3 Days in Nature’s Playground Eurobodalla

Our family was recently invited to visit the region of Eurobodalla on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia.  In previous years we’ve driven near the area going from Sydney through Batemans Bay, via Bega and onto Merimbula, but we’d never had enough time to stop and see what the region of Eurobodalla was all about it.

We jumped at the chance to find out more and started packing!

How we got there…

IMG_9140We’re Queenslanders so the first part of our journey meant taking a short flight from Brisbane direct to Canberra. Tip: Not all flights are direct, so it pays to look out for them when you book. Eurobodalla was then around 2 hours drive on from there.

We did some research and worked out that the best way for our family to travel to Eurobodalla from Canberra was to self-drive. There are other options for getting there (included at the bottom of this post) but for us car hire was the obvious choice.  On this trip we also took our own car seats and checked them in with our luggage.   Tip:  Some trips we choose to hire the seats along with the car, but on this adventure we decided to take our own because we also planned to use them in the maxi taxi to the airport and back which saved someone having to use our car to drop us off and pick us up. It also avoided having to leave the car in expensive airport parking.

Our drive to Eurobodalla was pretty easy, you travel on the Kings Highway and it’s stunning.  Think rolling hills upon a lush green rural landscape. Tip: There a few things to get the kids to look out for on the drive.

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Firstly, there is Pooh Bear Corner which is a small cave cut into a rock near the top of Clyde Mountain and then there are the bunch teddies to see in the trees between Queanbeyan and Bungendore. I was fascinated with these teddy and googled why they were there…well apparently they are used to mark out the entrance to a nudist colony…best not tell the kids about that bit!

Day 1: Hello Eurobodalla!

We arrived in Eurobodalla late afternoon ready for adventure…ready to get back to nature…and most importantly…ready for family fun. It didn’t disappoint! We caught glimpses of the amazing coastline, unspoilt townships along the way and knew that we were in for something special.

Our accommodation was at BIG4 Moruya Heads Easts Dolphin Beach Holiday Park which is quietly located just outside of the historic dairy town of Moruya and 50 meters opposite Dolphin Beach. We were pretty weary upon arrival, but quickly perked up when we received a warm welcome by Judy (one of the park’s managers). She then helped check us in to our new home for the next 3 nights.

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Our 2 bedroom self contained cabin was immaculately kept and came with all the comforts of home. We were a bit spoilt as this was a deluxe cabin and one of the best in the park. I wasn’t sure what to expect because this was our first stay at a BIG4 or any caravan park for that matter…and I have to tell you, I was quite impressed.

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We unpacked our bags fairly quickly (thanks MumiDesign Packing Cubes) and then set out to explore the grounds. What we found was a wonderland for families! A resort pool and private spa, two playgrounds, an outdoor chess set, two bounce pillows, volleyball and tennis courts, go karts, rec room, bbq facilities and amble space to run and be free. If the boys had their way, the pool at BIG4 would have been high on their list of things to do in Eurobodalla and to be honest we could have quite happily spending the 3 days going inbetween the park and the beach but…this was to be an adventure and it was time to get out there and see some things!

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“Seeing some things” much to the boys disgust meant first hitting the local Woolworths to pick up supplies for the coming days. The Woolworths is conveniently located 7 minutes drive up the road and is opened till 9pm most nights. Moruya also has some great shops for picking up local produce. We recommend the bakery for its freshness and the fact that we could also grab a decent coffee each morning!

With the food shopping out of the way we started exploring Moruya. We took a drive to suss out what was where and our travels lead us to the banks of the Moruya River which has heavenly mountain views as a backdrop. We spent what was left of our afternoon and evening exploring and playing here before having a quick bite to eat at the local Italian restaurant.

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This part of town is so beautiful, especially at this time of day and is the perfect location for a picnic. Tip: If you’re wanting something a bit fancier, I spied another restaurant that looked fabulous called ‘The River’ which seemed to serve up a set menu of french delights. We decided that after a big day on the road that our kids probably wouldn’t make it through the first course without a Category 5 meltdown and vowed to come back and try this at another time.

After a very eventful first day, we headed back to our BIG4 park and called it a night. 9:30pm…the boys were still awake and bouncing on their bunk beds. Mostly from the excitement from being away and also over-tiredness. We’re used to the pattern now, they are always crazy the first night we stay somewhere. To overcome this we read the books that i’d packed until they finally settled and gave in to sleep.

