5 Great Things to do in Eden

5 Great Things to do in Eden

This page about the 5 Great Things to do in Eden may contain compensated links. For more information read our disclaimer here

 

The Garden of Eden makes me think of Heaven and Paradise. In Hebrew, Eden means ‘delight’; the perfect word to describe this natural paradise town. Eden sits on the shores of Twofold Bay and nestles between three National Parks on NSW’s Far South Coast.

Humpback Highway

Twofold Bay is the third deepest natural harbour in the southern hemisphere. Each Spring, between September and November, thousands of humpbacks stop to give tourists a show. They rest, play and fatten their calves before continuing migration. The plentiful krill in this area sustaining their journey home to Antarctica.

Nutrient Rich Diversity

The tropical waters of the East Australia Current warm Eden’s waters. Nutrient-rich colder waters from the Southern Ocean mingle to create a diverse marine habitat. A beautiful sight not often seen on the Australian coastline.

No wonder the baleen whales love to stop by on their journey!

Sensory Sensation

The Eden Whale Festival, held in late October to early November, celebrates the Spring whale migration.

From the shore and from sea, locals and visitors alike enjoy the spectacular sight. Whales breach; lifting their bodies to expose up to 90% of their body above the water.  The thunderous crash of their enormous bodies reaching the shore.

 

Eden Community Puts on a Show!

This year, just as in previous years, Eden Whale Festival was a spectacular success!

The town bustles with live shows, street theatre, music, art exhibitions, friendly competitions and tours.

The images below represent just some of the fun to be had this year. The Eden community is strong, welcoming and vibrant, much like the festival itself.

For more information, visit: https://edenwhalefestival.com.au/

Missed the migration and the festival this year? There’s still plenty to see in this popular, yet unspoiled holiday resort town all year. Dolphins, seals and penguins are amongst the other popular locals that greet regular tourists.

Eden Killer Whale Museum

 

The Eden Killer Whale Museum, situated off Middle Head, blends Eden’s whaling past with its whale watching present.

Amongst the ever-changing exhibitions and guided tours, the centrepiece attraction at the museum is ‘Old Tom’. Old Tom is a complete orca skeleton; there are no others on public display in the southern hemisphere.

Old Tom was the last killer whale to have worked alongside human whalers of the Yuin nation. The Yuin’s hunted baleen whales from the early 1800s, having connected with the orcas. The orcas would lure the whales into the bay. The Yuin nation would then share the catch with their cohorts.

Photos with kind permission from Eden Killer Whale Museum

 

On his natural demise in 1930, locals prepared to bury Old Tom’s corpse on the beach.  One of the locals then suggested that people might want to pay to view this magnificent creature’s skeleton.  From this, the Eden Killer Whale Museum was built by the community in 1931 before settling in its current location in 1939.

For more information, visit: http://killerwhalemuseum.com.au/

Ship Ahoy at Snug Cove!

A quick ramble from the museum down Warren’s Walk takes you to Snug Cove. Altogether, three wharves unite in this busy, working port.

First known as Weecoon by the Thawa people of the Yuin nation, it was renamed Snug Cove by explorer George Bass in 1798. He declared it to be ‘a snug and safe anchorage for any ship during a blow’.

In 1828, Thomas Raine set up the first shore based whaling station here. This was the first on mainland Australia. In 1860, the first wharf for shipping begun operations, with further growth of the port commencing in 1862.

A major expansion began in 1987 to satisfy demand of overseas and domestic visitors via sea. Today, the Eden Breakwater Wharf Extension Project will enhance access for larger cruise ships over the coming years.

  

Apart from the daily fleet of fishing trawlers, there are plenty of visiting yachts, cruise liners and tugboats to see. Enjoy watching local fishermen unloading and preparing their catches for the Sydney and Melbourne markets. This is also the perfect spot to indulge in local seafood at one of the eateries around the cove.

 

Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre

While down at the wharf building, you can learn more on the temperate marine environment of the Sapphire Coast. Take a visit to the Marine Discovery Centre; a ‘hot spot’ for the study of impacts into climate change.

Here, a touch-tank experience gets you up close and personal with the marine creatures from the local rocky shores.  Eager to learn more about our oceans and coasts? There are marine education programs to try. Choose from the guided Snorkel Tour, Rocky Shore Ramble or Dune Tour.

