Visited places during the trip: Ulladulla, Milton, Bodalla, Batemans Bay, Dalmeny, Narooma, Mystery Bay, Bega, Merimbula, Tilba Tilba, Bermagui, Hyams Beach, Chinamans Beach.
The trip was another awesome adventure, a long driving with the objective to explore some of the towns in the far south coast of New South Wales, their attractions to visitors like us, that could keep us coming back not only once.
As always before starting a trip, I’d go taking notes on what we may encounter in these places during the visit. There may be heaps of them that may pop up along the way and considered unscheduled for any attention to or pay a visit even for a short while yet could be tagged as “must see” places and not to miss them out.
As planned, we got our slept over at Dalmeny for three days while we kept ourselves busy exploring the neighbouring towns. But it was more than that when we were here. As we moved down the region, some adjustments to the plan was considered, changes that affected all of us. For the three day duration, we had visited Ulladulla, Milton, Bodalla, Batemans Bay, Dalmeny, Narooma, Bega, Merimbula, Tilba Tilba, and Bermagui. We didn’t drive down to Eden, the most southerly town in New South Wales for time constraint.
By the way, Far South Coast encompasses the three local government areas of Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and Bega Valley and incorporates the major towns of Nowra, Milton/Ulladulla, Batemans Bay, Moruya, Narooma, Bega, Merimbula, Pambula and Eden and runs from south of Wollongong to the Victorian border.
The trip begun early part of 2013, and we had our first touched down and breakfast at Appin Park near Appin Township. All shops were still closed while the sun started to rise up. We spent about half an hour there and then we continued our trip to the township of Milton. I noticed that some old buildings still exists here and still looking good with some of them marked with when they were built.
“The Settlement” is a row of Victorian era shops built in the 1870s on the Princes Highway. Milton Businesses currently operating within this block include boutique restaurants and cafes, art galleries and antiques stores
I remember we had camped in this place before, at the Milton Tourist Park for a holiday.
Milton is a popular stopping place for travellers on the Princes Highway which runs through the centre of town and about three hours drive south of Sydney.
Before noon we came at the town of Ulladulla and had our lunch on a foreshore close to a bridge before reaching the town proper. I took our first group photos here.
While some guys in our group went to the town centre I strolled up to a nearby park they call Ulladulla Rotary Park and took some photos of the place including the lagoon. At the foreshore close to where we had our lunch was a fishing ground complete with a cleaning or washing facility for fishes that were caught by anglers.
Ulladulla is a coastal town about 230 kilometres south of Sydney.
Some notable landmarks here are the Pigeon House Mountain and “The Castle”, both named due to the unique shapes of the mountain but we didn’t go here as it requires some bush walking and fitness to reach these places.
Batemans Bay, NSW
We had another brief stop at Batemans Bay, a fast growing town (will surely be a city soon) while waiting for the other members of our group left behind us and still on the road due to traffic snarl. Again, this was our second visit to this place.
Batemans Bay is located on the Princes Highway about 280 kilometres south of Sydney. There are heaps of beaches here to explore starting from the mouth of the Clyde River where it meets the Tasman Sea but we decided to explore them some other times.
We we’re half way already when we reached Bodalla, a place famous for its dairy products but now ceased to exist (closed in 1987); leaving behind some sort of a museum. Also, some old equipment like mixing tanks and apparatus, as well as weighing scales are on display at The Big Cheese Visitors Centre which was once part of the old factory and is one of Australia’s many “big” roadside tourist attraction.
Bodalla is a small town on the South Coast of New South Wales on the Princes Highway. After about an hour here, we continued our trip down until we reached Dalmeny.
Dalmeny Beach Caravan Park
Our camp ground is at a seafront right up overlooking the Dalmeny beach. It’s an awesome place for camping with a good view of the beach, airy and with good amenities.
The thing is, the camp was already full of holiday makers when we arrived here, and majority were experienced campers and have caravans complete with the latest camping equipment, set up their caravans and tents beautifully, a showcase of their expertise.
At night, all you can hear is the sound of sea waves splashing on the seashore and of course the cool sea breeze. Many campers light up their own bonfires while sipping coffee or tea while others play the guitar as they sat down around it. A curfew was imposed here meaning before eleven at night, the camp should be quiet by then. This was my dream holiday!
