LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE | PAGE 119 BEGA/TATHRA Places to be active or relaxed The historic National Trust-listed Tathra Wharf is a popular fishing spot. Tathra is a happy little community that balances an old-fashioned, laid-back attitude, with a cosmopolitan style all its own. In the township, you’ll find great cafés, takeaway food places, and holiday supplies. The shops are an easy stroll from the beachfront reserve, as is Tathra’s famous skate park, suitable for all ages, and heaps of fun for any type of human-powered wheels. Or you can go a little further and ‘hit the slopes’ at the Tathra MTB track...a favourite with mountain bikers of all levels. Head to the headland You can be as relaxed or as active as you wish in Tathra, where you can keep the whole family entertained with walks along the coastal headland to the historic Tathra Wharf. A renowned local fishing spot, the wharf is classified by the National Trust, and is the only remaining steamer wharf on the Australian coastline. You can also take your bikes on easy tracks to the local reserves, go bird watching, snorkelling, or just wander out to get some fish and chips to enjoy by the water. The holiday vibe of Tathra is a drawcard in all seasons, and it’s especially popular during the warm days of summer and autumn, when visitors flock to the region to enjoy the pristine beaches and estuaries, National Parks, and a range of other activities and services. Be sure to take the lovely walk through the shady reserve that lines the main road. It will take you to a four-kilometre stretch of beach, upon which you’ll enjoy a magnificent view stretching from Tathra’s historic wharf to the Mimosa Rocks National Park headland. More to explore Kianniny Bay, Mogareeka Inlet, Moon Bay, Nelson Beach, Middle Beach, Bithrey Inlet, Wapengo, Picnic Point, and Aragunnu Beach are just some of the stunning waterways and sandy stretches to explore while you’re in this beautiful region. There are many very safe children’s play areas in and around these beaches. Tathra’s many restaurants and cafés source seasonal, locally-grown produce where possible, including farm-fresh eggs, vegetables, fruits and olives from local orchards, and herbs from local gardens. And of course the Sapphire Coast – with its unpolluted water – provides an abundance of delicious fresh seafood, including creamy oysters, Eden mussels, prawns, blackfish, flathead, bream, lobster, abalone and much more. The freshly-shucked Wapengo and Nelson Lagoon oysters have been winning awards for more than a decade, and can be purchased direct from Tathra’s oyster growers. Beautiful Bega Considered the historic ‘country centre’ of the NSW Sapphire Coast, the quaint town of Bega is located in a lush pastoral region, and is best known for being home of the internationally famous Bega Cheese brand. Dairying began in the verdant Bega Valley in the 1850s, and the original Bega Cheese factory opened in 1900. At the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre – a reconstruction of one of the first buildings of the Bega Co-operative Creamery Company – you can learn about the history of the valley and the cheesemaking process (and also taste the delicious results). A historic walk around Bega is an intriguing way of stepping back into the past, and it’s also worth checking out the local produce market, which runs from 8am-1pm every Friday in Bega’s Littleton Gardens. Colourful Candelo South-west of Bega is Candelo, which still retains its rustic charm of yesteryear, and provides a colourful market on the first Sunday of every month, from 8.30am-12.30pm, featuring local produce and a wonderful country atmosphere. Early settlers had the foresight to establish a beautiful park beside the river here, and today it still provides a year-round meeting place for locals and visitors. Heritage and nature There are many magnificent national parks to explore in the region, offering diverse landscapes and a rich indigenous history. These include Wadbilliga, Bournda and Biamanga: a significant site for local Yuin First Nations people. At Biamanga National Park – which was returned to its traditional owners in 2006 — you can immerse yourself in the wild landscapes of granite boulders, gum trees and ancient indigenous lore. A reconstruction of the original Bega Co-operative Creamery Company building – where you can learn about the history of the area and the cheesemaking process.