The Eurobodalla Shire stretches along the NSW South Coast, from South Durras all the way down to Tilba Tilba, and boy is it a beauty. Stunning beaches, cute coastal towns and plenty of bush to explore, it’s time to grab your mates and hit the road to Eurobodalla.
Ahh Eurobodalla. Driving down the winding highway as it dips in and out of sunburnt coastal towns, through gummy national parks and past the salty sea, this is what freedom feels like. Spending time in this place is a pleasure, with endless adventures to wrap your hands around, vistas to gawk at and new furry friends to meet. Dive in!
I don’t think I’ve ever come across a more idyllic campsite. Mystery Bay, not far south of Narooma, is a gorgeous beach with rock formations scattered throughout the water, many of which become accessible at low tide. Perfect for a bit of rock scrambling. Investigate the cave at the north end of the beach, and try to spot the disappearing archway.
Be sure to pack a snorkel, but you could almost forget the goggles – the water is clear enough! Swim out as far as you want (or can), the north half of the bay is perfectly protected with no swell, and the water is practically shouting your name.
The campground has plenty of space for tents, vehicles and campervans with trails from the campground leading directly down to the sand. And if you’re lucky enough to snag the best spot, a view of the beach itself!
There’s no booking system, it’s simply first in, best dressed (but you really only need to wear your togs). During peak season, which is just the Chrissy holidays and October and Easter long weekends, campsites are $17 per adult per night. At any other time it’s $12 per adult per night. Facilities are basic but comfortable – drop toilets, cold showers and unpowered sites. But what more do you need, really?
Bingi Dreaming Track
This 13km track is a perfect day hike that traverses a range of landscapes and follows a significant songline for the local Yuin people. Spanning along the coastline from Congo to Tuross Head, it traverses beaches, gum forests, scrubland, and skirts around lakes and rivers. Make sure to branch off the trail and check out Bingi Bingi and Mullimburra Points – both perfect places for lunch and a splash in the ocean.
Keep your eyes peeled for whales, echidnas and the black swans sailing across Coila Lake as you near the finish line.
Shuck Your Own Oyster And Eat It Too
If there’s one food you’ve GOT to try in Eurobodalla, it’s a freshly-shucked oyster. Said to be the best in the world (I’m inclined to agree, but may have to taste a few dozen more before I can confirm) the tasty morsels available for purchase at Wrays Street Oyster Shed on the Clyde River are divine.
This fourth-generation, family-owned business in Batemans Bay offers stunning views of the river from their cafe and jetty, as well as tours of the oyster farm and shucking demonstrations. Their prime positioning on the river mouth means their oysters have the perfectly balanced combo of fresh, natural water from the mountains mixed with that salty ocean goodness. Yummo!
Wide World Of Wildlife
There’s more wildlife in Eurobodalla than you can count on two hands (and two feet). In just three days running around Eurobodalla, I saw four echidnas, dozens of wallabies and kangaroos (joeys included), a coupla wombats, a tiny baby possum, a trio of dolphins, around 30 black swans, countless whales and blowhole action, plus one surprisingly friendly red-bellied black snake (keep your distance from these ones though, no matter how friendly they seem).
Good luck keeping count of it all.
Small Town Spirit
In between the major towns of Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma lie tiny villages full of character just begging you to pull the car over, jump out and explore.
The village of Mogo seems to survive purely off of people’s niche hobbies. A leather goods and repair store, soap emporium, patchwork store and art gallery are just a few of the kitsch and cute specialty stores you can spend the afternoon browsing.
Further down the road, Bodalla is famous for its cheese factory, cafe and for being home to The Big Cheesewheel. Pull up here for a taste of the delicious dairy delicacies of the region.
Explore The Waterways
There’s more to Eurobodalla than just gorgeous beach after gorgeous beach. Rivers and creeks criss-cross their way all through this region. Rent a kayak, find a nice river (not hard) and go for a paddle. The Tomaga River near Tomakin can be explored from the river mouth by the beach, all the way up the river heading towards Mogo. About halfway down the river there’s a lovely natural mangrove island that you can circumnavigate.
Safety tip! Kayaks are a bit more tippable than I first thought. Don’t carry any valuables with you unless they’re in a dry bag! Talking from first-hand experience here.
So there’s plenty of beaches and beauty to explore on the coast, but did you know Eurobodalla has a hinterland region? Neither did we – check it out!
The Deua National Park makes up a huuuuge portion of Eurobodalla and Berlang Campground is a gorgeous gummy spot for a bit of peace and quiet. Almost totally deserted and cheap as ($6 per adult per night), the campground is the perfect location for a bit of stargazing, snake-spotting and slowing down. Toilets, picnic tables and campfire BBQs are provided and the sites are unpowered. Bookings aren’t available, but also shouldn’t be a worry! Berlang’s a bit of a well-kept secret.
Berlang Campground is also the gateway to the Big Hole, one of Deua National Park’s largest attractions. An enormous, almost perfectly circular hole that suddenly appears in the side of a mountain, it’s a mystifying sight. The cause of the hole is still debated, but it’s theorised that the Shoalhaven River that runs under the hill caused the erosion and eventual collapse of the rock above it. It’s thought that all of the rock fell suddenly and all at once. Whatever you do, don’t get too close. It’s a 100m sheer drop to the bottom (and 50m across).
You can easily walk to the Big Hole from Berlang Campground in about 40 mins, but be aware this hike involves a crossing of the Shoalhaven River, which after a bit of rain, may involve getting your toes wet. Marble Arch is another few hours along the same trail.
All photography by @finmatson
You’re-a-bodalla if you don’t stick around the south coast