Batemans Bay, in the Eurobodalla region on the NSW South Coast, is the complete package. Not only is it an amazing destination in itself, it is also a great base for exploring all the wonders and natural beauty of this under rated region. Named by Captain James Cook in 1770, the region boasts magnificent beaches, fresh seafood and a myriad of water sports both on the sea and in the sparkling Clyde River.
Things to do
The peaceful waters of the Clyde are home to houseboats, which are a great way to experience the aquatic delights of the river. Swim, kayak or paddle a SUP to your heart’s content in the estuary between the charming village of Nelligen and Batemans Bay. Sample local produce, enjoy wildlife encounters and follow ancient walking tracks, or go swimming, surfing, kayaking and fishing, the choice is endless.
Spend the day at Surf Beach, which is patrolled during the peak summer season. The area’s crystal-clear waters are perfect for an underwater adventure on the Batemans Bay Snorkelling Trail. The Trail takes in three snorkelling locations, Maloneys Beach, Sunshine Cove Beach, and Guerilla Bay, home to rocks dating back 510 million years. To finish the day, enjoy a picnic or even take a walk to Burrewurra Point to see the WWII bunker.
Riding along the waterfront is one of the highlights of the Batemans Bay Cycleway; it is very scenic and relatively flat. The cycle-way passes by Birdland Animal Park, where you can see 100 species of native birds, as well as many waterfront cafes and restaurants. The enchanting Clyde River National Park is a natural playground by the river, offering bushwalking, kayaking and fishing. Check out the view from Holmes Lookout.
Learn the local history of the area at the Batemans Bay Heritage Museum, from Aboriginal heritage to European settlement. Stroll around the Nelligen Heritage Area and imagine when it was a bustling river port back in the 1800s.
For a long walk following in the footsteps of history, tackle the Corn Trail inland from Batemans Bay. This rough and rugged track follows the route used by the pack horse teams of early settlers in the 1830s. Be aware that the 15Km trail is very difficult. For a shorter walk, try the Square Head Track 1 at Cullendulla Creek, the Burrewarra Point Banksia Walk or the Wasp Head Walk in Murramarang National Park.
Eat and drink
Batemans Bay is the heart of Australia’s Oyster Coast. Taste succulent Clyde River oysters from the farm gates of Pearly Oyster Bar and Farm and the Oyster Shed on Wray Street. Or you can enjoy fresh seafood at local restaurants, including JJ’s at The Marina, a waterfront eatery with outdoor seating. Don’t miss dining at The River Café in Nelligen, or the famous Innes family Boatshed in Batemans Bay, with seafood fresh from their trawler. You won’t find better fish and chips, and keep an eye out for stingrays as you munch on the deck.
Getting there and where to stay
Batemans Bay is a four-hour drive from Sydney and two hours from Canberra. You can also fly from Sydney to Moruya Airport with Regional Express and rent a car for the short trip. Places to stay include resorts, hotels, beach houses and holiday parks. Or you can hire a houseboat.