The word NAROOMA is derived from the Yuin term for ‘clear blue water’ and that is exactly what you encounter as you cross over the bridge into the town. The inlet waters are crystal clear and with the backdrop of Gulaga Mountain the old bridge, the waters and the mountain have become an iconic image of this quiet South Coast town.
There is much to explore and Narooma makes it easy with a dedicated shared cycleway that gives safe access around the town so leave the car, grab a bike or pull on some waking shoes.
A must visit is the Narooma Visitors Centre and the Lighthouse Museum on the Princes Highway at the Narooma Round-about - Open 7 days 9 - 5 (summer) and 9 - 4 (winter) Ph 44762881. This VIC is run by volunteers and they have a wealth of knowledge of the secret spots, the ways to get there and the most up to date info on what is happening in the area.
On the northern side of the inlet are the boatsheds tucked beside the bridge offer delectably fresh local oysters. Narooma plays a key role in the Australia’s Oyster Coast, and celebrates in style each May with the annual Narooma Oyster Festival.
Continue on your explorations of the northern side by following the inlet to the Mill Bay Walkway which traces itself along the water’s edge. This section of the inlet is part of the Batemans Marine Park so don’t be surprised to see huge rays or seals around the boatramp.
The boardwalk leads to Apex Park which has a netted beach (BAR BEACH) for a those who prefer calmer waters.
On the southern side of the bridge there are two options to explore.
Narooma Sth - Option 1
The first is a stop off at the Visitors Centre to see the Montague Light House museum. Then make your way along the shoreline to the Narooma Wharf where there is often a parade of wildlife queued up for fisher castoffs.
Continue to Bar Rock Road and then follow it up to the lookout before continuing down the hill to Australia Rock and the southern side of the Narooma Break wall. This area is favoured by a rowdy bunch of Australian fur seals. Don’t miss Australia Rock, a natural hole weathered into the remnants of volcanic activity hundreds of millions of years ago that just happens to be shaped like Australia.
The lookout gives extensive water views to Barunguba (Montague island) however you will see it clearer if you now follow the coast road south once again towards the Narooma Golf Course that has to be seen to be believed as having one of the best views of any golf course in the country. Where else can you putt and watch a whale breaching at the same time? Just down the hill from the golf course is the road to the Narooma Beach.
A much favoured though rarely suggested excursion is to the Narooma Cemetery that you can see from the beach on the headland to the south. The cemetary overlooks the Glass House Rocks. The rocks are recognised by the Geological Society of Australia as dating between 510 and 440 million years old and are possibly the most photographed rocks along the Eurobodalla coastline.
The view of the rocks is quite reasonable from the cemetery which is accessed via Glasshouse Rocks Road at the southern end of Narooma. At low tide you can walk round the headland from the Narooma Beach to Glasshouse Rocks North Beach as well. Just be mindful of the tides - Caution is advised (for clear and also safe directions to Glass House Rocks call into the Narooma Visitors Centre) .
Narooma Sth - Option 2
Narooma has two sides. The boisterous ocean side with whales, rocks, beaches and ocean views. And then there is the quiet side of the Wagonga Inlet with its boathouses, cafes, oyster sheds and marinas. This side also has a great area for family safe paddling with cycle, kayak and Stand Up Paddle Board hire in summer
Once you are done with exploring the town there is the draw of MONTAGUE ISLAND.
Barunguba (Montague island) one of Australia’s top destinations for a snorkel or diving with seals. 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.