In a rural heartland, discover the tasty heritage that put the beautiful Bega Valley on the world cheese map and explore a wonderful regional art gallery. Enjoy bushwalking in the splendid national parks nearby, and the sparkling Sapphire Coast’s gorgeous beaches are only a short drive away.
At the junction of the Bega and Brogo rivers, Bega is a tranquil base for exploring the enticing region’s stunning natural attractions, great outdoor adventures and extraordinary heritage. Dairying began in the verdant Bega Valley in the 1850s and the original Bega Cheese factory opened in 1900.
You can visit the site of the original factory in Lagoon Street, where cheeses are still made today. Learn about cheese making at the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre, a faithful reconstruction of one of the first buildings of the Bega Co-operative Creamery Company, the forerunner of Bega Cheese.
In the heritage centre, taste the famous cheeses exported around the world, learn about the history of the valley and enjoy lunch in the cafe. You’ll find plenty of accommodation options in Bega, which is home to one of Australia’s richest portraiture awards at the Bega Valley Regional Gallery.
The biennial Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award for realistic portraiture honours the memory of the gallery’s eponymous patron, a gifted portraitist. Check out the events calendar for exhibitions and touring shows at the gallery, which is open Tuesday to Saturday. Entry to the gallery is free.
Just north of Bega is the Brogo wilderness, a popular destination for canoeing and kayaking. The national parks in the region include Wadbilliga, Bournda, Mimosa Rocks and Biamanga, a significant site for local Yuin Aboriginal people. There are free barbecue facilities in the Biamanga Cultural area.
The Bega Valley is halfway between Sydney and Melbourne and a short drive from the delightful coastal towns of Tathra, Merimbula and Pambula and the hinterland village of Cobargo. You can fly to Merimbula Airport and rent a car. From Canberra, the drive to Bega is under three hours.