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Eurobodalla means angler's heaven

July 16, 2005

TheFirst Australianswere completely right when they named Eurobodalla.

The meaning is Land of Many Waters and with the shining waters come many fine fish. This part of the South Coast of NSW is an angler's heaven.

There are many rivers and estuaries, rich in a variety of sportfish and estuary, rock, beach and ocean fishing produces many excellent fighting and table species.

For something really different to do with your day go and see endangered species like tigers, snow leopards and red pandas at Mogo Zoo. Mogo's gold rush days can be relived at Old Mogo Town just behind the town, or pan for gold on a goldfields tour. The Clyde River at Batemans Bay is popular and houseboats offer a relaxed holiday experience.

Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma, are said to be among the best seaside holiday destinations in New South Wales. Moruya, a bustling rural town on the picturesque Moruya River, is a good base to explore the Nature Coast and the gateway to scenery of the Deua National Park and the Araluen Valley. North of Moruya Heads, Broulee is a place to relax, swim and stroll on the shores of Broulee Bay.

The Eurobodalla coastline includes a magnificent escarpment and forests which stand tall down to a coastline of white beaches and craggy headlands. Exploring the hinterland and the numerous National Parks and state forests is popular. The area has class art galleries and the villages of Central Tilba and Mogo feature a range of arts and crafts from pottery to woodturning.

There is an outstanding range of fresh seafood, fine local cheeses and wines. The local oysters are a specialty. Indigenous cultural tours are a specialty at Umbarra which is located on the shores of Wallaga Lake just south of Narooma. Koori guides share their knowledge of indigenous culture and history.

Meet a white lion cub at Mogo Zoo Narooma has excellent estuary and beach fishing and offshore, Montague Island is a Mecca for sports anglers. The closeness of the continental shelf to the mainland at this point allows game anglers the chance to catch marlin and Yellow fin Tuna. February to May is the peak period.

Narooma is a South Coast gem linked to the hinterland and Wagonga Inlet. There is an annual blues festival in October. Natural attractions include Cowdroy Creek Rainforest Walk off Box Cutting Rd, 5km to the north of Narooma. Clifftop Park lookout gives magnificent views over Montague Island and Narooma Beach.

Montague Island Nature Reserve, 7km offshore, is home to seals, penguins and seabirds. There is a lighthouse and a selection of historic buildings. National Parks and Wildlife Service guides lead tours. Fees apply. September to November is whale-watching time. Cruises are available to see the whales, enjoy some fishing, visit Montague Island or take in the beauty on Wagonga Inlet.

The Lighthouse Museum, on the Princes Highway, is part of the tourist centre. The original lighthouse mechanism taken from Montague Island when the light was updated is part of the museum.

In the hinterland, rainforest gullies and old growth forest are home to native animals and plants unique to Australia. The bird life is prolific and there are many bush trails which lead to places of great beauty.

Shoalhaven showpieces

About 163km to the south of Sydney the main centre in the Shoalhaven area is Nowra, From Canberra the drive is about two and a half hours via Ulladulla and from Melbourne it is about 10 hours on Highway 1 to Ulladulla.

Surfers, swimmers, divers, sailors and sailboarders have their choice of 109 beaches. One of them, Hyams Beach, on the southern shores of Jervis Bay, is said to have sands which are among the whitest in the world. Mollymook surf beach, south of Ulladulla is the showpiece of the southern Shoalhaven and a regular venue for state and national surfing titles.

The nearby mountains to the west include the Morton and Budawang National Parks and wilderness areas are popular with bushwalkers and canoeists. Kangaroo Valley, Sussex Inlet and St Georges Basin are unique in their natural attractions.

Historic Bundanon homestead, gardens, artworks, antique furniture, artist Arthur Boyds studio and about 1,000 hectares of farmland have been given to the people of Australia by Arthur and Yvonne Boyd. Bundanon is open to the public every Sunday (ticket entry only at Bundanon).

Cookies Beach South Durras This coast is a Sapphire

Stretching from Bermagui to the Victorian boarder and west to Brown Mountain, including the Bega Valley Shire, the Sapphire Coast is a rare find in the NSW South Coast mix of natural and developed attractions.

Merimbula, Pambula, Bega and Bermagui are key centres in a gem of sea, beaches and bushland, which is known as the Sapphire Coast.

The stretch of the NSW South Coast from striking Tathra with its sweeping three kilometre beach and historic wharf to the Victorian border is among Australias most interesting touring drives. Fur seals and fairy penguins play in the water under the Tathra wharf, sharing the water with divers.

Tathra Beach is protected from southerly winds and is popular with board riders and sailboarders. Launching facilities at Kianinny Bay give access to the sea. The roads are excellent and the gentle hills of the coast and its hinterland produce consistently varied vistas.

Anglers will not be disappointed in the variety of fresh and salt-water fishing available. Bermagui has its own commercial fishing fleet to reap the bounty of the abundant seafood. The Co-op adjacent offers fresh fish and prawns daily, or your own boat can be launched, fish weighed and cleaned with the facilities on offer.

