South Coast Trail

Check out the spectacular Southern Coast of New South Wales with its diversity of coastal, forest and rural country. The South Coast boasts an incredible cultural and artistic scene from the Whaling industry history, social history of Batemans Bay and surrounding towns, extending to the handsome historic town of Bega which is the gateway to the lush Bega valley.

The journey starts at Batemans Bay (approximately four hours south of Sydney) and the Old Courthouse Museum located minutes off the Princes Highway on Museum Place (next to the Town Water Gardens). Here you can tour the buildings: each room tells a story of the Bay’s developments including aboriginal heritage, medicine, education, crime and punishment, domestic life and military history.

Only 30km down the road is Moruya Historical Society Museum. One of their stand out exhibits is the 1881 Abernethy Stonemason's Lathe which was used for turning many of columns decorating Sydney buildings including the 8 ton columns on the Sydney GPO.

A further hour and a half south down the Princes Highway leads you to the historic fishing town Bermagui; the Tuna capital of Australia. So it’s no surprise the Bermagui Historical Society Heritage Museum looks closely at the successful fishing industry.

Apart from the bushwalking and surfing activities in the surrounding national parks and beaches don’t miss out on the Montreal Goldfield on Wallaga Lake Road where you can take a tour of this significant historic site from the 1880s.

Further down the Southern trail are the towns of Bega and Merimbula. Set in a valley at the junction of the Bega and Brogo rivers and surrounded by rich dairy country, Bega is a handsome, historic town that's the rural centre of the Sapphire Coast and gateway to the lush Bega Valley.  During your stay at Bega you should check out the Bega Pioneers' Museum which houses the social history of the town with an enthusiastic approach to the local connections and collection of military remnants of the Boer War, WW1 and WW2.

Any visit to Bega is incomplete without a trip to Bega Valley Regional Gallery delivering the best of local and regional works.

Closer to the coast at Merimbula is the Merimbula Old School Museum that has a writing desk once belonging to Syms Covington, who was Darwin’s assistant on The Beagle.  

Be prepared to have a whale of a time a further south at Twofold Bay with the Eden Killer Whale Museum and Davidson Whaling Station.  The whales can be seen in large numbers in the town’s stunning Twofold Bay, whether you are in a boat or just from the shore.

A host of artifacts, equipment and information about Eden's whaling days can be seen at the Eden Killer Whale Museum, including the skeleton of "Old Tom' whose body was recovered by George Davidson. The Davidson Whaling Station was the longest-operating shore-based whaling station in Australia. Protected today as an historic site, the station will give you a unique insight into the lives and industry of the 19th century whalers.

From the 26th of October to the 3rd of November is the Eden 2013 Whale Festival giving you the chance to get up close and personal with one of nature’s greatest creations and the rich history surrounding the Twofold Bay Town. While they frolic, the residents are busily putting on Australia’s premier whale celebration making it a must-see attraction on the South Coast.

For more information about accommodation, dining and other events go to Visit NSW For more general art related information visit South East Arts  

Museums & Galleries of NSW helps small-medium museums, galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres create exciting experiences for visitors and, through this, thriving local NSW communities. We don't run museums, galleries and cultural centres but we care about those who do. We develop their skills, connect them with others in the industry, provide funding, point visitors their way, and give them access to ground-breaking exhibitions.

Museums & Galleries of NSW is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

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