Grab the little ones, some walking shoes and breathe in the open air
Bushwalking is great fun for the entire family – it lets you explore new destinations, keeps you fit and helps you work up a sweat during the cooler months. The Shoalhaven coast offers up some spectacular scenery and is a young adventurer’s playground, with tonnes of kid-friendly bushwalking options on offer. Wander along the sand looking out towards the ocean, meander through lush rainforests or get up close and personal to native flora and fauna. We’ve partnered with our close friends at South Coast Kids to bring you our list of the best bushwalks for kids. Get ready to explore our great outdoors, and when you are ready for more, check out our other walks and grab our guide by download or mailout.
White Sands Walk and Scribbly Gums Track
An easy, short walk that leads you to a pristine beach? What more could you ask for? Starting from the Greenfield Beach Picnic Area in Vincentia, the White Sands Walk and Scribbly Gums Track is only a 2.5-kilometre loop track, with two paths that are interconnected. Along your journey, you may even be treated to a dolphin show in addition to an abundance of native birdlife flying high in the sky. And oh yes, we can’t forget about the stunning views! Your eyes won’t know where to look because you’ll cross Chinamans Beach and world-famous Hyams Beach, part of our glorious White Sands Coast. On your way back to the picnic area you’ll get to wander through tall forest and woodland as the path takes you away from the coastline. If the kids are feeling particularly energetic, there's an option to extend this walk by starting at Barfleur Beach/Plantation Point instead, which is north of Greenfield Beach Picnic Area.
Pioneer Village Museum Walk
Kangaroo Valley is a welcomed country escape for city-dwellers travelling with children and there’s a hidden gem of a walk that’s tucked away within the town. Located behind the Pioneer Village Museum, it’s a lovely figure-8 style walk, with two loops that intersect at a gorgeous wooden bridge. Access is gained by admission to the museum – well worth a visit in itself anyway! The short loop takes about an hour to complete and will guide the family through eucalypts, scribbly gums and across large rocks. This track is basically flat and there are plentiful views of the Kangaroo River along the way. Crossing the little wooden bridge about halfway through the small loop leads to the longer voyage, a stunning section that most visitors miss! The track descends into a breathtaking gully, complete with water cascades, moss gardens and beautiful rock formations. Older kids will love to rock hop across the stream and splash about in the cascades, whilst the little ones might need some help with the climbs and creek crossings. Pack a picnic, relax and enjoy this pristine area. To end the longer loop walk, which takes about 2 hours, just climb back out of the gully past some little caves (you might even spot a wombat) and retrace your steps back to the bridge
Murrays Beach Walk
Murrays Beach Walk, also known as the Munyunga Waraga Dhugan Walking Trail, is 5.4 kilometers long and takes about 2.5 hours to complete, making it better suited to families with school-aged kids. Located in Booderee National Park which is rich in Indigenous history, this bushwalk features 14 interpretive signs along the trail providing information about the Jervis Bay area, Koori culture and the native fauna and flora. Begin at Murrays Beach Carpark and venture towards the right of the first interpretive sign. The walk is a loop, so either way, you’ll end up back at the starting point. You'll stroll past old scribbly gums and banksia forest and there are even some big, burnt out trees that are large enough for the kids to stand inside them! Finding the next sign is a great incentive to keep the children interested in moving along, plus an excellent way to teach them about the local area. This very trail was originally used by little ones back in the 1800s to go to school! Highlights of the bushwalk, which follows the rugged, coastal cliff line are Cape St George Lighthouse and Point Perpendicular Lighthouse (both excellent whale watching spots from May to November) plus a small path that leads to Governor Head Lookout (with views out to Bowen Island, home of our local Little Penguin population).
Bomaderry Creek Walking Track
This walk is so beautiful, it’s hard to believe it’s right in the middle a city! Located in Nowra, Bomaderry Creek Walking Track begins conveniently at a picnic area, equipped with toilets and sheltered tables, easily accessed from Narang Road. From there you will see signs directing you to the various tracks available. You can view the old weir, check out the lookout or walk some or all of the main track itself. The whole track takes around 2.5 hours and is recommended for children aged four and up. The beginning of the bushwalk takes you above Bomaderry Creek and across rock platforms - not fenced but far enough away from the cliff to be safe. A lovely stone stairway leads down to a fork in the path where the adventure really begins! The bushwalk is clearly established, making it easy to stay on track whilst discovering caves, stunning vegetation and even a “room” of fully enclosed rocks. It is spectacular and there are seats along the way so the family can stop for a rest and really take in the surroundings. Around the halfway point you will cross the creek on metal paths and the track changes once again. There are many caves to explore and eventually you'll reach the bridge which signals that you are nearing the end.
Whiting Beach and Blacks Waterhole
Whiting Beach is a secluded cove accessed via the Steamers Beach/Headland Loop Trail inside Booderee National Park. Note that there aren’t any toilet facilities on this trail and the nearest toilets are at Green Patch Beach! The crystal clear waters and freshwater creek running into the bay will entertain children for hours. This walk is best suited to kids with some level of fitness as it is an 8km return journey, with some moderate hills. On the first section of the trail, follow signs to Steamers Beach and after about 1km you’ll come to your first intersection – make sure to take the trail to the right, marked Blacks Waterhole. Follow the undulating path until you spot the waterhole - a large, inky black freshwater lake that provides a home to many species of waterbirds. There is a clearing that can lead you right up to the water’s edge. Rejoining the main trail up a short but steep hill will take you to Whiting Beach, the path opening up for a bird’s eye view of the coastline. The trail ends on the large rock platform where you’ll need to rock-hop your way down towards the sand – super fun for the kids! The trail is secluded so you will need to take everything with you including sun cream and sufficient water. Please make sure to leave only footprints and take all your rubbish with you upon departing. Just retrace your steps and follow the signs back to Steamers Beach Carpark.