So it’s the Spring Break weekend, or as Kevin Bridges (and rest of the world for that matter) calls it – the Easter Holidays, and we decided to do a road trip instead of flying somewhere. Our Destination would be Jervis Bay a mere 200 km to our south, the equivalent of Glasgow to Penrith or Cork to Galway.
After some research into car rentals and Sydney’s traffic flow ‘issues’ we decided that the best course of action would be to get a train out of the big smoke and then rent a car in a big town to drive the rest of the way. That town was to be Woolongong and we arrived there around 9.30am to pick up our automatic Hyundai before we began the migration south down the Princes Highway. The Road was part of a collection that were renamed in 1920 to celebrate the visit of the then Prince Of Wales and later King Edward VIII.
Second Bite of the Berry
We were initially pushed inland by Lake Illawara before looping back past Shellharbour and then on down the coast. The driving was pretty easy as all the towns are bypassed – including our previous haunt Kiama. We only really encountered traffic problems at Berry but that was soon avoided when we stopped there for breakfast. We had previously visited Berry (f0r 20 minutes) when we were down this way the previous November and enjoyed it so much that we felt it deserved a second look.
Berry is a small town with lots of historical buildings that straddle the tree-lined main road. Add in some really great cafes and Antique Shops and you have a pretty nice place. It even has a German Clock shop!!. Berry is the first rural town south of Sydney and has cemented its place in cultural history by being the setting where Village Vets Australia is filmed.
We decided to break our fast in the Berry Sourdough Cafe – a Bakery / Deli Cafe that did great coffee and even better breakfast. Being a bakery it allowed us to stock up on some supplies for the weekend. As we waited for our eggs we took out the map and decided to plan the rest of our route down to Callala Beach and our holiday home. There were two choices – the direct route down the highway or the tourist route along the coast. Both would bring us back to Nowra so we decided on the tourist route while the weather was dry.
A short drive away is the sleepy town of Shoalhaven, a place where the river meets the sea. Karen parked the car next to the estuary whilst John went scouting for signs of parking meters. Huzzah! Free Parking. There was small walk around the water to the beaches beyond so we went for a stroll and per chance we came across a pod of Pelicans! (Yes we had to google that grouping synonym).
We only had an hour drive left before we reached Callala Beach and our pad for the weekend. The owner had left the keys in one of those keypad locks so we didn’t have to arrange a rendezvous. If you can imagine that Jervis Bay is a clock face we would be staying at 10 o’clock. We had a mission to complete the entire bay during our stay so after dumping the bags we jumped back into the car and headed to our first stop… Hyams Beach
Nestled between Chinaman’s Beach to the north and Sailor’s Beach to the South is the whitest sand in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records, at Hyam’s Beach. Things were a bit quiet here compared to 2 month previous.. when the sharks visited. Unfortunately it wasn’t sunbathing weather so we decided to take a stroll instead and take some selfies.
We worked our way down the bay and stopped off at Vincentia to get some lunch and supplies. Originally known as the South Township it was renamed in honour of the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1797, where the Bay’s namesake Admiral John Jervis defeated a much larger Spanish Fleet.
Being Good Friday there was not many shops open but we did manage to be good Catholics and have fish for lunch…
A Study in Scarlet
We headed back to Callala Bay and unpacked our bags and shopping.Before settling in for a quiet night in we went out for a sandy stroll along the beach that was a stone’s throw away. We expected to see some more white sand but instead we were greeted by a sharp odor and red – red algae everywhere! It looked as if the beach was bleeding. Later research led to use finding out that the Phenomenon is called Red Tide and is quite common in the area.
When we got back we started to notice that the home’s owner was a bit of a creative soul due to the decor with lots of statues and paintings including John’s favourite…a tiger with a ponytail.
All that was left to finish off Day 1 was some bubbles on the balcony and watch a movie.