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Narooma, New South Wales

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There are no English words to properly convey the colours of Wagonga Inlet. The word Narooma, derived from the Yuin term for ‘clear blue water’ seems to fit best, with the vibrant hues of the waterway the first thing seen by visitors arriving from the north. The timber boatsheds tucked beside the bridge offer fresh local oysters and seafood direct to the public, with oysters shucked in front of you if you’d like to eat them then and there. Eurobodalla sits at the heart of Australia’s Oyster Coast, which is celebrated in style each May with the annual Narooma Oyster Festival. The southern side of the breakwater offers equally rewarding exploration. To get there, take a scenic drive through town and along Bluewater Drive to Bar Rock Road. Home of the famous Australia Rock, the area is a favoured place for local fur seals to relax in the sun. The lookout here gives extensive water views to Barunguba (Montague island) one of Australia’s top destinations for a snorkel or dive with seals. Australian fur seals have a reputation as funsters and seem to enjoy engaging with the strange land creatures who regularly drop in. For those who prefer to stay above water, Montague Island makes a great day trip, with whales, dolphins, flying fish and over 90 species of bird calling the area home throughout the year. The granite lighthouse on the Island is almost 140 years old and retains most of its original features. Climbing the original winding stairs provides outstanding 360 degree views and a chance to spot passing whales. For a unique overnight stay, accommodation is offered in both the lighthouse keeper’s, and assistant lighthouse keeper’s cottages. The fishing around Narooma is superb and can be as easy as casting a line from the shore. The waters here are productive year-round with the estuary offering bream, flathead and leatherjacket, and the ocean reefs providing snapper, morwong, wrasse, trevally, and kingfish. Game fishing here is internationally renowned with yellowfin tuna, albacore, and striped and black Marlin found closer to the continental shelf.

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