We decided to take advantage of the Easter long weekend with another family getaway. We loved our trip to Nelson Bay so much that we wanted to do something similar. This time we were keen to head south and explore the area of Jervis Bay. Joining us was Braino's sister, Lauren or as Aunty Loz as she as come to be affectionately known as, and of course, Hallie was with us in this time. Plus how could we leave home without our lazy bulldog, Costanza.
GETTING THERE: ROAD TRIPS AND BABIES DON'T MIX
On Good Friday, we packed everything, dog included, in to our Toyota Prius V and headed to the airport to pick Loz up. it was a tight squeeze and we had to pack light. But once on the road, we were very ambitious and somewhat foolish to think a 3 hour drive was a good idea with a 3 month old baby. As a baby Farley absolutely hated the car until she was about 5 months olds. Car trips with baby Farley were limited to very short, absolutely necessary drives. However Hallie as been a bit different, some days she's ok in the car while other days she will cry. This day was one of the bad ones. She slept from our house to the airport but for the next 20 minutes after the airport she just screamed! I was sitting in the backseat between the two baby seats but I don't think that helped much. There is nothing more stressful than a crying baby in holiday traffic so we pulled over to give her a feed somewhere in the Shire but that didn't seem to settle her much and Braino quickly came up with a plan B - 'why don't you catch the train with Hallie'. At first I was like 'what?!?' but it actually made perfect sense; I'd be able to hold her, let her sleep in the ergo carrier and breastfeed whenever needed. So we hightailed it to the nearest train station; Sutherland. Farley and Lauren joined us as well, while Braino and Costanza made the drive down the coast together. The train was actually perfect for Farley too as we were able to keep her occupied with sticker books and she was free to move around bit. Usborne Books have a really great Easter themed sticker book that kept her busy and the coastal scenery from the train was surprisingly amazing! The train hugs the coastline for a large portion of the trip, so we were able to take in a lot of the stunning beaches and headlands around Woolloongong. The whole trip, including the change at Kiama took around 2 and a half hours and Braino met us at Bomaderry train station, arriving only a few minutes after we did. We then drove the last 20 minutes to the suburb of Vincentia in Jervis Bay.
As we were searching for a dog friendly accommodation on a budget, we were fairly limited for choices. The holiday house we booked through AirBnB was a quintessential beach shack, the outside was pretty run down, no doubt ear-marked for demolition down the track because the block of land has water views while the inside had been recently renovated in a tasteful, comfortable way. It was fully fenced and perfect for both our family dog and a toddler. The house was in a great location - we were only a short walk from a quiet beach and also walking distance to shops and cafes. Vincentia is a smaller, residential suburb of Jervis Bay. There is a Coles and few other cafes and shops nearby. The suburb of Huskinsson is a short drive north and is slightly more built up with a wider selection of shops, restaurants and accommodation options. I'd probably recommended staying in Huskinsson over Vincentia, just based on the amount of facilities but Vincentia is a lovely option.
GETTING OUT AND ABOUT
On Saturday morning, we headed up to Huskinsson for the Easter Parade and Fete at the local showgrounds. It was a great way to fill in the morning, looking at market stalls, vintage cars, demonstrations from the local fire brigade. Farley loved watching the the pet parade that was sponsored by Paradise Pet Parks - she loves dogs! We then ate lunch at the The Huskinsson Hotel - great food and atmosphere but very crowded seeing as it was Easter Saturday.
The best part about the location was that we were within walking distance to a quiet, dog friendly (but not off leash) beach - just next to the Vincentia Boat ramp on Holden Street. It was the perfect place to spend the late afternoons relaxing in the fresh ocean air. Farley loved exploring the rock pools and chasing us around. Costanza does not like getting wet so she was fine to just chill on the beach. While the water wasn't crystal clear like other beaches around Jervis Bay, the fact that it was within walking distance and very so low key was so appealing to us. It was so relaxing and easy with a baby, toddler and dog - although we couldn't have done it without Aunty Loz!
We spent Easter Sunday morning at another absolutely stunning spot Moona Moona Creek, which I'll dedicate a whole another blog post too. Jervis Bay is famous for one beach in particular - Hyams Beach. Since it's been advertised as the beach with 'Whitest Sand in the World', Hyams as fallen victim to being loved to death! I had read a few articles about how on holidays and popular weekend, the small suburb of Hyams Beach becomes a literal car park, you better have the patience of a saint to nab any sort of parking and then you'd still be walking a fair way to the beach. A drive-by while Farley was napping in the car, confirmed this - it was crazy! So we decided to forgo the Hyams Beach experience for our little local spot. Plus we really thought you couldn't get much better than Moona Moona Creek for a family friendly swimming spot.
PLACES TO EAT
We had the chance to sample of the local cafes and resatruants in Vincentia and Huskinsson so if you are in the area and looking for somewhere to eat, here a few place we would recommend.
The Huskinsson Hotel - Huskinsson
Here are some amazing blogs and resources I used when planning our long weekend.
There is so much to explore in Jervis Bay, you could easily spend a week in the area and not get bored - beautiful beach, coastal walks and marine tours to name a few. But I guess the big question we kept asking over the weekend was; 'Is this better than Nelson Bay, Port Stephens?' In this round of Family Getaway Faceoff: Port Stephens vs Jervis Bay, we'd have to declare Port Stephens as the winner.