POTATO POINT is a village connected by road to the town of Bodalla, and surrounded by the Eurobodalla National Park. Why the name Potato Point? The Brice family grew vegetables and potatoes here, rowing them out to ships standing off the point for transport to Sydney market.
The Yuin are considered to be the traditional owners of the region. Potato Point has a rich aboriginal history
It is a very quiet little village with no local store. However it does have a local rural fire brigade depot which houses two appliances, a toilet and shower block, a boat ramp, two small parks and a telephone box.
Remains of an old wharf jut into the sea over the rocks of the Point, which include wooden piers, thick iron staples and various carvings into the softer rock. Further around to the south are the rusting remains of an old boiler and other machinery.
The beaches on either side of the Point are Potato Beach (north) and Jemison's Beach (south). The latter is open to rough seas and wild winds, whereas the former is slightly more sheltered and known locally for good surfing breaks and fine beach fishing, especially of salmon and bream. The beaches in this area are exposed, rip-dominated beaches, bordered in places by jagged rock platforms. Use caution if swimming on any of the beach, and watch for strong rips against the rocks
Cod, eels and luderick are taken from the rocks of the Point. Notable diving locations are found offshore from the Point, which can be accessed from the local north-facing boat ramp.
To the north lies the Beachcomber Holiday Park and Lake Brunderee. This small tidal lake is connected intermittently to the ocean by Potato Creek, and is a major habitat for swans and chestnut teal, as well as an important drought refuge.
In 1999 the lake was declared a habitat protection zone due to its importance as a fish spawning ground. To the south lies a small shallow, and often dry unnamed coastal lake which abounds in bird-life at various times of the year.
Six of the fourteen Aboriginal Reservations declared across the Eurobodalla Shire were located in the Tuross area. In 1850 the Eurobodalla Reserve was established at Eurobodalla, west of Bodalla. In 1877 the government declared a further three; one at Blackfellows Point for Yarraro, one at Terouga Lake for Merriman and one at Tuross Lake for Bolloway. You can read more of the rich Aboriginal history of the South Coast HERE
While Blackfellows Point and Blackfellows Beach and Piccaninny Beach are considered politically incorrect they are still referred to by koories and locals alike as place names.
To the north of Potato Point is the Beachcomber Holiday Park which is located within the Eurobodalla National Park.
It offers three types of solar powered eco-cabins; all are with gas hotwater, heating and cooking facilities along with caravan and camping sites that are absolute beachfront or in more shaded areas backing onto the Eurobodalla National Park.
Most of their sites are unpowered as they are not connected to the electricity grid. They do have a limited number of solar powered sites that can be used to run your lights, TV, radio, battery charger & fridge. Due to their dependence on solar power, you won't be able to run high power appliances like an air-conditioner, heater, microwave or electric hot water.
The video below takes you on the beachside road from Potato Point through the Eurobodalla National Park to Beachcomber Holiday Park. On this 2km journey the first beach you'll see is Potato Point Beach, followed by Piccaninny, finishing at Blackfellows Point Beach & Beachcomber. Enjoy!
Some History: When George Bass came to Potato Point 1797.
The white man's 'great bird' brought terror to Tuross Aborigines - By NOEL WARRY
TRAVELLING south during an expedition which resulted in the discovery 'of Port Phillip Bay, George Bass stayed overnight at Tuross.
On the evening of Saturday, December 16, 1797, his whale boat stood off a point of land which he named Marka Point, the place now known as Potato Point. The next day he landed and walked to what we call Tuross Lake. For someone on his way to test the existence or otherwise of a sea lane between the Pacific and Indian oceans, this break in his journey was but an interlude. He recorded that the area was waterless and empty of human inhabitants.
However, to the people whose territory it was, the arrival of a whale boat under sail was a most dramatic event. Fifty years later, when Cooral, an Aboriginal friend, told it to him, a resident of Moruya wrote their version down.
When George Bass and his crew dropped anchor, Cooral, then a young boy, was asleep with his tribe on the cliff above the beach. At dawn, when everybody woke up, they were dismayed to see an enormous white thing just out to sea, its wings spread as if for flight. After a hasty discussion they decided that a monster bird of some unearthly kind had come to pick them up like a hawk does its prey.
They fled in terror. They did not stop until they sank exhausted in a gully of the stony creek near what we call Coila. Even there they did not feel safe, for who knew if the great white bird was not hovering above them ready to strike, and they had nothing with which to defend themselves. In their panic they had left all their possessions, all their weapons and their food, behind them on the cliff top. The elders were the first to think beyond fright. They decided that a look-out should be posted to watch the lake and the bravest of the tribe should go back to see what had happened at their camp site.
While everyone else crouched in silence, tired and hungry, a courageous little group returned to the sea. Concealing themselves," they paused near the Springs and scanned the horizon.There was nothing unusual to see. The monster was no longer there. After much debate they agreed they should walk along the beach to see if the great winged thing had molested their camp site. Creeping cautiously along the high tide mark they bunched together when their leader suddenly stopped.
On the sand were unmistakable signs of a canoe of some strange make having been pulled out of the water. Stranger still, there were prints of human feet and beside them others so weird as to be unbelievable. Footprints of two-legged creatures, without toes, prints such as they had never seen before. Despite their fear they tracked the prints of the toeless creatures. But when the prints led towards the place where the tribe was hiding their dread intensified. The one thought that now possessed their minds was that some further horror had come among them. With all speed they hastened back to warn the others.
This further news caused more consternation and panic. Not only was the tribe at the mercy of a great bird which might swoop down on them at any moment, but now mysterious toeless beings were coming towards them on land. They spent the day crouched under the trees. At night they huddled together for warmth. They had no fire, no food, no possum rugs to cover themselves and no weapons with which to defend" themselves. It is no wonder that an old man could remember with such detail all that happened during that terrible time. He could not recall how long they stayed there, but at last hunger and cold won over terror. The brave ones once more went back to the camp.
At last they reached the campsite. Nothing seemed to have been touched. Food and dilly bags still hung from the trees, weapons and rugs lay about undisturbed. They hastened to tell the others. Slightly reassured but still fearful, the tribe went back. They ate, collected their possessions, and then moved to another place. The big white bird was never seen again and there were no more sightings of toeless footprints. Life gradually returned to normal. By the time Cooral and his peers attained manhood they had heard of similar happenings far to their north and of the coming of the spirits of men, turned white.
George Bass had recorded the area as uninhabited. To him it was just one more uneventful day. Yet the memory of that momentous episode, the terror, the courage, so impressed the mind of a young boy that 60 years later he could still remember it in vivid detail.
Vide Police Gazette 1874.
Under Missing Persons.
"Information is requested regarding Jamison, a Chinaman - about 52 years of age, 5 feet 5 inches high, little hair around chin. Dressed in a dark tweed coat, light striped trousers and light felt hat. Rode a brown mare, which was subsequently found with the saddle kicked to pieces.
Jamison was last seen around Potato Point, on the afternoon of the 20th September last, by a girl named Merreweather.
In the event of the missing friend having lost his life, his cousin, Ah Sam, offers ten pounds as reward for the recovery of his body.
Information to the Inspector of Police".