I love it when a getaway exceeds expectations. We’ve had a fantastic time this week on the South Coast.
I booked a holiday house in Gerringong on the recommendation of the youngest, who is a huge fan of the sleepy village after a few trips there with her dad.
Fortunately Google Maps had it wrong about my holiday rental being opposite a graveyard.
The house was actually up a private road and there was nary a gravestone to be seen from its front balcony.
Instead, we gazed out over green, rolling hills dotted with cows and horses, plus the gorgeous ocean at Boat Harbour. It was glorious.
I had been giving myself such a hard time in the lead up to the trip. I was berating myself for spending too much money when I could just have enjoyed a free beach holiday at DD’s place.
But the trip has been very good for my soul. I have spent many hours relaxing and unwinding. It has been so lovely.
Unfortunately, the youngest has been sick the whole time with a throat infection – her second tonsilitis episode in less than a month – so I gave her the upstairs self-contained studio, which had a spa bath with views and it’s own private balcony. Insta magic for a teenager!
As the youngest is pretty used to being sick due to her auto immune issues, she simply soldiered on.
Soon after settling in to our new digs we drove a minute or two down the road to have a dip at Werri Beach to christen our trip.
The lifesavers hosed the sand off our feet in the carpark afterwards and we headed home for a shower before dinner.
I booked The Hill Bar & Kitchen for our first dinner, which has the most stunning views of the ocean.
The venue was doing a roaring trade in cocktails, but I couldn’t go past one of my all-time favourite pink wines when I saw it on the menu – Rockford Alicante Bouchet. I fell in love with the pretty drop at the winery’s cellar door in the Barossa Valley in my 20s while on a wine tasting holiday with my ex husband.
My ex and I were unusual cats at that life stage – our favourite activities were wine tasting and antique shopping. Neither features highly on my list in my 50s – I’m more into beaches and expedition travel – you’d think it would be the other way around.
Anyways, The Hill is a lovely spot and my prawn linguine was serviceable, but I would probably recommend sticking to the burgers.
After dinner I settled into an Airdondack-style outdoor chair on the verandah of the holiday house and sipped another glass of pink wine on the verandah as I watched the sunset.
Our second day away was spent exploring Jervis Bay, which is the most stunning little corner of the world.
It is home to 16 gorgeous, blindingly white beaches, lapped by crystal clear turquoise water.
The fine, powdery sand is so strikingly white because it is mostly comprised of crushed quartz.
Even the hard to impress youngest was dazzled and insisted on having three swims at the most famous stretch of sand – Hyam’s Beach – because the water was so beautiful.
But her favourite spot was the more remote Cave Beach in the National Park.
We also had a lovely lunch on the waterfront at the Husky Hotel, including some yummy cauliflower “popcorn”.
I booked a surfing lesson for the youngest at Gerroa’s Seven Mile Beach on Monday morning, then headed home to do a few hours work while sitting on the deck with the most stunning vista.
The youngest enjoyed her lesson so much she ended up having one most days and is now dreaming about becoming a surfing instructor.
After her Tuesday lesson we headed to the Gerroa Fisherman’s Club for lunch, which justly bills itself as having million dollar views.
Its menu prices are pretty eye watering too. When we asked the cashier what they recommended, they replied that they didn’t know because they couldn’t afford to eat there.
It’s a special location, but don’t expect much from the food, stick to having a bevvy as the sun sets.
Actually, don’t expect much from any menu. There are quite a few restaurants in the area with fantastic views, but we didn’t find any with fantastic food. If anyone knows a good place to dine, please let me know for my next trip!
But we were there for the outdoors stuff, not the restaurants.
One morning I scrambled out of bed at 5.30am to catch the sunrise via the graveyard. There was a fair bit of cloud on the horizon, but there is no such thing as a bad sunrise in my books.
Another morning I took the youngest for a 7.15am private surfing lesson on Seven Mile Beach.
It was a beautiful way to start the day. Dolphins were frolicking close to shore and the waves were filled with people taking part in a Veterans Surf Therapy Program.
The program aims to help veterans with PTSD through surf therapy and other activities. The participants were a lovely, collegiate bunch who cheered for the youngest every time she caught a wave.
DD spent a couple of days with us and we headed to the beach at Gerroa one evening to watch one of its famous sunsets. Holidaymakers were lined up along the shore in folding chairs, drinking in the view. (Fun fact: the youngest is wearing one of my vintage T-shirts in the pic above.)
The weather turned positively wintery on Wednesday night, just as we were taking a second, shivery dip at Gerroa. So Thursday was spent cocooning inside, with me working at the dining table and taking a twirl around Berry in the afternoon.
Berry is a quick 10-minute drive from Gerringong, but the youngest refused to go because she thinks its boring and insisted there were only two or three shops in the town.
She said it so decisively that I almost believed her, but she lied – there are HEAPS of shops in the pretty little town. Admittedly, most of them don’t stock goods that would appeal to a 16 year old, though she did request I bring back a bar of salted, sugar-free chocolate from one of the stores, which came with the most eye-watering price tag.
I had a happy wander up and down the main street, then I headed up to the showground for the weekly farmer’s market, before returning to the holiday house to have a final Aperol Spritz with a view on the holiday house balcony.
We loved our time in Gerringong and are already dreaming about returning for another holiday in the area – maybe Gerroa next time!
Song of the day: Martha and the Muffins “Echo Beach”