Seeing stingrays in the wild is as good a reason as any to take a detour and that’s exactly what we did recently. While researching accessible activities to do while staying at Jervis Bay on the South Coast of New South Wales we read about the Stingrays at Bendalong’s Boat Harbour Beach. I love nothing more than seeing animals in the wild and from the photos, I felt we could get BJ close enough that he’d be able to see them.
SEEING THE STINGRAYS AT BENDALONG BOAT HARBOUR BEACH
The small town of Bendalong is just a short 45 minute drive from Huskisson where we were recently staying for a short getaway. Seeing the stingrays swimming in the bay at Boat Harbour Beach has become popular with tourists. Fishermen’s scraps provide an incentive for the stingrays to hang around and they’ve become quite the drawcard in the area.
We were told to stop off at the Bendalong Tourist Park to pick up some bait which helps attract the stingrays. As we didn’t have BJ’s beach wheelchair with us on the day we visited, we knew the best chance of him spotting the stingrays would be if they weren’t too far from the shoreline.
We waded out into the shallows and Hubby tapped the surface of the water with the prawns we’d picked up.
BJ was thrilled to soon see three stingrays swimming towards us. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to observe them in their natural habitat. We stayed fairly still as they swam around us, seemingly unfazed by our presence.
ACCESSIBILITY AT BENDALONG BOAT HARBOUR BEACH
It would have been much easier for BJ if we’d had his beach wheelchair on the day. The beach has fairly hard packed sand so with BJ’s off-road tyres we didn’t have any problem pushing the chair across the sand.
The boat ramp provided good access for getting BJ and his wheelchair down to the hard packed sand and close to the water. We parked right beside the ramp in the shade.
The boat ramp was a bit steep on the return but it was worth the effort for the experience of seeing the stingrays.
If you have a beach wheelchair, take it with you, the shallow calm water should be suitable for most beach chairs.
A toilet block is located close to the boat ramp. It has a unisex stand-alone accessible bathroom.
Beside the toilet block is a dedicated accessible parking bay.
You can buy bait from the Bendalong Tourist Park to help attract the stingrays. Prawns were the only bait available on the day we visited and it was $8.50 a packet.
As always, its important to respect the wildlife by keeping a safe distance and allowing them to move around you. Remember it’s a privilege to be so close and do not pursue them. If you’re still and quiet they will swim around quite naturally.