Take a generous sprinkle of the whitest sand in the world, fifty shades of turquoise, and an impressive array of wildlife, and what do you get? A paradise that will excite you, inspire you, and provide you with everything you need for an idyllic getaway.
Booderee, in the local language of the region, means ‘Bay Of Plenty’. And it sure is true to it’s name, with it’s pristine waterways teeming with marine life, and a wealth of attractions for the nature lover or history buff.
Once earmarked as a site for Australia’s first nuclear power plant, it’s now (thankfully) regarded as one of the best managed reserves in Australia. It’s also one of only three national parks in Australia owned by Aboriginal people (the others are Uluru and Kakadu in the Northern Territory). And most people have never heard of it.
This beautiful park is located just three hours from Sydney or Canberra, (and just a short drive from the townships of Vincentia and Huskisson). It is a place of exceptional natural beauty.
The reserve is composed of two sections: the Bherwerre Peninsula, on the southern foreshore of Jervis Bay, Bowen Island and the waters south of the Bay, and the lands bordered by Wreck Bay to the south, St Georges Basin to the north, and Sussex Inlet to the west. With several kilometres of coastline and many private beaches to discover, you’re sure to find a secluded area to enjoy all to yourself.
Booderee is a special treat for nature lovers, and offers a wide range of activities for those that like to fully immerse themselves in the best that Mother Nature can offer. Swim at one of the many secluded beaches (I recommend Whiting beach, but they are all spectacular), snorkel off the rock platforms at Murrays Beach or Scottish rocks. Surf at Summercloud Bay or Cave Beach, or try your hand at rock fishing off the platform at Moes.
There are hundreds of kilometres of walking tracks to navigate, and you will never tire of the perfect vistas around every corner. Booderee provides fantastic opportunities for whale watching, and the best place to view them is at the ruins of the Cape St George Lighthouse.
The lighthouse is perhaps the most important European site in the park. During the 19th century, it was decided that a lighthouse would be built due to the number of shipwrecks occurring near Cape St George. Unfortunately, the lighthouse was built in the wrong spot, and it came to be regarded as a navigational hazard. Near the turn of the century, explosive charges were used to reduce the tower and parts of the keepers quarters to rubble.
The people who lived at the lighthouse were eerily prone to tragic events. In the twenty years after the lighthouse was built, five children and two adults died in unusual circumstances. The most disturbing tragedy involved two teenage girls. In 1887, the principal lighthouse keepers daughter tripped while skylarking with a loaded firearm. The gun discharged, striking her friend Harriet Parker in the back of her skull, killing her instantly. Her grave site can be found in the Green Patch camping area.
Booderee is a place of special significance to the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community. There are many places of interest, including more than 100 prehistoric aboriginal sites dating back 6000 years. Ancient campsites and middens abound, telling the stories of countless generations.
If the South Coast is the crown, then Booderee and Jervis Bay are surely the jewels. Why not do yourself a favour and create your own story in this very special place?