Hyams Beach

Hyams Beach is 180 kilometres south of Sydney on Jervis Bay. It is easily accessible and the surrounding towns testify to this ease through the impact of recent white settlement.    

Hyams Beach is not pristine bushland. The human impact on the landscape has been severe. A layer of gravel in the heath was mined leaving degradation of the landscape. This can be seen in the aerial photo and in a study area 4 kilometres long by 2.2 kilometres at its widest, this degradation is relatively severe. House design is ugly with few attempts to merge with the landscape. There is colonial action in the exclusion of beach access. Recent town house development caused the legal destruction of a grove of mature eucalypts. At the northern border of the Hyams Beach Park segment, the Bay near suburban Vincentia occasionally smells of sewage.

However, the environment is still rich in images and diversity. And the community has been active in both conservation and regeneration. In 1989, the Hyams Beach Villagers Association commissioned a survey of the local ecology. This influenced the declaration of this segment of the Jervis Bay National Park (Letter. from the Secretary, HBVA to Director, NPWS, 1989). The Bherwerre Landcare Group is currently revegetating the old quarries. And the Shoalhaven City Council operates a very green rubbish disposal area near Huskisson. These are significant community inputs. Some of the results of this activity are recorded through the photographs.