The Shire is just 20 minutes from Sydney Airport, and it's one of those places people never seem to move away from. Generations of families live there and most wouldn't think of living anywhere else.
The Sutherland Shire, which spans 370 square km, has a lot to offer. It has four national parks, including Australia's oldest The Royal National Park and 11km of pristine beaches.
Botany Bay National Park at Kurnell encompasses the site of Captain Cook's landing in 1770 and is etched into Australia's history as the meeting place of cultures.
The villages of Bundeena and Mainbar are nestled between the ocean and the bush and have a romantic and bohemian feel.
Cronulla is blessed with the city's longest stretch of sand on one side and Port Hacking's pristine waterways on the other. It is the only Sydney beach accessible by train.
Next to the beach is a lively outdoor shopping area, loads of restaurants and cafés and the area hosts many food, wine and music events throughout the year.
The Nuns' Pool is a café that took its name from a nearby sandstone rock pool once used for discreet bathing by a group of local nuns.
Stairs lead from the street to huge glass doors, which make the most of views. Inside it's all sparkling white, tempered with earthy-toned furnishings, lamps and fresh flowers.
It's a wonderful place to start the day with a special breakfast and excellent coffee. Lunch is a lingering meal with contemporary Mediterranean-influenced dishes.
At the northern end of Cronulla is Boat Harbour where you can pack your beach gear in the car and drive right onto the sand into the 4WD park. Families enjoy picnics and barbecues right there.
Ferries from the marina travel to Bundeena where many people enjoy the monthly Art Trail. Runabouts and houseboats are available to hire.
Model Lara Bingle and Australian cricketer Michael Clarke are both dedicated Shire dwellers. Lara was born there and Michael has been well and truly converted. The engaged couple she's sporting a five-carat diamond reckon they are in God's own country and both say it's their favourite place in the world. They highly recommend taking the walk from Cronulla Beach to Bass and Flinders Lookout. It takes just over an hour and walkers are rewarded with some pretty spectacular views.
Sydney's southern suburbs
The Nuns' Pool is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 8am and 4pm.
Boat Harbour 4WD park costs $18 for day entry and $90 for a six-month season pass. It opens between 7am and 5:30pm from Monday to Thursday and 7am-6:30pm on Fridays and weekends.
For further information
The Nuns' Pool
103 Ewos Parade
Ph: (02) 9523 3395
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