BODALLA is a thriving community that offers great hospitality and diverse range of attractions including its old church to its historic streetscape.
The Yuin people are considered to be the traditional owners of the region, and it is from their language that the town and the previous estate and station derived its name. Several meanings have been put forward including Boat Alley", "tossing a child up in the arms", "haven for boats" and "several waters".
Heritage buildings house galleries run by talented artists and craftspeople and its choice of award winning cafes using fresh local produce is reason enough to stop for a meal.
The history of the town is based around dairy with the most famous label of all being Bodalla Cheese.
You can watch cheese and icecream making through the windows of the Bodalla Dairy Cheese factory and then go next door to try the dairy products from designer cheese to the absolute freshest of milk and National prize winning icecreams.
Down the back of the dairy you will a host of poddy calves eager for a pat.
To best appreciate Bodalla it helps to have some history. The Bodalla Walking Guide below will also offer insights into the history of the village.
Bodalla is the birthplace of Australia’s commercial cheese industry thanks to the efforts of Thomas Sutcliffe Mort (1816-1878), one of the nineteenth century’s greatest industrial visionaries, who made Bodalla his country home. The name Bodalla is derived from the Yuin word for the area ‘Botally’, thought to mean ‘haven for boats’ or ‘several waters’.
Bodalla’s history is therefore synonymous with dairying and the Mort family who owned the Bodalla Estate for 127 years. Mort’s enterprises range from the auction of wool and pastoral properties, mining, building ships and railway locomotives, and he pioneered the refrigerated export of Australian meat.
Mort’s association with Bodalla began in 1855 when he financed squatter John Hawdon’s purchase of ‘Botally’, acquiring a half share in the property himself. In 1860 he acquired the entire property.
At Bodalla Mort changed cheese production from a cottage industry into a large scale factory system when milk from different sources was manipulated in 1864 to produce a uniform quality cheese to rival English imports. Bodalla became ‘one of the few showplaces of the industrial progress and enterprise of the Colony’. Ideas developed there were taken up by dairy farmers elsewhere.
The ‘village’ of Bodalla was initially on the river flats but floods in the 1860s and 1870 prompted Mort to establish a new village on higher ground to service the Estate and its many families.
Today Bodalla is home to two significant churches designed by two of the Colony’s most famous nineteenth century architects, two historic cemeteries, a number of heritage listed buildings some of which house galleries, and award-winning cafes.
Be sure to look at Our MUST DO and MUST SEE menus above
BODALLA TO DOs:
Bodalla has great fishing nearby on the Tuross River. Tuross Lake and nearby beach options of Potato Point and Tuross available to suit all ages and all abilities. For tips and location info visit our FISHING page
Be sure to take the Bodalla Historic Walk and be sure to refer to our HISTORY page as you do.
Bodalla has a wonderful rich and vibrant history that is well worth the read. Be sure to read the Nerrigundah history as well and consider a drive out into Eurobodalla