Hyams Beach is blessed with a fantastic array of beach and bush walks that are accessible from the village, or walks that are located in the Booderee National Park, only a short drive away. At least try one during your stay!
Seamans / Hyams Beach
This beach is 2.5 km in length and is an unbroken stretch of white sand mostly fringed by dunes and littoral forest. It is therefore a 5 km return walk from the rocks at the northern end to the beautiful, unnamed inlet that separates New South Wales from the HMAS Creswell naval academy. The pedestrian footbridge across the inlet is the turnaround point. Unless you are a sailor based at the college, access is prohibited.
Rock hopping at Boat Ramp Beach
In the other direction (north), it’s an easy walk around the rocks from Seamans Beach to Boat Ramp Beach, and the more agile can continue around the rocks at the north of Boat Ramp Beach Beach (Hyams Point) to reach lovely Chinamans Beach.
Chinamans Beach is a beautiful beach to walk along at any time of the day. In addition, if you head inland at Duck Creek, you can link up with the bush track to Greenfields Beach at Vincentia which is further described below.
To the north - Hyams Beach to Greenfields Beach at Vincentia
Aster Street is the most northern street in Hyams Beach and you will find a National Parks information board next to a small parking lay-by. This is the beginning of the walk.
From the information board, follow the White Sands Walk track to Duck Creek inlet at the northern end of Chinamans Beach. From here, climb the stone steps and soon detour right to a good viewpoint and a chance to explore a rock platform. Returning to the track, the White Sands Walk winds through an open littoral forest of eucalypts with excellent, yet filtered bay views. Continue past the Scribbly Gum track turnoff and you will reach a long boardwalk leading to the well-appointed Greenfield Beach picnic area (shelter shed, toilets, information boards, tables and electric BBQs). Several paths lead down to the pretty beach, named after Colin Greenfield, a naturalist who in 1942 leased 12 acres behind the beach and lived alone for decades.
On your way back, either return the same way or by the longer (and hillier) Scribbly Gum track which starts to the west of the toilets. This inland track descends through an under-storey of bracken and sword grass and a canopy of lush vegetation to Greenfield Gully. Interpretive signs provide information about Aboriginal uses of the bracken and other plants. The track climbs out of the gully and then descends to rejoin the White Sands Walk.
This walk can also be extended by continuing the White Sands Walk further north into Vincentia town – specifically to Blenheim Beach, Nelson’s Beach and Plantation Point.
To the south - Hyams Beach to Greenfields Beach at Vincentia
Lister Court is a cul de sac located in the south east corner of Hyams. Just beyond the cul de sac, you will find a locked gate. The fire management trail located here is the start of this walk.
Head south and you will see that the track passes through a superb stand of Xanthorrhoea (grass trees) before crossing a shallow creek (a bit tricky after prolonged rain). At the next track junction, veer left and you will soon reach a naval signal mast at the top of a revegetated sand dune, from where you can descend to Seamans / Hyams Beach - about two-fifths of the way along its length. Before you do, look out for the flannel flowers growing nearby and the hanging swamp of paperbark trees to your right. The swamp dries up completely during drought but after prolonged rain it becomes a water-filled ‘frog heaven’. On a sunny day, the late-afternoon reflections of the paperbarks are a photographer’s dream. Return via the beach.
This walk can be extended by forking right instead of left at the first junction in the track. This bush track continues for 2 - 3 kilometres before reaching a larger track at a gate (usually open). You are now officially in Booderee National Park and the Australian Capital Territory. You can reach the Naval College Rd at the Booderee Visitors Centre by going right and right again. Be aware that none of these tracks appear on the topographic map, so let people know where you are and keep your bearings. Have fun exploring…
To the west – the heathland above Hyams Beach village
Hyam Road is a pretty street that runs up to a dead end at the top of the village. This point is the beginning of this walk.
To see the abundant springtime wildflowers and honeyeaters, you can access the heathland behind and above the village via a steepish path at the end of Hyam Rd. The path then levels and broadens into a track which soon forks. Notice the profusion of the endangered Jervis Bay grevillea (‘Barclayana’) in the vicinity. Either fork can be taken – they both reach the fire management trail that runs from Booderee Avenue (at the locked gate, top of the hill) all the way to the Vincentia water reservoir and telecom tower. To get back to the village, either double back to Hyams Road or follow the fire trail south to Booderree Avenue and descend into the village along the main road.
When you reach the first fork, an interesting option is to take the right fork and when you meet the fire trail, turn right to descend to Duck Creek (stepping stones). From here it’s uphill to a locked gate and stile. Further along to the left of the track you will notice the desolate scenery of an old quarry which is still occasionally used. Shortly after, look for a track branching right (east). This track becomes more obvious as you continue and descends to join the Scribbly Gum Walk. Turn right there and return to the village via Chinamans Beach.
Hyams is a very pretty village to walk around and if you are up early, you may well spot some Eastern Grey kangaroos that are resident in the area. There is also always abundant bird life in the gardens and forests.
Hyams Beach has some delightful buildings, both old and new – no need for an itinerary, just wander the streets. Pacific Lodge, a heritage-listed Cyrus Street waterfront (58 Cyrus Street) was the only building constructed in Pacific City, a large urban development planned for the land above Hyams Beach Village. As from December 2006, this land became part of Jervis Bay National Park and Pacific Lodge was moved down the hill to its present position to preserve some history. On the other side of Cyrus Street, the two wooden Whalers’ Cottages and the set of holiday cabins date from the 1920s and are also heritage listed.
The ultra-modern waterfront property at No. 82 Cyrus Street, with its eastern wall of glass, is best appreciated from the beach. At the southern end of the village, Silver Strand Circle contains some interesting modern architecture – it wasn’t subdivided until the 1980s. The unnamed creek that runs down the middle of Silver Strand Circle is worth seeing (and hearing) after torrential rain: it transforms into a white water torrent. Up on the plateau above the village, the houses at the end of Illowra Lane form a tiny enclave separated from the rest of the village. The elevated views from here out to HMAS Creswell and Bowen Island are quite special.
Beautiful Booderee National Park is located on the southern peninsular of Jervis Bay and the entrance is only a 5 minute drive from Hyams Beach. Booderee is an Aboriginal word from the local Dhurga language meaning ‘bay of plenty’ or ‘plenty of fish’. The National Park and Botanic Garden were handed back to the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community in 1995 and is a successful example of a co-management model with NSW National Parks.
Booderee National Park is full of beautiful beaches, spectacular scenery and a huge array of animal and bird life may be spotted on the many walking trails.
The park has an excellent Visitor Centre which can be visited or contacted on (02) 4429 7230. Information on walks and other attractions inside the park can be obtained there.
Booderee is definitely worth a visit and please note that separate park fees apply (even if you have a NSW National Parks pass).