White sands, turquoise waters and small-town ambience lure Sydney weekenders to the Shoalhaven Coast. Jervis Bay's sensuous beaches, upmarket UIladulla and fun-loving Wollongong each have their own appeal. But the most magical encounters are deep in the national parks, where you can pitch a tent in the company of kangaroos and awaken to the roar of the sea. After roughing it in rustic campgrounds, the Shoalhaven's river cruises, wineries and good old-fashioned bakeries and pie shops are restorative pleasures.
Indigenous Australians belonging to the Dharawal and Yuin language groups have lived here for a colossal 20,000 years (and, by some estimates, many more). Travellers can access Aboriginal culture and history along national-park walking trails and on Indigenous-led tours, particularly in Murramarang National Park and around Ulladulla.