These communities have been impacted by bushfire, drought and lockdown restrictions. Please check the status of roads and places you plan to visit before setting off.
Take in the scenery as you meander through amazing valleys, fertile river plains and incredible mountain peaks on this 3-day trip from the lush pastoral area of Canberra through to the ghost-white gums of Cooma.
- Explore the Oyster Coast
- Visit the bustling village of Cobargo
- Stay on the Sapphire Coast
- Take a snow-dappled drive to Cooma
Day 1: Canberra to Braidwood to Batemans Bay
Located one hour from Canberra is the small town of Braidwood. Here you can gather with local folk in some of the quirky cafes, tuck into hearty pub meals or grab a pizza at locally renowned Casanovas – a rustic restaurant tucked away off the main street. Make sure you stop for a pie at Dojo Bread and taste the local apple cider at Sully’s Cider at the Old Cheese Factory which is close to the village of Majors Creek.
At the sparkling entrance of the Clyde River, an estuary famous for oysters, sits Batemans Bay. Well known for its coastline dotted with beautiful beaches and mangroves, it’s a great place to throw in a fishing lines – or head out to sea on a fishing charter – go kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding or sailing.
The playground at Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens (seven kilometres south of Batemans Bay, just before you get to Mogo) is also worth a visit if you're travelling with kids. It's the perfect place to let them burn off some energy on a road trip.
Don't leave Mogo without visiting Mogo Zoo — the collection includes Nepalese red pandas, white lions, snow leopards, bears and tigers. They have a range of animal encounters and you can go behind the scenes and become a keeper for the day. Alternatively, if you prefer to see Australian animals in the wild, head to Murramarang National Park, where you can often see kangaroos on the beaches and around the picnic areas.
Murramarang Beachfront Nature Resort has one- and two-bedroom villas right on the edge of the sand, as well as powered caravan sites, a licensed restaurant, playground and swimming pool. An added attraction is the resident mob of kangaroos that call the resort home. If your kids have never had the chance to see a wild kangaroo up close, this is the perfect place.
Day 2: Cobargo to Merimbula
Cobargo suffered devastating losses in the black summer bushfires of January 2020 but the community bond and spirit continues to shine on and the locals are welcoming visitors back to this bustling village once again.
West of Cobargo is the Wadbilliga National Park. Wadbilliga National Park features remote and rugged wilderness that will leave you feeling like you’ve truly escaped into the great outdoors. It’s popular with 4WD enthusiasts and offers remote camping. Sedans can access the Wadbilliga Crossing Picnic Area via Wandella Road at Cobargo.
With steep gorges carved into dramatic ancient granite cliffs contrasting with wide, undulating plateaus from the high escarpment country down to the coastal plains. Along the picturesque 20km drive is evidence of the early farms established by the pioneers of the district. The wilderness of the national park is in marked contrast to the cleared farmland to which it is adjacent.
For a not-to-be missed bite to eat, make a stop in to Via Luna - a tiny mobile kitchen and shopfront custom-built by Tiny Homes Tilba. The owners, originally from Amsterdam, dish up heart homemade meals using local produce where available. While a lot of their food has a European flare - they also serve one of the best cups of coffee in town.
Check out the popular Lazy Lizard Gallery where you can enjoy a hot cup of coffee and browse a range of quality quirky pieces, including artworks, sculptures, watercolours, photographs, jewellery, wood-fired ceramics and woodwork. If vintage clothing peaks your interest, you’ll also want to make sure you visit Little Birdie Vintage, which specialises in vintage clothing from the ’40s through to the ’80s and provides a range of collectable mid-century homewares and salvaged cane and timber furniture.
Part country town, part laidback beach village, the sleep enclave of Merimbula sits one hour south of Cobargo
The craft beer revolution arrived on the Sapphire Coast with the opening of Longstocking Brewery in Pambula at the start of 2016. The brewery is open Tuesday to Sunday with about a dozen beers on tap including Gypsy Ginger Beer, Al Capone Amber Ale and Tommy Gun IPA. Sit down for lunch with a schooner and a plate of fresh oysters or prawns.
You can see the ocean from almost every corner of the NRMA Merimbula Beach Holiday Resort. After a major refurbishment, facilities now include a heated pool, water park, jumping pillow, tennis court, sand volleyball court, games room, kids’ club, bikes and go karts. This 4.5 star park has a huge range of accommodation options, from a beach house and clifftop bungalows to condos, spa villas, cabins and units, as well as powered and unpowered sites. The park is also pet friendly, so it’s a great option if you’re travelling with furry family members.
Day 3: Merimbula to Cooma
Take a leisurely snow-dappled drive to Cooma and the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre. This state-of-the-art visitor centre showcases the amazing history of the Snowy Mountains Scheme; from the early days of construction to the present. It comprises an exhibition hall, photographs, models, hands-on exhibits and interactive displays. Kids can jump on the ‘power bikes’ and try to peddle hard enough to power their Xboxes.
Pay homage to Banjo Paterson at Cooma’s Centennial Park. A diminutive bronze statue, which is a tribute to the author of our unofficial national anthem.
One of Cooma's older historic homes, Hillview offers friendly and comfortable accommodation. Located on the main street, Hillview is just a leisurely walk from Cooma's main business area.
Set on a hill, the house provides remarkable views of the township. Two guest rooms are available accommodating up to four guests. The rooms are serviced daily and complimentary tea and coffee is available at all times.