Dis­cover the Shire

Head south of Syd­ney to the Suther­land Shire for bliss and beauty this sum­mer, writes Siân Ed­wards.

Where Sydney - - Contents -

BLESSED WITH THE TRI­FECTA of beau­ti­ful beaches, idyl­lic rivers and na­tional parks to ex­plore, the Suther­land Shire in Syd­ney’s south is heat­ing up to be the place to visit this sum­mer. With the only beach in Syd­ney ac­ces­si­ble by train, a wave of delicious eater­ies and activities for ev­ery­one, we have found the best places you can eat, drink and play in Syd­ney’s se­cret south­ern sub­urbs.


Fast be­com­ing Syd­ney’s new beach­side foodie hot spot, Cronulla has some­thing for ev­ery­one. Start your day with a cof­fee from Bare­foot on the Beach, lo­cated right on the Es­planade, or grab a ta­ble at the busy HAM (3/17 Ger­rale Street). If you can find the laneway leg­ends at Black­wood Pantry (5/33 Surf Lane), you’re in for some of Syd­ney’s best cof­fee and ar­ti­san foods. Ve­g­ans and vege­tar­i­ans are cov­ered at Pil­grims (97 Ger­rale Street) and nearby Heart & Soul Cafe (6/17 Ger­rale Street).

Ven­tur­ing away from the beach sub­urbs, doesn’t mean the qual­ity lessens, with Shire favourites Left Bower in Suther­land (3/45 East Pa­rade), West End Es­presso in Jan­nali (2/3

Jan­nali Av­enue) and Hugh John Manors (2/37–39 Cam­brai Av­enue) in En­ga­dine all worth a visit.


If you’re look­ing for a delicious dinner venue in Cronulla, don’t pass up a meal at wa­ter­front es­tab­lish­ment Sealevel Restau­rant & Bar (2 Kingsway) or pop­u­lar Ital­ian trat­to­ria Giro Os­te­ria (3/1 Mcdon­ald Street) be­fore head­ing to lo­cal bar The Blind Bear (28 Cronulla Street) for a late-night tip­ple.

If fine din­ing is more your style, you can’t beat the views at Cronulla’s Sum­mer Salt (66 Mitchell Road), which will have you feast­ing on fresh seafood while prac­ti­cally sit­ting in the sand (not re­ally, but you’re close enough!). Also not to be missed is new restau­rant Jensens (1/13 Freya Street, Ka­reela), run by the same owner; a fan­tas­tic ad­di­tion to the Shire food scene.


The Cronulla Beach Walk fol­lows more than four kilo­me­tres of the Shire’s coast­line south from Wanda Surf Life­sav­ing Club to Bass and Flin­ders Point, where the Hack­ing River meets the Tas­man Sea. Join the trail any­where along the Es­planade to get the full ex­pe­ri­ence of stun­ning wa­ter views, ocean pools and play­grounds along the way.

If you’d pre­fer to be on the wa­ter, you can catch a river cruise or ex­pe­ri­ence the hourly Cronulla to Bun­deena ferry ser­vice aboard the old­est com­muter ferry op­er­at­ing to a timetable in Aus­tralia. Walk­ing dis­tance from the train sta­tion, this cute lit­tle ferry grants you ac­cess to the sleepy town of Bun­deena, home to the sec­ond old­est na­tional park in the world, the Royal Na­tional Park.

While there, you can go for a bush­walk or hire a kayak from Bun­deena Kayaks (Bon­nie Vale Pic­nic Grounds) for an hour or two.

If you’re more of a flo­ral fan, you can go to the Camel­lia Gar­dens in Car­ing­bah (104 Pres­i­dent Av­enue), the only gar­den of its kind in the state. Stop by the Tea­house for the pop­u­lar high tea.


Wan­der the ever-chang­ing free ex­hi­bi­tions at the Hazel­hurst Re­gional Gallery and Arts Cen­tre in Gymea (782 Kingsway) or par­tic­i­pate in your own art course or work­shop be­fore ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the delicious cre­ations made in the on­site Hazel­hurst Café. The “PLAY ON: The Art of Sport” ex­hi­bi­tion will be run­ning un­til 11 Fe­bru­ary.

For the his­tory buffs, why not take a trip down mem­ory lane and spend a day at the Syd­ney Tramway Museum (Cor­ner of Raw­son Av­enue and Pitt Street, Lof­tus) where you can take a tram ride along the for­mer rail­way line be­tween Suther­land and the Royal Na­tional Park be­fore ex­plor­ing the museum filled with his­toric trams and other forms of trans­port from the 1800s.

If you’re in­ter­ested in go­ing fur­ther back in Aus­tralia’s his­tory, head to Kur­nell and fol­low the Bur­rawang Walk (from the Kur­nell Vis­i­tor Cen­tre off Cape Solan­der Drive) to find Cap­tain Cook’s Land­ing Place, which tells the story of the first meet­ing of Euro­pean and Abo­rig­i­nal cul­ture in 1770.


Visit the Shire Farm­ers Mar­ket in Suther­land (131 Flora Street) be­tween 8am and 1pm ev­ery Satur­day for delicious fresh pro­duce, lo­cal ar­ti­san treats from pop­u­lar Thor­ough­bread Bak­ery and more.

West­field Mi­randa (600 Kingsway) is your one-stop-shop for your favourite fash­ion brands to lo­cal artists like Mulga and the Emerg­ing De­signer Mar­ket pop­ups show­cas­ing their wares. You will also find the kid-friendly tram­po­line park Sky Zone per­fect for fam­ily fun!

Photo: Suther­land Shire Coun­cil.

Cronulla Beach.

Photo: Suther­land Shire Coun­cil.

Hazel­hurst Café.

Photo: Suther­land Shire Coun­cil.


Photo: Suther­land Shire Coun­cil.

Bun­deena Kayaks.

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