Nature Coast Marine & Cultural Discovery Tour, NSW South Coast

AT A GLANCE

Dates16–20 March 2022
1–5 June 2022
7–11 September 2022
23–27 November 2022

(If the dates listed are not suitable, please contact our team travel@australiangeographic.com.au or call 1300 241 141 to enquire about alternative dates if you prefer to travel with your own private party)
Activity LevelEasy
Duration4 days, 4 nights
PricesFrom $3360 per person twin share
From $630 single supplement
Group sizeMinimum 8, maximum 12 guests
Featuring regionSouth Coast, New South Wales

WHAT TO EXPECT

Home to some of Australia’s most spectacular seaside scenery, the NSW South Coast is also known for its rich Aboriginal culture, superb seafood and abundant wildlife. This tour brings all of these highlights together in an exclusive itinerary that will take you to the very heart and soul of the South Coast over four days and nights. 

Using the scenic riverside town of Narooma as your base, you’ll experience the Eurobodalla region through the eyes of the people who know it best: its traditional custodians, producers and nature guides. As you explore Yuin Country with your knowledgeable guides, you’ll learn about everything from its evocative Creation stories to its potential for sustainable farming. Along the way you’ll also sample gourmet local produce, observe native wildlife and birdlife, learn about the impacts of climate change on the region, and enjoy free time to soak up the splendour of the NSW South Coast at your own pace. 

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Experience the Eurobodalla region on a sunset cruise on the historic Wagonga Princess with a local Yuin elder and listen to fascinating stories of Creation, history and culture.
  • Learn about pioneering projects to rejuvenate and protect the marine environment with local marine scientist Jo Lane on a walk at Glasshouse Rocks beach.
  • Discover ancient Yuin sustainability practices and how kelp has been used by Indigenous Australians for millennia from local Yuin man James and wife Sarah Thomas on a picturesque walk along Mystery Bay Beach.
  • Enjoy a private tour of family-run Coxon Oyster Farmers and enjoy a delicious lunch of local produce.
  • Explore the beauty and intrigue of Montague Island (Baranguba), and marvel at the incredible conservation reserve brimming with history and wildlife.
  • Join your Brinja-Yuin guide for a short walk of the Bingi Dreaming Track in Eurobodalla National Park and share in the deep knowledge of Country (traditional lands).

ITINERARY

Day 1 – Arrival and sunset cruise

Make your own way to the beautiful town of Narooma, which hugs the banks of the sparkling turquoise Wagonga Inlet in the Eurobodalla region. Check in to your accommodation before embarking on a sunset cruise from the property’s private jetty. 

The Eurobodalla region’s traditional custodians, the Yuin people, have been living alongside Narooma’s idyllic inlet for millennia. Indeed, the name ‘Narooma’ is derived from the Yuin language term for ‘clear blue waters’. Learn more about the Aboriginal connections to this azure waterway on your sunset experience with Wagonga Inlet Cruises. As you glide along the inlet on the historic Wagonga Princess (weather dependant), thought to be one of the oldest commercially operating vessels in Australia, a local Yuin Elder will share fascinating stories of Creation, history and culture linked to this special place. Enjoy a local grazing platter as the sun sets behind the Great Dividing Range, casting a pink glow on the inlet.  

Following the cruise you’ll head to the nearby Quarterdeck restaurant for a relaxed dinner overlooking the Wagonga Inlet. This is a great opportunity to sample your first local oyster or two!

Accommodation: Black Bream Point Cabins (Nov, Dec, March), Mystery Bay Cottages (June, Sep, Nov)

Afternoon grazing platter and dinner provided. 

Day 2 – Kelp farming, culture and art

Fuel up on gourmet local produce provided in your breakfast hamper before taking a deep dive into the local kelp (seaweed) industry.

First up this morning, you’ll meet Jo Lane, a marine scientist and owner of Sea Health Products, Australia’s first kelp business, for a stroll at Glasshouse Rocks Beach. With a steep hill to navigate, sturdy footwear will serve you well on this experience. 

After travelling the globe on a Churchill Fellowship researching kelp farming technologies, Jo Lane has mastered the art of breeding golden kelp (Ecklonia radiata) to develop her range of health and wellness products. Jo is now working to establish the first kelp farm in NSW, and to raise awareness of the benefits of kelp for ocean health, planet health and human health.

During your walk with Jo, you’ll learn about her own kelp journey as well as the potential of kelp farming, and its role in increasing marine biodiversity and addressing ocean acidification. There will also be an opportunity to sample some local seaweed goodness with Jo. 

Afterwards, join Sarah and James Thomas from Indigenous aquaculture initiative South Coast Seaweed for a walk along picturesque Mystery Bay Beach at the southern tip of Eurobodalla National Park. 

Kelp has been used by Indigenous Australians for millennia. Harnessing the knowledge of his Elders, Yuin man James, in partnership with wife Sarah, have developed seaweed products that can be used in everything from food and drinks to cosmetics, and more. During your time with Sarah and James, you’ll learn about the role of seaweed in Yuin culture, and how traditional harvesting methods are being used today to create sustainable kelp products. Sarah also creates kelp art, and during your visit she’ll teach you how to create your very own pressed-kelp artwork to remember your South Coast visit. 

