get to the Frankland Islands

There is only one way to visit to these uninhabited islands: booking through Frankland Islands Reef Cruises. The islands are uninhabited, which means no bathroom or running water. While camping is allowed on Russel Island, Frankland Islands Reef Cruises are the only company to hold a permit to visit Normanby Island.

The day trips depart from Deeral. You can self-drive like we did, or take the Frankland Islands Reef Cruises air conditioned coach that departs Cairns daily at around 7.45am. Transfers are also available from Mission Beach. 

The drive takes about 45 minutes. It’s a gorgeous drive south, past fields of sugar cane and the iconic Gordonvale Pyramid. 

The departure point also has no facilities so prepare to board the luxurious boat Turtle Islander straight away, where there are restrooms and drinkable water available. The boat has two levels, air conditioning, shade and plenty of comfortable seating inside the boat.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

It’s a 30-minute calm water cruise along the Mulgrave River, which is lined with rainforest and mangroves, before a short 6-mile open water crossing to the Frankland Islands, which takes about 15 minutes. If you’re lucky like us, you’ll see crocodiles on the banks of the river.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

Morning and afternoon tea is provided on board the boat – tea, coffee and some bikkies are very happily received.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

If you’re like me and suffer from extreme seasickness but still want to see the reef, then this is the best option for you. The Frankland Islands day trip is the shortest open water crossing of any Cairns reef day tour (approx 15 minutes).

What’s included in the price

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

Included in the price is generous buffet lunch, which is served on the island. The menu includes a choice of several salads, chicken, ham, prawns, breads and an abundance of fresh tropical fruit. I received fresh vegetarian wraps. 

Also included in the price are flotation devices, snorkeling gear (prescription masks are an extra $15), seasonal protection suits, free guide for certified divers. Wetsuits are available for an extra cost ($15).

When we visited in July the water was too cold for me to swim without a wetsuit.

Things to do on the Frankland Islands

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

Once you’ve arrived on the island, there are plenty of activity options and the day just flies by.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

Snorkelling is easy to do right off the beach. Only a few metres out we saw parrot fish, clown fish, giant glams, sea cucumbers and more.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

While it would be quite easy to spend the day just snorkelling, walking around the island and relaxing, there are optional extras that can be added on to make the day more adventurous.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

I chose to do the Adventure Snorkel Safari ($10). The onboard marine biologist took took swimmers around to the other side of the island where the coral is in abundance and the sea life similarly so.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

It was incredible to see the healthy coral teeming with fish, giant clams, and I even spotted a sleeping green sea turtle. Sea life that is found in this part of the reef also includes anemonefish, nudibranchs, sea stars, stingrays, feather stars, wrasse, butterflyfish, angelfish, parrotfish, damselfish and manta rays.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

While I was doing the adventure snorkel, Alec and Cheese took a ride on the semi-submersible ($5). The tour went to the same reef that my snorkelling tour visited, but from the comfort of the enclosed boat. It’s a great option for kids who aren’t strong snorkellers. From their excellent position they saw the same stunning coral and fish life that I did on my snorkelling tour.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

After lunch we did the Guided Island Walk ($5) with the cruise’s marine biologist. The walk was one of the highlights of the day for us. We took a very slow walk around the island, through the rock pools, rainforest and beaches, learning about the islands and their unique creatures. 

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

One of the distinctive features of the Frankland Islands are their coral beaches, rather than soft sand. On the walk we learned that in the ocean coral only lasts around 10 years, after which it washes ashore and eventually forms the rock shelf. 

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

We also learned that the islands were made into a National Park after a special star protozoa was found on Normandy Island, in one small spot on the shore. The protozoa (too small to photograph) is only found in one other place in the world, Okinawa, Japan, making is a special place in need of protecting. 

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

Other optional activities: scuba diving (from $99), clear kayaks ($15), stand up paddle board ($15), sea-doo scooter ($70). 

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

If you want to camp on Russell Island, you can also be transferred to the island for a fee. Permits apply. 

Photography on the Frankland Islands

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

There is an underwater photographer onboard daily. Ours was excellent at getting lots of photos of us snorkelling and on the beach. He also brought his drone so we were able to get the fantastic shot of us on the beach from above. I thought his package to buy all of the photos at the end was very reasonable (I can’t remember how much it was however!).