Surfers have many choices including Beares Beach, Moreheads Beach, Haywards Beach and Cuttagee Beach. The Cobargo Folk Festival is held in February. Bermaguis Seaside Fair celebrates food and country living in March. April is Eden Game Fishing Tournament time.

In June one of the regions biggest events, the Merimbula Jazz Festival is held. In October Eden holds the Whale Watching Festival. November is the Bega Valley Winemaking Show.

At Merimbula boats head out from behind the shelter of the Merimbula Bar. There is a Mediterranean feel about Merimbula which is underlined by its restaurants which create menus from fresh local product.

Main Beach attracts surfers, wave sailing and swimming. Canoeing is popular in the sheltered waters in front of the town. Main Beach Merimbula invites visitors to surf, fish or stroll, while Short Point and Tura Beach are pristine with tea trees forming an intricate web of growth among flowering heaths and banksia trees.

Eating out at Batemans BayThis coast is a Sapphire Stroll along the picturesque esplanade or through intriguing alleys that make Merimbula special and start an adventure in food discovery that takes some beating. Visitors can choose from first class cafes, restaurants and clubs.

Pambula has quality local crafts, nostalgic old world restaurants, unique local produces and a mix of pastoral and coastal activities. Market are held on the second Sunday of each month. Pambula Beach is ideal for families with estuary, beach, ocean and lake all close by.

Excellent coastal walking paths lead to beautiful beaches. Rock pools provide shells and safe splashing for the young. Local kangaroos share every-day life. Dolphins make regular visits to the Pambula River in search of squid, cuttlefish and crabs. Sea Eagles wheel overhead and the Aboriginal middens are more than 2000 years old.

The coastal town of Tathra, north of Merimbula, is rich in history and traditions of the sea. Tathra Wharf is a centre of activity; its historic timbers create a focus for visitors and anglers. It is the only remaining sea wharf on the East Coast. Below the wharf is a wonderland for scuba divers and snorkellers. Fur seals and fairy penguins from the colony on Montague Island often frequent the waters around the wharf.

Bega is the rural centre of the Sapphire Coast, set at the gateway to the rolling pastures of the lush Bega Valley. Country life includes lazy creeks winding their way through paddocks of picture-book cows, and horses grazing against a backdrop of the darkly forested mountains.

It is prime dairy country, famous for Bega Cheese and home to the Heritage Centre detailing the legacies of culture and history. Cheese and wine go together, and Bega has the best of both. The Family Museum records the story of the region.

Just 19km north of Bega is the Brogo Dam, which is contained within the Brogo wilderness area and the southern section of Wadbilliga National Park. The park protects rugged coastal escarpment and plateau areas surrounding the Wadbilliga, Tuross and Brogo Rivers.

On the Princes Highway, north of Bega, Cobargo was 'The Junction' as the township first began to develop in the late 1860s at the junction of the Narira and Bredbatoura creeks. The surrounding landscape merges into wilderness areas that are incorporated in the Wadbilliga National Park.

Bemboka is a quaint rural village with a backdrop of the Bemboka National Park towering over the township. There are scenic views of the Sapphire Coast from Pipers Lookout. The viewing platform and visitor information is an introduction to the South East Forest National Park. Bemboka has a reputation for fine pies and a friendly laid back lifestyle.

At 886m Mount Imlay towers over seaside Eden and the shores of sheltered Twofold Bay and Ben Boyd National Park to the east. Towards the Victorian border the forests protect rare creatures like the Tiger Quoll. Eden offers a window on our whaling past. Killer Whales once formed a strange partnership with the Eden whalers. The partnership is recorded in the Eden Killer Whale Museum.

The skeleton of Old Tom, last of the hunting pack makes a big impression on visitors. Davidson Whaling Station at Kiah Inlet, Boyds Tower and Boydtown stand memorial to a dream long gone. Fur seals and fairy penguins are also part of the seascape.

GoSeeAustralia suggests-

With 10 separate National Parks between Berry and Eden and many centres and attractions there is plenty for visitors to do and see:

Visit Jervis Bay National Park and the waterways of St Georges Basin and Sussex Inlet.

Spend some time at Bundanoon, Arthur Boyds property on the Shoalhaven River.

Walk shingle beaches in the Murramarang National Park, near Durras.

Surf, fish, snorkel and bird watch at Mimosa Rocks National Park near Tathra.

Taste salt and fresh water lakes at Bournda National Park, a little further south.

Go to a wilderness. Nadgee Nature Reserve is the only coastal wilderness in New South Wales and stretches to the Victorian border near Eden.

See endangered species like tigers, snow leopards and red pandas at Mogo Zoo.

Catch marlin and Yellow fin Tuna. February to May.

Join Indigenous cultural tours at Umbarra just south of Narooma.

Scuba dive at Montague Island Nature Reserve off Narooma.

Meander through Kangaroo Valley or the arts and crafts centre of Berry, north of Nowra.

Get historic in the National Trust village of Central Tilba, south of Narooma.

Club it. The South Coast has fine clubs, entertainment and golf courses.

Cruise. There are whale or dolphin watch cruises, offshore fishing charters or river cruises.

Learn of an unusual partnership between men and whales at the Eden Killer Whale Museum.