Holidays by the sea

Tourism had its humble beginnings in the early 1900s when the Butson family first ran a simple camping area on the northern side of Lake Burrill in 1924. As roads slowly extended south of the Shoalhaven River passenger services (mail car) expanded and more adventurous tourists braved the difficult roads.

Butsons Burrill Lake camping park in 1926


Travellers outside the Wandanian Hotel


Then in the 1940s-50s as motor vehicles became affordable and popular, roads improved and new tourist accommodation was built, visitor numbers multiplied.


Marlin Hotel, Ulladulla 1950s


The 1960s saw a new era promoting the growth of housing subdivision releases such as at Mollymook, Bannister Head and Narrawallee. The commonly called ‘weekender’ was built on these small blocks of land and purchased by people from Sydney to Canberra.


Holiday cabins at Narrawallee 1950s


The desirability in ‘weekenders’ grew as Sydney siders could leave home on Friday afternoon and reach their coastal destination within four hours.

The 1970-80s again saw an increase in the number of Australian families on annual Christmas and Easter holidays and long weekend trips, staying in the region to enjoy the beach, the bush, the lakes and streams and the promise of the healthy lifestyle of the ‘great outdoors’.

Motels and ‘Bed and Breakfasts’ proliferated to accommodate the influx of the travelling public.

The towns began to grow and business developed. Families, workers and sea changers moved in as did retirees building permanent homes, seeking sun and surf and walks and a quiet, relaxed lifestyle.

The towns and villages continue to offer a wonderful range of good venues for entertainment, gatherings, functions and dining out.



Pigeon House Mountain
Geological history: from the mountains to the sea

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