New South Wales boasts incredible geographical diversity, much of which can be discovered between Curlwaa to Batemans Bay. From sleepy coastal hideaways to inland agricultural meccas, welcome the warmer weather with a road trip between these two intriguing destinations.
If you’re coming from the western side of Australia, or from Victoria, let’s hit the road in Curlwaa (for those coming from the east and from Queensland, we recommend doing this trip in reverse)! Just south of Wentworth, Curlwaa is a peaceful town in the Sunraysia region. Spend the night in the grassy caravan park before starting out on this state-spanning adventure.
Cross the Abbotsford Bridge for a momentary stopover in Victoria – this is the fruit fly exclusion zone, so you’ll notice a lot of signage telling you to dispose of any fruit you’re bringing in from across the border – and then come back to the New South Wales side of the river and head east towards Mildura.
The Sunraysia region is famed for its fruits, including a range of citrus varieties and grapes. Almost 100 per cent of Australia’s dried fruit comes from this region! This is the perfect opportunity to pick up some fresh and dried fruit from a local farmers market to snack on during your journey.
Now the real road trip begins – jump on the Sturt Highway and head to Robinvale. On a picturesque peninsula of land bordered by the Murray, Robinvale is situated on one of the most user-friendly spots of the entire river. Visit the huge windmill on McLennan Drive, which is more than 50 years old and is rumoured to be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. The Robinswood Homestead and Riverside Park are worth a visit, especially if a picnic lunch is on the cards.
Further down the Sturt, you’ll arrive on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River in Hay. Check out the historic Hay Railway Station, the Witcombe Fountain that was erected in 1883, followed by the Bishop’s Lodge Historic House and Heritage Rose Garden, where you can discover a hidden garden of long-lost old-fashioned rose species. Just out of Hay is the quaint town of Maude, where country hospitality is at an all-time high and you can enjoy a calm night or two under the stars at the local caravan park.
Get an early start to cover the 500-odd kilometers to Canberra. Grab a bite to eat at the Murrumbidgee Hotel in Narrandera, or for a fun daytime activity, check out the iconic Dog on the Tucker Box in Gundagai and then stop by the Gundagai Railway and the Gundagai Gaol, which both date back to the 1860s, for a dose of Australian history.
Two hours on the Kings Highway and you’ll arrive in Batemans Bay, one of the most unspoilt spots on the New South Wales coast. While the Bay has a large population relative to its neighbours, it’s still very much a big country town, in size and in spirit. Explore the local estuaries; enjoy the country hospitality and stunning natural scenery. From Holmes Lookout, five minutes out of town, you’ll get a great view over Batemans Bay and the Clyde River.
Now that you’ve reached the coast, indulge in some of the delicious produce plucked straight from the extremely clean waters, the overwhelming favourites here are Clyde River oysters – arguably the best oysters in the country. For a fancy dining experience, try the award-winning On The Pier or for something equally as enjoyable that won’t break the bank, pop down to a fish and chip shop and head to the river promenade for dinner with a view.