For more information, visit: http://www.sapphirecoastdiscovery.com.au/

 

Photos with kind permission from Sapphire Coastal Marine Discovery Centre

 

 

Wander to Rotary Park

After taking in the sights and wonderful seafood by the water, ramble up to Lookout Point. Here you get a larger view of Twofold Bay headland which formed around 380 million years ago. Notice how the headland juts out into the bay, separating into two ‘folds’, hence the name ‘Twofold’.

In this area, you can visit the Seamen’s Memorial Wall. This memorial commemorates all seamen who perished at sea after sailing from the Port of Eden. Erected by the Eden Community following the loss of the fishing trawler ‘Shiralee’ and its crew in 1978.

The plaque on the front of the Shiralee Memorial reads:

 

Following The Loss Of the Trawler “Shiralee”

With All Hands On The 10th August 1978,

The People Of Eden Had This Wall Constructed

To Serve As A Memorial To All Seamen Who

Have Sailed From This Port, Were Lost At Sea,

And Have Never Returned.

 

 

There is so much more to see and do in and around Eden. We hope you have enjoyed reading about our favourite five in Eden itself.

Rob and I are planning to head back to Eden around January 2020. We’re looking forward to being able to discover more about this beautiful place. We will take some great images and video to share with you.

Rob and I would like to thank the organisers of the Eden Whale Festival, Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre and the Eden Killer Whale Museum for their kind permission to use their images throughout this article.

 

Have you ever visited Eden? What were your favourite finds?

Muogamarra Nature Reserve in Early Spring

Muogamarra Nature Reserve in Early Spring

This page about the Muogamarra Nature Reserve may contain compensated links. For more information read our disclaimer here

Muogamarra Nature Reserve in Early Spring

For just 6 weekends each year, Muogamarra Nature Reserve opens its gates to allow the public to enjoy a brilliant display of colour when wildflowers come into bloom. This Aboriginal cultural heritage site helps protect the fragile ecosystem of the Hawkesbury Sandstone environment. Situated in the northern edge of Sydney between the suburb of Cowan to the South and the Hawkesbury River to the North, just 30 minutes from Gosford. While there, you can enjoy scenic views of Milson and Spectacle islands, Hawkesbury River, Bar and Berowra Creek.

How to get there

Coming in via the Pacific Highway approximately 3.2 kilometres north of Cowan on the left of the northbound dual carriageway, slow your vehicle down a little or you may miss the sign outside announcing the entrance gate to the reserve. Be prepared for a narrow slow-going 3-kilometre-long gravel road with only a few places here and there to allow traffic past from the opposite direction.

On arrival, volunteers will guide your vehicle to an available car spot just outside the main entrance where an entry fee of $25 per person is taken. There is a small grassy area with picnic tables available at this point, along with ramp access to toilets.

Accessibility

Rob and I enjoyed a wonderful day here on the second weekend of opening in 2019 and decided to walk the Point Loop which is a short, flat 2 kilometre walk from the visitor centre/main entrance. This was an easy ramble for us with only a little bit of navigation over uneven ground and rocks, and gentle ascent to be had when we got to the optional viewpoint off-track overlooking Peats Crater and the Hawkesbury River.

If you are a little unsteady on your feet then you can skip this point and continue on the loop path and, while there is still a few areas to be careful on the trail at that point, I think most people with some mobility issues would manage as would fat wheeled electric wheelchairs with a little assistance. Having not had to use a wheelchair though, it may be better to contact the reserve beforehand to assess whether they think this is viable according to the current conditions or the J D Tipper Loop may be more appropriate.

Choose Your Ramble

There are a few other rambles to be had in the reserve which all start from the main information centre, these being:

  • J D Tipper Loop – A short mostly flat 1-kilometre walk to the lookout named after the founder of Muogamarra Nature Reserve.
  • Lloyd Trig – A generally flat 4-kilometre walk on an old road built by convicts to Lloyd Trig Point, with views overlooking the Hawkesbury River area.
  • Deerubbin Lookover – A 6-kilometre walk with a 110-metre descent and a similar ascent along the old Peats Ferry convict road to a rock shelter which provides amazing views over the Hawkesbury River.
  • Peats Crater – A 10-kilometre walk with a 200-metre descent and matching ascent which follows a convict road to the site of George Peat’s farm at Peats Crater.
  • Bird Gully Swamp – A trail around the edge of a ‘hanging swamp’ containing unique plant habitat. Continue the ramble up to the top of a lovely waterfall and occupation sites of aboriginal Gu-ring-gai people.

