When most of us think of Batemans Bay, we think of the sun and sand, fish and chips by the pier, and a lazy break soaking up some rays. But when you’ve had enough of the waves and the crowds, and you’re looking for somewhere quiet, still and serene, here’s just the place.
A few minutes’ drive from Batemans Bay is a 42-hectare natural bushland paradise that is packed with things to enjoy. There’s an arboretum, ponds, open grassy spaces and abundant birdlife, while the fauna includes kangaroos, wallabies, bandicoots, possums, echidnas, snakes, lizards, and frogs. There are display gardens, walking tracks, picnic and barbeque facilities, a herbarium, and a fabulous play area. There really is something for everyone, and best of all, it’s free!
Why you’ll love it
The Eurobodalla Botanic Garden has been named on Australian Geographic’s list of 10 regional botanic gardens you need to visit. It displays plant species that grow naturally in the region but it’s so much more than just a place to see plants. Here are our top nine reasons to drop in for a visit.
1. It’s one of the largest botanic gardens in the country
The Botanic Garden is one of the largest in regional Australia, and visitation has doubled in the past five years. It’s little wonder – the gardens are packed with different areas to explore, with something for everyone and every level of fitness.
2. Plenty of walking tracks
There are over 8km of walking tracks that make their way through the gorgeous forest environments. When we visited, the helpful staff at the information centre were quick to provide us with a guide to the tracks and an explanation of which would be most suitable. From short leisurely strolls to more challenging and longer walks, it’s easy to find something suitable.
3. Accessible options
There are two paths that are pram and wheelchair friendly and cover a couple of kilometres of low-gradient paths. The Arboretum track offers seats along the way, a gazebo, and plenty of places to sit and relax, watch the abundant birdlife and take in the sights. The Limited Mobility track has a sensory garden that stimulates the senses, including touch, sound, smell and even taste.
4. Lots to see – including animals
There’s a rainforest environment, a bird hide to view waterbirds and plenty of kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, lizards and even lyrebirds around. The animals are not shy and some will happily pose for photos. It’s a fabulous way to experience nature without getting too far off the beaten track.
5. More than 150 birds
The gardens are a bird-lovers’ paradise with more than 150 birds, mainly honeyeaters, wrens, waterbirds, swallows and even eagles. Fairy wrens visit at the café.
6. Stay for lunch
The visitor centre has an outdoor/indoor café with excellent cakes and snacks made in house. There’s a small gift shop and activities set up for the kids, and the staff are happy to share their extensive knowledge about anything and everything related to the gardens and the local area.
7. Enjoy the great outdoors
If you prefer to bring your own snacks or meals, there are sheltered areas to set up a picnic, and barbecues are also available.
8. Kid friendly
The Gardens are well set up for anyone with kids. You’ll find puzzles, activity sheets, a cubby and plenty of play space nearby, and a terrific kids playground.
9. More improvements to come
Finally, a million-dollar upgrade is underway. This will see a new retail area which will provide visitor services and sell quality, locally-made art, wares and produce added to the list of attractions.
- Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens is five kilometres south of Batemans Bay, at 489 Princes Highway. It’s a short drive north from the centre of town.
- The gates are open 9 am to 4 pm, Wednesday to Sunday, or every day during NSW school holidays and public holidays except Good Friday, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.
- Dogs and bikes are not permitted, but assistance dogs are allowed.
- Entry is free.
- Duration: Allow two hours each way for the drive from Canberra, or ten minutes from Batemans Bay.
- Distance from Canberra: 150km.
- More information: Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden
Have you visited Eurobodalla Botanic Gardens? What’s your favourite walk or activity to enjoy there?