Drive about three hours south of Sydney and you’ll discover a hidden gem on the NSW South Coast known as Green Patch. Nestled in the Booderee (the Aboriginal word for “Bay of Plenty”) National Park on the bright-blue shores of Jervis Bay, Green Patch is set in a stunning natural bush reserve that is perfect for day-trippers and campers alike.
The crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches combine to make Green Patch a great DIY holiday in the traditional Aussie fashion and the best way to explore your surroundings is to pack up your tent and the rest of your camping gear and stay a few days, if not a week. The camping grounds are well-maintained and offer hot showers and bathroom facilities, while there are also barbecues available.
And if you are keen to see that quintessential Australian wildlife up close and personal, you won’t have to go far, with groups of kangaroos and the occasional wombat wandering through your campsite. It’s a fun way to wake up in the morning and be greeted by the “locals” in their natural setting.
The beach is just a few minutes walk away from the camping area and from May to November, you will be treated to a whale-watching extravaganza during their migration season. If you are seeking a little more excitement or a good latte, then head to the nearby town of Huskisson, where you can do anything from stand-up paddle boarding to surfing lessons, kayaking, dolphin-watching tours or just chilling out at a café on the water’s edge.
It would have to be chilling out on the beach at Green Patch. There are a number of deserted coves and stretches of beach where you will be happy to set up and spend the day swimming, beachcombing and sunbathing. But it’s essential to bring your own snorkelling and/or diving gear to do some underwater sightseeing. From stingrays to a variety of curious fish, frolicking dolphins and other sea life, you won’t be disappointed.
It would have to be the crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches of Jervis Bay. It’s a perfect spot for snorkelling and diving, while you can also do a bit of hiking in the park itself. But the real highlight is learning about the Wreck Bay people, the traditional Aboriginal owners of Booderee National Park who have cared for the area for generations. Visitors to the only Aboriginal-owned Botanic Gardens in Australia can learn about the bush, plants, culture and traditional medicines of the Wreck Bay people.
Having camped at Green Patch on numerous occasions, the worst time I ever had was when it rained. But then again, some would argue that it’s all part of the experience. It’s not all bad though – a rainy day is a good excuse to do some exploring further afield or even settle in for the long haul at a café in one of the nearby villages.
Obviously, you can’t take anything out of the Booderee National Park itself. But there are some lovely fishing villages in the area, such as Huskisson and Vincentia, where you’ll find a few local markets that are held either weekly or monthly. Here, you can pick up some unique arts and crafts and fresh produce, all the while rubbing shoulders with the friendly locals.
The camping ground at Green Patch is a great option. Not only is it economical, but it is also very family friendly. Just remember to book ahead. Other options include local B&Bs, motels and caravan parks. And if you are in to surfing, then head to Caves Beach, which also offers a camping ground.