Road trip your way south of Sydney to Shoalhaven, a region where the ocean, mountains and river collide for peaceful living and endless serenity. Here RUSSH digital writer Jasmine Pirovic offers up her guide of unmissable things to do while exploring Shoalhaven.
Steer your way to Bundanon, just a 2 hour drive from Sydney, and stop at destinations like Berry and Kangaroo Valley along the way. Nestled on Yuin land where the rolling hills meet the vast Shoalhaven river, Bundanon was gifted to the Australian people at the bequest of iconic artist Arthur Boyd and his wife Yvonne in 1993 so that its beauty might be shared.
Sleep at the Bridge, a suspended lodge of blackbutt-panelled rooms, and feel yourself completely immersed in the surrounding landscape. The laugh of kookaburras and croaking of frogs certainly helps.
If you wander around Bundanon at night, keep an eye out for pudgy wombats munching on grass—the estate doubles as a wildlife sanctuary.
Wake in tandem with the sun and if you're with a lover get wrapped up in the crisp white sheets. Otherwise gather a group of friends, coffee in hand, for early morning walks to the jetty at the river's edge.
A good pair of walking shoes (or gumboots if the weather is leaky). I packed a trusty pair of Adidas x Wales Bonner Samba's but found myself yearning for my Danner hiking boots at home.
Shoalhaven is notably cooler in the winter months, so I like to lean into the cosy styling of JW Anderson for Uniqlo. This means rugby jerseys, brushed flannel, a padded gilet — anything oversized that resembles a cocoon.
During any downtime you'll want something to sink your eyes into, in which case grab a copy of Siteworks: Field Guide to Bundanon. It's the perfect companion for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of local flora and fauna, First Nations history in the region and Arthur Boyd's relationship to the land.
Wander through Art Museum Bundanon for From Impulse to Action, a collection of 12 bodies of work commissioned for the gallery in response to the practice of Arthur Boyd.
Drive into Berry for a silver jewellery-making workshop with Naomi Dootson at Appleye Handmade and explore the assortment of locally made wares downstairs at Co.LAB.
Anything that piques your interest from this Shoalhaven art and culture guide.
If you plan to stay at Bundanon for any of its experience packages, you'll no doubt get to taste the earthy, sustainably-minded cooking of Douglas Innes-Wills at Ramox Cafe.
Between activities in Berry, be sure to fill up on literally anything at Milkwood Bakery and Cafe. I went at midday and the line was flowing out the doorway, my heart sank because in Sydney this would mean that all the best treats have been snatched up, however the croissants and tarts were piled high, well-prepared to serve until 6pm. A true delight.
You can't road trip to Shoalhaven without breaking bread at Bangalay Dining. Positioned on the esplanade of Shoalhaven Heads, the restaurant serves up some of the regions freshest fare if occasion dining is on the cards.
Sip on local semillon at Mountain Ridge Winery for an afternoon tasting perched on the hilltops.