The seaside haven of Narooma on the far south coast has million-dollar views, gorgeous beaches, spectacular scenery and an almost endless list of things to do. There’s plenty to tantalise the taste buds, with shellfish and fish in abundance and a great selection of cafes and restaurants in which to enjoy them. Narooma buzzes in summer with tourists getting their fix of fish and chips and fresh sea air, but it’s the perfect base year-round for exploring the best of what nature has to offer and making the most of the crystal-clear waters surrounding the town.
Why you’ll love it
- Montague Island, eight kilometres off the coast, is a top place to spot fur seals, little penguins and birds, with around 90 different species found on the island. Between May and November, you may be lucky enough to spot humpback and southern right whales if they are in the area.
- Narooma is the perfect place to tuck into some freshly caught local oysters and seafood. The timber boatsheds just at the entrance to the bridge is one of our favourite places to pick up seafood, but there’s no shortage of other places to grab a bite to eat, like the laid-back pub with spectacular views, O’Brien’s Hotel.
- You can see the magnificent Mount Gulaga from town, and it’s worth a walk to the summit to check out the views and rainforest vegetation.
- If you have kids in tow, head down to the bar crossing where the inlet spills into the sea, and you’ll find Australia Rock, where if you turn your head in just the right way, the hole in a large rock looks much like the shape of Australia. It’s a fun photo opportunity, and there’s a lookout over the bar that shows the sea at its finest.
- Whether you’re a golfer or not, the Narooma Golf Club has spectacular views from a cliff over Montague Island in one direction and Glass House Rocks in the other. If you’re looking for a place to feast on fresh local seafood while soaking up endless views, this is the place for you.
- The Mill Bay Boardwalk follows the edge of the Wagonga Inlet for almost a kilometre. It’s suitable for all levels of walkers (and wheelchairs). We have often seen stingrays here, and while all kinds of fish are usually visible, the occasional dolphin also appears.
- The fishing around Narooma is superb, either from the sea or the estuary. But Narooma is also a renowned game fishing mecca, and several charter boats operate in the area.
Narooma is a three-hour drive south-east of Canberra, via Batemans Bay. Follow the Kings Highway from Queanbeyan until its intersection with the Princes Highway just before Batemans Bay, then head south through Moruya. Narooma is well signposted, but you’ll see the breathtaking views as you approach the town.
When to go
The climate at the coast is moderate, and average daily temperatures usually exceed those in Canberra, so any time of year is excellent for a visit. In summer, the water is perfect for swimming, and the long days mean you have more time to do things. Many people prefer autumn and spring when there are fewer people around but the ocean is not too chilly. The crisp days of winter are great for bushwalking, biking or a round of golf. The waters are productive year-round for anglers, and a highlight of the local calendar is the annual Narooma Oyster Festival in May.
- Duration: it’s a drive of around three hours from Canberra to Narooma.
- Distance from Canberra: 220km via Kings Highway.
- Recommended for: anyone looking for some of the freshest local seafood on the coast and a getaway that is bursting with things to do.
- More information: Visit NSW and South Coast – Narooma.
Have you spent time in Narooma recently? We’d love to hear your tips for places to grab a great meal there.