Front Photo: Andy Hutchinson

Located around 3 hours south of Sydney, the Shoalhaven region is a magnet for people wanting a lifestyle charge and change. 

There are magnificent mountains, around 100 beautiful beaches, as well as 49 towns and villages to explore.

*Note: the cover photo is of the sun rising over Ulladulla Harbour, Ulladulla, Destination NSW

Strip of land with ocean either side. On side has 12 white boats moored. On the Right Hand Side there is a small village. There is bushland beyond the small village.
Boats moored in Currambene Creek, Huskisson in Jervis Bay, Photo: Dee Kramer

This region offers a lot!  Bushwalking, surfing, scuba diving, snorkelling, bike riding, yoga, pilates – these are just some of the many activities.

Koala at Shoalhaven Zoo, Photo: Debra Fisher

It’s also a place for nature lovers.

For enthusiasts of art there are museums and galleries to visit.

At Illaroo, for example, Bundanon is the result of a gift to the Australian people of 100 hectares by artists Arthur and Yvonne Boyd.   

Showcasing Arthur Boyd’s work, it also has works on many other artists.

It’s actually a hub that includes a visitor centre, accommodation, art gallery and a centre for school students.

If you a wine connoisseur or a foodie, you will also be well catered for.  Wineries include Mountain Ridge Wines, Yarrawa Estate, Two Figs Winery, Cupitt’s Estate…….. The People In The Shoalhaven Area?

Old house in a vineyard with a table with crusty bread in a basket that has a white napkin in it.  There is a board with five types of cheese in it. 
There are stone steps leading up to the house with a wine barrel either side of the steps. The gras is green.
Food and wine available to enjoy on the scenic grounds of Cupitt’s Winery, Ulladulla.
Photo: Destination NSW
Shoalhaven (Local Government Area) 2021  The Numbers
Males  49.5%
Median age48 years  
% of people over 65 years:  28%    
Country Of Birth  %
Australia: 80.0
England 4.4%
New Zealand1.2%
Source: ABS 2021 Census

The Climate, Shoalhaven

Nowra RAN Air Station   (B.O.M)Annual
Mean Maximum temperature:   22.4C
Mean Minimum Temperature:  11.7C
Mean Rainfall:  939.0mm
Mean Maximum temperature:  20.7C
Mean Minimum Temperature:  13.3C
Mean Rainfall:   1100.3mm
Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Why I Love The Shoalhaven Area

The enterprising Tracy Holt, founder of  (‘getting you there with care’) says that living in the Shoalhaven area,  (especially Mollymook) ‘is all about the lifestyle. ‘We have the most beautiful beaches and coastline, then there are the beautiful bush walks, Pigeon House, Mount Bushwalker and the Budawang Ranges are all a must to see’.

A lady  with long hair in black pants, white shirt holding a car door. The car door has a sign that says Tracy Drives and there is a mobile phone number. In the background there is a beach
Tracy Holt of Tracy Drives: ‘getting you there with care’

I asked Tracy about the advantages for living in the area. Here are some of the benefits:
*shorter commute times
*shorter queues at the grocery store
*living expenses are lower

Then there’s simple pleasures like
*a drive through the winding road
*dinner at Bannisters where the moon hits the ocean like a glistering blanket.
*entertainment is more affordable and is generally part of a fund raiser. For example, The Entertainers proceeds went towards Budawang SSP School. In the year prior, the proceeds went to Milton Library.

Tracy adds that ‘if you haven’t heard of The Entertainers, it is a non-profit fundraising organisation-based Ulladulla NSW. They raise funds to donate to local charites by staging an elaborate cabaret performance each year with live music, singers and dancers’. (Tracy recommends that it should be on everyone’s bucket list).

An evening scene of a harbour that has many boats moored. There is a white small truck parked in the car park beside the water. In the distance there is a large building.
Ulladulla, South Coast, Photo: Destination NSW

Any challenges of living in the area?

As with any area, there are always a few challenges.

Tracy says that if you are going away: a holiday must be well planned prior to your flight: as this requires a lengthy and costly stay in the long stay car park,. Or, it requires a planned lift to the airport.

There is the familiarity that comes with small towns, an unlocked front door is an open invite to neighbours and friends.

A five-minute trip to the local post office can turn into an hour-long event upon meeting a chatty acquaintance.

Highly paid job opportunities may be limited, although with the Covid ‘working from home’ situation, it allows young families to move to the area and work from home.

Two women looking out on a passage of water from a large boat. Both dressed in white tops.
Women enjoying the scenic views of the Jervis Bay passage on a cruise with Jervis Bay Wild, Jervis Bay. Photo: Destination NSW


We asked Tracy for three (or more) things you would suggest people do if they visited the area?

Check out the local entertainment: Milton Follies have a wonderful array of productions, inlcuding The Vicar of Dibley and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Monty Python’s Spamalot

There’s also the Blessing of the Fleet Parade on Easter Sunday and the spectacular bush walks.

So much to see and do in the Shoalhaven area.
It’s the Lifestyle!

Contact for: Tracy Drives:
Mobile: : 0427 696 975


Also have a look at this great video on the area

(Thanks to Jamie McAinsh and the Marketing Clan, and Walsh & Monaghan

Jill Weeks has been an educator and author for many years. She is the author of 21 Ways To Retire, which gives insights into how 21 Australians from different backgrounds adjusted to retirement. She is also the co-author with her husband, Owen, of several editions of Where To Retire In Australia and one of Retire Bizzi, Jill is a contributor to radio.

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