Bega is in the rural heartland of the NSW South Coast. As this is the State's unofficial cheese capital, be sure to stock up on the picnic goodies that put the beautiful Bega Valley on the map. Drive through surrounding national parks toward the beaches of the Sapphire Coast, which are only a short distance away.

Dairying began in the verdant Bega Valley in the 1850s and the original Bega Cheese factory opened in 1900. Learn about the history of the valley and the cheesemaking process – and taste the delicious results – at the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre, a reconstruction of one of the first buildings of the Bega Co-operative Creamery Company.

Couple hiking near Bega - Merimbula and Sapphire Coast

The excellent Bega Valley Regional Gallery is home to one of Australia’s richest portraiture awards. The biennial Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award for realistic portraiture honours the memory of the gallery’s eponymous patron. Check out the events calendar for exhibitions and touring shows at the gallery.

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.

Bega Cheese Heritage Centre at Bega, Sapphire Coast

Bega is located halfway between Sydney and Melbourne, and is around 5hr 30min from Sydney by car. From Canberra, the drive to Bega is under three hours. You can also fly to Merimbula Airport and rent a car. Accommodation options include guesthouses, farmstays, and caravan and campgrounds.