As you drive into the character-filled village of Mogo, the strip of quaint arts and crafts shops on both sides of the road is difficult to miss. But behind the charming shopfronts, the popular tourist destination has plenty more than shopping opportunities to offer day-trippers. Mogo has a rich gold mining history that has been immortalised in the town, it’s home to the respected Mogo Zoo, and it’s a top spot for some mountain biking or bushwalking in the nearby Mogo State Forest.
Just a short drive from Batemans Bay, Mogo came into being when gold was discovered in the 1800s. It was a thriving town in what was once part of Australia’s third most productive goldfield. These days, Mogo’s population may have dwindled, but the village is often crowded with traffic, abuzz with people kicking back and relaxing, and has a chilled holiday vibe that’s hard to beat.
Things to discover in Mogo
Relive the Mogo town of the 19th century
Mogo’s The Original Gold Rush Colony recreates the Mogo town of the 1800s, when 30,000 people from across the globe made a home on the Eurobodalla’s gold fields. You can pan for gold, explore a gold mine and take one of the guided tours. There’s plenty to see for kids and adults.
Take a bush walk in pristine forest
The Mogo Bush Walk is an interesting and scenic short walk in the magnificent Mogo State Forest. It starts just near the entrance to the Gold Rush Colony and meanders up behind the village. It’s a cool haven in summer when the heat gets a bit much, and is an easy walk for most people, including children.
Learn about the wonder of bees
Enjoy a beekeeping tour at Mogo Village Honey Beekeeping Tours and learn everything there is to know about the intriguing life of bees! You can inspect hives, watch honey extraction processes and go behind the scenes of an apiary.
Explore the hidden treasures in the arcades and side streets
A drive down the main road reveals Mogo’s thriving arts and crafts scene, with galleries selling quality art, and shops bursting to the seams with jewellery, homewares, handmade goods and tons more. Check out the directory of shops and small businesses in the village.
Get up close to hundreds of animals
A few kilometres drive away is Mogo Zoo, home to hundreds of animals in a beautiful setting over many acres of landscaped gardens. There are giraffes, Sumatran tigers, snow leopards, white lions and Western lowland gorillas and it’s worth joining the keeper talks and feeding times.
Visit the Botanic Gardens
The Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens are not far from Mogo, and full of gorgeous native flora (and some fauna) plus a fabulous picnic area and kids’ playground guaranteed to bring out your inner child.
Hire a kayak
While you’re in the area of the zoo, why not hire a kayak and explore the Tomaga River? The popular paddle route takes you close to the zoo and it’s not unusual to hear the thunder of a resident rhinoceros as you go along.
Go mountain biking
Mogo is a haven for mountain bikers, with the village surrounded by several trails. The Snaketrack is a highlight – it is 15km long and features a steep 2km descent. Mountain-biking is the perfect activity for when the beaches and shops get crowded and you’re looking for something a bit different that brings you closer to nature.
Enjoy some tasty treats
After all that bushwalking, kayaking or cycling, you’ll be ready to grab something to eat, and Mogo is just the place to treat yourself. The side streets as well as the main drag feature countless places to indulge yourself. Grab some fudge, lollies or ice cream at Mogo Fudge, drop in to the Mogo Lolly Shop for all things sweet, or visit one of the many cafes in the area for a meal.
To get to Mogo, head to Batemans Bay via the Kings Highway. The scenic road passes through farmlands, forests and mountain ranges via Queanbeyan, Bungendore, Braidwood, Clyde Mountain and Nelligen before meeting the Princes Highway.
At the intersection of the Kings and Princes Highways, head south and follow the Princes Highway for approximately 10 km past Batemans Bay until you come to the village of Mogo which straddles the highway.
- Duration: Two hours each way from Canberra
- Distance from Canberra: 160 km each way from the CBD
- Recommended for: history and art buffs, anyone who likes to shop up a storm, outdoor adventurers and those who appreciate the quirky and unique
- More information: South Coast NSW: Mogo
Do you have a favourite way to spend time in Mogo?