Enjoy the laid-back pace of this pretty New South Wales coastal town. Explore its varied coastline, scenic harbour, local markets and nearby native bushland reserve.

With two beaches, a natural harbour and gorgeous Lake Illawarra nearby, Shellharbour is a fantastic place to enjoy beautiful ocean views or have an exciting adventure. Whether you’re boating, fishing, surfing, diving, swimming or simply indulging in the region’s fine seafood, you’ll find many ways to enjoy Shellharbour’s waters.

Shellharbour North Beach stretches from the town toward Barrack Point and Shellharbour South Beach runs from the harbour headland to Bass Point. Swim or surf on the beach breaks and wander to the rocky platforms at each end of the beach to explore rock pools with the kids. Dive or snorkel at Bass Point to observe the coast’s fascinating marine life. Lifeguards patrol these main beaches between Christmas and Easter.

Drop a fishing line or launch a boat from Shellharbour’s small recreational harbour. The harbourside park has a fun playground, picnic shelters and a saltwater swimming pool. A local market is held here on the fourth Sunday of each month. Pick up fresh produce or local souvenirs before heading to Shellharbour’s traditional pub and enjoying a drink while overlooking the harbour.

Shellharbour’s main strip, Addison Street, begins at the harbour. Wander along the street and check out the town’s shops, cafés and historical buildings. Follow the Shellharbour Village Heritage Trail using a map from the Shellharbour Visitor Information Centre. Sit at a café with outdoor seating and enjoy some of the town’s famous local seafood. See what’s showing at the Roo Theatre Company or catch a local cricket or football match at the town’s cricket oval.

In nearby Blackbutt Forest Reserve, explore the largest natural bushland reserve in the Illawarra with a mountain bike or on foot. Head to Lake Illawarra for scenic boating, canoeing and fishing adventures.

Reach Shellharbour within a 2-hour drive from Sydney or catch the coastal train to Oak Flats station and connect with local buses.

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