Sapphire Coast

Inhabited by members of the Yuin nation for thousands of years.

Halfway between Sydney and Melbourne the Sapphire Coast brims with pristine undeveloped coastal wilderness, national parks, lagoons, rivers, fishing, secluded sandy beaches, abundant wildlife, dolphin spotting, whale watching, kayaking, snorkelling, deep-sea fishing, lakes, rainforest walks, tall tree forest drives, lagoons, spectacular scenery and a natural paradise.

https://startfeelingit.sapphirecoast.com.au/

November 2020

MONDAY

Overcast and raining most of the way, nothing like our usual warm, sunny summer I headed south from Sydney to Batemans Bay on my way to Pambula. 

The afternoon drive according to Google Maps would be about 3 and half hours which turned out to be closer to 4 and half.  

My heart was saddened to see the extent of the previous summers bushfires.  It was not like driving for several kilometres through burnt bushland, it was hours and hours of massive deviation. 

The walk along Bateman Bay’s Mara Mia Walkway was quiet, all the eateries were closed during these covid virus times.

There was a rainbow in the dark clouded sky.  

TUESDAY

TILBA

Known for its historic village, art, craft, cheese factory, the Gulaga Mountain, rainforests and the 1980s gold boom.

Again the weather was overcast and scattered showers all the way. 

Turning off the Princess Highway south of Narooma onto Bermagui Road.  Driving across Wallaga Lake stopping part way across the lake at the Payne’s Island rest area where fisherman Jack Payne’s parents provided meals, accommodation a camping ground and a store for supplies and fresh water. 

Driving through Bermagui some people were not put off by the weather and rough seas.

BERMAGUI

The famous natural ocean Blue Pool, Fishermens Wharf, pristine beaches, water activities, fishing, bushwalking, bird watching, Wallaga Lake and Montreal Goldfield.

Heading south along the Tarthra-Bermagui coastal road the weather was not letting up. Could not resist the opportunity to stop at Cottage Beach and Bridge while there was a break in the rain, stretch my legs, breath in the fresh air and enjoy the quiet surrounds.

TATHRA

On the southern gateway to Mimosa National Park, mountain biking, Nelson’s Lake, beaches, kayaking, mountain-biking, walking tracks, snorkelling, surfing, skatebowl, Perch Bird Park, oysters and maritime history.

Famous historic Wharf, classified by the National Trust as the only remaining steamer wharf on the Australian coastline. Built in 1862 from funds donated by farmers and the Illawarra Steam Navigation Company operating until 1952.

Stopping at Tatura for lunch and there it was, a wide beautiful beach for swimming then I saw the Historic Wharf on the headland in the distance.  It was only a short drive to the wharf, walk and lookout.  

onto Merimbula, past the local airport to Pambula.

WEDNESDAY

Heading south from Pambula along the Princess Highway to Boydtown then driving north past Quarantine Bay to Eden and surrounds.

BOYDTOWN

On the edges of the beautiful Ben Boyd National Park with its quiet, unspoiled beaches along the rugged shoreline of Nullica Bay rugged shoreline and lonely Green Cape lighthouse.

The Katungal (sea coast) group of the Thaua people lived upon this land having a special relationship with the Killer Whales of Eden.

Onto Wonboyn Lake, surrounded by Nadgee Nature Reserve with an abundance of bird and wildlife, beach fishing and is a beautiful estuary to explore which is recognised as being in near-pristine condition.  The lake contains large areas of seagrass meadows, mangroves, salt marsh and wetlands that provide habitat for a diverse range of animals flowing to the sea through the entrance into Disaster Bay. 

EDEN

The Thawa people of the Yuin nation knew Snug Cove as Weecoon. Eden is nestled within three National Parks and Snug Cove is a deep natural harbour on the shores of Twofold Bay that is renowned for its excellent deep-sea fishing.

Look out over the vast expanse of water of Twofold Bay from the Eden Rotary Lookout viewing the rugged coastline and unspoilt hinterland, mainly comprised of national park. Watch the passing boating activity from large fishing trawlers to recreational fishing boats and yachts, and from small pilot vessels to huge freighters.It is one of the nation’s deepest natural harbours.

In 1828, Thomas Raine established Australia’s first shroe-based whaling station at Snug Cove. In the 1930s a permanent shore-based whaling station, a small slab and bark hut was established by the Imlay Brothers. Famous for whale-watching, see the skeleton of “Old Tom”, the famous killer whale at the Eden Killer Whale Museum and visit the Davidson Whaling Station, the longest operating shore-based whaling station in Australia located on Kiah Inlet at Twofold Bay.