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

You can hire an underwater camera ($35) from Frankland Island Reef Cruises. I used my GoPro underwater, however the water was a bit cloudy on the day we visited so I didn’t get amazing shots that do justice to how beautiful the reef was. 

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

What you need to know about a Frankland Islands Day Trip

Check in at 8.15am for an 8.30am departure
The tour returns to Cairns around 5.15pm.
Bring shoes to walk around on the beach as it is coral, not sand. We took reef shoes but thongs/flip flops would also be fine.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

Frankland Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

franklandislands.com.au

We were hosted by Frankland Islands Reef Cruises. All opinions are my own. Additional images with thanks to Frankland Islands Reef Cruises.

Pie Time in the Southern Highlands NSW

Pie Time in the Southern Highlands

Pie time in the Southern Highlands is the most delicious time of year. Located only an hour and a half southwest of Sydney, the Southern Highlands make for an easy day trip. Throughout the month of June the region is host to a plethora of delicious pie experiences.

Pie Time in the Southern Highlands, NSW

Pie Time

The Big Pie and Visitors Centre, Mittagong

The Southern Highlands is the home of Australia’s newest Big Thing – the Big Pie! Located at the Southern Highlands Welcome Centre in Mittagong, the Big Pie has been erected in recognition of pie month in the Southern ‘Pie-lands’ during June. The Big Pie sits at over 2 metres wide by 1.5 high. Following Pie Time ‘The Big Pie’ will be positioned in the forecourt of the Southern Highlands Welcome Centre to promote the year-round Southern Highlands Pie Trail.

Visitors Centre

Drop into the Southern Highlands Welcome Centre while you’re there to read up about the history of pies and try their award-winning toilets.

Stones Patisserie, Bowral

Stones Bakery

This beautiful bakery is lovingly run by owner Mark Stone, turning out award-winning pies and delicious dishes daily. After winning the Best Pie and Best Artisan Pie 2018 for NSW/ACT with Stone’s ‘head to tail’ pie, this bakery is a must to try their hero pie created for pie month, the Superman pie (a beef bourguignon with peas, bacon, mushroom and a veal jus). There are also vegetarian options to be found at the patisserie, and I particularly enjoyed their apple crumble pie. 

stonespatisserie.com

Heatherbrae’s Pies, Sutton Forest

Heatherbraes Pies

The iconic roadstop pie shop serves up small batches of handmade pies, baked under the watchful eye of owner and pie man Russell Cox. Each filling is cooked to a specific recipe rather than a generic base being made with flavours added to it. The result is the most delicious pies that keep people coming back time after time. As well as a large range of savoury pies and sausage rolls, Heatherbrae’s has a fantastic range of retro sweet pastries.

Heatherbraes Pies

While the Jillaroo (beef, bacon, cheese and onion) is a popular savoury pie, I highly enjoyed the vegan Red Lentil Curry pie and will be going back for more. Cox commented that the vegan pie is the fasted growing pie on the menu in terms of popularity.

heatherbraespies.com.au

Cuttaway Hill Wines, Exeter

Cuttaway Hill

Cuttaway Hill is the place to stop to try the Pie Time Festival’s Pies and Pinot. Enjoy a Cuttaway Hill Pinot Noir or Pinot Gris with a specially made Heatherbrae venison pie. Vegetarians can enjoy the Sweetie Pie and Bubbles for Pie Time, where you can enjoy their traditionally-made sparkling with a sweet Heatherbrae pie. 

Cuttaway Hill

Families are welcome at Cuttaway Hill and are catered for during Pie Time. The Pie in the Sky event looks particularly fun, where you can enjoy a glass of wine, a Heatherbrae’s pie and peering at the stars through telescopes from the vineyard.

cuttawayhill.com.au

Southern Highlands Winery, Sutton Forest

Southern Highlands Winery

Drop by for the Pie and Pinot and stay for the spectacular views from the cellar door restaurant at the Southern Highlands Winery. 

