To be honest I was a bit apprehensive about coming down the south coast to explore after the heartbreaking fires went through at xmas, but boy, was I pleasantly surprised. Now while the Eurobodalla Coast did get hit pretty hard, most of it has bounced back and is open for business.
Being a first timer down here I wasn’t sure what to expect. First impressions are the best and when I rolled into Batemans Bay I fell in love straight away. You see its all about the natural surroundings and enjoying the outdoors. Batemans Bay has one of the largest river systems on the east coast, and it aptly named the Oyster Coast due to the local Clyde River being one of the freshest in Australia.
The whole town is centred either around the bay or along this pristine river. Captain Cook sailed past and named the bay back in 1770. From then on it has grown to what it is today.
Theres been some interesting history surrounding the bay in past times like when a Japanese submarine destroyed several trawlers back in 1942 and when over 100,000 bats decided to drop into Batemans Bay to call home in 2016. Luckily they have been moved on.
Today the bay is a stunning tourist town and is part of the south coast snorkelling trail due to the crystal clear water of the Clyde River, numerous bays along the coast and the abundance of fish.
National Parks surround the town giving it a real bush backdrop and with plenty of natural walking, mountain bike trails and 4wd tracks to explore its an outdoor paradise. Around town you can shop till you drop with plenty of great shops and markets on the weekends. But it’s the surroundings that attract the array of tourist to the town. Because the town has been built right beside the Clyde River ( back in the early 1820’s ), the Bay thrives on sunshine and fresh produce.
There’s a magnitude of beautiful restaurants and eateries along the coast walkway from town south to the marina all highlighting amazing seafood and and local produce. Several years ago the town hosted Sculpture on the Clyde in which a 10 day celebration let local artists show off their work along the river and each year the festival gets bigger and better. Today as you walk the 5 km loop there’s a stack of quirky statues like, a bronzed octopus, a pelican head holding a crab in the air, weird whale bones sticking out of the ground and many more.
Now while the main town central is focused around the Clyde River the real beauty of the area isn’t far away. By hugging the coast road you’ll follow the river to the sea entrance and then be blessed by a host of secluded bays and beaches and most of the time the surf is a calm ocean shore break which is perfect for the kids
Batemans Bay is at the northern end of the Eurobodalla Coast and with the Aboriginal meaning ‘land of many waters’ be prepared to see a different bay, rock pool or beach all the way along the coast. There’s also many rivers in the hinterland that carve their way towards the coast through pristine rainforest pockets. For the water junkies that want more, the Bay is renown for its excellent scuba diving around the islands just off shore in the marine parks around Tollgate Island and the many other rocky outcrops. The fisherman aren’t left out either as there’s a stack of jetty's, rock walls and pontoons that you can fish off plus if your a pelagic hunter this is the place to come as there are regular catches of Tuna and Marlin plus bottom dwelling fish.
But there’s also life outside of Batemans Bay, so if you’ve had enough salt on your skin and in your hair why not explore the outer reaches of there area on a fantastic 40km loop. Starting at the Bay head south back down the Princess Highway passing through huge stands of gums until you enter the beautiful village of Mogo.
This boutique town is the go to place for home made food and gifts, from some of the yummiest pies, cakes and coffee you’ll ever taste. After a stroll up and down the main street and the back alley ways I found that I had burnt off the pie so there was room for ice cream, oh and then there’s the lolly and fudge shops too - options are great in Mogo that has the small town spirit.
In fact on most days you’ll struggle to get a parking spot as the town is This place was settled back in 1850 for farming and timber, and soon they had their own cheese factory. Gold was found and the rush was on in 1871, the town boomed where they soon had 15 000 people living here with 17 pubs. The loop continues from Mogo back to Surf Beach where you're treated with crystal clear water in many more secluded bays. Mogo is a laid back village like many others around the Bay where the chilled lifestyle is the way of life just like bbq’s, naturally talented artists and coffee shops along the way.
FIRES A YEAR AGO
In recent times this area was hit hard by the fires especially the smaller towns and villages. Even tho the burnt areas of peoples lives and business’s remain for everyone to see, the area is alive and doing well. Some businesses are open and thriving, others may take just a little longer, but they need our support to kick along for years to come. Even just stopping for a coffee and a stroll down the main street they will appreciate it. So stop, smile and get back out there.