Known as a fishing port where you can enjoy whale watching, dolphins, seals, abalone, deep-sea fishing, breathtaking views and the Marine Discovery Centre.

One of the few places in the world where Humpback Whales feed on their migratory rout and with many other whale species travelling close to shore.

Snug Cove-Eden wharf has seen a significant increase in cruise ship visitation since 2014. Passenger vessels up to 325 metres in length are now able to berth alongside the upgraded wharf.

The port of Eden is also home to one of New South Wale’s largest fishing fleets and provides a tourism gateway with each year around 100 commercial vessels visiting the port.

THURSDAY

With the weather forecast for rain all week we were blessed with some cool, sunny times. We did not fail to head out and enjoy these moments. Today we headed to the Pambula River Mouth area and were surprised to see the dark water due to the run off from the heavy rains. This did not spoil the enjoyment of the unspoiled views and a leisurely walk with the sand beneath our feet.

A short drive north to Tura Head, and an easy flat walk out to the rugged headland to be rewarded with amazing views over Tura and Short Point Beaches. The fishermen were there on the rocky cliffs of the headland but sadly no whales spotted by us today. We certainly did not wander down to the rock pool. While we were there one fisherman walked past and down the cliff, setting up his fishing spot almost below us.

We finished off our day calling in at the Kianinny Bay Boat Ramp, Tathra

and finally stopping at the Historic Tathra Wharf that had some of the best bread that we all enjoyed with dinner.

FIRDAY

MERIMBULA

Merimbula has always been a beautiful place of sheltered waters and seafood feasts. TheYuin People were the first to harvest oysters, fish and more, with middens dating back thousands of years still visible on the lake’s edge.

Located on the stunning Sapphire Coast, Merimbula is a haven for anyone interested in water sports, glorious beaches, pristine lakes, wetlands, walking tracks, whale watching, kayaking and the surf.

Mitchies Jetty on Merimbula Lake was one of the special surprises on my Sapphire Coast holiday. Little did I know about what was going to unfold in front of my eyes as we walked along the golden sands around the sandy bank from Bogy Creek to the ocean. Another amazing Australian beach unfolded in front of my eyes.

The sands have shifted so much that the whale watching boats were unable to gain access between the creek and the ocean and needed to be moored at Eden.

Main Beach has five kilometres of ocean where you can surf, fish, walk either on the beach of the bush reserve it back onto with opportunities to spot native animals and enjoy.

Short Point has some of the best coastal views across the 5 kilometres long Short Point Beach which reaches to Tura in the north.

SATURDAY

PAMBULA VILLAGE

Yuin Aboriginal word meaning ‘two waters’. Fishing, swimming, billabongs, mangroves, the lake, oysters, walking tracks, cycling tracks and beautiful birds.

Today we browsed the local speciality shops including vintage collectables and galleries with local art and craft. We were not disappointed when testing out the local cafe and checking out the local bakery.

SUNDAY

Reading my book and staying put for the day when a swarm of bees arrived. One of the local bee keepers was quickly on hand.

MONDAY

Heading back to Sydney, leaving mid morning and aiming to arrive in Sydney after the evening peak hour traffic.

COBARGO an Yuin Aboriginal word which means ‘Grandfather’

Nestled amongst the Wadbillga mountain ranges, historic village, rolling green pastures, junction between the Narira and Bredbatoura Creeks and local crafts. The village and surroundings were hit very hard during the summer bushfires of 2019 -2020 with large, wide scale destruction including several of the local shops

An opportunity to stretch my legs, have a morning coffee from the local caravan cafe to do some shopping from the local art and crafts shop.

Heading north again I was reminded of the massive summer devastation from the summer’s bushfires.

There were lots of places along the way for stops to stretch my legs, have something to eat and wanter around.

Moruya Riverside Park

and a great spot at Burrill Lake Lions Park heading north into Ulladulla with my last stop at Mount Ousley Road heavy and recreational rest area, Wollongong before the last stretch home.

ANOTHER OPTION | Road trip: NSW Far South Coast

POSSIBLE THINGS TO DO ON MY NEXT VISIT

Panboola Wetlands and Heritage Project is a conservation, restoration, educational and passive recreational and tourism project, embracing the history and diversity of the wetlands within the floodplain

Potoroo Place Native Animal Educational Sanctuary

BEGA an Yuin Aboriginal word which means ‘large camping ground’

Infinite rolling hills, stunning green pastures. wetlands and Bega cheese.

BEMBOKA

BOMBALA

Platypus country, Bombala river Walk, lavender production.

BROGO

CANDELO

WYNDHAM

Striking views, Jingera Rock and Mount Darragh.