Escape to a winter wonderland of whales, vines food and fabulous scenery | VIDEO

The Shoalhaven beckons for a winter break | VIDEO

Domestic travel
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Shoalhaven is the ultimate destination for travellers looking for a unique escape this winter.

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Feel in need of a winter break, why not try the Shoalhaven?

From once-in-a-lifetime encounters swimming with majestic Humpback whales, to award-winning winery adventures, and cosy accommodation with in-house fine dining, Shoalhaven is the ultimate destination for travellers looking for a unique escape this winter. And it's just two hours from Sydney and Canberra.

From May to November each year, the Shoalhaven coast comes alive with the annual whale migration. The Shoalhaven, with its restful bays, is a favoured spot for whales and their calves to take a break as they travel along the 'Humpback Highway'. It is one of the best spots for a guaranteed sighting or up-close encounter.

Book a whale watching eco-cruise with Jervis Bay Wild or Dolphin Watch to get up close with humpback whales, or try a 'Swim with the Whales' experience with Dive Jervis Bay or Woebegone Freedive, two of only a few licensed to do so in Australia. They offer a unique way to have an in-water experience with the humpbacks. Travellers who have embarked on a swim with whales' experience have described it as 'life-changing' and 'unforgettable' with curious whales often coming over for a closer look at swimmers.

"Shoalhaven has some of the best whale watching experiences along the east coast, with a season that lasts from May to November," said Coralie Bell, Tourism Manager, Shoalhaven City Council.

"There is a huge variety of experiences including eco cruises inside Jervis Bay along white sand beaches and in calm, clear waters. Pair that with the rugged coastline combined with the green rolling hills of the south coast and nine cellar doors make for an excellent cosy stay."

WHALE OF A TIME: Try swimming with these majestic giants. Image: Clout

WHALE OF A TIME: Try swimming with these majestic giants. Image: Clout

The region is home to nine cellars doors including award-winning Silos Estate, Mountain Ridge Wines, Coolangatta Estate, and Cupitt's Estate. Those looking for something unique can choose from a range of activities and locations including High Tea in a giant teacup to horseback rides through the vines, meeting miniature animals as you sip and perching up with a wine upon a hill overlooking 360 views of the Shoalhaven River or Kangaroo Valley escarpment.

WINTER WONDERLAND: Relax on a picnic at Bawley Vale Estate. Photo: Rachael Tagg.

WINTER WONDERLAND: Relax on a picnic at Bawley Vale Estate. Photo: Rachael Tagg.

Shoalhaven Wine Coast president Brett Richardson said the area is a well-established wine region that offers visitors a diverse range of delicious award winning wines, premium dining options and unique visitor experiences.

If the winter weather makes you want to savour mouthwatering local produce in relaxing and cosy surrounds, then you'll appreciate the Shoalhaven's many opulent dine-in accommodation offerings.

Coolangatta Estate. Photo: Rachael Tagg.

Coolangatta Estate. Photo: Rachael Tagg.

From luxury accommodation pods and a farm to table menu at Cupitt's Estate; an overnight stay with ocean view rooms and fine dining at Bannisters Pavilion or Bannister's By the Sea featuring Rick Stein's award-winning seafood restaurant; the rustic beauty of Mountain Ridge Wines family run farm-stay and locally sourced menu featuring monthly market dinners; unique outdoor safari tents and a three course bush tucker meal await at Paperbark Camp; sustainable gourmet eats and a coastal view at Bangalay Dining and Villas on Seven Mile Beach; and casual dining meets charming 18th century accommodation at Coolangatta Estate.

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