After breakfast we visited the Narooma Lighthouse Museum where the original light and optical apparatus from the Montague Island Lightstation are kept. This lightstation was the last manned in NSW and is still the only remaining occupied lightstation on the NSW coast. We were impressed and educated on how lighthouse functions and how the apparatus were built, used and operated.
After that, we were led to the Mill Bay Boardwalk where we saw schools of fish and brave appearances on shallow water of some stingrays.
Before noon time, we reached the beach where the popular Glasshouse Rock and Pillow Lava are, in Narooma. At first we got a hard time looking for the Glasshouse Rock. It was high tide at that time and to walk closer to the rock was futile as big waves kept on splashing the sandy shore.
All I can do was to use my long lens to get some shots of it. I also got some awesome photos at the Pillow Lava area with some of our friends. It’s a place remarkably suited for photography.
We did move up to the Mystery Bay area where some good picnic grounds are, and we took our lunch here. This is another scenic place close to the beach with shades of trees and manicured grass, likewise parking areas and toilets are provided.
After lunch, some friends and I drove up to the Tilba Tilba festival which is about fifteen to twenty minutes’ drive from Narooma. Tilba Tilba is a unique place. The villages of Central Tilba and Tilba Tilba – and much of their surrounds – are National Trust-classified and as a result has had their unique historical atmosphere preserved.
All cars during the festival were only allowed to park at the top of an adjacent mountain and people had to walk down to Tilba to watch the festival. I admired the place for its stunning environment and that was my first time to see such a beautiful country side. For sure, it is because of the great environment that cemented their place for a historical preservation. After a couple of hours roaming here, we drove back to Mystery Bay.
We had a pretty good time of relaxation at Mystery Bay to the point that we had our dinner here before driving back to Dalmeny beach.
It was already passed ten in the morning when we drove down to Merimbula for the Magic Mountain Park but we first stopped at Bega for lunch and for a taste of the popular Australian cheese right at the Bega Cheese Cooperative. Here, we’ve learnt that the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre was reconstructed and was one of the first buildings on the Co-Op site (1899). The museum offers visitors the chance to see how dairying has shaped the culture of the Bega Valley.
At the Centre some tasting of the different varieties of Bega cheese was allowed as well as purchases from their wide selection of Bega cheese and all other local and Australian cheese.
There is also a wide range of gifts and souvenirs. The coffee shop offers a selection of homemade meals and cakes. Most of us had done the tasting and purchased Bega Cheese products, too.
The next thing we did was to continue the trip to the Magic Mountain, and after twenty five minutes of driving, we reached the place. It’s a family fun park with heaps of attractions – activities including grand-prix racing cars, toboggan, water slides, roller coaster, and carpet slide, jumping castle, mini golf and many more.
We finished the day with a trip to Bermagui Fishermen’s Wharf. Some friends wanted to go further down south up to Pambula but we haven’t got the time anymore to go there, so we drove back home and stop instead at Bermaqui.
The wharf area has been recently redeveloped with a beautiful log built shopping centre that houses and offers a range of shops and eateries. The shopping centre is surely an attraction for a wharf like this. We were told that fishermen will unload their catch during that day but unluckily there was none when we arrived there.
It was the day to head back to Sydney. We had our breakfast at the camp site but others wanted to have theirs at Kianga beach which was only a few minutes’ drive away from Dalmeny. Kianga is another wonderful beach complete with picnic and barbeque stands. I got some few shots of the rocks and sandy shore here, and along the walkway up close to the residential houses overlooking the sea.
We passed by this beach when we’re bound for Sydney. Hyams Beach is a seaside village in the Shoalhaven, New South Wales. It is bordered by 2 beaches, Chinaman’s Beach to the north and Seaman’s Beach to the south. Hyams Beach is the beach in the centre. The sand at these beaches is known for being fine, soft, and brilliantly white.
At first we didn’t believe that these beaches have the finest and brilliantly white sand until we set foot on them, first at Chinamans beach and then down to Hyams beach.
So unique compared to some of the beaches we’ve been in New South Wales, or Victoria and Queensland, we’re just lucky to have reached these places.