Mollymook is nestled on the quiet New South Wales south coast just three and a half hours drive from Sydney. It is a beachside destination for those looking for a quiet, slower-paced weekend escape. We drove down to Mollymook for just that reason; some rest and relaxation as the summer heat begins to ease off, making way for more crisp mornings and cosy twilight hours. Here is a snapshot for what to do in Mollymook on your weekend away.
Where to Stay in Mollymook
We arrived in Mollymook on a drizzly afternoon. Two relaxed and friendly faces greeted us at the reception desk at Bannisters Pavilion. The laid back coastal interiors carried me to Byron Bay or Mexico. But those distinct accents reminded me I was only a few hours from home.
We checked in and plugged in the car (they have electric car chargers in the parking area, bravo) and settled into our room.
We stayed in a Classic Room which was more than big enough for the two of us. The design notes as expected are coastal chic with simple touches where white and wood marry together effortlessly throughout the space. It was a room where you wanted to pack the pieces in your bag and recreate the understated magic, back home.
As it was Friday afternoon, it seemed fitting that we should start our stay with a tipple on the roof at their popular Rooftop Bar and Grill. Sitting at the bar we had a lazy afternoon of small plate snacks and fresh cocktails. This was how our weekend went on; slow, unplanned and deliciously quiet.
Here are some of the other things to do in Mollymook we discovered along the way.
What to do in Mollymook
Mollymook itself is a quiet town of few more than a thousand people, part of the larger Shoalhaven region. Prized for the beautiful Mollymook beach which runs from Bannisters Point to the end of the Mollymook Golf Club, this has long been a popular destination for families in search of a relaxed beachside holiday promising surfing, swimming, fishing and diving.
While Mollymook is a pretty spot to base yourself for the weekend, a visit to the surrounding towns is a must if you can tear yourself away from your poolside spot.
Feast on the Local Fare
A lovely weekend afternoon spot, The Rooftop Bar and Grill was buzzing as we settled in on Sunday afternoon for drinks, snacks and live music. Live music starts at 3 pm, so grab a spot before then and enjoy a late lunch. The seafood is incredibly fresh, as are the antipasto and small dishes.
As guests at Bannisters Pavilion, The Rooftop was also where we started our mornings. They offer a complimentary continental breakfast which is very substantial and an a la carte menu at an additional charge.
Related: 5 Breathtaking Sydney Coastal Walks
Rick Stein was the destination for our Saturday lunch date during our stay. A shuttle runs between Bannisters Pavilion and Bannisters By The Sea so you can avoid climbing the very steep hill in your Sunday best. This is a laid back fine dining affair, with children welcome alongside couples and groups.
We sat on a cosy corner on the verandah outside as the rain came down, tickling our feet every so often. Our waiter was friendly and fun and made the experience that much more enjoyable.
We ordered the Warm Shellfish for two to start, the famous Bannisters Fish Pie and the deliciously sweet whiting with some sides. The whiting was the stand out for me and really represented their food ethos of ‘fresh seafood, simply cooked’. Our only regret is that we didn’t have any room left for one of their incredible looking desserts.
Tallwood was a few footsteps from Bannisters Pavilion and another that came recommended to us during our stay. Their philosophy is to deliver an unpretentious menu, crafted from locally sourced ingredients, with influences from Asia and Europe.
Tallwood offers 2-course, 3-course and 6-course tasting menus starting at about $60 per person.
Indulge in a Spa Treatment
If there is one tip I can give you its book your Bannister Day Spa treatments before you arrive. The spa only has four treatment rooms and services both resorts. So, it fills up quickly (as it did on our rainy visit).
Sadly, we missed out during our stay but the menu looked amazing. Book for a simple facial or massage, or invest in a package and spend a few hours at the spa enjoying a number of treatments as well as their Hammam.
Another Day Spa recommended by locals was the Goddess Day Spa. It offers a full menu of treatments inspired by Ayurveda. This might also be a good choice if you are taking a wellness afternoon with friends as they offer group packages.
Related: What to do in Airlie Beach
Go For a Bush Walk
Mollymook and surrounds are blessed with some stunning wilderness, wildlife and bush trails to help visitors explore. Even if you are only going for a short walk, ensure you check for any weather or fire warnings first, wear sunscreen and a hat, download maps, carry water and a phone.
Unfortunately, due to the bad weather we weren’t able to hit the trails ourselves, this trip. But, they should be part of your Mollymook itinerary as this is such a beautiful region of Australia.
