WITH its powdery white sand and turquoise waters, Australia’s Hyams Beach is a world famous holiday destination for domestic and international visitors alike.
However locals say the idyllic hamlet at Jervis Bay on the New South Wales South Coast, three hours south of Sydney, has been “loved to death” in recent years.
With only one narrow road in and a 400-car parking limit, traffic controllers have been appointed to redirect thousands of day-trippers away from the seaside village in a bid to combat traffic congestion and appease frustrated locals.
“We are a social media phenomenon ... and everyone wants to come and see the white sand at Hyams Beach,” Hyams Beach Villagers Association member Lois Sparkes told AAP.
“The beaches are being damaged, in a way, because people are now coming here and if they can’t get somewhere to stay they are just illegal camping on the beaches, and the rubbish problem is quite concerning.
“Those who camp on the beach often light fires in the dunes and we are surrounded by national park.”
Long-time Jervis Bay resident and local business owner Jess Rawlins told WHO that the local community relied on tourism but admitted residents get frustrated when visitors leave more than just their footprints behind.
“So many local businesses rely on the tourist dollar so we welcome visitors however we ask that they respect the beautiful, natural environment and take their rubbish with them when they leave,” she said.
She suggested tourists and day-trippers take the time to explore other spectacular and lesser known beaches in the region including Greenfields and Chinamans Beach, which forms part of the White Sands Walk from Vincentia to Hyams Beach.