It’s not often you find a place where pristine green hills with rich farmland roll all the way to the ocean. Well that’s how it is on the South Coast of NSW, travel by car and it’s hard to know where to look. The drive is simply spectacular.
The area is home to many treasures, and two places that left quite an impression on us for entirely different reasons are a 10-minute drive from each other. Narooma and Tilba. Narooma for its windy waterways and rolling seas that seem to go on forever and Tilba for its incredibly lush farmland, culture and history.
In the comfort of our Subaru Outback, with our camper trailer on the back, it’s pretty easy to find the water.
The old fishing town of Narooma is wrapped around the windy Wogonga Inlet, and then there’s Montague Island, just 11 kms offshore, teeming with wildlife. With the local oyster industry established around 1900, it has been regarded as a tourist town for over 100 years so there is plenty of accommodation in Narooma, including B&Bs, apartments and holiday parks.
When you head to Tilba, it feels like you’ve stepped onto the movie set of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. Driving there is a pleasure with lush green hills, jersey cows, old farm houses, and at the foothills of Mt Gulaga, is the historic town of Tilba, settled during the Gold Rush era. It’s so treasured, it’s classified as National Trust.
Teeming with character and charm, there are arts and craft shops, cafes and galleries, and at the top of the street is the historic ABC Cheese Factory, that was established in 1891 as the first cheese co-operative in New South Wales. Now the home of South Coast Cheese, it is owned and run by Erica and Nic Dibden, who invite us to their farm where the milk has been made for over a century. They have a 500 head of milking cows, and you certainly get to see the passion behind the dairy farm.
As you walk into the ABC Cheese Factory you can pretty much see it in operation with big glass display windows. The shelves are overflowing, not only with a massive selection of cheeses and milk, but all other produce from around the region. Erica is now running special cheese-making courses, and I have to say she made it all look very easy, with some handy tips to take home.
A visit to Narooma and Tilba is one of those driving adventures where you come for a few days, and it feels like a few weeks. Pristine wilderness, fresh country air, incredible local produce and warm welcoming locals. We’ll certainly be back to do some more NSW travel.
Places We Go travelled to Tilba and Narooma thanks to Destination NSW www.visitnsw.com.au
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