Southern Highlands Winery

Head chef Marco Salvestrin has crafted a rabbit and Pinot Noir pie for this special time of year, for a bargain $22. There are vegetarian options on the menu. I enjoyed the eggplant parmigiana and spinach. Kids also are catered for on the menu.

southernhighlandswinery.com.au/

Centennial Vineyards, Bowral

Centennial Vineyard

Choose between the Pie and Pinot with a braised beef brisket and tunnel mushroom pie or Sweetie Pie and Bubbles with a apple, ricotta and mulberry pie and glass of the vineyard’s Brut Rosé for only $15 during pie time. 

Centennial Vineyard

centennial.net.au

Military Vehicle Tours and Centennial Vineyards

Military Tour

Take a vineyard tour with a difference at Centennial Vineyards with restoration expert and owner of Military Vehicle Tours Vinh Tran. During Pie Time he is offering visitors a 15-minute drive around the vines in a refurbished personnel carrier or jeep. All money raised from the tours goes directly to Vietnamese orphans and people affected by the Vietnam War. Tours go every 30 minutes during Pie Time.

Military Tour

Book your tour here

Fairground Follies, Bowral

Fairground Follies

This warehouse of wonders is usually closed to the public. Fairground Follies is a collection of antique musical machines from the 1800s onwards, and is open this Pie Time on June 1 and 15 with a 1.5 hour tour by curator and owner Craig Robson with an apple or fruit pie and a hot drink. With proceeds going to Meals on Wheels, this is an incredible opportunity as well as a good cause.

Fairground Follies

Highlights from the collection include the original steam-powered carousel from Luna Park, pre-clockwork gravity-driven musical machines, a 1950s Decap Robot Orchestra and the grand Taj Mahal. 

fairgroundfollies.com

Glass Café, Mittagong

Glass Cafe

Housed inside a 1890 heritage building, the Glass Café is hosting a special Paint Pinot event for Pie Time, with alpaca pie and Pinot Noir from award-winning winery Artemis. Paint your own alpaca using pie condiments such as ketchup, brown and yellow mustard.

Glass Cafe

glasscafe.com.au

Cycle Tours NSW

Bike Tour

Burn off the pies on an e-bike with Cycle Tours NSW. Kick off and let the battery kick in, giving you power-assisted peddling. The tours take visitors through the regions breweries, wineries and restaurants and commence at the Mittagong Visitors Centre.

cycletoursnsw.com

Gumnut Patisserie, Berrima, Bowral and Mittagong

Gumnut Patisserie Bowral Berrima

This famous patisserie attracts day trippers like us from Sydney and a line out the door is not an uncommon sight. Gumnut Patisserie are famous for their savoury pies and exquisite pastries. Their individually-made single-serve cakes and tarts are masterpieces, but we also loved the nostalgic, old school pastries like their vanilla and caramel slices.

gumnutpatisserie.com.au

More things to do in the Southern Highlands

Find plenty more things do to in the Southern Highlands here.

Find things do to in Bowral here.

Find things to do in Robertson here.

Find things to do in Berrima here.

Pie Time runs from 1st – 30th June. Get the full run down of Pie Time events here

I experienced these Pie Time activities as a guest of Southern Highlands Tourism.

Hyams Beach Australia: Home to the whitest sand in the world

Hyams Beach NSW Australia

On the NSW South Coast, around 3 hours south of Sydney, you’ll find the whitest sand in the world at Hyams Beach. Located in the Jervis Bay Marine Park of the Shoalhaven region, Hyams Beach is one of 16 stunning white sand beaches in the area, however has shot to fame in recent years after it was awarded the Guinness World Record for the whitest sand.

Hyams Beach Jervis Bay NSW

Hyams Beach is a quiet residential beach with fine white sand and clear, gentle water. It’s the perfect family beach.

While most beach seekers choose to just lie on the sand or paddle in the water, Hyams Beach is also good for snorkelling, paddleboarding and fishing. 

Hyams Beach Jervis Bay NSW

On the southern shores of the splendid Jervis Bay Marine Park, Hyams Beach is a charming seaside village in the Shoalhaven region with an eponymous stretch of fine white sand. Gentle waves from the bay lap onto the beach, a beautiful area for rolling out your towel and relaxing on the soft sand.

Hyams Beach Jervis Bay NSW

We love the north end of Hyams Beach which is a smaller little bay area that is very well protected from the ocean, and has rock pools at its south end.