What to See

If you choose to join in one of the volunteer guided discovery tours, you will get the chance to see Aboriginal rock engravings and learn about the area’s Aboriginal significance but, if like Rob and I, you choose to go at your own pace, then there is still a lot to take in and learn on your own.

Here are just a few captures of the brilliant displays of colour that greeted us on the day and if you look carefully, a few photographs show how healthy this reserve is with very busy bees enjoying pesticide free native wildflowers such as waratahs, angophoras, old-man banksias, pink boronias and orchids.

We Will Be Back Next Year!

The air was filled with fragrance and birdsong (birdwatchers may glimpse a lyrebird or wedge-tail eagle) and I felt really blessed to be able to enjoy our time. We will be back next year to try out the other trails but will aim to get there much earlier in the day…. If you live with a photographer, you soon learn to take any ramble at a snail’s pace!

Dates for 2019 general visits run from 10th August – 15th September 2019

Cootamundra – It’s Not Just Cricket!

Cootamundra – It’s Not Just Cricket!

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Cootamundra is a picturesque country town in the Riverina, NSW, Australia. Although set within a natural environment and full of country charm, don’t believe that that means its sleepy and boring; there is certainly plenty to do and the locals are brimming full of warmth and friendliness.

Just a scenic road trip from Sydney or Melbourne and only two hours’ drive northwest of Canberra, it’s the perfect base to explore the Riverina. Its name, it is believed, was derived from the Wiradjuri word guudamang for ‘turtle’, as the town is around a low-lying marshland, the perfect turtle habitat.

Visit the Migurra Reserve in Cootamundra in July and August and you will be greeted with a sunny sea of golden yellow blooms of the Cootamundra Wattles which are native to the region. If that doesn’t satisfy your nature loving taste buds, you can enjoy rambling along one of the birdwatching trails and nature walks, visit Gardiner’s Lookout viewing place and picnic area and take the obelisk loop track at Pioneer Park; a beautiful 30 minute walk full of vegetation and, if you are lucky, you may even see some of the other locals; goannas, wombats and wallabys!

This photo of Cootamundra is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Places to Visit in and around Cootamundra

If you’re a cricket fan, then you will be delighted to know that the world’s greatest cricketer was born in Cootamundra in 1908. The cottage where Sir Donald Bradman was born is now a museum containing the batsman’s cricket memorabilia and if you venture to Jubilee Park and take the Captains Walk, you can see 42 bronze sculptures of Australian Test Cricket captains along with Unaarimim, the leading Aboriginal cricketer in the first Australian cricket team tour of England in 1868.


This photo of Cootamundra is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Cootamundra is also the former home of another Test Captain, Bill Murdoch. Entry to the museum is $3.00 for adults and children under 16 are free.

Paying tribute to some of the nation’s finest high-quality award-winning wheat crops, Cootamundra is home to beautiful fibre optic lit Milestones Sculptures which were opened in 1997 by the then Governor General William Deane. The sculptures are made from cast concrete and use patterns that represent wheat stalks cut from compressed fibrous cement and painted in a soft wheat colour. They are based in two locations – Mackay Park at Wallendbeen and in Parker Street.

A traditional agricultural show, the ‘Cootamundra Show’ is held every third weekend of October.

If the Milestones Sculptures have whetted your appetite for more heritage, culture and arts, then you are in for a treat.

Image courtesy of VisitNSW

Cootamundra Heritage Centre

Located in the former Railway Barracks and Rest House which were built in 1927, Cootamundra Heritage Centre houses a permanent collection of objects relating to Cootamundra housed in theme rooms on topics such as the history of the Cootamundra Aboriginal Girls Training Home; Railway Barracks, Horse and Harness; Home and Hearth and displays about Cootamundra’s transport history, the RAAF and aviation. Entry is by gold coin donation.


This photo of Cootamundra is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The Arts Centre

Thoughtfully restored by volunteers over the last 15 years, the old woolstore has been converted into a state-of-the-art facility for art and culture for the whole community to enjoy. The centre attracts artists in residence on a regular basis and offers workshops, performances and activities across many of the arts including music, theatre, sculpture, painting, pottery and stained glass.

Cootamundra Railway Station

Cootamundra Railway Station was first built, as a temporary structure, in 1877 comprising of a station building, goods shed and Station Master’s Residence, built to meet the rail line which had been extended from Harden. It was rebuilt in 1888 in a grand Victorian Italianate style and is still a working station today. It is considered an excellent and unusual example of a first-class station and demonstrates the importance attributed to this location during the late nineteenth century. Railway enthusiasts will also love the displays at the Cootamundra Heritage Centre as mentioned above.

