Not far from Batemans Bay lies Mogo State Forest, where you can take a bushwalk and watch for native birds. Keep quiet and you’ll likely spot bowerbirds, lorikeets, kookaburras, rosellas and cockatoos – both sulphur-crested and black.
For more nature-based activities, take a daytrip to Eurobodalla National Park, which stretches from Moruya Head in the north to Mystery Bay in the south. Beautiful Mystery Bay also has one of the few natural camping areas remaining on the New South Wales coast and is right on the beach, offering immediate access to small beaches and spectacular cliffs.
Next, take the beach road to Mimosa Rocks National Park, where you can swim, snorkel and surf, or simply enjoy a coastal walk. A short way inland lies Bega – famous for its cheeses – but if you stick to the coastline, you’ll come across coastal gems like Tathra, Merimbula and Pambula, all of which offer delightful seaside activities and fresh-off-the-boat seafood.
See some of the diverse landscapes of this area by visiting some of its best parks and forests, including Ben Boyd National Park, where you can watch for whales as you enjoy the Light to Light walk; East Boyd State Forest, where you can camp overnight in native bushland; Nullica State Forest, which features a natural swimming hole and shady picnic areas; and Nadgee State Forest, where you can walk through the protected rainforests of Maxwells Flora Reserve.
Perched on the banks of the Bombala River and surrounded by native forests, Bombala is another excellent destination for outdoor activities like mountain biking, fly-fishing, horseriding and bushwalking. On the other hand, if you stay quiet, you’ll have a good chance of spotting a platypus in the local streams.