If you’re keen to trade the gloomy grey of a Canberra winter for the sunshine of the South Coast, you’ll find plenty to warm you in and around Batemans Bay – as long as you know where to look.
Your reward will be crisp, calm (and often surprisingly warm) days, and the streets are quieter than when the summer crowds are in town. While it’s unlikely the weather will be warm enough for taking a dip in the sea during winter, there’s a wealth of other activities to keep you warm and entertained.
Here are our top tips for enjoying a winter-time trip to Batemans Bay.
Top things to do
- Head to the weekend markets and grab yourself a bargain or some local produce without having to rub elbows with other market-goers. Moruya and Batemans Bay are popular, but here’s an overview of what’s on when.
- Take a ride on the Batemans Bay cycleway and enjoy peaceful views over the water.
- Drive or take a walk up to one of the lookouts, and have a picnic while enjoying the midday sun. Here are some of our favourite spots.
- Go horseriding and explore the beautiful bushland. Try Timbertops Horse Riding, where you can find a horse to suit your level and enjoy a one or two hour ride. Bookings are essential.
- Sudden Echo Day Spa is in Nelligen, and it’s the perfect spot for a day out with a difference. Enjoy a spa, sauna, massage, clay body wrap, mineral salt scrub, facials, or hand or foot revival.
- Check out Old Mogo Town where there are guided tours of a 1850s gold-mining village plus plenty of activities including the chance to pan for gold and explore a mine.
- Drive down to Pebbly Beach and make friends with some tame kangaroos.
- Head to the Botanic Gardens and discover the flora and fauna of the South Coast in more than 42 hectares of parklands. There are BBQ facilities, picnic areas, a play space, a plant shop and cafe.
- Drop into Birdland Animal Park for a hands-on experience with native Australian animals, birds and reptiles.
- Grab a pizza or some fish and chips on the waterfront. If it’s too chilly to sit outside, it’s still possible to enjoy views of the bay from indoors. We love Sam’s Pizzeria for its excellent spot along the promenade, relaxed atmosphere, and great food, wine and service, and Innes’s Boatshed serves up fresh, locally caught seafood nearby.
- Savour some warming winter favourites like tacos, burritos, nachos and enchiladas, or taste some surprising menu items like haloumi chips and apple pie chimichangas from Coyote Mexican at Batemans Bay.
- The Venetian Cafe, also in the Bay, roasts and serves up nineteen different blends of coffee, but if you prefer a chai, organic tea or hot chocolate, they’ve got that covered too. And their cakes are guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
- The coast comes alive with the migration and activity of whales, seals and dolphins in the colder weather, so find yourself a sunny spot, grab a pair of binoculars, and you’ll be set. Here are some pointers.
- Take your dog to the beach. Check the off-leash areas before you go. They are more generous than in summer so you and your furry friend might even find some new locations to explore.
- Hit the galleries – winter is the perfect time to wander around indoors and check out the creations of the Eurobodalla region’s talented artisans.
- Take a ride on the MV Merinda and see the coast from a different perspective, but without getting wet.
Getting to Batemans Bay from Canberra takes only a couple of hours heading east on the Kings Highway. The scenic road passes through farmlands, forests and mountain ranges via Queanbeyan, Bungendore, Braidwood, Clyde Mountain and Nelligen before turning onto the Princes Highway and travelling south to the heart of Batemans Bay.
When to go
Check the events calendar and find a show, fair, charity event, concert or much more on offer. Find more information about them here A highlight is Sculpture on Clyde when the foreshore at Batemans Bay is transformed into a vast sculpture park in late August.
There are many places to eat and activities to try at the coast. Do you have any particular recommendations you would like to share with other readers? Comment below.