Next you’ll head inland to enjoy a tasty picnic lunch featuring local kelp in the hinterland village of Tilba Tilba, which sits at the base of the dramatic mountain known as Gulaga, the place of ancestral origin for Yuin people.Afterwards, you’ll head to next-door Central Tilba to enjoy a private guided walk of this charming National Trust village, and be treated to a cheese tasting at this historic dairying region’s iconic ABC Cheese Factory. At around 4pm, we’ll return to our accommodation where a barbecue hamper including fresh salads will be waiting for you to enjoy a DIY dinner at your leisure.

Accommodation: Black Bream Point Cabins (Nov, Dec, March), Mystery Bay Cottages (June, Sep, Nov)

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided. 

Day 3 – Culture, oysters and Montague Island (Baranguba) 

Fuel up on another local-produce breakfast hamper at your cabin before boarding a boat at 8.15 am bound for Montague Island (weather dependant). Known as Baranguba in the Yuin language, this conservation reserve just 9km off Narooma brims with history and wildlife, including hundreds of seals that can be seen lazing on the island’s rocky shores – don’t forget your camera.

On a tour with a NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service ranger, you’ll learn about the storied Aboriginal and European history of the small, windswept island and gain an insight into its unique ecology and environmental challenges including climate change.

Upon your return to Narooma at lunchtime, you can look forward to a literal taste of a Yuin delicacy that now forms an important part of Narooma’s economy: oysters! Your experience begins with a private tour of family-run Coxon Oyster Farmers, where you’ll learn about the ins and outs of oyster farming, and how climate change is impacting the industry. Keeping it in the family, you’ll then tuck into a delicious local seafood lunch at the Oyster Bar – The Oyster Farmers Daughter Oyster Bar, a boutique food trailer run by oyster farmer Brian Coxon’s daughter Natasha on the shores of the Wagonga Inlet. At around 3.30pm, we’ll return to your accommodation.

Enjoy an evening at your leisure. 

Accommodation: Black Bream Point Cabins (Nov, Dec, March), Mystery Bay Cottages (June, Sep, Nov)

Breakfast and lunch provided.

Day 4 – Walking on Country 

After breakfast in your cabin, we’ll depart at 9am to join your Brinja-Yuin guide for a walk on a section of the Bingi Dreaming Track, which traces an ancient Songline (a route across the landscape linking significant Indigenous sites) in Eurobodalla National Park, a short drive north of Narooma. 

Today, your guide shares a deep knowledge of Country (traditional lands) on this powerful experience that will stay with you long after you have returned home. As your guide schools you in everything from Australia’s first sustainable farmers to the devastating impacts of European colonisation on Yuin ways of life, keep your eye out for dolphins playing in the waves beyond – there are intriguing Yuin stories linked to them, too. 

Following the walk, you’ll enjoy a picnic lunch featuring traditional native ingredients.

Arriving back in Narooma shortly after 2pm, you’ll have around two hours to explore Narooma before heading back to your accommodation. Perhaps you’d like to check out the unusual geological formation known as Australia Rock, and take a stroll on the beautiful Mill Bay Boardwalk hugging the inlet.

The South Coast is known for its incredible local produce. Enjoy a private dining experience prepared by local chef Alan Newbold. Alan sources the best local seafood, meats, cheeses and even uses his own homegrown herbs for a unique dining experience. (We can cater for specific dietary requirements.)

Accommodation: Black Bream Point Cabins (Nov, Dec, March), Mystery Bay Cottages (June, Sep, Nov)

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.  

Day 5 – Departure

Your Narooma experience comes to an end after enjoying another wholesome breakfast at your accommodation. 

Breakfast provided.  

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • 4 nights accommodation in 2 or 3-bedroom cabins/cottages as per itinerary (with the possibility of shared bathrooms)
  • Experienced guided throughout days 1-4
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary by private air-conditioned charter vehicle
  • Meals included: Daily breakfast, 3 x lunch, 3 x dinner
  • Sunset cruise on the historic Wagonga Princessweather dependent
  • Aquaculture seaweed walk with leaders in their field
  • Boat trip to nearby Mongtague Island (Baranguba) – weather dependent and private guided walk with NSW Parks & Wildlife Services ranger
  • Private tour of Coxon Oyster Farmers
  • Indigenous guided walk on the Bingi Dreaming track.

COSTS DO NOT INCLUDE:

  • Domestic or international airfares
  • Pre-registration, late check-out or day use at hotels other than specified above
  • Guide services other than specified
  • Meals/beverages other than specified
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Optional tours/services

COVID-19

Until further notice: from 1st October 2021 we will require that all participants on our tours must be fully vaccinated with a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved vaccine against Covid-19 with the final dose administered no later than two weeks prior to departure. See terms and conditions for more details.

  • Accommodation and meals:  Strict hygiene conditions apply to the way accommodation is prepared for your stay and in the serving of meals.
  • Vehicles, hygiene & social distancing: all activities will involve careful adherence to cleanliness. Hand sanitiser will be available in many locations and in all land-based vehicles and water-based vessels. Social distancing will always be an issue on board vehicles and vessels; it would be sensible for you to bring your own face masks and hand sanitiser. We may not fill all seats in a vehicle to allow for social distancing.
  • The NSW government approved COVID-19 Safety Plan is in place and all suppliers are Covid Clean accredited.

CONTACT US

Want to know more or register your interest?

Send us an email to travel@australiangeographic.com or call 1300 241 141.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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