The lush Bega Valley, on the Sapphire Coast of NSW is well worth exploring when in the region, not only for the views but its cuisine and pioneering history. Situated between the coast and the escarpments of the Great Australian Divide, the Snowy Mountains Highway will take you further west up to Cooma and the snow resorts and mountain peaks of the Snowy Mountains Region.
Bega Cheese Heritage Centre: The Bega Cheese Factory, begun in the early 1900s as a co-operative of the valley’s dairy farmers, produces a range of excellent cheeses from the rich milk that the valley is famous for. At the Heritage Centre, you can sample many of the excellent cheeses that the area is famous for, as well as others from the country. You can even buy them to take home. Find out more at www.begacheese.com.au.
Bega Pioneers Museum: See artefacts, displays and photographs of the region at this museum, housed in a hotel originally built in 1858-9.
Bega Valley Regional Art Gallery: At the art gallery, you can view historical and other artworks from valley regional artists.
Brogo Dam: In the Wadbilliga National Park, Brogo Dam allows boating and kayaking to help you explore the further reaches of the waters. You can also hire canoes here, motorised boats are also allowed. Enjoy a picnic.
Bega is famous for its cheeses and is rapidly aquiring a name for cuisine as well, made from the plentiful produce grown here as well as the seafood available from the coast. Also nearby is the Grevillea Estate Winery, it has a restaurant and cellar door with tastings available.
The numerous parks in the region are waiting to be explored, including Ben Boyd, Mt Imlay, Nungatta, Nalbaugh, Bournda and the beautiful Mimosa Rocks Nat Parks.
To the east, enjoy the wonderful coastline with its seemingly endless pristine beaches, in the west, explore the many National Parks with abundant birdlife and wildlife. Whale watching and dolphin watching cruises, excellent diving, fishing, boating and a whole range of watersports are available as is exploring the vast wilderness areas.
There are two excellent lookouts over the valley - the Bega Valley Lookout, about 3kms outside of town on the Snowy Mountains Highway and the Dr George Lookout, about 8kms North East. Further up the escarpment is the Bemboka Lookout, also on the Highway to the west, with the most stunning views of the region.
In fact you can ski in the snow and relax at a seaside restaurant in a single day on the Sapphire Coast, the Snowy Mountains are directly west via Cooma and Bega on the Snowy Mountains Highway.
The South East National Park covers over 115,000 Hectares of old growth forests, heathlands, swamps and outcrops of granite. It stretches from the Victoria NSW border to Cobargo in the North East.
Picnic areas and dramatic lookouts make the South East Forests National Park a great place for bushwalks, there are numerous walks of varying difficulty. There are also a number of campsites available within the park.
You can obtain further information about camping here, the many walks, birdlife, animals and flora from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, located in Bombala Phone: +061 2 6458 4080.
All along the South Coast and in the hinterlands, you can find places to stay - luxury resorts to scenic campsites, historical townships and sleep fishing villages. Accommodation available includes a wide range of styles to suit almost any budget.
Main Photo: Bega Valley on the Sapphire Coast of NSW, Australia
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