Day 2: Mogo Zoo and Broulle Beach

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Big excitement today as we practically bounced out of bed – we were finally going to visit Mogo Zoo! Mogo is situated about 10 kilometers south of Batemans Bay or 25 minutes drive from where we were staying in Moruya.

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Historically Mogo has gold-mining origins and today offers timeless shops and cafes along with the famous Mogo Zoo. This zoo is privately owned and was started with just $5,000. Today it’s as good as any we have been to and boasts some spectacular exhibits that showcase an extraordinary range of animals. Our favourites included the Giraffe feeding (amazing!), the Western lowlands Gorillas and Mogo Zoo’s newest exhibit, the Southern White Rhino.

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The zoo covers a lot in a very manageable space. It’s an easy activity to do with kids of all ages (including pushing a stroller) and there are plenty of shady places to stop, rest and relax before moving on to the see the next thing.

On our visit, one thing we particularly liked was the warmness of the staff and their willingness to share their story – the General Manager as an example told us all about the zoo’s history and its plans to develop even more recreational spaces as part of their next round of renovations.

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We also loved that you are encouraged to make a day of it. TIP: Bring along your own picnic and enjoy the beautiful picnic grounds surrounded by stunning gardens, or use the various barbeque facilities situated just meters from the animal exhibits. We spent quite a bit of time watching over the lions while we ate our morning tea and joking that we hoped they wouldn’t turn around and eat us because we were THAT close.

After our visit to Mogo Zoo, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful warm day and find a beach to cool down.  The weather throughout the course of stay I have to say, was amazing. Beautiful days that lead to crisp but snug nights. It really did seem like a fantastic time of year to visit – not too hot and not too cold – just right!

On our way to find a beach we stopped at a lovely place called the Muffin Shop in Mossy Point on the Tomaga River for a late lunch. Put this place on your list, their delightfully gourmet homemade eats were a real treat.

A local tip off lead us next to the picturesque Broulee Beach.  Broulee is a tranquil beachside town well equipped for surf and sand holidays. Its nestled between headlines and forests and makes for another Eurobodalla picture postcard setting. Tip: Always ask the locals for their advice on what’s good to do. They’ll tell you about all the hidden gems!

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We spent the afternoon on the beach enjoying its calm, crystal clear waters – not a pounding wave in sight.

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After our beach afternoon we took a short drive via the coast road back to our BIG4 to freshen up.  The boys insisted on a swim in the pool which we found to be beautifully warm.  Invigorated from our swim we decided to get on the road and find some dinner.  Tonight we checked out Batehaven which is approximately 4 kms outside of Batmans Bay and had some traditional fish and chips by the water at Berny’s (another local tip off). This also gave us a chance to get in one last play for the day and we checked out this amazing fenced playground complete with zipline flying fox until the sun went down. The boys loved it. At this point, we wondererd if they would ever want to come home.  Although we were doing and seeing a lot, everything here just felt so easy.

Tip: Quite a few locals also told us to visit Innes Boatshed for Fish and Chips. The historic Boatshed sits on the banks of the Clyde River in the heart of Batemans Bay. Here you can sit on the waterfront deck while enjoying the beautiful and tranquil atmosphere of the Clyde river – you may even spot some stingrays glide through the water!

Day 3 – Mini Golf, Playgrounds and Majestic Seascapes

We tried a new breakfast place today in Moruya called the Red Rose Cafe. I stalked them online and discovered that they had a pretty great looking instagram account.  I’m glad we visited here, this place had a great kids menu and made a pretty mean breakfast for a great price.

Again with full tummies (holiday calories don’t count right?) we made our way onto our first activity for the day… Batemans Bay Mini Golf. I don’t like to brag but mini golf is probably the only sport that I don’t completely suck at so I was pretty excited at the opportunity to show the boys just what mum could do! What I didn’t expect however was that this 18 hole course was a level up on any that i’d played before and Mr Jetsetting Kids was to be victorious.IMG_9835

Tip: Don’t let the clever mini golf course theming fool you- Bumble Bee…Bart Simpson…it all looks very sweet; but this course offers some great challenges even for the pros! At the end of the day though, it didn’t matter (had to say that), it’s not about the winning it’s about having fun that counted! 😉 And all jokes aside, we did have fun.

