Australia’s ‘best-kept secret’ holiday destination… from just £57 a night

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CALLALA BEACH goes on for miles – the white sand so fine it squeaks as you stroll.

The water is gentle and inviting, caressing the shore and tempting even the most timid for a dip.

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The bay’s main draw is delightful Huskisson Beach, where a few restaurants and cafes cluster around the beloved Husky PubCredit: Tourism Australia
Jervis Bay is one of the best places on Earth for spotting wild bottlenose dolphins - around 100 to 120 of them live permanently in these waters

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Jervis Bay is one of the best places on Earth for spotting wild bottlenose dolphins – around 100 to 120 of them live permanently in these watersCredit: Shutterstock
A humpback whale enjoying the waters of Jervis Bay

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A humpback whale enjoying the waters of Jervis BayCredit: Getty

This beach in Australia’s New South Wales is surely one of the most stunning in the world, let alone Oz.

But it has competition in its home of Jervis Bay National Park — where there are dozens of these white-sand delights. 

Most feel amazingly uncrowded. The fun is picking a different one each day and seeing which you like best.

Jervis Bay is perhaps one of Australia’s best-kept secrets — a 115-mile drive south of Sydney, which takes a little under three hours.

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Once there, you won’t find any big resorts, just a cluster of small towns and villages. 

Accommodation is usually in affordable holiday parks and rented apartments, and most visitors are Aussie.

The low-key vibe is a world away from the better-known holiday destinations Down Under such as the Gold Coast and Cairns.

The bay’s main draw is delightful Huskisson Beach, where a few restaurants and cafes cluster around the beloved Husky Pub. 

At the southern end of town children splash happily between the sandbars of Moona Moona Creek, while near the mouth of Currambene Creek boat tours head out to see the local wildlife.

Jervis Bay is one of the best places on Earth for spotting wild bottlenose dolphins. This is because around 100 to 120 of them live permanently in these waters. 

So it never takes too long to find where they’re hanging out on any particular day.

Jetties on Jervis Bay not far from Currambene Creek

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Jetties on Jervis Bay not far from Currambene CreekCredit: Getty
Jervis Bay is perhaps one of Australia’s best-kept secrets — a 115-mile drive south of Sydney, which takes a little under three hours

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Jervis Bay is perhaps one of Australia’s best-kept secrets — a 115-mile drive south of Sydney, which takes a little under three hoursCredit: Getty

The crew of our Dolphin Watch Cruises catamaran quickly spotted a couple of pods toward the northern end of the bay. 

They travel fast, on the hunt for fish, but are quite content to play alongside the tour boats, too. 

It’s a comfort zone that has built up over decades. They know the boats bring no harm.

This relationship yields extraordinary results. Eager viewers on the deck of our catamaran were treated to a magical show as 20 to 30 bottlenoses hung out nearby for more than an hour.

Their swimming is splendidly synchronised, as they rise out of the water together then glide gently back in. 

It feels a privilege to see them in action.

Rainbow lorikeets

From around mid-May to November, the dolphins are joined by humpback whales. 

The whales use the sheltered waters of Jervis Bay as a rest stop on their grand migrations to the northern breeding grounds then back towards Antarctica.

If you come here during whale season, the dolphin-watching cruises become whale-watching trips, too.

If you want to see an abundance of smaller marine life, however, bring a snorkel. 

Blenheim Beach in Vincentia, the next town south of Huskisson, offers an abundance of fish darting around the rocks.

The beach itself is yet another stunner. It is quite small and feels like it belongs on a remote desert island. 

Behind it is lush, green bushland, contrasting beautifully with the white sand and clear teal water.

It is part of the White Sands Walk, which links several beaches in Jervis Bay. 

There’s plenty of birdlife to spot along the way, including cheeky cockatoos and dazzling rainbow lorikeets. 

Get lucky, and you may also spot scuttling echidnas — spiny anteaters — or bounding kangaroos. It’s a walk to tackle slowly, also maybe stopping to swim at the likes of Greenfield Beach and Chinamans Beach along the way.

The endpoint is Hyams Beach, perhaps the most famous spot on Jervis Bay. 

Here, the white sand stretches for a couple of miles along the coastline, and the water gets very gradually deeper.

It’s perfect for paddling. Kids are in their element, alternating between splashing in the tiny waves and building sandcastles. 

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For the parents looking on, it’s one of the greatest beaches they’re ever likely to see in their lives.

In Jervis Bay, where big developments are blocked and the marketing hype never seems to land, this sensational scene is just everyday life.

GO: AUSTRALIA

GETTING THERE: Qatar Airways has flights to Sydney via Doha from Heathrow, Gatwick, Cardiff and Manchester. Return fares from around £1,050.

STAYING THERE: Colourful bungalows by the beach at the Huskisson Beach Resort cost from £57 per night. See huskissonbeachresort.com.au.

  OUT & ABOUT:  Dolphin tourswith Dolphin Watch Cruises cost £20. See dolphinwatch.com.au.

MORE INFO: Check out Australia.com



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