Hyams Beach Jervis Bay NSW

Hyams Beach is also the last stop on the White Sands Walk includes Hyams Beach, which starts at Nelsons Beach in nearby Vincentia and takes you through Blenheim Beach, Greenfield Beach and Chinamans Beach before ending at Hyams Beach. The walk takes around 90 minutes one way.

To the south of Hyams Beach is the stunning Booderee National Park. You can read more about the Booderee National Park as well as other things to do in Jervis Bay here

Hyams Beach Jervis Bay NSW

If you’d like to stay in Hyams Beach there are plenty of holiday homes available for rent. You can find out more regarding accommodation options in Jervis Bay here.

Hyam's Beach, NSW, Australia

There is just the one cafe in the area: the Hyams Beach Store and Cafe. They are renowned for their excellent coffee.

Hyam's Beach, NSW, Australia

If you are headed to Hyams Beach be aware of the limited parking situation. On busy days the streets are blocked off and rangers patrol the area. There is also only the one public toilet.

Dogs are permitted but must remain on leash at all times.

Hyams Beach Jervis Bay NSW

Hyams Beach NSW Australia

Welcome to Paradise: Things To Do In Jervis Bay

Things to do in Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia

Jervis Bay, in the Shoalhaven region of NSW, is a seaside haven with white sand beaches and wildlife galore. Located two-and-a-half to three hours drive south of Sydney, Jervis Bay is the perfect spot for a getaway for all ages. Stay a weekend or longer if you can. Jervis Bay will steal your heart and make it hard for you to leave. There are so many things to do in Jervis Bay!

Things to do in Jervis Bay

Huskisson

Huskisson Jervis Bay NSW

The main town in Jervis Bay, Huskisson is always pretty busy during tourist season. It’s full of cafes, places to shop, galleries and other amenities but it’s also hard to find a parking spot. Huskisson is on the shore of the Jervis Bay Marine Park, which is full of marine life including bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, little penguins and weedy sea dragons.

Kayaking at Murrays Beach at Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay

Boat tours leave from the jetty here and you can also hire kayaks. Kayaking is the perfect way to explore the stunning waters of Jervis Bay.

Image courtesy of James Pipino; Destination NSW

The Huskisson Bakery & Cafe

Huskisson Bakery Jervis Bay NSW

Drop by the iconic Husky Bakery for a pie. They are famous for their pies for a good reason – they’re delicious! The bakery has a large outside undercover eating area with play equipment to keep kids entertained, too.

Huskisson Bakery Jervis Bay NSW

If you don’t like pies, not to worry – there are plenty of things on the menu to choose from that aren’t pie-related, too. Veggie pies and other options such as sandwiches and egg dishes are on offer.

Read our full review on the Huskisson Bakery & Cafe here.

Pilgrims

Pilgrims Huskisson Jervis Bay NSW

This vegetarian cafe serves up wholesome meals in generous portions. The menu is healthy and full of both vegetarian and vegan options for vegetarians.

Read our full review on Pilgrims here.

Huskisson Ice Cream Parlour

Ice Cream Parlour Huskisson Jervis Bay NSW

You can’t visit the beach and not have ice cream! Have a double scoop, it’s delicious.

Read more about the Huskisson Ice Cream Parlour here.

Fudge Addiction

The Woods Farm Jervis Bay NSW

Sweet tooths will adore this little shop, packed with a huge range of traditional confectionery such as house-made fudge, toffee, Turkish delight, nougat, rocky Road, Coconut Ice and a range of Chocolate-coated products. 

Read more about Fudge Addiction here.

Boobook on Owen

Book store Huskisson Jervis Bay NSW

Not just a bookshop, Boobook is a quirky collection of the most interesting, popular and ‘never want to put down’ books, handpicked by staff. There is an excellent kids section plus a 2nd hand bargain area.

Read more about Boobook on Owen here.

Vincentia

Nelsons Beach Vincentia Jervis Bay NSW

The next town south from Huskisson is Vincentia. It’s only a few minutes drive but is much quieter. It still has a few cafes and supermarkets but without the crowds. Vincentia has plenty of pretty beaches to choose from including the dog friendly Nelsons Beach.

