Bodalla

The lavish green countryside and long timber barns surrounding this 150-year-old working village tell you you’re in prime dairy country.  Australia’s first commercial cheese and first cheese exports were made here, and the tradition is very much alive.

Today, Bodalla cheese-making is more bespoke. The Bodalla Dairy, on the main road, uses an old-fashioned batch pasteurising method to produce award winning cheeses from their own herd of notoriously happy cows. The process can be viewed from behind glass inside the dairy, and cheese-making courses are available. The adjoining Dairy Shed Café offers a chance to sample and buy all of the products made, as well as other food and local produce. The café has a distinct retro feel, and features a great outdoor deck area for long warm days, and a huge stone fireplace for cooler times.

Other great eateries, quirky shops and interesting galleries are dotted along Bodalla’s main street, with Gallery Bodalla, in the old Post Office, exhibiting impressive local works.  It makes for an easy and relaxed walk, with time to take in small details. Like many 19th century towns, the architecture here is dominated by the two competing services of the time; the church and the pub.

The magnificent All Saints Church dates to the 1880s and is built in the Victorian Academic Gothic style.  It features a great tower and spire, large rose window, oak woodwork and intricate stained-glass windows. Visitors are welcome to explore the building and its garden surrounds. The nearby Bodalla Arms Hotel has been the towns other meeting place for over 100 years. This is a proper old-school pub, offering generous meals, beer on tap, and live local music. It’s very easy to settle in here and get lost in the wide views across Tuross River Valley.

As well as offering incredible natural landscapes, the valley holds the relics of a wild and largely unknown past. The now quiet village of Nerrigundah was once abooming gold mining town. In 1866, Australia’s worst and most troublesome bushrangers, the Clarke Gang, held up the town to liberate it of its gold.  In the ensuing gunfight, a police constable and one of the gang members were killed. An obelisk now stands in the town to commemorate the fallen police officer.  There is still evidence of this gold rush past around the town, with a walking trail through Comans Mine taking you past historic equipment, quartz outcrops, and mineshafts.  Accessible by unsealed road, a visit to Nerrigundah from Bodalla makes a scenic and fascinating half-day trip.

Another excellent trip from Bodalla is Eurobodalla National Park and the village of Potato Point. Wild coastal headlands, remote beaches, great fishing spots and absolute beachfront camping and accommodation make Potato Point a great little place to hide for a while. It is also one of the best places on the south coast to see wild emus, with the giant birds regularly hanging about on local beaches.  The story of how these particular West Australian Emus came to be here, is both surprising and fascinating. Unofficially, photographing a kangaroo at South Durras Beach, and an emu at Potato Point Beach, is known as “The Coat of Arms” and comes with extensive bragging rights.

Bodalla Dairy Shed
Bodalla Dairy Cheese Factory