shoalhaven tourism - 2ST

After ten months, Wheelbarrow Road is open


Wheelbarrow Road south of Ulladulla has re-opened following upgrade works undertaken by Shoalhaven City Council after the bushfires.

The works included the construction of a new and improved Wheelbarrow Road bridge over Lucy Kings Creek, Morton as well as seven-metre wide bitumen sealed surface along 2.3 kilometres of Wheelbarrow Road that were previously unsealed.  

The council-funded project cost $1.3 million and took 10 months to complete.  

The January bushfires destroyed the timber Wheelbarrow Road bridge, along with four other bridges in the Shoalhaven. 

Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley says council has worked as quickly as possible to rebuild infrastructure damaged by the fires with more fire resilient replacements. 

“I’m delighted that in addition to a fire resilient bridge, the upgrades to Wheelbarrow Road will improve safety and access for residents and visitors to Morton,” she said. 

“The Wheelbarrow Road project included vegetation clearing, earthworks and road widening. It has taken time to secure funding, finalise tenders and arrange contracts but it has been worth the wait."

Berry named the state's top tourism small town as Shoalhaven dominates


There are celebrations in Berry after it was named the State's top tourism small town in the NSW Top Tourism Towns awards for 2022 earlier today.

In fact the Shoalhaven dominated the awards, with Berry winning one of the three categories, and Huskisson and Ulladulla finishing runners-up to Carcoar and Mudgee in the other two.

The judges noted Berry is a friendly and historic town that offers visitors many activities and attractions, including a mouth-watering array of fabulous gourmet restaurants to award winning wineries, unique homewares shops and boutiques, as well as well-appointed accommodation provided by a passionate tourism community.

Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley congratulated the communities of Berry, Huskisson and Ulladulla for being recognised in the prestigious awards.

"We live in the most beautiful place and wish Berry all the best for the Australian Tourism Awards as they battle it out against the states," she said.

"We are incredibly proud of our communities and businesses for their achievement and commitment to providing a welcoming and vibrant town for both locals and visitors to enjoy.”

Berry Chamber of Commerce and Tourism President Louise Hallum said the whole town was "humbly proud" after winning the award.

“Berry is beyond thrilled to have even been part of NSW's Top Tourism Town Awards," she said.


"It really does recognise the passion with which our Berry locals share their absolute love of what they do.

"Berry is blessed with stunning bucolic scenery and oodles of village charm, but it is the unique events, fantastic accommodation, specialist shopping, exceptional dining and winery experiences that are all delivered with legendary Berry hospitality that ultimately makes Berry such a special, truly memorable place to visit and be," Ms Hallum said.

It was a sentiment echoed by Shoalhaven Council Tourism Mananger Coralie Bell.

“We are thrilled for Berry to be bringing home the gold for the competitive NSW Top Tourism Town Awards and equally proud of all six of our Shoalhaven towns who received highly commended or secured a finalist spot back in April," she said.

"Being recognised as winners and finalists emulates the passion our business operators have for growing and developing our visitor economy.”

More than 12,000 people voted for this year’s Top Tourism Towns awards from a list of 30 finalists, with the winners announced at the Local Government NSW Destination and Visitor Economy Conference in Orange this week.

Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade, Minister for Tourism and Sport and Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the winners captured the essence and uniqueness of the state’s tourism offering.


“The incredible natural beauty and warm welcome that awaits in the Top Tourism Towns of NSW fulfill the compelling promise of the NSW Government’s Feel New tourism campaign,” Mr Ayres said.

“We know travellers want more than a checklist of things to see. They want experiences that inspire, amaze and revitalise."

He said Berry was a vibrant example of the unique attributes of regional NSW that set the state apart from other visitor destinations and leave a lasting impression.

NSW Tourism Industry Council Executive Manager Greg Binskin said the awards celebrated towns with a population under 1500, between 1500 and 5000, and a population over 5000 residents.

“Berry, Small Town winner, was admired as a gorgeous town between the mountains and the sea, with its greenery and gardens equalled only by the stunning historic homesteads and abundance of amazing shopping," he said.

The awards are managed by the NSW Tourism Industry Council, with tourism associations, local councils, local chambers and visitor information centres collaborating to enter their towns.

Carcoar, Berry and Mudgee will represent NSW at the Australian Top Tourism Town Awards later in the year. 

Images: NSW Top Tourism Town Awards 2022

No cheap flights to South Coast airports


Tourist operators on the South Coast, that are still reeling from the impact of bushfires and covid, will again be hit hard, with no incentives for people to fly to the region under the Federal Government’s new tourism package.

Shellharbour and Moruya airports have both been left off the discounted airfare package announced today, with only Merimbula Airport, further south, included.

Federal Member for Gilmore Fiona Phillips says people from the South Coast will be given half price airfares to Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, and South Australia to spend their money, but valuable tourism dollars are not going to flow back into the region under the package.

"The Morrison Government has just completely got it wrong again - ingnoring the South Coast," she said.

