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9 South Coast Cultural Connections

Holiday Haven
21 Apr 2023

Australia lays claim to having the longest living culture known to humans – and the Shoalhaven region provides many opportunities to connect with it, both through nature and the people. Here are 9 ways you can connect culturally during your next stay.

1: Explore Booderee Botanic Gardens

Part of the Booderee National Park (entry fee required – order online), the Booderee Botanic Garden is a peaceful spot that provides insights into how the Koori people once lived off the land in this region. As well as enjoying the local flora and birdlife, you will be able to learn about bush tucker and the medicinal uses of many of the plants. There is a sheltered picnic/BBQ area and many walking trails to enjoy.

2: Munyunga Waraga Dhugan Walking Trail

This trail is also inside Booderee National Park, Munyunga Waraga Dhugan trail starts from Murrays Beach. And as a loop track (5.4km – allow 2.5 hours), it’s a great way to get an introduction to the region. The trail’s name translates as ‘white-bellied sea eagle’s home camp’ in the Dhurga language of the Wreck Bay Aboriginal people and along the way you’ll see plenty more examples of native birdlife and plants on a self-guided walk that includes history signage throughout. For a shorter walk, consider the 2.4km Telegraph Creek track.

3: Bomaderry Creek Regional Park

Located away from the highway at Bomaderry, just north of Nowra, Bomaderry Creek Regional Park is a surprising discovery filled with stunning sandstone faces, boulders and a scenic gorge, through which the namesake Bomaderry Creek runs through. If you’re short on time, but want a nature fix, you simply cannot go past this bushland oasis – with walking tracks, picnic areas and local Aboriginal art on display. Dogs (on leash) are also welcome – ensuring the whole family is looked after!

Culburra - Crookhaven Heads - Image via

4: Discover Indigenous Art

Traditional arts are on display outdoors with hand carved poles at Callala Beach and Crookhaven Heads. Or for gallery experiences, you’ll find contemporary local indigenous artists passing on their stories through the artworks and other products at Giriwa Garuwanga Art Gallery – an Aboriginal owned and operated art gallery in Ulladulla. Or for a mix of nature and art, take a drive inland along the Shoalhaven River from Nowra to discover the award-winning Bundanon gallery – with a mix of art including indigenous pieces and a unique gallery design that blends with its natural surroundings.

5: Ulladulla’s Warden Head and Coomee Nulunga Track

A visit to Ulladulla should include a trip to Warden Head Lighthouse (easily accessed from Holiday Haven Ulladulla). Here, as well as spectacular beauty looking out to the ocean, you can also learn about this location’s history and cultural significance via the Coomee Nulunga Cultural Trail. The trail winds its way towards the beach, and local Aboriginal community members are available (phone 02 4455 5883) to guide you in the significance of Dreamtime and the Rainbow Serpent to this area. 

One Track for All - Image

6: Ulladulla’s One Track for All

While in Ulladulla, you can easily immerse yourself in the history and culture of this significant location by walking the One Track for All. Located on the northern side of Ulladulla Harbour, this free track hugs the coast while telling the story of the area’s history and early European settlement – all from the Aboriginal perspective. The track is laden with local carvings and paintings by local Elder Noel Butler and has been designed to resemble two large goannas, with viewing platforms along the way providing breathtaking views of the ocean, harbour and township. Truly an experience for all!

7: Half-day Djiriba Waagura tours

Offering two tours – one in Ben’s Walk Nowra, the other at Huskisson in Jervis Bay – the Djiriba Waagura Cultural Tours (the name means “two crows'' in the Dhurga language of the Yuin Nation) offers a range of engaging tours that showcase the unique sandstone caves and ancient rock art, as well as bush foods and wildlife. Grounded in their four core values to listen, learn, love and lead, the team’s aim is to educate and inspire visitors about the Aboriginal cultural heritage and how it has existed in harmony with the landscape for thousands of years. A memorable tour experience for all the senses and ideal for the whole family.

8: Feast your Eyes

Mirritya Mundya means Hungry Blackfish, and is based in Callala at Jervis Bay – offering up what they call “Indigenous Twist” cuisine.  Their team have trained with amazing Australian chefs and specialise in wholesome homemade food in the form of grazing platter boxes for your next picnic or to enjoy at your Holiday Haven accommodation – with online ordering and delivered direct to you. And, if you fancy something a little fancier, look out for their pop-up luncheons and dinners at an ever changing selection of local eateries, with menu items that include sweet and savoury, with low and slow smoked proteins, native bread and the signature Lemon Myrtle Blackfish.

Image @trek_yuin_country

9: Yuin Country Trek

As you’ve seen, there are plenty of guides willing to share this amazing Country and its stories with you. But for something truly immersive, autumn or spring are great times to experience the beauty of the Morton National Park with a three-day Yuin Country Trek from Soulful Concepts. This is the ultimate way to go off the grid and step back in time and space – with so many spectacular sights and cultural experiences along the way. A stunning deep dive into the western fringe of this region steeped in culture.


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