When you finally have a chance to take a break with your family, you want it to be special. For a memorable outing that takes in both bushland and beachside elements, try a trip to Mollymook Beach, three hours south of Wahroonga. Local North Shore Mum Lynette Scalo visits the picturesque locale.
As parents to a newborn, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle-bustle of everyday life. So when our baby hit her five-month birthday, we realised it was time to venture out of our comfort zone for our first mini-break as a family. Of course, as North Shore locals, there are hundreds of beautiful places to explore right in our own backyard, but this time we wanted to challenge ourselves with a slightly longer trip. The perfect place? Mollymook, a South Coast seaside town three hours’ drive from our home in Wahroonga, where the beach meets the bush.
For us, the main attraction was the pristine Mollymook Beach. The sands are crisp and clean, and a dip in the ocean provides the perfect refreshment after the long drive. For us, we wore our swimmers under our clothes and drove straight to the beach, where we simply pulled a pre-packed beach bag out of the car (that we had stowed separate to our other luggage for easy access) grabbed bub, and hit the sand. The beach is calm and the atmosphere between tourists and locals is friendly, with a range of people enjoying bodysurfing, board-riding, plu a few distant figures on the rocks trying their luck with fishing rods. The beach itself is patrolled by Mollymook Surf Lifesaving Clubhouse and best of all, it’s free entertainment!
When it came time to choose a place to eat, we were spoiled for choice. We ate at the new Bannisters Pavilion (an offshoot of the popular Bannisters By The Sea), at the rooftop bar and grill. The balcony seating offers a view of the infinity-edge pool, and the huge windows are in direct line with the green treetops of the surrounding bushland, so you feel like you’re floating above Earth. The menu changes regularly and is designed to share, and we opted for lamb kofta, a fig and prosciutto salad with crisp, bitter wild rocket, plus a round of excellent coffees.
The hotel, while upmarket, is family friendly, but when it came time to change the babies the facilities were located in the handicapped bathroom, the portable change table sharing the space with a shower stall and a toilet, which is not ideal – especially if you are concerned you may be forcing a disabled patron to wait outside while you attend to your baby, as I was. Thankfully, on the day we visited the place was quiet enough that this didn’t happen.
While we ate at the hotel, you can of course pack your own picnic or shop locally at the IGA for a few bread rolls and a BBQ chicken for slap-up meal of your own creation, with plenty of picnic spots dotted along the beach.
For us, heading home after a day at the beach was the perfect option as we have a baby who is happy to sleep in the car! However, for a longer stay, options include everything from camping at Mollymook Toursit Park to accomodation at Ulladulla Guest House or Bannisters. In the mid range, choose from Mollymook Beach Waterfront, Mollymook Shores Motel or Mollymook Aquarius Apartments for your overnight stay.
5 things to do in Mollymook
- Surfing or swimming at Mollymook Beach
- Pam Burridge Surf School
- Ulladulla FunLand Games Arcade
- Mollymook Markets – held at Mollymook Beach Reserve when there is a 5th Sunday of the month. There are also markets at nearby Ulladulla and Milton on various weekends
- Ulladulla Guesthouse Art Gallery
For more details on any of these activities, visit the South Coast website
How to get to Mollymook
At three hours’ driving travel from Wahroonga, or three-and-a-half to make it right to the golden sands of Mollymook Beach, it’s probably a little too far for a day round-trip, especially if your children are small. But for older children, the drive is scenic and easy to break up with a stop at Berry (two hours from Wahroonga). And to sweeten the deal, Berry offers colonial-style pubs, village style boutique shopping and the lure of the famous 55 year-old Berry Doughnut Van, proffering hot cinnamon doughnuts plus hot dogs, bagels and much-needed coffee, plus Berry Bon Bon, a sweet shop packed with treats.
You can also take a train to Mollymook, changing at Kiama for Bomaderry Station, then a bus to Mollymook Beach, which is a longer but extremely beautiful trip taking in rainforest-like terrain and breathtaking beach views. However, at seven hours one way, the public transport option is better suited to stay of two days or more.
Accommodation & Dining
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What is your favourite day-trip destination?