Nestled between the sea and the mountains, just 30 minutes south of Batemans Bay, the lush Bodalla region is perfect for dairy farming. Or so thought Sir Thomas Sutcliffe Mort when the British industrialist acquired land here in the 1860s. Within a few years, Bodalla’s dairy industry was born.
Hugging the Princes Highway, the charming village of Bodalla remains a dairying hub to this day. At its heart is the Bodalla Dairy Shed, a micro-dairy where you can sample ‘living’ milkshakes, gourmet cheeses and ice creams infused with native flavours (from Kakadu plum to lemon myrtle), cheesy toasties and more. Bodalla Dairy Shed also offers fresh ice cream tastings on Fridays and free live music on Sunday afternoons – check the website for the latest upcoming events.
But that’s not the only reason to drop by Bodalla – especially if you’re peckish, as the village also has an excellent bakery, and an atmospheric café and restaurant called the Downward Dog serving a delicious range of dishes fusing local produce with flavours from around the world. Opposite the Bodalla Dairy Shed is the Bodalla Pub, a characterful country pub with great-value bistro specials.
Bodalla is also home to a clutch of quirky boutiques. Leave time to browse for antiques in Not a Bad Shop Bodalla, shop for handmade garments, jewellery and more at The Artisans Nest Gallery, stock up on incense and tie-dyed clothes at Hippie Sticks, and pick up some crystals at Dragonfly Dreams.
Some local businesses, including the bakery and the post office, are housed in historic cottages, adding to Bodalla’s heritage charm. Other attractions in the Bodalla Heritage Area include the All Saints Anglican Church founded in 1880, which features beautiful stained glass, oak woodwork, and a pipe organ shipped over from England, and the smaller but also-significant St Edmunds Catholic Church (1886). Don’t miss the Rectory Garden, an exquisite private garden at the end of a long driveway near the Bodalla Pub that’s open to the public on weekends.
If one day in Bodalla isn’t enough, or you’re looking for somewhere to stay on a South Coast road trip, the Bodalla Dairy Shed also operates five stylish guest rooms. If you prefer to stay by the sea, the sleepy seaside residential area of Potato Point is only a 10-minute drive to the east. Less than two kilometres north of Potato Creek, surrounded by Eurobodalla National Park on three sides and a long stretch of beach on the other, Beachcomber Holiday Park is easily one of the most picturesque camping spots in New South Wales. If you’re not suitably impressed by the dozens of kangaroos that love to hang out in the grassy seaside holiday park, wait until you see the wild emus that can often be spotted foraging on the beach. Bring your own tent, or caravan or book an eco-cabin. There’s also a big communal kitchen complete with a pizza oven, with dough for the bases available for purchase from the friendly reception staff.
Spend your stay here swimming or surfing at the beach, perhaps taking a stroll up to Tuross Inlet to paddle in its turquoise waters, or a wander to the coastal lookouts at Black Fellows Point and Jabarrah Point to the east and south of the campground. To connect with this coastal landscape more deeply, consider booking a walking tour with Brinja-Yuin woman Trisha Ellis of Minga Cultural Experiences, who runs a range of cultural experiences in this beautiful region.