According to Guinness World Records, the whitest sand in the world is found here in Australia.
A quiet beach in Jervis Bay, a few hours drive south of Sydney, has claimed this prestigious title. Hyams Beach is a totally idyllic Australian destination surrounded by national parks, wild kangaroos, and cute little beach towns.
The beaches of Jervis Bay had been recommended to Rob and I by a few of our friends. When we were invited to tag along to a music festival in the town of Berry, we took advantage of the opportunity to do a NSW South Coast road trip for a few days of exploring and relaxation.
While it is possible to reach Jervis Bay in a day trip from Sydney, I would definitely advise against it. This scenic drive is best done at a relaxed pace. Stay at least one night down in Jervis Bay, preferably two nights so that you can visit some of the other beaches and do some nature activities while you’re there.
If you want to visit the gorgeous beaches of Jervis Bay, here’s how to see the world’s whitest sand on a road trip from Sydney!
0 – Sydney
1 – Sea Cliff Bridge
2 – Kiama
3 – Berry
4 – Huskisson
5 – Booderee National Park
Where to stay in Jervis Bay:
Although Jervis Bay is a popular coastal spot, I booked us in at Worrowing Jervis Bay, a farmland nature retreat 10 minutes drive inland. Our accommodation was a custom-built boathouse perched over a lake, with a small balcony to relax on while we listened to the sound of water lapping beneath our feet. There were literally hundreds of kangaroos around here, which made it all the more amazing! It turned out to be the perfect place to base our stay in Jervis Bay.
Jervis Bay road trip itinerary:
You can drive from Sydney to Jervis Bay in about 2.5 hours if you take the motorway, but I highly recommend taking your time by driving along Grand Pacific Drive instead. This route should take about 3.5 hours and goes via Royal National Park (Australia’s first national park!) then south along the spectacular coastline.
1. Sea Cliff Bridge
About an hours drive from Sydney is Sea Cliff Bridge, which is the first stop on our itinerary. Driving over this scenic bridge is a popular activity for tourists road tripping through this part of Australia. The S-shape road stretches out over the ocean and seemingly floats off the coastline as if it’s magically weightless.
There are a few vista points south of Royal National Park that you can stop at to see your first glimpses of the bridge. We stopped at Otford Lookout and Stanwell Tops for a few photos, then continued on and parked our rental car on the far side the bridge so that we could walk across it. The views of the coastline and the Pacific Ocean here are pretty damn awesome.
Kiama is a great spot to stop for coffee and to stretch your legs after a few hours of driving. This town is a popular vacation spot for Sydneysiders heading south for a weekend getaway.
We drove through Kiama on our way down and loved the relaxed seaside atmosphere. After stopping in at Wild Patch Cafe for some soy lattes, we then walked out to the Kiama Blowhole to watch the ocean water shoot dramatically upwards through a gap the rocks. It was pretty awesome! My inner kid loved it here.
I’d never heard of Berry before this road trip, and I have no idea why. It’s totally adorable! This small town is filled with historic Victorian architecture that remains from the time when it was an industrial village in the mid-1800s.
There are pubs, boutique stores, and eateries lining the main strip along Queen Street, though the most popular attraction is arguably the Berry Donut Van, which has been a part of the local scene for decades. The fresh cinnamon sugar donuts here are so damn tasty… we may have gone overboard and ordered 8 of them to share between the two of us!
Huskisson, known by locals as ‘Husky’, is the main town in Jervis Bay. It has a few cute beachwear stores, coffee shops and cafes, plus a popular pub (The Huskisson Hotel). It’s definitely worth heading into the town for a meal at some stage during your stay.
From Huskisson, it’s only a 12 minute drive south to the famous Hyams Beach. This beach is a truly beautiful spot, though to be honest, we found that all of the beaches around Jervis Bay had equally as white sand and were just as pretty.
We visited Hyams Beach twice – the first time we drove there in the evening to take a sunset walk along the sand, and the second time we did the White Sands Walk from Nelsons Beach. Some of my favourite spots in Jervis Bay were the tiny secluded beaches that we passed on the White Sands Walk… there really is nothing better than discovering a secret beach without any other people around.
If you have some extra time, there are plenty of things to do in Huskisson if you get bored. Head into the township to hire kayaks for exploring the creek, try stand up paddleboarding, or go on a dolphin watching cruise.
5. Booderee NP
Booderee National Park is situated in Jervis Bay Territory – an offshoot of the Australian Capital Territory (where Canberra is located). The Jervis Bay township doubles as a military base for the Australian Navy, so you may spot them doing training exercises as you drive around.
Entrance to the national park costs $13 per vehicle for a single day pass. Some of the speed limits inside the park can seem pretty slow, but it’s important to understand that this is to protect the wildlife from cars (you’re almost guaranteed to see kangaroos around here!). There are often cops parked by the road with speed cameras, so don’t go over the limit unless you’re willing to pay a hefty fine.
There’s enough to see in Booderee National Park to fill an entire day. Murrays Beach is a popular spot for visitors, which is right at the far end of the park. We took a picnic here and sat under the tree canopy by the beach to eat our lunch. Unfortunately it started raining right after we finished eating, so we couldn’t stay longer to enjoy the beach.
We made our way to Caves Beach next, which had impressive ocean waves crashing on the shore, then it was onwards to the Botanic Gardens. I didn’t think the gardens were all that impressive, but we did get to see a massive wild snake – the Diamond Python was probably around 2 metres (6.5 feet) in length and was curled around a tree trunk right beside the garden path. Only in Australia!