Go behind the scenes with a local guided tour through our gorgeous NSW South Coast.
In some towns, the locals like to hold back one or two secrets just for themselves, so it's always good to meet someone who knows all the ins and outs of a place and is happy to share.
Richard Tadday known to all as Big Ric has been living in the Jervis Bay area on and off for more than 20 years, and knows the area inside out.
Ric is a former military man and though now retired, is still an adventurer. He has scuba dived every spot in the Bay, and mountain-biked every trail in the area. He is a painter and uses old, rusty car parts as his canvas. He also makes mood lamps from old farm fence palings.
Ric found when he was out walking his dogs, tourists often stopped to ask directions, and as he wants people to enjoy the Jervis Bay area as much as he does, he began "Big Ric 4WD Tours".
There are six tours to choose from, and there is something to please just about everyone.
The four to five hour Jervis Bay Tour is a bushwalk to Governor Head, Cape St George Lighthouse, a drive through the historic HMAS Creswell Naval Base grounds, and a wander in the Booderee Botanic Gardens' rainforests.
Ric can take you on a spectacular tour where you stand with a 20 metre waterfall behind you and a 300 metre drop in front of you. Then it's off to the Nerriga pub for lunch.
The Morton National Park Tour takes four to five hours as well. You take a leisurely two hour walk to Forest Head through landscaped African Gardens and stop for lunch in the art deco town of Milton. This is followed by a tranquil walk to the Granite Waterfalls.
Lazy Day Tour One takes in all the sights of Jervis Bay South Coast Lookout, Murray's Beach, Green Patch, Hyams Beach … and a stop to handfeed fish on the way home. Lazy Day Tour Two takes in Boyd Lookout and some kangaroo spotting at Wrights Beach.
On the Merimbula Wreck Tour, you bushwalk through the blackboy trail to the North Coast Lookout and take a secret cliff tunnel to the seven faces of stone and Hyams Beach.
Beaches in the area are renowned for the talcum-like sand according to the Guinness Record Book, Hyams has the whitest sand in the world. They also enjoy praise for quality swimming and snorkelling.
Cape St George Lighthouse was built in 1860 and served for 40 years, though not terribly successfully. After 29 shipwrecks along the treacherous coastline, it was realised the lighthouse was in the wrong spot!
The SS Merimbula hit the rocks in 1928 en route from Port Jackson to Bermagui. Relics of what she was carrying are there today for snorkellers to see.
The tunnel entrance to Gosung's Cave is camouflaged by scrub, but the squeeze is worthwhile. You can stand on a platform and take in the marvellous view and the 200 metre drop to the ocean. Fishermen actually abseil down and fish from the rocks.