Hyams Beach

Hyams Beach is part of what may be the top attraction on the coast between Sydney and Canberra—beautiful Jervis Bay. The tiny village, with a population hovering around 100 people, is on the coast about 70 miles south of Sydney. The beaches in Hyams Beach include Chinaman’s Beach to the north and Seaman’s Beach to the south, as well as the eponymous Hyams Beach. Trying to decide which is the best New South Wales beach is a bit difficult, as there are several other beaches lining Jervis Bay. These include Nelsons Beach, Murrays Beach, Collingwood Beach, Honeymoon Bay, and Green Patch Beach. All are known for small crowds, pure white sands, and wildlife (both marine and terrestrial).

However, it is Hyams Beach that seems to be the most spectacular with what even the Guinness Book of World Records mentions as top on the list of the whitest sand in the world. (The white sand is due to the fact that it is made up largely of pulverized coral.) Arrive early in the morning, and you are quite apt to see kangaroos foraging along the shore. If you go snorkeling or scuba diving offshore (even a few feet), you are apt to nudged by playful dolphins. Jervis Bay is virtually completely surrounded by large tracts of national parks and state forests that protect other wildlife often seen on the beaches in Hyams Beach and elsewhere around the bay. Look for wombats, possums, lorikeet, and other indigenous creatures.

The area around this New South Wales beach is also rich in Aboriginal history, and it is possible to book bush walks with an Aboriginal guide to discover the exotic and rare flora and fauna of the hinterland. This is also a prime whale watching spot during the migration season from May to November, a great place for sailing trips, and some good surfing. There is a small civil aviation airport here that has some charter flights from other Australian cities. However, the best transportation to get here is by car on a good highway from Sydney (about 2.5 hours) or Canberra (about 3 hours). Almost all Hyams Beach lodging is in family run bed and breakfast inns. These run the gamut from rustic beach “shacks” and modest private homes to deluxe properties that offer the kind of pampering you receive in luxury hotels.

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