Longing for fun, family activities, comfy accommodation, and great Aussie experiences with accessible amenities and all-access reliability? The Shoalhaven shire, just a two-hour drive south of Sydney, is your go-to holiday destination that ticks all the boxes.
The expansive Shoalhaven region has the welcome mat out for you to discover and explore.
Let’s start with accessible accommodation: somewhere to park the bags, check the beds for comfort, and use as a base for all the area has to offer.
The Woods Farm at Tomerong
The Woods Farm has a selection of charming cottages with quirky themed names (The Henhouse, The Stables, The Treehouse, The Birdhouse). The Flowerhouse cottage is accessible, and if you want a little rustic ambience, there’s a glamping tent that offers a ramp and accessible bathroom with shower.
Extra effort has gone into accessible parking and access to the shop. There are also ramps to the pool house and chapel.
Keep your eyes peeled for alpacas! Find out more on The Woods Farm website.
Banksia Park Cottages
Kangaroo Valley (between Berry and Bowral) is a lush, green destination for a family holiday. Banskia Park Cottages has an accessible standard room with ensuite in the Wombat Cottage.
On the property, you’ll likely meet up with wombats, goannas, and some friendly pigs, donkeys, and lambs.
Find a comprehensive list of all the features that Wombat Cottage has to offer on the Banksia Park website.
Bangalay Luxury Villas
Bangalay Luxury Villas live up to their name. It’s coastal luxe all the way! The two-bedroom villas are luxury accessible accommodation for those with limited mobility to have easy access for an enjoyable stay.
The Bangalay Beach House is top-shelf living, and only footsteps away from Seven Mile Beach. The house is accessible and has four bedrooms.
There’s a fab restaurant on-site, too. Bangalay Dining was awarded 15/20 in the 2021 Good Food Guide. Find out more on the Bangalay Villas website.
Wildes Boutique Hotel
Newly opened in December, Wildes Boutique Hotel has an accessible room that is wheelchair friendly, with a private verandah. Plus, they’re pet friendly! Find out more on their Facebook page.
Out and About in Shoalhaven
There’s no time to hang about! Get moving, there’s lots to do in Shoalhaven.
For an exhilarating tour in and around various locations in Kangaroo Valley, climb aboard for the Kangaroo Valley Trike Tours. These beautiful beasts were built for both pleasure and safety. Tours can be tailored to your taste for adventure, and operator Mark Price is happy to make suggestions that suit your abilities. He is continually exploring local roads to check for safety and accessibility. Find out more and contact mark via the Kangaroo Valley Trike Tours website.
Have a whale of a time with Jervis Bay Wild’s Whale Tours. Their Port Venture catamaran is a gentle cruise experience with a level ramp for embarkation. From May to November each year, the mighty Humpback whales migrate past the East coast of Australia. With Jervis Bay pointing so far out of the coast, you can get up close and personal as the whales investigate the vessels. Find out more on the Dolphin Watch website, or check out the It’s Heaven guide to whale watching in Shoalhaven.
For landlubbers, there are free beach wheelchairs on offer at the surf clubs of Shoalhaven Heads, Culburra Beach, Sussex Inlet Beach, and Mollymook Beach. You can also find them at the Holiday Haven Huskisson Beach and Holiday Haven Lake Tabourie holiday parks. The Shoalhaven shire government website has a handy list you can check before you go.
For an elegant holiday experience, Wine Knot tours cover the beautiful local wineries in Berry, Shoalhaven Heads, and Cambewarra. You can sip and taste and enjoy local providores’ treats. The tours are accessible and, for family groups, there’s a 23-seater coach with a wheelchair lift to accommodate one wheelchair. Find out more on the Wine Knot website.
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
Finding an accessible dining location, where the food and service is good, is like winning the lottery. But luck is on your side in Shoalhaven!
Your first stop should be The Treat Factory and Dairy Bar down the coast in Berry. This historic creamery is where hundreds of flavours are created for jams and sauces, from secret family recipes that have been kept under lock and key for 60 years.
For an extra treat in Berry, pull up outside the Berry Donut Van. Grab a freshly made dozen, tossed in sugar, and eat them hot!
Ponte Bar & Dining, on the banks of the Shoalhaven River in Nowra, is the place to share a plate (or don’t!). Enjoy a cruisey lunch or dinner, and relax knowing that their amenities are accessible. Their wine list is pretty extensive, too.
If you’re in Nowra around lunchtime and feeling peckish, head to Peckish On The Park. Forget about home cooking for the day, and enjoy a family feeding frenzy from their glorious menu.
Perched on the summit of Cambewarra Range, The Lookout lets you play eye spy with the view of Shoalhaven, stretching from Coolangatta Mountain to Pigeon House Mountain inland from Ulladulla. Order the scones with jam and cream for a divine snack in a fully accessible location.
If you’re looking for a tipple to compliment your dining experience, raise your glass to all the accessible local wineries in Shoalhaven.
Cambewarra Estate is located at the foothills of the majestic Cambewarra Mountain. The tasting area has a rustic and intimate atmosphere, and the view from the cellar door is delightful. Take in the views overlooking the vineyard and dams as you sample their wines, or try their High Tea experience.
Mountain Ridge Wines and the Broughton on the Ridge restaurant are located 8km from Berry, on top of the Coolangatta Mountain. They offer wine tasting with a view, plus monthly garden dinners and weekend music events.
There’s also the Coolangatta Estate for wine and dessert – a winning combination. They have a firepit for chilly nights, to go with their warm hospitality. Be sure to try their highly acclaimed Wollstonecraft Semillon.
The Two Figs boutique winery and vineyard is another fine establishment, 12km from Berry. The winery sits on top of one of Mount Coolangatta’s foothills with more stunning views of the Shoalhaven River. Their cellar door selection includes cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and verdelho.
Find Out More
Your go-to information treasure chest for the Shoalhaven shire can be found at shoalhaven.com/inclusive
This feature first appeared in Travel Without Limits magazine. You can subscribe here.