Before you head north or south don’t forget to check out the myriad options around Batemans Bay.
Given it’s jut two hours from Canberra, for many visitors Batemans Bay is synonymous with “I’ve arrived.” While it’s true there are temptations all along the highway south to Narooma, don’t move on too quickly as there’s plenty to keep all ages occupied for a day (or more!) in the Bay.
Start your day with a shot of caffeine or smoothie at Nourish on North
If you’ve just ‘landed’ in the Bay, local wholefood haven Nourish on North is a good first stop for a morning cuppa or breakfast offering. Here, organic coffee will appeal to the caffeine fiends; tall smoothies will impress the health conscious; and the ‘odd and addictive’ dandy latte and keto coffees are perfect for visitors after a more esoteric beverage.
Food wise, there’s nothing esoteric about Nourish’s popular bacon and double egg roll, a filling breakfast option. Takeaway options for all meals provide the perfect excuse to wander across to the waterfront to spot the Bay’s famous pelicans.
Kayak the coast with Region X
Given that seals, dolphins, stingrays and even whales (in season) make regular appearances in the region’s waters, there are plenty of reasons to head out from Batemans Bay on a kayaking tour.
Whether you’re seated in one of Region X’s impressive glass bottomed kayaks or a more traditional kayaking vessel, a few hours paddling the nooks and crannies of this tranquil part of the coast quickly demonstrates why these trips earn top ratings on Tripadvisor. Those wanting to add a foodie twist to their watery adventure should check out the “Oyster Tasting Kayak Tour” or “Pizza Paddle” tour at sunset. Superb.
Coffee and a dip at Lilli Pilli
Just south of town by the boat ramp in Lilli Pilli, coffee and pastries at Three66 Espresso Bar will maintain your energy levels across a jam packed day of, well, relaxing. Dining on the deck is a popular choice, but so is takeaway – either way, the views of Mosquito Bay add to the experience. Resident stingrays are often spotted at the boat ramp next to the cafe–well worth a look. Fancy a swim before or after indulging at the cafe, the picturesque Lilli Pilli Beach is just a two-minute drive away.
Cruise the pristine Clyde River aboard the MV Merinda
If sea kayaking is too active for your crew, a lunchtime cruise on with Merinda Cruises may be just the ticket. Departing from the iconic Innes’ Boatshed most days, passengers on this relaxing lunchtime jaunt enjoy a quiet cruise along the Clyde River to Nelligen complete with a fish and chips lunch.
Swim on a whim
While the horseshoe bay surrounding Lilli Pilli Beach is highly recommended, visitors to Batemans Bay have no shortage of swimming spots at their disposal.
About a ten-minute drive south of town, the sheltered headlands of Denhams Beach are enjoyed by both surfers and families (even more so once visitors realise dolphins often make an appearance).
Continue ten minutes further south and you’ll arrive in Malua Bay, where the patrolled beach (in peak season), the grassy area, BBQ’s and kids play area make this one of the most popular spots in the area.
Just 20 kilometres south of Batemans Bay, the long sweeping Broulee Beach is a favourite with visitors (and locals). Protected by Broulee Island at one end and Cadlagan Creek at the other, it is a hit with families.
Those who head north from Batemans Bay instead can join the surfers enjoying the open waters of Oaky Beach, while adventurous visitors travel the back roads of Murramarang National Park to check out the giant rockpools of North Head Beach.
Wonder at a wombat at Birdland Animal Park
Specialising in Australian native fauna, the rustic charm of this local animal park will be a hit with both the young and the young at heart. While COVID-19 restrictions mean visitors can’t currently hold any animals, the daily snake and wombat showings are perennially popular. Kids will also enjoy Birdland’s playground, and its many paths ripe for exploration.
Play at Corrigans Beach Reserve Park and Accessible Playground
This all-abilities playground just four kilometres south of Batemans Bay may be fantastic, but it’s no longer a secret. So, while this popular spot can get busy, that just means there are more opportunities to make new friends. Savvy parents let the kids exhaust themselves on the playground before heading across the road to buy an easy dinner of fish and chips for the kids and oysters and prawns for the adults from the local favourite Bernys or neighbouring takeaway Ocean Breeze.
For seafood in a slightly more formal setting, head to Stingrays Ocean Grill in the Bay. Here, guests often comment on the generous portion sizes and the many gluten free options.