Target – The World’s Best Beach Within an Active Weapons Range!
Some of Jervis Bay’s beaches are known internationally – others, not so much. For instance Hyams Beach draws visitors from around the world thanks to its famed white sand, Honeymoon Bay is so popular you have to enter a lottery just to camp there during the summer and Green Patch always sells out for the summer holidays minutes after tickets go on sale.
But if you don’t enjoy sharing beaches with hundreds or thousands of other tourists, then where should you go? Well, what if I was to tell you that there was a stunning beach a short walk from famous Honeymoon Beach that was secluded and scenic and you might even get it entirely to yourself?
That beach is of course, Target Beach. Located on the southern edge of the Beecroft Peninsula on the northern edge of Jervis Bay, this is one of the few select beaches that is located within the Beecroft Weapons Range. And right about now you’re probably thinking … weapons range? WTF? Well, yes – Target is located within an active military weapons range that the navy use to hone their skills on. That means you can only visit it when the range is closed (for fairly obvious reasons) which means at weekends or during NSW School and Public Holidays.
To get to Target you need to drive through the Honeymoon campground. Take it slowly through here because there are kids running everywhere, but also because the speed bumps are bloody vicious! About 500m south of Honeymoon you’ll come to a small carpark where you can apply sunscreen and grab your water. The bush track is just behind the car park and leads you south towards the inside edge of the Beecroft Peninsula. I tracked the walk on my Apple Watch and it’s 1.65km from the carpark to the top of the steps down onto the beach – not the most arduous walk in the world, but apparently more than enough to put off most potential visitors (not that I’m complaining!)
Once you get down onto the beach proper you’ll discover a beautiful crescent of sand with rocks and bushland at one end and a creek and a flat rock-shelf leading north at the other end. Target’s not the friendliest beach for swimming thanks to some fairly vicious rips, but it’s a bloody awesome surfing beach in the right conditions. Unlike many of Jervis Bay’s beaches, Target is directly behind the heads of the bay so the swell can impact the beach without any impeding reefs, beaches or headlands. If you do want a swim you’re far better off following the rocks around to the north and visiting one of Target’s smaller subsidiary beaches – officially named Target Beach No.1 and No.2.
You often find fishing charters bringing fishermen here and you can save yourself a few quid by casting your line off the rocks instead. The fishing is excellent and there are numerous lofty locations all along the beach where you can spot your quarry and cast a line. The other thing that Target is great for (after surfing and fishing) is hooning around on a jetski. Most times I visit Target I find a few folks on SeaDoos jumping over the waves here and having a great old time.
Once you’ve explored Target you have a couple of options. Firstly, you can walk back up the track and join the crowds on Honeymoon Beach – it’s a lovely spot despite the fact that it’s getting loved to death. Alternatively you can head around to Silica Cove by way of a brilliant coastal track that offers some of the best views back on Point Perp in the whole of the bay. It’ll take you about half an hour to walk from the car park to Target and another 20-25 minutes to get all the way round to Silica.