Nelsons Beach

Nelsons Beach Vincentia Jervis Bay NSW

One of the quieter beaches in Jervis Bay, Nelsons Beach has lots of white sand and nothing else in sight. You won’t find shops or cafes here but you will find space to spread out on the beach and spend a peaceful day at the beach with your family. Dogs are welcome at Nelsons Beach and in the mornings and evenings it resembles a dog park! Sunrise and sunset are both stunning at Nelsons Beach.

Greenfield Beach

Greenfield Beach, Vincentia

Another stunning beach set in the Jervis Bay National Park, Greenfield Beach has crystal clear water and powdery white sand. It also has walking tracks, free electric barbecue, clean drinking water, cold showers, flush toilet, sheltered eating area and wheelchair access, making it a perfect day at the beach. There is also a lot of wildlife in the are to be discovered on the walking tracks. 

Greenfield Beach is also the start of the White Sands Walk.

Image courtesy of Destination NSW.

White Sands Walk

Hyams Beach Jervis Bay NSW

This beautiful walk takes you through the Jervis Bay National Park, past some of the South Coast’s most stunning beaches. 

The walk starts at Greenfield Beach picnic area in Vincentia and takes you past beaches that include Chinamans, Seamans and Hyams beaches, with easy-to-follow directions. Bottlenoiose dolphins are often seen from this trail, as are fur seals, little penguins and humpback and southern right whales during their annual migration along the coast between May and November. 

At Hyams Beach, where the walk ends, return via the Scribbly Gum track that goes inland through tall forests, back to the top of Greenfield Beach picnic area. 

Callala Beach

Callala Beach Jervis Bay NSW

Callala Beach is the longest beach in Jervis Bay and is also dog-friendly. Calalla is a small town that is quiet and has only a few basic amenities, and is a bit further drive north out of Huskisson. 

Hyams Beach

Hyams Beach Jervis Bay NSW

A residential area, Hyams Beach is now inundated with tourists and busy during the popular tourist times. There is one cafe to drop by for lunch or a coffee – a better idea is to pack your food for the day.

Hyams Beach Jervis Bay NSW

With the influx of tourists, driving and parking around the area can be painful –  however, the beach itself is lovely and well worth visiting. The rock pools between the north and south beaches are a lovely spot for kids to splash around. Hyams Beach is a short drive south of Vincentia.

Farm Stay at The Woods Farm

The Woods Farm Jervis Bay NSW

A 15 minute drive inland from Huskisson, The Woods Farm is a farmstay with a bit of luxury. Daily animals feedings of the chickens, alpacas, feisty goats horse and miniature pony are a hit with the kids.

The Woods Farm Jervis Bay NSW

There are eight individual cottages to choose from, each with three bedrooms and 1.5 bath plus a glamping tent out the front that can be added on for an extra $150 a night. We stayed for two nights and enjoyed our stay, however found it a bit pricey for the experience offered. Be aware that there is a cleaning fee of $250 in addition to the nightly rate.

Get more information on The Woods Farm here.

St Georges Basin

 

The largest town on the late of the same name, St Georges basin is perfect for those who love fishing, boating and swimming. St Georges Basin is on the northern shore and near Sanctuary Point, only a short drive from Huskisson and Vincentia.

Read more about visiting St Georges Basin here.

Moona Moona Creek

Moona Moona Creek, Jervis Bay, South Coast

A top spot to swim with kids! The entrance to the Moona Moona Creek is popular with families who love to swim in the shallow water. Nearby Moona Moona reserve is a great spot for a picnic with barbecue facilities, outdoor showers and shady areas. 

Read more about visiting Moona Moona Creek here

Image courtesy of Destination NSW.

Point Perpendicular Lightstation

Point Perpendicular Lighthouse Jervis Bay NSW

I love a good lighthouse! It’s a bit of a drive to get to Point Perpendicular, but the view at the end of Jervis Bay escarpment is worth it. The historic lighthouse was active from 1889 to 1993. There is no access inside the lighthouse but I thought the view was worth the drive.

Read more about visiting Point Perpendicular Lightstation here.

Booderee National Park

Murrays Beach Booderee National Park Jervis Bay NSW

Booderee is a spectacular place to visit and stay, with white sand beaches, dramatic cliffs and teaming with wildlife. You need a park pass to enter the Booderee National Park, which you can buy at the entrance. 

