Australia’s ‘best kept secret’ holiday destination popular with locals – and you can stay for just £57 a night

CALLALA BEACH goes for miles – the white sand is so fine it squeaks when you walk.

The water is soft and inviting, caressing the shore and tempting even the most timid for a swim.

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The main draw of the bay is delightful Huskisson Beach, where a few restaurants and cafes cluster around the much-loved Husky Pub. to be locatedCredit: Tourism Australia
Jervis Bay is one of the best places on earth to spot wild bottlenose dolphins - about 100 to 120 of them live permanently in these waters

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Jervis Bay is one of the best places on earth to spot wild bottlenose dolphins – about 100 to 120 of them live permanently in these watersCredit: Shutterstock
A humpback whale enjoying the waters of Jervis Bay

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A humpback whale enjoying the waters of Jervis BayCredit: Getty

This beach in Australia’s New South Wales is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in the world, let alone Oz.

But it has competition in its home of Jervis Bay National Park – home to dozens of these white-sand beaches.

Most feel amazingly calm. The fun part is to pick a different one every day and see which one you like the most.

Jervis Bay is arguably one of Australia’s best kept secrets – a 115-mile drive south of Sydney, which takes just under three hours.

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Once there you will not find large resorts, but a cluster of small towns and villages.

Accommodation is usually in affordable holiday parks and rented apartments, and most visitors are Aussie.

The tranquil atmosphere is a world away from the more famous holiday destinations Down Under, such as the Gold Coast and Cairns.

The main draw of the bay is delightful Huskisson Beach, where a few restaurants and cafes are located around the much-loved Husky Pub.

On the south side of town, kids splash happily among the sandbars of Moona Moona Creek, while at the mouth of Currambene Creek, boat trips head out to see the local wildlife.

Jervis Bay is one of the best places on earth to spot wild bottlenose dolphins. This is because about 100 to 120 of them live permanently in these waters.

So it never takes too long to find out where they hang out on any given day.

Jetty on Jervis Bay, not far from Currambene Creek

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Jetty on Jervis Bay, not far from Currambene CreekCredit: Getty
Jervis Bay is arguably one of Australia's best kept secrets - a 115-mile drive south of Sydney, taking just under three hours

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Jervis Bay is arguably one of Australia’s best kept secrets – a 115-mile drive south of Sydney, taking just under three hoursCredit: Getty

The crew of our Dolphin Watch Cruises catamaran quickly spotted a few pods heading towards the north end of the bay.

They travel fast, hunting for fish, but also like to play next to the tour boats.

It is a comfort zone that has been built up over the past decades. They know the boats can’t hurt.

This relationship produces extraordinary results. Enthusiastic viewers on the deck of our catamaran were treated to a magical show as 20 to 30 bottlenose dolphins hung out nearby for over an hour.

Their swimming is beautifully synchronized, as they rise out of the water together and then gently slide back in.

It feels privileged to see them in action.

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From about mid-May to November, the dolphins are accompanied by humpback whales.

The whales use the sheltered waters of Jervis Bay as a resting place during their high migration to the northern breeding grounds and then back to Antarctica.

If you come here during whale season, the dolphin safari cruises also turn into whale watching trips.

However, if you want to see an abundance of smaller marine life, bring a snorkel.

Blenheim Beach in Vincentia, the next town south of Huskisson, offers an abundance of fish darting around the rocks.

The beach itself is another blast. It is quite small and feels like it belongs on a remote desert island.

Beyond is lush, green bushland, which contrasts beautifully with the white sand and clear blue-green water.

It is part of the White Sands Walk, which connects several beaches in Jervis Bay.

There are plenty of birdlife to spot along the way, including cheeky cockatoos and dazzling rainbow lorikeets.

If you’re lucky, you might also see sinking echidnas – spiny anteaters – or bounding kangaroos. It’s a slow walk, and you might stop for a swim at Greenfield Beach and Chinamans Beach along the way.

The terminus is Hyams Beach, arguably the most famous spot on Jervis Bay.

Here the white sand stretches along the coastline for several kilometers and the water deepens very gradually.

It is perfect for paddling. Children are in their element, alternately splashing in the small waves and building sand castles.

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For the parents watching, it is one of the most beautiful beaches they will ever see in their lives.

In Jervis Bay, where major developments are blocked and the marketing hype never seems to land, this sensational scene is just everyday life.

GO: AUSTRALIA

GET THERE: Qatar Airways has flights to Sydney via Doha from Heathrow, Gatwick, Cardiff and Manchester. Return fares from around £1,050.

STAY THERE: Colorful beachfront bungalows at the Huskisson Beach Resort cost from £57 per night. See huskissonbeachresort.com.au.

  OUT & ABOUT: Dolphin tours with Dolphin Watch Cruises cost £20. See dolphinwatch.com.au.

MORE INFORMATION:Check out Australia.com

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