Home to rivers, lakes, national parks, stunning beaches and an array of wineries, restaurants and bars, there’s no denying that Shoalhaven South Coast is at the top of our list when it comes to the perfect beach holiday destination.
Having been impacted by Australia’s devastating bushfires earlier this year and COVID-19 putting a further damper on our plans to visit the stunning region, the small businesses of Shoalhaven South Coast need our help more than ever before.
Here’s how you can help out the Shoalhaven community, all from the comfort and safety of your couch.
Eat 'Til Your Heart’s Content
You’ll be pleased to know you can satisfy your endless isolation hunger with some delicious treats found all over the Shoalhaven region. Kangaroo Valley Fudge House and Ice Creamery is Shoalhaven’s must-try, multi-award-winning confectionary. Indulge in their handmade fudge, brittle and honeycomb, or treat yourself to one of their lolly bags or even a gift box complete with sweet and savoury snacks.
Still in search for more? Stocking everything from preserves and condiments, syrups, spice blends, chocolate and lollies, it’s easy to see how The Treat Factory in Berry has become the largest gourmet food outlet on the South Coast. Our favourites? We can’t resist their chocolate covered coffee beans and tastebud-tingling boiled lollies. If your chocolate craving is still well and truly real, the Woodstock Co. has you covered. Not only is their range of lovingly handcrafted Belgian chocolate painfully beautiful, but it also tastes like heaven on earth. Taste a bit of everything with their truffle gift box, purchase a selection of chocolate bars or go all out with a decadent hamper. Supporting small family businesses never tasted so good.
Vino Lovers Unite
You might be surprised to discover that Shoalhaven South Coast is home to some incredible boutique wineries, all of which are sure to satisfy even the least enthusiastic wine drinker. First on our list is the stunning Silos Estate in Jaspers Brush. Just when we thought we couldn’t love this winery any more, we discovered that these guys are not only selling their delicious wine online, they also sell Alpaca products and even hand sanitiser to help you keep nasty germs at bat. If you’re keen to share some more local love, Cupitt’s Estate is a not only a winery but a brewery, fromagerie, restaurant, bar and Shoalhaven hot spot. While you currently can’t come around for a visit, there’s plenty on offer on their online store including self-isolation packs, party packs and mixed wine packs.
Family-run Cambewarra Estate has also hustled together their ‘Isolation Dozen’ complete with two Verdelho, two cabernet sauvignons, two Chambourcin, two chardonnays, two rosés, one white port and one red port for $340 including delivery. But if you’re keen to see the estate’s beauty in the flesh, you can purchase a gift card and pay them a visit in the near future.
Lastly, our list wouldn’t be complete without the addition of family-run Mountain Ridge Wines located on the rise up to Cullunghutti Mountain. While a visit to see the winery in all its glory is essential, you can hop onto their online shop in the meantime and take full advantage of their delicious wines, eco-friendly products, preserves and coffee beans. All the isolation essentials, right?
The Perfect Gift Ideas
While there’s endless options for food and drink to gorge yourself on, there’s also a heap of gift ideas, perfect for any occasion. Candle lovers head to Beloved Scents and purchase their hand-poured soy candles made from the best quality ingredients or snap up their fragrant bath salts, hand and body washes. Valley Vintage is the place to go for all kinds of knick-knacks including puzzles, games, books and even men's skincare. For children, you can’t go past Kangaroo Valley Woodcraft who stock an extensive range of children’s toys, featuring the work of over 60 Australian woodworkers in 70 different types of woods while Kate Inglish Designs, in Nowra, has a thoughtfully-curated selection of baby gifts that are sure to please all mums and bubs.
If you’re after something special, Apple Eye Jewellery Designs has you sorted, specialising in silver, gold and semi-precious stones, all inspired by nature and created using sustainable methods. Lovers of tea can head to Something’s Brewing and The Berry Tea Shop for deliciously sensory teas and even a range of tea sets and tea towels, helping to round out the perfect gift. Those wanting to really treat themselves can pay a visit to Bellissima Day Spa, for some self-pampering products as well as online skin consultations and gift vouchers which can be redeemed on relaxing spa treatments upon reopening—sounds heavenly to us. And if you’re after a good read to keep you company while hibernating at home, the Harbour Bookshop in Ulladulla is the perfect place to help you get your fix.
Homewares To Make You Happy
If you’re in the mood to spruce up your living space, there’s plenty of homewares stores in Shoalhaven to help turn your house into a home. Crystal lovers rejoice because Beloved Boho is stocked up with crystals, affirmation cards, ritual kits and smudge sticks, perfect for warming up any home. Space 2538 is another one of Shoalhaven’s hidden gems, stocking a huge selection of homewares including artwork and wall hangings, clothing, bedding, rugs and even furniture. And if you're still on the hunt for a little something for yourself, another unmissable homewares store to check out is Few and Far, a portal to the world of interiors, you're bound to lose yourself in their stunning craftsmen and artisan treasures. Trust us when we say you’ll want to spend your entire wage here.
If you're after something unique or a gift for the impossible-to-buy-for there are a ton of stores that can cater to your needs. Bliss Gifts and Homewares sell all the kinds of things we never knew we needed, like furry sloth slippers, a domed cheeseboard and dachshund salt and pepper shakers. For all lovers of photography, Jordan Robins Photography is sure to mesmerise. As an internationally acclaimed, award-winning and self-taught ocean wildlife and ocean art photographer based in Jervis Bay, there’s no denying his works are something special. If you’re keen for the DIY approach to art, This Old House Studio has all the supplies you need with arts and crafts kits, paint and brushes—and you can even book online for some nifty workshops.
New Season Threads
If you’re on the hunt for some new threads for the cooler seasons, you can be sure to stock up online with the help of Shoalhaven. Miss Moss in Milton is the is your one-stop-shop for womenswear in Shoalhaven, selling everything from footwear to earrings, handbags and a wide range of clothing. If you’re not sure what to decide on for a gift, you can always opt for a gift voucher and let them decide. We personally can’t go past a pair of their statement drop earrings.
As a coastal town, the list wouldn’t be complete without the addition of a couple of surf shops. Southern Man Surf stocks over 5,000 products and 100 brands for men, women and children, so you’re sure to find something for everyone. Having been around since 1987, there’s no denying Aquatique is a somewhat of a local legend in Shoalhaven. Stocking all of our favourites like A Brand, Silent Theory and Vans, it’s safe to say we’ve accumulated quite the wish list.
So whether you’re in the market for some new threads, looking for a birthday gift or simply in the mood to splash some iso cash, feel-good gifts that give back to a community in need are definitely worth exploring.
From June 1 people will be able to travel to Shoalhaven to support these local businesses. If you're planning on visiting, please be a conscious traveller and book ahead to help support the region.
Image credit: Baylee Gramling