With Christmas just around the corner, it’s almost time for Canberrans to make their annual exodus to the South Coast for a good dose of sun, sea and greasy takeaway.
For those new to the Canberra, it’s a strange phenomenon. Tens of thousands of Canberrans drive two-and-a-half hours to “get away from it all”, only to spend three weeks running into their boss, next door neighbour and best friend from high school every time they duck to the shops for milk. We’re an odd (but loveable) bunch.
Whether you’re new to the south coast or looking for some recommendations for your next trip away, here’s a quick guide to some of the South Coast’s most loved beaches. I’m a fan of Mollymook, Broulee and Tuross Head, and pretty much anywhere that isn’t on Beach Road in Bateman’s Bay during peak season (I like a quiet beach and a nice place to read a book).
Bateman’s Bay has plenty of beaches with small, safe waves that are good for families, and with waves averaging less than 0.5 metres, Casey’s Beach is about as kid friendly as the South Coast gets. There’s also Maloney’s Beach, which has shallow waters, sheltered surf, nearby rock pools and far fewer people than you’ll find at other beaches in the area.
I’m not much of a surfer, so I asked Ivan Slavich and son Andrew (he’s the surfer in the first photo accompanying this article) about their favourite south coast surfing spot. Their answer: McKenzies Beach at Malua Bay.
“McKenzies Beach has nice waves that roll in from the Tasman, they are consistent and regular and good for all levels of surfing. It is a great place to learn to surf and for the advanced on a big day it is just spectacular,” Andrew said.
Ivan, who took the above photo of Malua Bay from his balcony during a trip this weekend, added: “McKenzies Beach is great for swimmers and is always packed with Canberrans in the summer, which is always great from a social perspective. There is nearly always a game of soccer, cricket or volleyball being played and everyone is always friendly and courteous. It would be good for the Eurobodalla Shire Council to consider installing a toilet block and providing more parking spots.”
For beginners looking to learn how to surf or stand up paddle, Broulee Surf School at North Broulee Beach also comes highly recommended.
Where to go when the crowds get too much
Try the main beach at Tuross Head, Maloney’s Beach or Narrawallee Beach.
Malua Bay, Surf Beach, Broulee South, Tuross, Narooma Main, Dalmeny, Shoalhaven Heads, Crookhaven Heads Beach, Tilbury Cove, Warrain Beach, Cudmirrah/Berrara (Sussex Inlet), Narrawallee Beach (Surfers Avenue) and North Mollymook Beach (Beach Road) will be patrolled from 9am to 5pm until 27 January 2015. Moruya South Head will be patrolled from 8.30am to 4.30pm.
Which South Coast beach will you be visiting this holiday season?
If you’re looking for more on the South Coast, check out our articles on the best hotels and resorts, the best restaurants and bars and the best beaches the South Coast has to offer, or read 10 things to do on the NSW South Coast.