Gems from New South Wales’ South coast

Gems from the south coast: Jeweler Bloss Theodore with some of her creations

Gems from the south coast: Jeweler Bloss Theodore with some of her creations

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.

Catamaran at Bateman's Bay

Catamaran at Bateman's Bay

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.

Sea gulls at a jetty, Bateman's Bay

Sea gulls at a jetty, Bateman's Bay

Cooked prawns with homemade tartare sauce

Cooked prawns with homemade tartare sauce

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.

Freshly shucked oysters with seaweed and soy dressing

Freshly shucked oysters with seaweed and soy dressing

The local Clyde river oysters are fresh and briny with the taste of the sea.

2010 James Oatley Tic Tok Sauvignon Blanc

2010 James Oatley Tic Tok Sauvignon Blanc

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.

Restaurant with a view

Restaurant with a view

A great way to spend a leisure afternoon

A great way to spend a leisure afternoon

Bonding through fishing

Bonding through fishing

Come to lunch on a boat

Come to lunch on a boat

The perfect complement for seafood

The perfect complement for seafood

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.

Tempura oysters with seaweed vinaigrette

Tempura oysters with seaweed vinaigrette

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

Twilight at Malua Bay

Twilight at Malua Bay

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

Bloss Theodore of Juela Mogo, south coast

Bloss Theodore of Juela Mogo, South coast

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.

Designer jewellery at Juela Mogo

Designer jewellery at Juela Mogo

Designer jewellery at Juela Mogo

Designer jewellery at Juela Mogo

Designer jewellery at Juela Mogo

Designer jewellery at Juela Mogo

Designer jewellery at Juela Mogo

Designer jewellery at Juela Mogo

Designer jewellery at Juela Mogo

Designer jewellery at Juela Mogo

Designer jewellery at Juela Mogo

Designer jewellery at Juela Mogo

Juela Mogo

Juela Mogo

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.

Jelly beads of Mogo

Jelly beads of Mogo

Activity for locals and tourists

Activity for locals and tourists

Pottery and art gallery

Pottery and art gallery

Antique organ

Antique organ

Local art and craft

Local art and craft

Moruya Markets, Moruya, South Coast

The Prawn Man at Moruya markets

The Prawn Man at Moruya markets

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.

Cockery, Moruya markets

Cockery, Moruya markets

Pottery, Moruya markets

Pottery, Moruya markets

The markets are situated along the beautiful Moruya river where we see some die-hard locals casting their fishing lines.

Fresh vegetables, Moruya markets

Fresh vegetables, Moruya markets

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.

Mandarins, Moruya markets

Mandarins, Moruya markets

Locally grown tomatoes, Moruya markets

Locally grown tomatoes, Moruya markets

Books for sale, Moruya markets

Books for sale, Moruya markets

Herb signs, Moruya markets

Herb signs, Moruya markets

Designer thongs, Moruya markets

Designer thongs, Moruya markets

Fresh native flowers, Moruya markets

Fresh native flowers, Moruya markets

Massage therapy, Moruya markets

Massage therapy, Moruya markets

Shoes for sale, Moruya markets

Shoes for sale, Moruya markets

Local art and crafts, Moruya markets

Local art and crafts, Moruya markets

Raw wood for dining and coffee table tops

Raw wood for dining and coffee table tops

Service with a smile - Eye fillet with polenta chips

Service with a smile - Eye fillet with polenta chips

Seared scallops and zucchini flowers

Seared scallops and zucchini flowers

Ling fillets and croquettes

Ling fillets and croquettes

How about a large backyard?

How about a large backyard?

Or a large backyard with a bed of roses?

Or a large backyard with a bed of roses?

Tranquility: Moruya river, South coast

Tranquility: Moruya river, South coast

We wandered down to Narooma, another small fishing town in the South coast.

One of thousands of fishing spots along the South coast

One of thousands of fishing spots along 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.

Anglers at Norooma, South coast

Anglers at Norooma, South coast

Young anglers at Norooma, South coast

Young anglers at Norooma, South coast

These fishing enthusiasts start young and it looks like they can spend all day in the water.