Jervis Bay Village

Jervis Bay Village Booderee National Park Jervis Bay NSW

The Jervis Bay Village is the spot to to stop to pick up supplies from the general store or order a meal from the takeaway shop. We ordered burgers that came out old style and delicious. They even had several veggie options on offer including a spinach and ricotta roll and veggie burger.

Green Patch

Greenpatch Booderee National Park Jervis Bay NSW
Green Patch is a popular spot for its spectacular beach. The white sand and bright blue water is just as stunning as nearby Hyams, with the added tranquility of a bush surrounding. You will find plenty of wildlife in the surrounding bush such as kookaburras and kangaroos. There are extremely clean public restrooms here.

Greenpatch Booderee National Park Jervis Bay NSW

We rated Green path as the prettiest beach and as one of our favourite things to do in Jervis Bay.

Cave Beach

Cave Beach Booderee National Park Jervis Bay NSW
Cave Beach is famous for residential kangaroos who can usually be found munching on grass in the camping area behind the beach. Be careful as the kangas can get a bit aggressive if they smell food on you so leave food in your car.

Hole in the Wall Beach

Hole In The Wall Beach Booderee National Park Jervis Bay NSW

We loved walking along the beach to the sandstone rock wall at its eastern end with a U shaped hole in it that gave the beach its name: “Hole in the Wall Beach”. 

Hole In The Wall Beach Booderee National Park Jervis Bay NSW

The hole (well, now U shape) is a popular photography spot especially in the early morning. We also enjoyed the rock pools we found walking up the beach to the rock wall at the end. Around the U hole are more rock pools and a longer walk. Exploring amazing places like this is one of the best things to do in Jervis Bay.

Murrays Beach

Murrays Beach Booderee National Park Jervis Bay NSW

The perfect family beach, Murrays has pristine, calm water perfect for swimmers and snorkelers with sparkling white sand. Murrays Beach is located in a protected bay which is sheltered by Bowen Island. 

Bowen Island Booderee National Park Jervis Bay NSW

You can take several walks around Murrays Beach for stunning views of the bay as well as Bowen Island, which is off limits to tourists and is a haven for penguins. We didn’t see any penguins but we weren’t there in peak penguin season.

Where to stay in Jervis Bay

There are plenty of options from hotels to vacation rentals and camping. 

Find the perfect accommodation in Jervis Bay for your budget and taste here.

Things to do in Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia

Jervis Bay Accommodation: Where to stay in Jervis Bay

Jervis Bay Accommodation, NSW, Australia

Jervis Bay, in the Shoalhaven region of NSW, is a seaside haven with white sand beaches and wildlife galore. Located two-and-a-half to three hours drive south of Sydney, Jervis Bay is the perfect spot for a getaway for all ages. Find your perfect Jervis Bay accommodation here and start booking your trip!

Jervis Bay Accommodation

Where to stay in Jervis Bay

Huskisson

Huskisson Jervis Bay NSW

The main town in Jervis Bay, Huskisson is always pretty busy during tourist season. It’s full of cafes, places to shop, galleries and other amenities but it’s also hard to find a parking spot. Huskisson is on the shore of the Jervis Bay Marine Park, which is full of marine life including bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, little penguins and weedy sea dragons. Boat tours leave from the jetty here.

Vincentia

Nelsons Beach Vincentia Jervis Bay NSW

The next town south from Huskisson is Vincentia. It’s only a few minutes drive but is much quieter. It still has a few cafes and supermarkets but without the crowds. Vincentia has plenty of pretty beaches to choose from including the dog friendly Nelsons Beach plus a quieter vibe, so is our pick of where to stay in Jervis Bay.

We stayed at a house called Kokomo that we rented on Homeaway. There was a Coles and Woolworths nearby so we had all the basics sorted for cooking and it was a short stroll down the end of our street to get to the beach. Winner!

Callala Beach

Callala Beach Jervis Bay NSW

Callala Beach is the longest beach in Jervis Bay and is also dog-friendly. Calalla is a small town that is quiet and has only a few basic amenities, and is a bit further drive north out of Huskisson. We’ve stayed here before and it was a bit too quiet and far from the main area and its amenities for our liking but a lot of families love it here. 

