There is plenty to see and do on the NSW South Coast during the October school holidays, with many venues open again following closures due to the past summer’s bushfires.
If you can, book online soon or call the information centre where you’re heading because the South Coast is a popular destination this spring.
Mogo Wildlife Park
When: Daily, 9 am to 4 pm
Cost: $99 per family (two adults and two children)
Mogo Wildlife Park is situated 10km south of Batemans Bay. Animals in residence include gorillas, rhinoceros, silvery gibbons, Bolivian squirrel monkeys, giraffe, zebra, meerkats, cheetah, cotton-top tamarins, snow leopards, Sumatran tigers, Nepalese red pandas, ring-tailed lemurs, oriental small-clawed otters, siamangs and white lions. The zoo has a wide range of amazing up-close-and-personal experiences available.
Bar Rock and Australia Rock in Narooma are popular attractions for photo opportunities. Bar Rock lookout captures a spectacular view of unique rock formations and clear turquoise waters, and boasts wildlife and nature walks. When Australia Rock is viewed at just the right angle, the hole in the rock at Wagonga Head, has an uncanny resemblance to a map of Australia (without Tasmania).
Batemans Marine Park
When: Contact Region X – tours vary on numbers
Cost: From $59
Stretching from Murramarang Beach to Wallaga Lake is 85,000 hectares of estuaries, creeks, rivers and lakes, with nearly all of it available for unrestricted recreational fishing. Batemans Marine Park is zoned to protect marine biodiversity while supporting a wide range of recreational and commercial activities. You can also take a guided kayak tour through the park. Region X offers sunset dinner, oyster tasting, and half-day and full-day glass-bottom boat tours.
Magic Mountain Tree Climb
When: Check here for opening times.
Cost: $39 – ages 13-59; $32 – ages 5-12
At Magic Mountain Tree Climb, there are more than 30 challenges shared between three graded courses, and a skills centre to introduce you to the challenges you will encounter among the treetops. Climb to the top, swing through the trees and fly over the park at exhilarating speed on flying foxes. Rope bridges, high-wires and wooden obstacles also offer a more physical challenge.
A ‘mega pod’ of humpback whales are currently on display off the coast of Eden and Merimbula. Book a whale watching tour with one of the area’s many operators, but be sure to secure a spot quickly as they are booking out fast.
Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre
When: 10 am to 4 pm daily throughout the school holidays
Cost: $7 adults, $2 children
Children are actively encouraged to touch the exhibits at the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre. It has live aquaria; a popular touch tank where you can get up close and personal with live marine animals; beautiful video footage; microscopes; a beachcombing table; and loads of information about the temperate marine environment.
Eden Killer Whale Museum
When: 9:15 am to 3:45 pm, Monday-Saturday; 11:15 am to 3:45 pm, Sunday
Cost: $12 per person
The Eden Killer Whale Museum has been telling Eden’s stories of the sea for more than 80 years and is home to orca skeleton Old Tom, Eden’s famous killer whale. A visit here is not complete without time spent on the sundrenched deck which overlooks Twofold Bay. It’s a great place from which to watch whales, and staff will sound a loud siren that lets the whole town know there is a whale to be seen from shore.
Shoalhaven Wine Coast
There are nine cellar doors to check out on the NSW South Coast, with great experiences onsite including tastings, tours, restaurants, high tea, horse riding and open green fields to explore and breath in fresh country air.
100 Beach Challenge
Find your new favourite beach by exploring the Shoalhaven coastline with the interactive 100 Beach Challenge game where you can check-in at the beach and climb up the leaderboard.
Mountain biking and cycling
Tathra is the Sapphire Coast’s top destination for mountain biking for everyone including families who prefer flat, concrete paths, to beginner mountain bikers, to adrenaline-seeking single-track riders. If you don’t have your own gear, there is a range of mountain bikes, tandems and kids’ seats for great prices at Tathra Beach & Bike. There’s also a 2.5km concrete bike path right outside the shop which takes you to the beautiful Bega River and Mogareeka Inlet, which is perfect for a swim when you get there.
Note: prices and opening times may vary.