Eating Out & Getting About

You are spoilt for choice in Cootamundra with plenty of tasty bakeries, cafes, coffee roasters, clubs, pubs and restaurants to choose from.

Cootamundra also has access to all the other necessities you may require with supermarkets, banks and chemists and there is a wide range of accommodation options from hotels, motels and inns to Cootamundra Caravan Park or Wallendbeen Park Farm.


This photo of Cootamundra is courtesy of TripAdvisor

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West Head Lookout – Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

West Head Lookout – Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

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Lookout Sydney -Breathtaking Scenery & Easy Access

You really can’t go wrong with taking a long meandering drive through Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park to get to the West Head Lookout. With just $12 per car entry, it’s a very affordable day out.  Gates to the park close at specific times depending on the time of the year, so it’s worth factoring that in if you visit late in the day.

It can get quite busy during the summer months but, when we took our trip on a beautiful sunny and warm day in April, we found a parking spot next to the path leading to the sandstone viewing area and there is plenty more parking very closely situated at the Resolute Picnic Area; just take the short Red Hands Track.

West Head Lookout

At the West Head Lookout, you can drink in a perfectly elevated view of Sydney’s waterways, with 270-degree panoramic views of Pittwater, Broken Bay, Lion Island, Barrenjoey Headland, Palm Bay and the Central Coast.

There is plenty of bench seating available as well as a low stone wall to perch yourself upon as you soak up the views and history of the area.

Lion Island

It’s thought that Lion Island, an 8-hectare nature reserve, was named so because of its resemblance to the Sphinx which guards the Pyramids in Egypt. As there are no feral animals there such as foxes or cats as well as being banned for public access, it’s an important haven for numerous migratory birds and native animals.

Barrenjoey Headland

The Barrenjoey Lighthouse that sits on Barrenjoey Headland is built from headland sandstone and has been in operation since 1881. Views of the Northern Beaches, Central Coast and Broken Bay can be enjoyed from the top of the headland which can be accessed by a convict-built walking trail.

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Video Timelapse

Enjoy a glimpse of Dawn Over Parramatta River, Sydney shot from Simmons Point

Top 3 Things To See in Sydney on a Day of Rambling

Top 3 Things To See in Sydney on a Day of Rambling

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Glittering Harbour, Pearly Sails, and a Bonza Bondi – Top 3 Things to See in Sydney

What better subject to write about for my first post than my top 3 things to see in Sydney.

I was born on the North Shore of Sydney and, although I have lived for many years in the UK (and picked up a Scottish twang along the way), I will forever call Sydney home.

To me, the natural beauty of the harbour and the wonderful beaches along the shore line can never fade into the background of the man-made landscape that has risen all around them; some structures of which, of course, are iconic landmarks of their own. After all, you would be hard pressed to find someone who couldn’t recognise the majestic sails of the Opera House?

So yes, it’s kinda cliche to start with this but I’m not going to ask for forgiveness because I love my birth city and it’s worth rambling about my top 3 things to see in Sydney.

Opera House

Probably the most photographed site in Sydney, The Opera House began construction in 1959.

It’s worth taking a guided tour: either a one hour tour or a two-hour backstage tour that includes breakfast (starting at 7am)

Opened by the Queen in 1973, the Opera House became an immediate icon for Australia’s new-found cultural independence.

Darling Harbour

The largest of Sydney’s modern developments, Darling Harbour is a tourists collection of shops and restaurants.

Visit the Maritime Museum, Aquarium, Exhibition Centre and Chinese Gardens along the way and this part of the City alone can be a full day out.

In the 1800s, Darling Harbour was known as the “back door” to Sydney, where most trading ships docked.

Bondi Beach

Bondi is undoubtedly the most famous of Sydney’s eastern beaches and is only a short bus or taxi ride from Paddington.

This really is a golden beach and a must-visit in the Summer months. The Bondi Pavilion opens up, selling ice creams and souvenirs.

If swimming in a pool is preferable to tackling the waves, then try out Bondi Icebergs Pool.

If you are in town on a Sunday, the Bondi Markets are worth a visit. Many young designers have been ‘discovered’ while selling their creations here.

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Video Timelapse

Enjoy a glimpse of Dawn Over Parramatta River, Sydney shot from Simmons Point

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