Hyams Beach

Hyams Beach Jervis Bay NSW

A residential area, Hyams Beach is now inundated with tourists and busy during the popular tourist times. There is very little in the way of amenities and with the influx of tourists driving and parking around the area can be painful –  however, the beach itself is lovely. Hyams Beach is a short drive south of Vincentia.

St Georges Basin

The largest town on the late of the same name, St Georges basin is perfect for those who love fishing, boating and swimming. St Georges Basin is on the northern shore and near Sanctuary Point, only a short drive from Huskisson and Vincentia. There’s an IGA for basic groceries here and it’s not much further to get to the new giant Woolworths in Vincentia.

The Woods Farm

The Woods Farm Jervis Bay NSW

A 15 minute drive inland from Huskisson, The Woods Farm is a farmstay with a bit of luxury. Daily animals feedings of the chickens, alpacas, feisty goats horse and miniature pony are a hit with the kids. There are eight individual cottages to choose from, each with three bedrooms and 1.5 bath plus a glamping tent out the front that can be added on for an extra $150 a night. We stayed for two nights and enjoyed our stay, however found it a bit pricey for the experience offered.

Get more information on The Woods Farm here.

Book Jervis Bay accommodation

Find a wide range of holiday rentals, hotels and BnBs in Jervis Bay here

Holiday rentals

We found the best way Jervis Bay accommodation to suit us through holiday home rentals from Stayz. There are plenty of houses that make for a perfect family or large group holiday – multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, full kitchen and laundry, pools and pet-friendly options are all available here.

Hotels and motels

There are also hotels and motels to choose from in Jervis Bay, although not as many options to choose from as holiday rentals. You can browse hotel and motel Jervis Bay accommodation here.

Camping in Jervis Bay

There are lots of camping options around Jervis Bay to choose from. Read up carefully on the camp site requirements before heading down. Some require entering lotteries for peak seasons.

Booderee National Park

Murrays Beach Booderee National Park Jervis Bay NSW

Booderee is a spectacular place to visit and stay, with white sand beaches, dramatic cliffs and teaming with wildlife. You need a park pass to enter the Booderee National Park. If you are planning on camping, you must stick to one of the designated camping grounds and book your spot early to avoid missing out.

Booderee National Park Camping Grounds
Green Patch

Greenpatch Booderee National Park Jervis Bay NSW
Green Patch is a popular spot for its spectacular beach. With its natural setting and discrete campsites, Green Patch are ideal for families and small groups. Sites are either standard or large with a choice of drive-in or walk-in.

Bristol Point

Set among mature bushland, Bristol Point offers walk-in campsites only. Sites come in either standard or large sizes and are suitable for larger groups.

Cave Beach

Cave Beach Booderee National Park Jervis Bay NSW
Cave Beach is a grassy camping area is set amongst coastal tea trees and is ideal for lightweight camping. The camping area is 300 metres from the carpark and all equipment must be carried in.

Get more information on camping in the Booderee National Park here

Honeymoon Bay

Honeymoon Bay is set in a picturesque location in Jervis Bay. It is approximately 10 kilometres from the edge of Currarong along the Point Perpendicular. Camping is available most weekends, school holidays and public holidays. Get more information on camping at Honeymoon Bay here.

Jervis Bay Holiday Park

A great choice for camping with kids when you still want a pool, cooking facilities and  bathrooms. Jervis Bay Caravan Park and Cabins offers varies types of accommodation including powered and unpowered campsites, cabins with shared bathrooms, superior tents and private villas. The park also has it’ own private boat ramp and jetty, a perfect spot to launch your boat, canoe or Kayak. 

Get more information on staying at the Jervis Bay Holiday Park here.

Jervis Bay Cabins & Hidden Creek Real Camping

Get a real bush camping experience on five acres of bushland surrounded by the Currambene Creek. Hidden Creek Campsite offers accommodation for all tastes and budgets. Whether you have a swag/2-10 man tent, camper van, motor home, camper trailer or caravan, they have a site to accommodate you, with secluded powered and unpowered sites, each with their own campfire pit. Hidden Creek Campsite also has a variety of cabins to suit all needs and budgets.  BYO Linen/Doona’s/Sleeping Bags/Towels. Some cabins have private bathrooms, some have shared.

