Travelling around the world made me realise what I miss when I’m away from home, and, call me nerdy if you will, but I still believe our south coast beaches are the best anywhere. Just a leisurely two hour drive from Canberra will take you down the Clyde Mountain to the seaside town of Batemans Bay, and yes, I actually like The Bay as it’s more commonly known.
With summer on the horizon Canberrans are starting to think about their summer break—usually from late December to early February, this is the time when there is a mass exodus from Canberra to The Bay. A large number of Canberrans own holiday homes at the coast and although it can be expensive to rent a place during the summer, out of season rentals are very reasonable. There is also a huge range of accommodation from luxury hotels and apartments, to cabins and caravans, and even houseboats on the Clyde River.
If you’re sporty, or like a bit of action on your holiday, you can learn to surf at Broulee, hire a boat from the marina and try your hand at a bit of fishing, or drive a little further south to Narooma and watch the whales at Montague Island. On the other hand if you’re like me and just like to laze about there are heaps of quiet and pristine coves to explore or take a leisurely walk along the boardwalk, there are lots of cafés and restaurants on the water, or pay a visit to Mogo Zoo where you can play with the meerkats, feed the lions and pat the tigers—though that could be a bit action packed if you’re not too careful! Mogo is also famous for its arts and crafts and you can spend an afternoon simply mooching around the various little shops and enjoying coffee and cake in one the many cafés.
A favourite eating place of mine is the iconic Starfish Deli on the main street and with views across the bay. This place has been there for almost as long as I can remember, and has a well deserved reputation for its food, service, and excellent location, and is the best place for breakfast or a fish ‘n’ chip lunch. They also do a great wood fired pizza!
The drive from Canberra to The Bay goes through the country towns of Bungendore and Braidwood where you can stop for coffee and a bit of arty culture—especially at Bungendore—then on down the Clyde. You know you’re at the coast once you pass Pooh’s Corner. No-one really knows how Pooh’s Corner came to be, but theories abound, and Pooh Bear (often replaced as he gets a bit weather-beaten over time) guards the entrance to his small cave and provides a photo stop and a bit of diversion for the kids.
So, if you want your summer full of sunshine, sand and sea—get down to The Bay! When’s your next trip?