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Driving a few hours south of Sydney brings a drastic change in atmosphere and the lay of the land. On the south coast one finds white beaches melding into green dairy farmland which then creeps into the lush rainforests of the coastal mountain range. Few places boast such a diverse terrain in close proximity of the other. It’s a land where civilization meets unexplored wilderness with a vigorous energy that is Australia’s alone.

Jervis Bay is located about two and a half hours south of Sydney. This area is well known for it’s natural beauty and cultural significance. It is said that Jervis Bay has the clearest waters and whitest sand beaches in this country and the world. Dolphin watch cruises can be booked in Husskisson. Whales have also been sighted in the bay area. Some of the other attractions of the area include fishing, surfing, scuba diving and of course finding a beach to bask on.

Huskisson, one of the local towns, was known as a major boat building community at the turn of the century. A maritime museum gives an insight into this industry. The museum houses the Lady Denman Ferry, a fine example of the shipbuilding industry once located here. The Lady Denman operated for years as a ferry on Sydney Harbor and deserved a well-earned retirement.

The Jervis Bay Marine National Park has abundant wildlife including kangaroos, dolphins, possums, wombats and lorikeet. The area is a wealth of Aboriginal history, flora and fauna.

The park includes Green Patch Beach, Hole in the Wall, Bristol Point and the Scottish Rocks. There are many bushwalking trails that visitors can take to observe the natural beauty of a unique ecosystem. It’s possible for visitors to tour many of these national parks by guided mountain bike or four wheel drive tours.

A visitor’s center is available for detailed information on the park and surrounding area. There are also boat ramps, picnic areas and camping areas available. One of the more interesting attractions is a ruined lighthouse that sits on the southern side of the bay. Exploring the ruins is an interesting day.

Wreck Bay community offers a unique look at the history of this area. The land on the southern point of Jervis Bay is owned by its traditional Koori owners. At Wreck Bay one can experience the bush in a fascinating way. Young and old alike will enjoy sitting around a camp fire listening to stories of bush medicine. Take a walkabout tour and learn about the aboriginal culture.

The Murramarang National Park is located south of Jervis Bay. The most famous spot in the park is Pebbly Beach where one can feed and pet a kangaroo. The kangaroos live in the wild, but come into the beach area off and on during the day. Kangaroos have been known to enter the water on occasion, but the myth of ‘surfing Roos’ is totally unfounded, as yet.

Murramarang National Park includes four islands and trails are marked throughout the park for bushwalking. Camping facilities and cabins are available to the public. Mount Durras is located behind Pebbly Beach and anyone willing to make the climb will be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views. The climb is steep in spots but if taken slowly most anyone can make the trip.

The South Coast is rich in history, culture, wildlife and a comfortable coastal style of living. It is an area well worth taking the time to explore.