To date Shellharbour (1½ hours south of Sydney) is the only region or state in Australia who has focused on packaging and marketing a product under the theme 'Nautical Tourism'. This has provided Shellharbour and the South Coast of New South Wales with an outstanding opportunity.
The South Coast has ideal conditions for nautical tourism with a great number of advantages such as a beautiful coastline, pristine environments and the establishment of the Jervis Bay and Batemans Marine Parks.
The region has made major advances in tourism over the past five years with significant increase in visitor numbers each year from both the domestic and international sectors.
The first major boost was the now internationally recognised Grand Pacific Drive which incorporates the unique Sea Cliff Bridge.
The next phase of growth will significantly focus on Nautical Tourism and the numerous existing and proposed harbours/marinas.
A recent very successful example of Nautical Tourism was the commencement of a half day ferry cruise from Sydney to Wollongong Harbour whereby 250 people arrive and dine in restaurants and cafes around the harbour area. In the afternoon these people then return to Sydney via a historic train leaving from the nearby station.
A further 250 people came from Sydney by the historic train in the morning and return by ferry cruise in the afternoon.
This unique activity now creates 500 additional high spending visitors once a month without car parking problems.