Following this (and with yet another local tip courtesy of the crew at Batemans Bay Mini Golf), we took a scenic drive to the Clyde River lookout off the Kings Highway. Eurobodalla is filled with tranquil vantage points such as this and today we set out to find some of them while we inspected the glimmering coastline. We found the views to be spectacular along the coast – not a single iPad needed for this drive.

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Along the way we visited Surf Beach which was a very pretty stop… but a windy and a little too chilly for us to go for a swim. Instead we stopped for an icecream and took in the view. We could see that this beach along with Broulee Beach would be top picks for families visiting the area.

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We took our time stopping every so often to let the boys burn some energy in local playgrounds. I have to tell you that there seems to be A LOT of fantastic playgrounds in this region. They are seemingly everywhere, are very new and are fitted out exceptionally.

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One playground that we fell in love with was at the Eurobodalla Botanic Gardens. We almost missed it, but decided to pull in and check out what walking tracks were available. This was a pretty magical place to visit and our boys had a ball riding the kiddy-go-round and playing pirates in the two story fortress.

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As for the walking tracks, there is a great number of them in the region including some fantastic limited mobility paths in the gardens. The gardens also have a lovely cafe to visit for a snack and bathroom break.Tip: When travelling with children – never miss the opportunity for a bathroom break!

Day 4 – Early morning sunrise, followed by tears. No one likes goodbyes.

We woke early. I was determined to make the most of the beach across the road. I grabbed the boys and a coffee and we made our way down the private track to our very own oasis on Dolphin Beach. The boys laughed and played and I drank in the surrounds…and my coffee. 😉 So beautiful. Absolute bliss.

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We eventually dragged ourselves back to the hotel to pack and squeeze in one last play on the kids facilities at the BIG4Park. Another part of Eurobodalla that we will miss.

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Our stay at Eurobodalla was unfortunately over. It was time to say goodbye and retrace our steps back to Canberra. Our perfect family friendly shortbreak was complete and we will always remember the time we visited this great place that they call nature’s playground. We hope one day to go back and do it all again. Highly recommended for families with children of all ages – there is something to do here for everyone.

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The details:

Getting to Eurobodalla is easy! There are many options to suit a range of styles and budgets.

Car: Eurobodalla is 4 hours south of Sydney, 8 hours north of Melbourne (both via the Princes Highway) and less than 2 hours east of Canberra (via the scenic Kings Highway).

Plane: There are daily flights direct into Moruya Airport by Regional Express. They operates regular direct flights to and from Sydney and Merimbula. For other major Australian cities, connect via Sydney or Canberra for travel into Moruya. NB. Moruya Airport is located 5 km from Moruya’s town centre. Taxi services are available along with carhire.


Stays:

We stayed: BIG4 Moruya Heads Easts Dolphin Beach Holiday Park
Address: South Head Road, Moruya Heads
Website: http://www.big4.com.au/caravan-parks/nsw/south-coast/moruya-heads-easts-dolphin-beach-holiday-park

Further accommodation options can be found here: http://www.eurobodalla.com.au/Where-to-Stay


Featured Attractions:

Mogo Zoo
Address: Mogo Zoo – 222 Tomakin Road, Mogo NSW 2536
Opening hours: 9am- 5pm
Website: www.mogozoo.com.au/
Pricing: www.mogozoo.com.au/pricing/

Batemans Bay Mini Golf
Address: 1 Princes Hwy, Batemans Bay, opposite McDonald’s. Look for the ‘BIG PINK BALL’.
Opening hours: 10am-5pm
Website: www.batemansbayminigolf.com.au

Eurobodalla Botanic Gardens
Address: Situated on a 42 hectare forest site on the South Coast of New South Wales, five kilometres south of Batemans Bay.
Website: www.erbg.org.au/

Next time:

Montague Island
Home to thousands of seals, penguins, and many bird species. Go snorkeling or scuba diving with seals. The island is also a great location for whale watching and
spotting dolphins.
Website: www.montagueisland.com.au


Credits:

We were guests of Eurobodalla on this family getaway. All opinions are own and correct at the time of publication. Please visit the Eurobodalla website prior to your stay additional information on what to do in the region. You can also follow the team at Eurobodalla here:

Web | http://www.eurobodalla.com.au/
Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/Eurobodalla – South Coast NSW
Twitter | https://twitter.com/eurobodalla
Instagram | @Eurobodalla


Have you been to Eurobodalla?

Thanks for reading about our families adventure. Have you been to Eurobodalla? We’d love to hear your stories and tips. Please share them here!

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