Eye fillet, croquettes and seafood salad

Eye fillet, croquettes and seafood salad

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.

Pork terrine, tomato relish and pickled gerhkin

Pork terrine, tomato relish and pickled gerhkin

Summer blossoms, South coast

Summer blossoms, South coast

Cliff face at Moruya heads, South coast

Cliff face at Moruya heads, South coast

Cliff face at Moruya heads, South coast

Cliff face at Moruya heads, South coast

Mollymook beach, South coast

Mollymook beach, South coast

As we head back north on our way back to Sydney, we stay a night in Mollymook, another beautiful beach along the South coast.

Werri beach, Gerringong, South coast

Werri beach, Gerringong, 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.

Beach houses, Werri beach, Gerringong, South coast

Beach houses, Werri beach, Gerringong, South coast

Werri beach, Gerringong, South coast

Werri beach, Gerringong, South coast

Rolling hills and the surf at Werri beach, Gerringong, South coast

Rolling hills and the surf at Werri beach, Gerringong, South coast

Boats at Bateman's Bay

Boats at Bateman's Bay

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.

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38 Responses to Gems from New South Wales’ South coast

  1. It’s almost lunch time here and I’m having hard time not to drool all these fresh food! My ideal life would be living in SF in spring summer and then move to Sydney for the rest of year. :-) . Lots of great places to visit, eat and hang out in both cities. I need more props for taking pictures and I need to find those outdoor markets to find something second hand (inexpensive!) but cute!

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Nami,

      There are lots of similarities between Sydney and SF being harbour cities. I never thought about it but yes, you will find loads of beautiful and rustic props from these outdoor markets for your foodie pics!

  2. tigerfish says:

    With the coast and bay, the seafood must be fresh!

    What does “low klm” mean for the tomatoes? ;)

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear tigerfish,

      Low klm means low kilometres, thus saying most of the fruits and vegetables are grown locally and not transported from far away places.

      Many Australian coastal and inland towns have their own localized initiatives to try and support local produce and farmers and some restaurants and cafes also pride themselves to be self-sustainable up to a certain level as far as fresh local ingredients are concerned.

  3. I really like the amber jewelry because it looks a little bit like tamed wildness. :)

    Aww, and all the wonderful seafood … I love seafood so much! :D

    (I also think we’re currently cross-reading. ;) )

  4. Love everything about this post. I am with you, South Coast is my preference over the North. It may have to do with spending a lot of time down there in my youth. That stretch of coast really is a special part of NSW.

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Sara,

      There is so many beautiful spots along that 300km of coastline and I would love to spend a few weeks exploring each of these fascinating places.

  5. heidi says:

    You are so good at showing the wonderful views, foods, people and interests!
    I love going along on your excursions through your posts!
    Seriously- I just may have to find a way to come to Australia.

  6. Nami it sounds like you spent a wonderful afternoon with your significant other exploring the sites. Someday when we go to Sydney I’ll be fortunate enough to know some of the best spots to visit because of you. If I forget, guess who I’ll be emailing for tips.

    Great photos and lots of fun! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Carolyn Jung says:

    The jewelry is beautiful! But I must say, those tempura oysters are the real gems. ;)

  8. This is one of my favourite trips (although it’s not very relaxing as a P plate driver as there are lots of one lane areas and drivers get impatient if you can’t go above 90kms). Narooma also has an oyster festival which is fun.

  9. Charles says:

    ^^ Heh, I’ve never seen kilometres written as “klm” before – is that common in Australia, because in Europe we use only “km”.

    Anyway – what a beautiful selection of photos – the food… just wow – the steak, the croquette (I LOVE croquettes), the tempura oysters, sitting next to that water sipping chardonnay… I love finding out more about Australia through your blog… so much I didn’t know! I just love the place names of some of the places too… so cool! :)

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Charles,

      We use “km” too, I think they just spelt it a little different at the markets.

      Glad you enjoy the places and there is so much more to discover even for us living here :)

  10. Hotly Spiced says:

    You write beautifully and so well. And you are absolutely right – that area is definitely God’s country. I love the earrings from that local jeweler. Well worth a trip down there to make a wonderful purchase like that. And fabulous photography too! I felt relaxed as I viewed your images.