Get more information on Hidden Creek Campsite here

Glamping at Jervis Bay

Paperbark Camp

This unique accommodation provides guests with a camping experience soaked in luxury. The tents are solar powered and all linen and towels are provided (except for beach towels). There are no cooking facilities onsite – there is a restaurant however for full-service breakfast and dinner and gourmet picnic baskets are available.  Each luxury tent has its own bathroom. Kids 6+ are welcome at Paperbark Camp, however no pets are allowed.

Get more information on Paperbark Camp here

The Woods Farm

The Woods Farm Jervis Bay NSW

Glamping tents are on offer at The Woods Farm, a country farmstay which is located in Tomerong, around 15 mins drive from the Jervis Bay beaches. There is a central bathroom for all glamping guests and cooking facilities.

Get more information on a glamping stay at The Woods Farm here.

Jervis Bay Accommodation, NSW, Australia

Affiliate links are used throughout this post. This means if you book through one of these links I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Bistro Dalby at the Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel

Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel

Bistro Dalby at the Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel

Bistro Dalby is a chic restaurant serving up Modern Australian cuisine. Located inside the Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel, the restaurant is the perfect place to dine after a day of sightseeing.

Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel Bistro Dalby

The restaurant offers indoor and alfresco dining options and a fully equipped bar. The menu has a great variety of dishes, including fresh and healthy options, with dietary requirements such as vegetarian and gluten free accommodated for.

Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel Bistro Dalby

Bistro Dalby has a bright, modern interior. We loved the orange chairs that were as comfortable as they were stylish. With plenty of space between the tables and its location on the ground floor of the hotel. Bistro Dalby is also wheelchair and stroller accessible.

Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel Bistro Dalby

Kids get their own special menu with the biggest variety of dishes I’ve ever seen, plus a page of activities on the back. It’s the first place we have dined where there have been so many kid options that it took a while for Cheese to decide what she wanted!

Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel Bistro Dalby Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel Bistro Dalby

Adults will love the extensive wine list and menu that features a good choice of dishes that suits all appetites and diets. 

Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel Bistro Dalby

We ordered the kids’ Spaghetti Bolognaise without meat and deconstructed for our fussy eater ($9.50). There are carefully hidden grated veggies in the sauce but shhhhh don’t tell our picky eater. She also chose the Ice Cream ($4.50) for dessert and the Kids’ Milkshake ($4.50).

Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel Bistro Dalby Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel Bistro Dalby

I chose the Pumpkin Ravioli (w/ crisp sage & a burnt butter sauce topped w/ tea soaked raisins (V) $16) and Vegetarian Delight Pizza (w/ fresh napoli sauce, roasted sweet potato, goats cheese, rocket, spanish onion & pinenuts $22).

Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel Bistro Dalby

I loved my dishes. The ravioli was perfectly cooked with creamy pumpkin inside and the serving size was very generous for an appetizer (the dish is available in a larger side for a main). 

Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel Bistro Dalby

My pizza was delicious. The base was crispy and the toppings fresh. I can’t stand a soggy pizza and this was spot on. The pinenuts were a particularly nice touch with the zesty goats cheese.

Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel Bistro Dalby

Hubby ordered the fish of the day. His only comment was “delicious” and not a single morsel was left. He also enjoyed the fresh mixed leaf salad. 

Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel Bistro Dalby

It was hubby’s birthday when we dined and the staff brought his selected desert, the deconstructed mango cheesecake, with a candle on top and sang happy birthday to him. He isn’t a big dessert person so it speaks volumes that he loved it. 

Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel Bistro Dalby

The staff at Bistro Dalby couldn’t have been more welcoming, friendlier or helpful throughout our stay. Our wonderful waitstaff could not do enough to make our dining experience memorable.

Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel Bistro Dalby

We love staying at the Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel when we are in town. You can read my review of the Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel here

Check out fun things to do in Newcastle here

Bistro Dalby at the Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel
5 King St, Newcastle
Phone: 4032 3700
Lunch Opening Hours: 12:00pm to 3:00pm
Dinner Opening Hours: 6:00pm to 9:00pm
novotelnewcastlebeach.com.au

Our visit to Bistro Dalby was hosted for reviewing purposes. The staff were unaware of this and the excellent service and food is indicative of the experience everyone receives.