The award-winning Narooma Oyster Festival is one of the Eurobodalla region’s top draws. But there’s more to Narooma than its annual shellfish celebration. From swimming with seals to driving your own barbecue boat, there are plenty of other great activities to try in this relaxed riverside town. Here’s just a few of them.
See the sights by e-bike
One of the most scenic ways to experience Narooma is to take a bike ride along the 21-kilometre Narooma to Dalmeny cycling route hugging the region’s spectacular coastline. E-Bikes make the ride even more accessible with pedal-assist technology that allows you to ride further and with less effort so you can spend more time enjoying the scenery. Hire one from Southbound Escapes in Narooma, or sign up for a catered tour that weaves in fascinating stories about the region.
Snorkel with seals at Montague Island
Just nine kilometres (or an exhilarating 20-minute boat ride) from Narooma, Montague Island Nature Reserve is home to the largest colonies of Australian and New Zealand fur seals in NSW. And you can swim alongside these curious creatures on snorkelling tours led by a number of local operators including Montague Island Adventures, Island Charters Narooma, Montague Island Tours, Narooma Charters, and Underwater Safaris. Dolphins often drop by the boats to say hello, and if you’re visiting between May and November, keep your eyes peeled for whales, too.
Cruise the Wagonga Inlet
Soak up the idyllic turquoise hues of the Wagonga Inlet on an eco-friendly Wagonga Princess cruise. Propelled by an electric engine powered by the sun, the historic vessel offers two- and three-hour day cruises, as well as a 1.5-hour sunset cruise, with delicious local snacks and insightful commentary about local history and the environment. The three-hour cruise also includes visits to the historic township of Wagonga and an ancient Aboriginal midden.
Enjoy a barbecue on the water
Narooma offers the ultimate opportunity to elevate your next barbecue by having one on a boat! Easy to use, with no boat licence required, barbecue boats with room for 12 people can be rented from Riverview Houseboats by the half-day or full-day. Simply stock up on your local produce of choice, rent a barbecue boat, and grill a tasty feed as you cruise the beautiful Wagonga Inlet.
Go water biking
If you love being on the water but aren’t too fond of boating or kayaking, why not give water biking a go? A novel way to experience Narooma’s Wagonga Inlet, water biking is just like cycling, but on water, with a modified bike propelling a catamaran-like boat. Super stable and loads of fun, water bikes also give you elevated perspective of the Inlet, making it easy to spot fish, stingrays, and even seals swimming around you as you pedal. Rent one from Narooma Mobile Leisure Sports, and enjoy the ride of your life.
Tee-off at Hogan’s Hole
You can be forgiven if your golfing handicap takes a hit after a round at Narooma… the views are such a spectacular distraction! Dating back to the 1930’s the cliff top course at the Narooma Golf Club sits in the Top 100 list of Australian golf courses. Made famous by Australian actor and comedian Paul Hogan in the 1970’s, Hogan’s Hole is a nerve-racking par 3 with a tee-off from the cliff top across the water to a green above an ocean cave.
Try your hand at kelp harvesting
Packed with essential nutrients and known for its mild flavour base, Ecklonia radiata (common kelp) is foraged from local beaches to create Mystery Bay Kelp’s popular range of nutritious artisan seasonings. Book an interactive tour with the company in Mystery Bay, 15 minutes’ drive south of Narooma, to learn more about the health benefits of kelp, see where it is harvested, and sample the delicious ‘mbK’ range.
Dip into Tilba’s heritage on a tour
Less than 20 minutes’ drive south of Narooma, the Tilba region has a storied history. Learn more on a walking tour of Central Tilba with Zoe Burke from Tilba Talks Heritage Walks. Offering an insight into everything from the area’s Aboriginal history to the stories of its colonial founding families, the walks are topped off with a delicious taste of local produce. Scheduled tours run on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with private tours also available.
Take a stroll in the foothills of Gulaga
If you don’t have the time – or stamina – to hike Eurobodalla’s ‘Mother Mountain’, the two-kilometre Bellbrook Farm Loop Walk offers a great opportunity to stretch your legs. Beginning up behind Central Tilba’s Dromedary Hotel, a mown track leads you to a flight of wooden stairs. From a the bottom, the trail makes a scenic circuit around the verdant rolling hills below Gulaga before arriving back at the staircase. A covered table at the half-way mark makes a great spot for a picnic lunch.
Tuck into authentic French crepes
Nestled in the foothills of Gulaga, Tilba Tilba cafe La Galette offers a taste of France without leaving Eurobodalla. Tuck into authentic French crepes, delectable pastries and other menu temptations, with locally roasted coffee skillfully selected by owner Patricia to pair perfectly with the delicate treats on offer. There’s also a range of gluten-free and vegetarian menu items available.