Venturing on a low footprint holiday will keep all of our beautiful destinations as pristine as possible for many generations to come. Did you know that our region is almost 70% national park, state forest or vacant land? The Shoalhaven is also comprised of 100 beaches and 19 major water catchments including rivers, bays, lakes and major creeks - a pretty special place to come and immerse yourself in the great outdoors. Many local businesses and tourism operators are incredibly proud of preserving the place they call home and you too can join in on this eco-warrior movement as a visitor. Thanks in advance for helping to keep us unspoilt!
Stay in luxury while ticking off all your sustainability boxes and reducing your environmental impact. Broger's End was once a run-down dairy farm which now breathes new life. It stands as a lovingly restored, eco-certified mystical escape in the countryside of Kangaroo Valley. The surrounding bushland has been completely regenerated in order for native flora to thrive and staying in the tin shed is a must. This luxurious eco-haven pays tribute to old and reclaimed materials with its beautiful rustic decor. Those travelling near Jervis Bay will love being spoilt at Paperbark Camp. All of the glamorous safari tents are built on stilts here, resting high amongst the treetops. Not only does this make for a spectacular guest experience, where you'll really feel like you're at one with nature, but this raised style of accommodation allows the ecosystem underneath to remain preserved. Let the blissful sounds of the bush sing you to sleep. Last but not least,Mimosa Eco Retreat in Bawley Point is an ideal place to escape to the great outdoors, with four on-site cottages tucked away in lush bushland. All of the houses are fully equipped with eco-friendly products and take you back in time to a simpler way of life. Relax, unwind and explore the nearby unspoilt Bawley Coast.
Sustainable Food & Dining
Eating local and sustainable is easy in the Shoalhaven. With an army of dedicated farmers, fishers and producers giving chefs the opportunity to provide fantastic paddock to plate experiences to guests. We're famous for having some of the most pristine catchments in Australia for seafood and the oysters at many of our local restaurants have been sourced from our nearby oyster coast. Head to Milk Haus in Milton for a sustainable menu with many ingredients that have been handpicked from their very own kitchen garden. Another great way of dining more sustainably on your green getaway is by lowering your meat intake an opting for a vegetarian meal at Pilgrims instead. For an eco-friendly wine and dine experience, book a table at Silos Estate Winery, located just south of Berry. This vineyard has been fully self-sufficient for its energy needs since 2010, with the winery running entirely on solar and wind power. We think this back to basics way of production just makes the wine taste better here. Sip a glass of their award-winning drops, explore the charming 1870s property and don't forget to say hello to the friendly resident alpacas! For more great foodie adventures check out our Local Producers Trail.
Treat Mother Nature with Care
Dolphin and whale watching is a popular activity in the Jervis Bay area and you'll be happy to hear that you can take part in this sustainably. Jervis Bay Wild and Dolphin Watch Cruises are certified in Advanced Ecotourism and offer eco-boat tours that won't harm the marine life. These guided visits allow you to get a safe distance from sea animals such as whales, dolphins and seals without disturbing their mating, feeding or causing them any distress. Whether you are exploring on sea or land, it's important to respect the creatures that are in their natural habitats. Did you know that jetskis often scare our local dolphins? And that our kangaroos don't quite understand what's happening when you try to pose for a photo with them? As much as we humans like our own personal space, this is also very much the case with wildlife too. A little respect goes a long way in helping to keep our beautiful animals happy and healthy for many years to come.
Booderee National Park is managed jointly by the local Aboriginal community and the National Parks and Wildlife Service - making it one of the few parks of its kind. This unique collaboration means that visiting Booderee is a rich cultural experience as well as an environmentally conscious one. Highlights include Australia’s only Aboriginal owned and managed botanic gardens, stunning white sand beaches, other unique creatures such as bandicoots, echidnas and recently re-introduced Eastern quolls and multitudes of birdlife including white-bellied sea eagles, kookaburras and sooty oystercatchers. In fact, we cherish our birdlife very dearly in the Shoalhaven, with a South Coast Shorebird Recovery Program carried out by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. This initiative helps to reduce the rate of decline of threatened shorebirds and builds awareness around how important it is to protect nesting areas for future generations.
How Else Can You Help?
Do your bit to be a more responsible tourist, just a few simple things can go a very long way. When shopping in our local grocers and boutiques, say no to plastic and bring your own reusable bags. Some of our vendors even provide their own that you can borrow and bring back later. This is a partnership with Boomerang Bags, which not only encourages a community of sharing but also helps to reduce the large amount of plastic that often ends up in oceans. Another great way to help out Mother Nature is the Take 3 for the Sea program, which encourages visitors to take 3 pieces of rubbish every time they leave the beach, a waterway or…anywhere, really! It's a great way to leave the land in a better state than when you found it and become a champion for protecting our oceans. Cafe culture is also huge in the Shoalhaven too, so why not invest in a KeepCup? More than a million disposable coffee cups end up in landfill every minute! Shocking, right? So swapping out a single-use option for a cup that you can constantly reuse is a great thing. We even have our very own Shoalhaven KeepCups available at our Visitor's Centre in Nowra. These are just three easy ways to travel more responsibly so we all can continue to embark on adventures that won't cost the Earth.