Land and sea adventures at Narooma
For wildlife-loving kids and memories to last a lifetime, a seal spotting or whale watching boat trip out to Narooma’s Montague Island will impress family members of all ages (various operators run these trips – check tour details with the Narooma Visitors Centre on the Princes Highway).
But a trip out to sea is far from the only way to impress the kids in Narooma. If you have early risers let them run off some energy at Rotary Park, an attractive and much-loved playground on Narooma’s waterfront.
After they’ve worked up an appetite tempt the kids with a big breakfast on site: local bacon and eggs are a perfect option to cook up on the playground’s free BBQs and you can eat together while watching the seabirds and boats.
No trip to Narooma is complete without a visit to the Mill Bay Boardwalk, located on the northern side of the inlet. Look for schools of fish and spot stingrays as you wander along the 350 metre structure. Apex Park, not far from the boardwalk, is yet another way to entertain the kids and enjoy the great outdoors.
Go wild at Mogo
Long before it made international news due to the stories of staff bravely protecting its residents from the 2019 bushfires, Mogo Wildlife Park was already a favourite of visitors for the opportunity to get close to exotic animals like zebras, rhinos and lions. This private zoo is open again and staff are as passionate as ever. Opportunities to play with a meerkat or sit with a squirrel monkey are popular experiences to add to your entry fee.
Mogo may be small, but the opportunity to go wild locally also extends beyond the zoo. Visitors to The Mogo Lolly Shop often find it hard to stop a just one treat, especially those with a sweet tooth (and that’s just the adults!).
Surf, snorkel, stroll or swim at Broulee
Much-loved Broulee, 20 kilometres south of Batemans Bay, is bursting with snorkelling, fishing, and family friendly swimming opportunities. A popular snorkelling spot with juvenile fish hiding amongst the seagrass beds and underwater rock platforms, Candlagan Creek, is perfect for families with young children because the shallow waters are sheltered by a wide sandbar. Don’t forget to pack the inflatables and beach cricket gear!
If the crew is feeling active you could even take 3.5 kilometre return stroll across the sandbar at the southern end of North Broulee Beach to Broulee Island – although an island in name, Broulee Island is permanently joined to the mainland.
Children over eight will also love the chance to jump on a board for the first time. The Broulee Surf School boasts that these are some of the safest waves on the coast for beginner surfers, and families from near and far have enjoyed their lessons.
The crystal clear waters of Bengello Beach, on the southern side of Broulee Island, beckons swimmers and surfers alike. Patrolled by the Broulee Surf Live Saving Club from September to April, this beach is a must.
Cheesy times at Bodalla
It’s often said that ‘kids of today’ don’t know where their food comes from. But when it comes to milk and cheese at least, there’s no excuse after a visit to Bodalla Dairy.
This six-generation family business has been in the area for over 150 years! While a visit to their onsite cheese factory will interest most kids, you might also consider telling them about the existence of Bodalla Dairy’s ice cream lab. Here, Living Milk is churned into ice cream before being sold in the on site café.
And if the ice cream wasn’t enough to entice the kids to explore Bodalla Dairy, remember there’s another delicious option to be enjoyed at the end of your visit: milkshakes!
Kid-friendly strolls and memorable hikes
While walking is often an activity favoured by adults, there are enough options in the area to sneak a stroll in that will keep everyone happy.
Parents who are keen to check out the stores of Central Tilba will find children of preschool age and above can easily be ‘encouraged’ to stroll the town if promised a treat from The Tilba Sweet Spot. Just be warned: we make no promises that adults will able to resist the scores of jars filled with lollies in this quaint local store.
If you are a parent of teenagers and want to challenge them to a serious workout, it’s worth knowing that Tilba Tilba is famous for being the starting point for the excellent Gulaga Walk.
Formerly known as Mount Dromedary, this extinct volcano is sacred to the area’s indigenous owners. While the 14 kilometre, five-hour return journey isn’t easy, it’s a satisfying achievement and certainly reward-worthy.
Bike Batemans Bay cycleway
Flat and scenic, the Batemans Bay cycleway is an excellent chance to get out with the family on two wheels and see some of the region’s best coastline. Many visitors enjoy the five-kilometre route along the promenade from the Bay to Batehaven, where you’ll find coffee and dining options along the way. If you didn’t bring bikes with you, you can hire them from Batemans Bay Cycles. For those keen on something more adventurous, Region X rent mountain bikes (and kayaks) from its hire base at Mossy Point.
Picnic in the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden
A local favourite that was hit hard by the 2019 fires, the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden is once again encouraging visitors back to its 103-acre site, with new growth sprouting by the day.
The much-loved facility, located amongst the bush in the Mogo State Forest just five kilometres south of Batemans Bay, is a fantastic option for families. The new café is open, plus a picnic and play on the Garden’s playground always proves to be a winner.