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Doing it differently this Valentine's Day

By Rebecca Mason
30 January, 2018

14th February – the day of love. Whilst having a candlelit dinner opposite your loved one can always be romantic, why not try something different to celebrate the day with that special someone. Step away from the table reservation and prepare to up the ante with a date to remember. With so many exciting things to do to surprise your other half, you are sure to have a love affair with the Sutherland Shire.

1. Sleep under the stars 

Nothing says I love you better than whisking your partner for a night away from home. You don’t need to break the bank for an unforgettable experience when some of the best campgrounds in Australia are moments away. Make the most of the abundance of wilderness and coastal views and pitch your tent at one of the many camping spots in the Shire. Hotspots for campers to sleep under the stars is within the Royal National Park or head to Bonnie Vale campground for a waterside retreat.

2. Go on a different kind of walk 

The Bundeena and Maianbar Art Trail happens on the first Sunday of every month and is a unique way to embrace the art scene and to take a date. The trail takes you on a journey along local art studios and gives you the chance to meet with artists and watch them as they create their masterpieces. From ceramics to paint; jewellery to photography, the art trail is the ultimate window into the best of local art. While you're there check out the local Bundeena Saltwater Market that also happens on the first Sunday of the month down 

3. Grab your wetsuit 

The coast of the Shire is made for watersports. Whether you’re a self-proclaimed water baby or a beginner, there is something in the Shire for all experiences. Try out the amazing surfing at Cronulla beach or experience the Port Hacking River on a stand-up paddleboard. Want to go below the surface? Zip up your wetsuit and explore the vibrant marine life of the Shire by taking a scuba diving course. You are spoilt for choice when it comes to diving locations, one not to be missed site is Kamay Botany Bay. This dive haven is heralded as one of the best sites in New South Wales and has plenty on offer for all dive levels.

4. Get creative at Hazelhurst Art Gallery 

Recreate the infamous pottery scene from Hollywood blockbuster Ghost at a pottery class at Hazelhurst Art Gallery. Don’t want to get your hands dirty? There is a range of other art classes to get your creative juices flowing including painting, photography and more. Spend the rest of your day enjoying art from the experts with an ever-changing exhibition programme to keep you inspired.

5. Pedal the Shire 

The Shire is packed with cycle trails for nature lovers and coastal enthusiasts. Tackle the 20km bike trail in the Royal National Park, a route amongst the wildlife, following the meandering Port Hacking River. For sea views, gear up for the Sutherland Shire Beach ride, a coastal route beginning in Wolli Creek and ending on the shores of Cronulla. Want to up the romance? Hire a tandem for the ultimate adventure for two.

6. Listen to live music 

Enjoy the best of local talent at Sutherland’s ‘Music in the Park’, a weekly live performance each Friday in February and March. Book a table, relax on a deck chair or kick back on the grass as you listen to the sounds of the Shire. With a stellar line-up and gourmet tapas bar, this Friday night jaunt couldn’t get much better. Did we mention it’s free?

7. Aim for a hole in one 

Introduce some friendly competition to your Valentine’s Day with a putt at Miranda’s mini golf course, Putt Planet. This isn’t your average golfing spot, transporting you from Miranda to the ancient doorway of Africa. Putt your way around 18 holes, aiming around the laneways and market stalls of Putt Planet. Once you’ve battled it out and crowned the winner, grab some grub at the Jungle Jokers café.

8. Captain your own ship 

Anchors ahoy! Take to the water in your very own boat and impress your date with your nautical knowledge. Como Marina is a picture-perfect gateway to Georges River and also offers fishing equipment to ramp up the activities. Explore the majestic waters of the river then moor at the harbour and grab some dinner at Thai Rim Nam restaurant. Prefer to be chauffeured? Cronulla Ferries hosts a variety of cruises for sunrise, sunset and daytime adventures to help you with your romantic water voyage.

9. Go somewhere new 

Nothing says VIP like going to a new bar. Be one of the first punters at the newly opened Highfield in Caringbah, branded the Sutherland Shire’s first vertical pub. With each level of the building featuring something different, you could be forgiven for getting lost for the weekend. Begin your Highfield escapade at the pinnacle, the modern bistro Botanical. The rooftop terrace shares incredible city skyline views surrounded by a stone fireplace and garden wall, the perfect setting for a refreshing cocktail. For sports lovers, take things down a level and enjoy a choice of 25 different beers and televisions showcasing your favourite sports.

10. Browse some books  

Spend an afternoon browsing the vast library of books at the aptly named ‘Best Little Bookshop in Town’ in Cronulla. A favourite amongst locals for not only its impressive range of books, but also for its friendly customer service. From fact to fiction, this little gem is the perfect spot to get lost in

11. Go to church (1908) 

Okay, we said no candlelit dinners, but this restaurant is a dining option with a difference. Originally an old church, 1908 in Cronulla is now restored to an elegant dining experience, serving the finest in contemporary Australian cuisine. Sit beneath high ceilings and exposed beams and gorge on a menu of fresh seafood and delicious desserts. This is one restaurant definitely worth the romantic cliché.

Rebecca Mason

Rebecca Mason

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Metro Hotel Miranda

522 Kingsway (Corner of Jackson Avenue), Miranda

T: 1800 004 321


Gerrale Street, Cronulla


Old Princes Highway, Engadine

Cronulla Beach

20-38 Gerrale Street, Cronulla

T: 02 9710 0333

Rydges Cronulla Beachside

20 - 26 The Kingsway, Cronulla

T: 02 9527 3100

Quest Cronulla Beach

1 Kingsway, Cronulla

T: 02 8536 3600

Engadine Motor Inn

1229-1233 Princes Highway, Engadine

T: 02 9520 8166

Bundeena Kayaks

2 Seabreeze Lane, Bundeena

T: 0419 254 981

EG Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens

104 President Avenue, Caringbah

T: 02 9710 0333

Sydney Tramway Museum

Cnr Rawson Avenue & Pitt Street, Loftus

T: 02 9542 3646