Given the recent bushfire devastation in this region, it is important to contact the local tourism office or the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service to ensure each track is open and safe to walk before your visit.
Just 3o minutes drive south of Mollymook, Bawley Point is the starting point for some lovely bush walks such as the Murramarang Aboriginal Area Walking Track.
To the north-west, the Pigeon House Mountain Walk starts just near Ulladulla and it is a popular walk for avid hikers. A longer, and in parts very steep climb, this hike will take several hours, so you will need to wear comfortable shoes and pack lunch. The summit promises sweeping views as far as Jervis Bay and surrounds.
About 30 minutes north of Mollymook, the Granite Falls Walk is an easy 1km return walk to the falls. Just south of Lake Conjola, on the drive back to Mollymook is the Burrawang Walking Track, a slightly more challenging walk to the Depot Beach Headland.
It’s likely you’ll drive through Milton on the way to Mollymook. But, make sure you circle back during your visit to stay there. Mollymook to Milton takes less than ten minutes to drive. Milton has a cute set of boutiques, cafes, restaurants and shops and it’s a great place to spend an afternoon wandering and tasting the local fare.
Try the Local Fare
A busy and popular Milton cafe, Pilgrims is the go-to vegetarian restaurant in town. The menu features everything from burgers to salads, their famed homemade pies and Mexican favourites. The dishes are colourful, healthy, delicious and nutrient-dense with something to satisfy most palettes.
A favourite of ours in Bowral, Flour Water Salt didn’t disappoint when we stopped in for an afternoon chai either. The same freshly made organic pastries, sourdough and sweet treats fill the cabinet here. It is the perfect respite for weary partners and children who may not enjoy boutique shopping as much as you do.
A busy spot for breakfast, Brown Sugar Milton serves up super fresh fare, deliciously strong coffee and homemade cakes and sweet treats.
Don’t feel like eating out? Pick up some fresh, local organic fruit and vegetables to take back to your Mollymook accommodation from the Milton Farm Shop. This cute store stocks seasonal produce from the local area or as close as possible, including freshly baked bread, milk and small goods.
Do a Little Vintage Shopping
There are a couple of cute vintage shops in the main street of Milton (Princes Highway) like Ruby in the Dust Vintage as well as some quaint local antique stores for avid collectors.
Shop for Homewares
We couldn’t resist picking up a few gifts while wandering through Milton. There are a few beautifully curated homewares stores such as Spaces 2538 with its lust-worthy linen collections (from bedding to apparel), furniture (from large dining tables to smaller stools and statement pieces) to artwork and keepsakes.
Home at Last was another favourite little store, packed to the brim with lovely gifts, candles, games and clothing to take home to your loved ones. This really is a one-stop gift shop with something for everyone in the family, and yourself too of course.
Related: A Local’s Foodie Guide to Cairns
It was pouring rain when we went to explore Ulladulla. So, we quickly found ourselves a the trendy wine bar, The Ruse overlooking Ulladulla Harbour. Appearing to pop straight from a mid Century modern Pinterest board, this stylishly decorated bar is set over two levels, each offering views down to the harbour.
We sat on the upper level with the locals in a prized window seat as a group of national kayakers were preparing for a tournament the following day, down below.
For those who catch better weather while in Ulladulla, there are several outdoor activities such as the Gondwana Coast Fossil Walk, local cultural tours, and plenty of water sports from surfing, diving, SUP and kayaking to be enjoyed too.
While our visit to Mollymook and its Shoalhaven surrounds was short, we were able to sample some of the many things to do in the area. Importantly too, we were able to indulge in some much-needed relaxation time; something which this type of destination inspires. While this is a snapshot of what to do in Mollymook, we hope it inspires you to spend a weekend here too.
Skye is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Fit Traveller. She is a journalist, writer, photographer, intrepid traveller and a former personal trainer with a passion for helping others reach optimal health. As a TV journalist and producer, Skye has worked for household names such as 60 Minutes, Sunrise, TODAY and Nine News. She has also written for Women’s Health, Fodor’s Travel and Yahoo7 Travel, among many others.
Skye created The Fit Traveller as a beautiful online space and community where people feel inspired to escape the desk to move and explore more.
Equally comfortable in a 5-star resort or hiking a far-off mountain, Skye loves the unexpected and enriching life experiences that each trip brings and can often be found in a backstreet chatting to locals with her camera in hand.
Skye is based in Sydney, working to master the balance between motherhood and her insatiable appetite for adventure.