With powdery white sand and aquamarine water, Hyams Beach is a rather spectacular piece of coastline along the edge of Jervis Bay. Hyams Beach General Store and Café is the only food business servicing the needs of the locals and visitors, who visit in considerable numbers during the warmer months. Many – like myself – take a holiday rental in the two-street wide beach locale to maximise their time at one of New South Wales’ most beautiful beaches.
We chose to drop anchor at Minke, a historical whaling cottage on the suburb’s main street. When choosing your holiday abode, remember that off-street parking is a must during the summer months, because a beach this good gets lots of weekend attention if the weather is good.
The cottage is a renovated 1926 whaling cottage, with pictures of the original building and its inhabitants, taking pride of place in the tiny lounge room. The one-bedroom cottage, which was originally was part of a pair, has been expanded to a foursome of weatherboard dwellings, each painted in a different pastel shade. The interior space has been tastefully furnished with all a couple needs for a weekend by the sea.
And we’re not talking just any sort of furnishings either – from the pretty pastel SMEG kitchen appliances in the well-equipped eat-in kitchen, to the Dyson Air Multiplier cooling your nights in the bedroom, it would seem no expense has been spared to ensure your comfort. Better yet, the art is actually interesting, as are their library selections. Having a ferret around will uncover collections of buttons, hand-painted fishes, and lots of inlay items – it would seem someone shares my partner’s fetish for optical illusions.
With water views from both the front verandah and the expansive back deck, your only choice will be where to sit down first with a cheese platter and a bottle of wine.
In the mornings, blow-ins like myself, can usually be found at the neighbouring Hyams Beach General Store and Café queuing for that essential first cup of coffee.
A Latte ($3.90), made on The Little Coffee Company’s arabica beans, is a decent drop. It takes a while to arrive, but despite the full tables and long queue at the walk-up window, the overworked barista still doesn’t burn it – success!
We choose to build our own breakfast on top of a Scrambled Eggs on Sourdough ($10) base, adding a modest trio of smoky Burrawang Bacon ($4.90), a Hash Brown ($2.20) and some house-made Tomato Chilli Jam ($2.20). It’s a substantial feed but costs have a way of getting away from you when breakfast isn’t priced as a whole sum.
They also whack on a ten percent surcharge on Sunday – guess we should be grateful the seven day working week hasn’t yet hit sunny seaside hamlets like Hyams Beach. Our cooked breakfasts take the good part of an hour to arrive, so we wolf them down, eager to hit the sand.
A smart traveller may elect to beat the wait by loading up on supplies on the drive down from Sydney. Despite being located in a shopping monolith, the Shellharbour Fish Market is a fishermen's cooperative, and produced some of the best cooked tiger prawns I've eaten this summer. Along with some unshucked oysters from the same place, and a selection of cheeses, they made self-catering a breeze.
Minke Historic Whaling Cottage
57 Cyrus Street, Hyams Beach
Ph: (02) 9328 1379
Hyams Beach Store & Cafe
76 Cyrus Street, Hyams Beach
Ph: (02) 4443 3874