"Our tourist operators, our travel agents have been crying out for help, and we find that our airports at Shellharbour and Moruya are not eligble for those flights.

"The real worry with the package they've put toegther is actually that it will encourage local people to go out of the area and spend their money - that's the real worry."

Mrs Phillips says there are hundreds of businesses and thousands of workers whose livelihoods have been impacted by the coronavirus restrictions and the return of international tourism is still a long way off.

She says, in a few weeks’ time, when Job Keeper ends, there is no plan to support the hundreds of businesses that will have to close their doors.

"Travel agents all along the South Coast have been calling out for an extention to job keeper and still the government hasn't announced anything," Mrs Phillips added.

"They need to do something before it's too late."

She said the government should be increasing incentives to encourage people to come and spend their money on the South Coast.

"Our travel agents, local shops and businesses are needing more support through spending as well."

Photo Shellharbour Airport.


Plan for Ulladulla uni, homes at Bomaderry and Nowra jobs


The draft Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2041 includes a proposal to establish a Country Universities Centre at Ulladulla, identifies investment opportunities for the Albatross Aviation and Technology Park and highlights the Shoalhaven riverfront as an untapped resource.

The Nowra City Centre has been named an emerging metropolis, South Nowra Industrial Area could accommodate up to 180 new industrial lots and up to 9,600 new dwellings could be constructed in the vicinity of Moss Vale Road, west of Bomaderry.

The launch of an interactive map this week provides Shoalhaven residents with an easy way to see the State Government’s vision for development over the next 20 years, and also allows people to have their say and even place a heart on their favourite village or town.

The contains 30 objectives to guide land use over the next two decades, including the provision for 30,000 new homes and more than 45,000 new jobs.

Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock says a green grid connecting parks, open spaces and bushland with cycle ways and pedestrian pathways will make the region’s natural beauty more accessible to residents and visitors, protecting our village lifestyle while promoting sustainable growth and job opportunities that are vital for the future of our region.

“A green grid connecting parks, open spaces and bushland with cycle ways and pedestrian pathways will make the region’s natural beauty more accessible to residents and visitors, protecting our village lifestyle while promoting sustainable growth and job opportunities that are vital for the future of our region,” she said.

“We’re now calling for the community to have their say on the plan which contains 30 objectives to guide land use over the next two decades.”

The plan is the NSW Government’s blueprint to ensure the ongoing prosperity and growth of the dynamic region that is made up of the Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama, and Shoalhaven local government areas.

It explores place-based opportunities to grow the national competitiveness of Metro Wollongong and looks at developing a NSW South Coast Marine Tourism Strategy as well as developing initiatives to protect and enhance the natural environment, including biodiversity corridors, riparian areas and Lake Illawarra storm water management.

The interactive map, found on the Planning NSW website allows people to look at plans their specific area. They can drop pins and leave comments and can even upload photos.

As the second largest centre in the Shoalhaven, the plan identifies Milton-Ulladulla’s as an important tourism region and, as the population grows education is becoming a stronger focus.

There is a proposal to establish a Country Universities Centre at Ulladulla.

It is also a place for housing choice, and the draft Regional Plan supports Councils’ commitment to review planning and development controls to increase residential density where appropriate.

The future Milton-Ulladulla Bypass will enhance the town centre as a place to live.

The Regional Plan supports The Albatross Aviation and Technology Park by committing to develop a precinct profile to identify the desired future role, land and infrastructure requirements, and a simplified planning process to activate investment opportunities.

Located alongside the HMAS Albatross naval air station, this 35-hectare precinct currently supports a cluster of electronics, IT, logistics and aviation businesses that is expected to support 1,500 jobs.

The 110 hectare South Nowra Precinct, which employs over 2,300 people and includes the Flinders Estate and the South Nowra industrial lands, has been identified as having potential to accommodate up to 180 new industrial lots.

The Regional Plan supports this precinct by committing to develop a precinct profile to identify the desired future role, land and infrastructure requirements, and a simplified planning process to activate investment opportunities.

An emerging metropolis, Nowra City Centre offers a diversity of functions and the Shoalhaven River has been highlighted as an untapped asset.

There are plans in place to replace the Nowra Bridge, upgrade Shoalhaven Hospital, and activate the riverfront, and leveraging these investments through collaboration between the NSW Government, council, health and education institutions, and the private sector will attract investment and economic development to achieve Nowra City Centre’s growth potential.

According to the plan, this would enhance open space, improve connections, increase safety and provide a catalyst for investment.

Nowra Bomaderry has been earmarked as a regionally significant growth area with a long -term capacity of 9,600 new dwellings with the current focus on the Moss Vale Road precincts.

Development of these new communities will be enhanced with access to active and public transport connections to enhance accessibility to diverse employment opportunities, retail, health and education facilities.

Identifying and coordinating the planning, funding and roll out of infrastructure and monitoring the take up of housing in growth area will help unlock housing supply. 

To read the draft updated Regional Plan and SIC and have your say visit: