One of the exciting things about living in Sydney is the sheer natural beauty of its seascapes, cities, towns and villages along the coastal line of New South Wales. On this sunny day, we take a leisurely drive from Sydney southwards to Wollongong, the third larges city in New South Wales which is a mere hour away. Our eventual destination is Bateman’s Bay, a small town approximately four hours drive south of Sydney.
Given the choice, Mysaucepan and I are both partial to the South coast over the Central and North coast of New South Wales. As we drive towards the South coast and the sparkling waters of the ocean come into view, there are just too many “gems” along the way that is difficult to ignore.
Quaint little towns like Gerringong, Gerroa and Berry have their own unique feel and personality, where beautiful stretches of beaches, rolling hills dotted with cattle, horses and sheep, gourmet cafes and restaurants that embrace sustainability and support fresh local produce have won the hearts of many a Sydneysider.
Bateman’s Bay is a small fishing village where seafood restaurants proudly showcase local Clyde river oysters, shellfish and a variety of local fish.
We wander around the shops and the bay where local fish and chips, pizzerias and hamburger bars are just as enticing as the numerous seafood restaurants that dot the town.
Local cooked prawns with homemade tartare sauce are ocean fresh and they are a treat with so many good varietals of white wine and sparking wine that restaurants offer.
The local Clyde river oysters are fresh and briny with the taste of the sea.
A 2010 James Oatley Tic Tok Sauvignon Blanc is typical of its West Australian grassy flavours. It is such a versatile wine with so many fresh seafood dishes. We wander around and so many restaurants are predicated upon beautiful and serene views of the water.
Local restaurants are showing high quality and standard on their menu and service levels. Coupled with beautiful water views, it is a perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon grazing on fresh seafood.
As much as I love fresh oysters, I also love the old-world style of oyster mornay that is baked with cream, cheddar and parmesan. Today, we are tucking into some tempura oysters with seaweed vinaigrette. The batter is light and crispy while the oyster within is just gently cooked and the tangy seaweed vinaigrette adds a little zing to each mouthful.
Malua Bay is just a short twenty minute drive further south of Bateman’s Bay and one can choose a leisurely walk by the bay before settling down for dinner at one of the local restaurants.
Juela Mogo, Jewellery Studio at Mogo
I came upon a chance meeting with a talented local jeweler that shows so much love and passion for her work. Bloss Theodore and her partners are jewellers at Juela Mogo that have developed their own unique style for their designs, utilising a host of beautiful materials, shapes and colours for all kinds of jewellery from pendants, rings, ear rings, bracelets and more.
This modest shop is filled with beautiful jewellery and there is a rich history behind the business, which was founded by two brother John and Peter Miers. They went abroad to New Zealand as young men on a skiing adventure but came back with skills in jewellery design instead.
Sadly, both brothers have since passed on but their legacy is in the beautiful jewellery. Bloss, who apprenticed under one of the brothers, has developed a unique style of her own which has gained a loyal band of followers both locally and abroad.
Mogo is a quaint, little town south of Bateman’s Bay that is home to whimsical shops, cafes, local arts and crafts, pottery, antiques, leather goods, homeware and decoratives.
Moruya Markets, Moruya, South Coast
The Moruya markets are one of so many vibrant weekend markets in the South Coast. Like most fresh produce markets, on offer are an array of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, local cheeses, fresh juices, sausage sizzles as well as homewares, books, plants, flowers and other knick knacks.
We wander around the markets, chat with the friendly locals and sample some of the local oysters and food.
The markets are situated along the beautiful Moruya river where we see some die-hard locals casting their fishing lines.
Fruit and vegetables are fresh and the locals try to support these growers as most of the produce are harvested from orchards and farms within the surrounding areas of the markets.
We wandered down to Narooma, another small fishing town in the South coast.
We see locals who are no less enthusiastic than those in Bateman’s Bay who would find nothing more enjoyable than casting a fishing line into the water in the hope of catching a fresh and beautiful meal.
These fishing enthusiasts start young and it looks like they can spend all day in the water.
Food and wine at restaurants are no less impressive and there are generally the local Thai, Chinese and pizzeria for the casual diners as well as those in local hotels and motels.
As we head back north on our way back to Sydney, we stay a night in Mollymook, another beautiful beach along the South coast.
We also stayed a night in Gerringong which is my favourite little town just an hour south of Wollongong and a short half hour drive to the quaint town of Berry, which is famous for so many wonderful cafes and restaurants that embrace local produce and sustainability.
These gems in the South coast are truly some of the most beautiful spots around New South Wales. They are away from the hustle and bustle of the large cities and life certainly slows down a few notches when you are enjoying great food and wine in a beautiful environment.
Related posts by ChopinandMysaucepan:
- The South coast food and wine trail
- Southern Highlands in the palm of your hands
- Centennial Vineyards Restaurant, Bowral, Southern Highlands
- Rick Stein at Bannisters, Mollymook