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The Eurobodalla, ‘Land of Many Waters’, on the South Coast of New South Wales extends from beautiful Batemans Bay in the north to Tilba in the south, a distance of 87 kilometres. The coastline here takes on a much more rugged and remote landscape with ancient rock formations formed back in the ice ages, extinct volcano craters, inland seas and a marine park full of aquatic life.
We decided to base ourselves in the delightful small town of Dalmeny, roughly in the middle, dominated by beautiful beaches and lakes, and located only 7 kilometres north of Narooma. We stayed at a the Dalmeny Campground that is situated on a headland with panoramic views of Dalmeny Beach and creek, and the adjoining Eurobodalla National Park. The town itself has a small shopping precinct in the centre, and a bowling club with 4 greens and a small restaurant.
The 7 kilometres of coast between the towns of Dalmeny and the mouth of Wagonga Inlet at Narooma contain eight beaches each separated by generally low rocky headlands composed of 450 million-year-old metamorphic rocks.
An absolute must do is either walk, cycle or drive the Dalmeny/Kianga Scenic Route. It is a visually beautiful experience, following along the beaches to Narooma – ideal for surfing, swimming, fishing and whale watching or just relaxing on the designated dog-friendly beaches on the way. The incredible Narooma to Dalmeny pathway – the newly completed 6 kilometre ocean-front shared cycle/pathway, ‘NAR1’, was built by a Dad’s Army of volunteers for the benefit of the community, and is one of the most scenic pathways that I have walked.
Narooma comes from the Aboriginal for ‘clear blue water’ with vibrant aqua colours of the Wagonga Inlet, and set against the spectacular backdrop of Gulalga Mountain. It’s such a pretty little town so we decided to walk along the 800m Mill Bay Boardwalk to view Narooma from the water’s edge and get up close and personal with rays, crabs, octopi and numerous fish. Then once we reached the bridge across Wagonga Inlet we entered the town centre that is equipped with everything you need to stock up on supplies, grab a coffee or meal, or to book a tour.
Take a hike or drive up to Bar Rock Lookout with magnificent views of the estuary inlet and out to Montague Island. Here we took a snap shot of the perfect Australia-shaped hole naturally carved out of rocks over millions of years, at Australia Rock. The Narooma coastline is dotted with gorgeous beaches. At Narooma Surf Beach you will see splendid ancient rock formations of Glasshouse Rocks and Pillow Lava. For golfers there is an epic course located on the nearby coastal cliffs with majestic views over the ocean at the Narooma Golf Club.
Only nine kilometres offshore from Narooma, is the outstanding Montague Island Nature Reserve, that is home to the largest seal and little penguin colonies in the state. It is also the perfect place to whale watch in Spring.
I set off early one morning on a boat cruise to Montague Island where I was met at the jetty on the island by an extremely knowledgeable Wildlife & Parks Ranger. He took us on an extensive and very educational tour of the island, that included a look inside the working lighthouse and a walk outside onto the scenic balcony to experience the amazing views. On the boat trip back we stopped at the seal rocks and swam in the water with the very cheeky and playful colony of Australian Fur Seals. Such an experience – to get up so close and personal to these wild creatures!
Just a short trip south of Narooma it is worthwhile exploring the pretty coastal hamlet called Mystery Bay. Whilst we were here we walked down to Billy’s Beach to explore its rock pools, caves and formidable geology. You can also scale up the headland to Mystery Bay lookout in Eurobodalla National Park that offers scenic views, picnicking, birdwatching and seasonal whale watching.
There is a great nature-based campground fronting the ocean at Mystery Bay set amongst native bush of mainly spotted gums, with acacias and banksias closer to the spectacular cliff headlands and small beaches. There are plenty of opportunities to explore the beautiful beaches in the area that are either ideal for surfing or swimming, and a lot of these beaches contain spectacular large rocks. At low tide, these rocks become rock pools.
North of Dalmeny is Tuross Head, that is set on a spectacular headland and bracketed by ocean beaches on one side and, on the other, by a network of tidal lakes that offer exceptional fishing and boating. Take the Tuross Head Scenic Drive around Tuross Head that starts at Coila Beach, heads to Plantation Point and One Tree Point and then follows the southern shoreline to look across the Tuross River and around to Lavender Bay and the Tuross boat sheds.
Both Coila and Tuross Lake are ideal for kayaking. These beautiful lakes are surrounded by casuarinas and are home to a wide array of birdlife and fauna including pelicans, cormorants, falcons, sea eagles, ducks, kingfishers, herons, black swans, little terns, emus and kangaroos can sometimes be seen swimming in the quiet waters.
A visit to the Eurobodalla would not be complete without taking a drive to the country town of Bodalla, famous for its cheese. It also boasts the historic Anglican All Saints Church, built in the Victorian Academic Gothic style, a magnificent highlight of this village. Make sure you partake in some cheese tasting at the Bodalla Cheese Factory and maybe some scones with jam and cream at the café adjoining the factory – yum!
Pictures are worth a thousand words – so all I can add to this is that the Eurobodalla region was one of my favourite New South South Coast destinations. I was aghast at its natural beauty and the spectacular coastline.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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