I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
Published November 25th 2012
Seven Mile Beach stretches from the small town of Gerroa down to Shoalhaven Heads and is located only a short drive south of Sydney, just below Kiama. At the beginning of 2012, I holidayed for a week in Gerroa, where every house seems to overlook the ocean. Being only a road away from the beach, I spent a lot of time out on the sand and in the waves. I wasn't the only one. Even when it was overcast and cold, there were people in the water, fishing or taking a walk.
The surf along Seven Mile Beach is very welcoming, with only small- to medium-sized waves, meaning it's a great place to learn to surf. Surf Camp Australia offers group lessons, private sessions and surf camps, and it has even nominated Seven Mile as the best 'learn to surf' beach in Australia. If you need more convincing, this is where Sally Fitzgibbons grew up, one the top female surfers in the world.
The surf is much less crowded than at Sydney beaches too
Families will love this beach too. One of the most appealing things about it (and a positive for parents of young kids) is Crooked River, which runs into the ocean at the Gerroa end. It doesn't go straight there though, instead lazily running horizontally to it for a while, offering some great shallow water for kids to play in, away from the waves. The tides aren't strong at all here and it's shallow enough that quite a few people (including myself) would just wade through the water to get off the beach and to the car park, instead of using the bridge.
I didn't quite work out why, but another go-to place for families seemed to be a small section of the beach between the rocks and the river, on the opposite side to the flags. Perhaps the rocks protected the area from waves. Or perhaps it was the distance from surfers that made families feel safe. If you come here with kids, you might want to check it out for yourself. Or, if your kids get sick of the water, or they're more interested in playing on the sand, you can get some games started on the large, flat, sandy area between the ocean and the river, or just walk further up the beach - you won't have to go far to get away from the other beach-goers. I have to admit though, hardly anyone was willing to get out of the water and spend time on the sand while I was there.
For the adults, there are (apparently) some of the best fossil displays on the coast at the end of the beach, among the rocks of Black Head. To find them, you should take the path from the car park at the end Stafford Street (a different car park to the Seven Mile Beach one) and walk down to the rock platform. I didn't find any fossils myself, but I didn't follow these instructions and just walked among the rocks around the corner from the beach - the path may lead to a different area. To see photos from someone who did locate some fossils, click here.
I spent most of my time at the Gerroa end of Seven Mile Beach, so I can't say what's at the other end. I did enjoy a few brief hours a few miles from Gerroa though, where the beach backs on to Seven Mile Beach National Park. As always, fishing seemed to be popular here. My companions and I also spent some time looking for pippies (be aware that there are limits on the amount you can take) and though we found them pretty elusive, we did manage to get a couple. We also were able to enjoy a few interesting shows that were taking place out on the water. There was some kite-surfing, which seems to be another popular sport here, and there was also a helicopter that seemed to spend ages hovering over the water behind the waves. We never quite worked out what it was doing, but it had us curious for quite a while.
If you want to head to Gerroa and Seven Mile Beach, you can rent a holiday place like I did, or stay at the Seven Mile Beach Holiday Park. The area is only around 130 kilometres south of Sydney and all you need to do is follow the Princess Highway till Gerringong, where you will turn off on to Fern Street or Belinda Street. Gerroa is the next town. Should you come to the area, I'm sure you'll be at the beach a lot. Generally, beaches are what you make of them. Bring a cozzie for swimming, rods for fishing or boards for surfing. However, I think Seven Mile Beach is still pretty special. We didn't run out of things to do all week.
That looks so lovely. We have no vast expanses in the uk. I've only ever seen it when travelling far afield, far away from Europe, which having had many years with a young family hasn't been possible for a long while. I guess that the reason families like the area sheltered by the riches us so that their lite ones font wander too far afield. I have had many a scary moment as a Mum on the beach with young children wandering in different directions! Loved the article. I want to see it one day! :)