New South Wales (Southern NSW)

A small fishing/resort town it has some of the best surfing beaches on the south coast. The town is a holiday centre during the summer months with great fishing spots and a stunning golf course overlooking the ocean. The many caravan parks, motels and fresh seafood make it a perfect spot for a vacation.

In the 1930s many Italian fishermen settled in the small fishing village of ULLADULLA, and they’re still a strong influence on the atmosphere of this tranquil outpost: the traditional Blessing of the Fleet continues to be celebrated every Easter at the harbour breakwater. 

It’s a beautiful area, dominated by the sandstone plateau of the Morton National Park, rising steeply to the west of town. Mostly this is an inaccessible barrier, but there’s a good bushwalk to the top of the 719-metre Pigeon House Mountain in the Budawang Range; the walk there and back takes about four hours and is accessed from the Princes Highway, via a turn-off 8km south of Ulladulla. 

Along the coast in both directions are attractive river mouths, beaches and lakes: among those worth visiting are pretty Lake Conjola, 10km to the north; Lake Burrill, 5km to the south; and Lake Tabourie, 13km to the south –all are popular with fishermen, canoeists and campers. Around Ulladulla there are also some quaint country towns worth visiting. 

Mollymook, 3km to the north, has some sensational surfing sites and hiking trails and a few kilometres further on there’s lots to see and do in the village of Milton, home to numerous antique shops, craft shops and cafés. This region provides a relaxing weekend escape from Sydney or a worthwhile stopover en route to or from Melbourne, but you really need your own transport to appreciate the area and to get off the main roads onto some of the scenic drives.

Places to stay include the Quiet Garden Motel on a rocky promontory at 2 Burrill St; the elegant Ulladulla Guesthouse, near the harbour at 39 Burrill St, which has a spa and sauna. The Beach Haven Tourist Resort, on Princes Highway in Ulladulla South, boasts a beachfront location, complete with swimming pools, spa and tennis courts. There’s also a council-run caravan park on South Street, close to the beach, Holiday Haven.

In terms of activities, there’s swimming at the free sea-water pool by the wharf, or open-water scuba courses run by Ulladulla Divers Supplies, Watson Street (tel 02/4455 5303). The local Aboriginal community has also constructed an interesting cultural trail, the Coomee Nulunga (tel 02/4455 5883). Access is via Deering Street, opposite the Lighthouse Oval car park. The track meanders through eucalypts and heath flowers to a viewing platform over the ocean, and then on to a secluded beach. Guided tours ($5) are offered by local Aborigines, and include boomerang throwing, didgeridoo playing and dreaming stories.

There are a couple of good Italian places to eat in the town, including Carmello’s on Green Street (tel 02/4455 4099) open daily for lunch and dinner, and Tory’s Seafood, 30 Watson St (tel 02/4454 0888), by the wharf (daily for dinner plus Sun lunch). Cookaburra’s, 10 Watson St (tel 02/4454 1443) is an ambient, BYO restaurant with waterfront views serving innovative Asian and Cajun-inspired seafood and poultry dishes (closed Thurs). The Harbourside Restaurant, 84 Princes Highway (tel 02/4455 3377) specializes in modern Australian cuisine and fresh seafood open daily and is licensed and BYO. There’s also a Thai restaurant, Supreeya’s upstairs at the Centre Court Complex on the corner of Deering and St Vincent streets.

Tourist information is available from the Civic Centre on the highway (Mon–Fri 10am–5pm, Sat & Sun 9am–5pm).