With life far too hectic and commitments far too many these days we were in desperate need of some peace and solitude, some 4wding and camping wouldn’t go astray either we thought. One of our favourite go to destinations for a short break has always been the delightful, pristine South Coast of New South Wales.
Sun, sea, sand and surf I hear you say, well not quite. We were after a bit of adventure away from the maddening crowds pointing the cruiser inland bound for the forested slopes, gullies and pristine wilderness along the Great Dividing Range of this diverse region. This time around we were heading to an area we had previously visited 10 years ago always promising ourselves we would return, well that time had come. We made our way south along the Princes Highway stopping for supplies in the main retail hub of Batemans Bay. From here venturing further south we finally arrived at the tiny hamlet of Bodalla, better known for its bespoke cheese factory. Bodalla is the perfect place to grab a coffee and watch the cheese making procedures from a bygone era.
After our caffeine hit we head inland towards the isolated village of Nerrigundah at the foothills of the range. A shadow of its former self this tiny isolated settlement was a very different place during the late 1800s. Following the discovery of gold the town swelled with a population running around a couple of thousand, hard to believe today. Don’t miss the obelisk in the middle of town that commemorates a bloody episode in Nerrigundah’s past.
Leaving Nerrigundah we push further west up and into the forested slopes of the Great Dividing Range and arrive at a spot to stretch the legs. An unassuming sign at the side of the road leads to another reminder of the area’s rich and interesting past. Here we take the sign posted “Comans Mine Walking Track” past old mining relics that are slowly being reclaimed by nature along the side of the mountain. Stopping briefly at the largest remaining relic here, a ten-head stamper battery we ponder what this place must have been like during the days the mine operated. Soon we are back at the car and heading further up the escarpment deeper into the forest before emerging into the delightful Belowra Valley. This is a delightful part of the drive with the crystal waters of the Tuross River to our left and the forested slopes of the valley set behind lush green pastures to our right.