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Hotly Spiced,

      The trip was really relaxing as the pace is a lot slower than Sydney and the Princess Highway was a nice and leisurely drive as well.

  11. JasmyneTea says:

    I love the antique organ, and the pottery at the markets! The food is spectacular in that area, isn’t it?

  12. Sissi says:

    It looks like all I love in one: excellent wine, delicious food, jewellery and other tempting items to buy and even fishing spots! How I miss fishing… almost as much as mushroom picking :-( Beautiful, Summer photos! All I need now to warm up a bit.

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Sissi,

      There are literally thousands of fishing spots all over Australia. If you like mushroom picking, Tasmania is a great place too and we loved our road trip there but unfortunately it was pre-blogging days.

  13. sophia says:

    Just overwhelmed by the beauty of Sydney’s land and seascape! Both Los angeles and Sydney is by the coast, but I have to admit…Sydney rocks in scenery.

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear sophia,

      The natural beauty of Sydney’s harbour and its coastal seascapes are pretty spectacular on a sunny day. But Sydney is only now trialing the concept of food trucks which have taken off like a rocket in LA :)

  14. Hannah says:

    Oh my gosh, my work computer couldn’t handle all of the photos in your post and stopped loading them half way through, even though I tried three times! Ah well, at least what I can see looks tasty and calming and holiday-esque :)

  15. What a wonderful trip you had. I love your photos and that jewellery is just so beautiful. A thoroughly wonderful read Chopinand :)

  16. msihua says:

    Oh truly you guys are lucky to be near sea side/coastal towns… the nearest I am to the water is St Kilda beach and that’s sooooo not a coastal town… *sigh*… and seafood!! WANTS! Jewellery! WANTS! MARKET BY SEA! WANT WANT WANT!!!

  17. Maureen says:

    I found you today for the first time. Holy cow, there is so much packed into every post that all I can do is wish I were half as good. I have wonderful memories traveling through the south coast but now we live up in Queensland. It’s just not the same. I’ll definitely be back to visit. You are so much fun.

  18. sugarpuffi says:

    awww i love buying cups and saucers! the herb signs are so cute!

  19. Juliana says:

    Wow, what a lovely time you had…I enjoyed so much all the pictures, from the beach to the table ones…thank you so much for taking me to this virtual trip as well.
    Hope you are having a great day :)

  20. Row says:

    Such gorgeous photos… they showcase a beautiful, simple, rich and laid-back way of life. Another reason why I have to visit one of these days. :)

  21. Everything looks so surreal — i can’t stop thinking about those raw wood for table top! Gorgeous :)

  22. What a lovely recap of your time on the S Coast, I’m with you – it’s a gorgeous part of NSW, and the food on your adventure looked good too. And the markets – great stuff!

  23. Dear Chopinand, you have brought back so many memories for me with this post.

    When I was little, my parents always took me to those parts (Bateman’s Bay, Malua Bay and surrounds). They bought land at Sunpatch, which is now Tomakin, and eventually built their modest retirement home on a cliff at Malua Bay. I spent many, many weekends and holidays in the region and absolutely love it! The ashes of my dear mother and one of my brothers are scattered in those waters, and my father almost drowned there too (shortly after mum died and we were scattering her ashes… he fell in, at age 82 and never swam!). I have swam and sunbaked at Malua Beach hundreds of times and love the landscape, so different to, Kiama, for example.

    Other than the area’s natural beauty, it offers the gems that you have shared in your postcards… the food, the wine, the people, the markets and all the other good things.

    I am going to bookmark this page so I can visit it often. And I now have you in my RSS feed too!

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Lizzy,

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post. It was certainly a great trip for us even though we have been to the south coast quite a few times.

      It is always a different but wonderful experience with so many interesting places to visit and the local produce as well. We took a walk along Malua Bay at twilight and I thought about you and your family when you told me about your mother and brother. It is definitely a very beautiful place to remember loved ones.

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