"Beautiful scenery close by!"
Batemans Bay is a classic stop off destination for anyone on a Sydney to Melbourne Road Trip. Situated right on an estuary, it offers travellers a welcomed rest from the road and has great beaches and scenery nearby
The town itself is a big disappointment. Sorry to anyone who likes it! It's full of cheap dollar shops, reject stores and lacks decent restaurants. Unless you want pizza or fish and chips, there isn't much else on offer.
The surrounding area however offers some great scenery but there is a severe lack of accommodation in these tiny villages or small beach areas. Bateman's Bay however has lots of motels, hotels and caravan parks, which is why everyone stays here.
It's likely you will end up stopping here if you are on a road trip, but I would try to look for something outside of the town if you can.
Where is Batemans Bay?
You'll find this town 280km south of Sydney (about 4 hours driving time) or about 10 hours drive from Melbourne on the scenic coastal route. (just off princes highway)
Given its location, best time to visit is during the summer or shoulder season (November to February). You can visit outside of these months but you probably won't be able to take a dip in its brilliantly clean waters.
What To Do And See
In Batemans Bay itself:
Take a cruise on the Clyde River - some of the cleanest waters in Australia.
Enjoy some downtime on the beaches - Broulee Beach is great for a surf or a jog!
Go Reef fishing - heavy handline techniques to get to the bottom of the reef. You get some pretty impressive fish as a result
Enjoy a drink and enjoy the views in the many cafes and pubs. Try Mariners on the Waterfront. Their beer garden offers good views as they are situated right on the water.
But as per my comments above, the the best bit about staying here is exploring the nearby villages and beaches which have great charm. Here are my favourites:
Tilba - This town is favourite for its olde worldy cheese factory. The village itself is tiny (a few houses only) and is protected by the national trust so all the buildings are picture perfect. There is a nice garden here too that you can look around (Foxglove Spires) if you are into that sort of thing.
There is a small cafe/reastaurant here that is perfect for lunch. It does great cheese platters too. The village is just off the highway, so if you are doing a Sydney to Melbourne Road Trip, it is probably best just to stop off on your way to or from Bateman's Bay. It is still probably an hour's drive out of Bateman's Bay for an afternoon drive.
Mogo - This is an old gold rush town with the entire village made from old style wood. There are plenty of craft shops and antique shops to browse around too. I still remember my scones and cream that we had here - delicious! We also had an awesome icecream at the Ice Creamery too. The kids loved their trip to Mogo Zoo too which is just a couple of kms down the road from the main street.
Pebbly Beach - Perhaps the classic quintessentially Australian photo opportunity - kangaroos on the green grassy area behind the beach! There are lots of them hopping around and it really is a lovely site to see. Although, we came here in the morning (about 9.30am) and couldn't see one!! We had to come back early evening to see them.
It's about 16km just outside of Batemans Bay. You'll see a sign about 10km outside of Batemans Bay heading towards Sydney. The 6km path down to the beach through the trees is stunning in itself. You can camp here too but you'll need a 4WD car to access the site. That said, there were some caravaners just parked in the carpark when we were there.
For more opportunities to see Kangaroos up close, head to Murramarang National Park. There are some great walking tracks and plenty of sitings of Kangaroos.
Another great town is Nelligen, which is about 12km from Batemans Bay. We enjoyed a very peaceful and pretty canoe ride here.
Montague Island is just off the coast here (access via boat from a small town called Narroma (60km south of Batemans Bay) and features in my "hidden gems" pages - This island is a nature reserve island and tours allow you to see seals, penguins and even whales. Find out more at my Montague Island page
Where To Stay?
Chalet Swisse Spa Retreat -set in the trees and has quite a european feel to it. Go for the more expensive rooms (the cheap rooms need some renovating)
Beach Drive Motel - right on the beach so try to get a room with an ocean view. A good value option.
We had a motor home for our Sydney to Melbourne Road Trip and thought the cabins the cabins at the BIG4 Batemans Bay Beach Resort (a caravan site) looked pretty good too and might be a good value option.
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