TOMAKIN epitomises unspoilt beaches and waterways and the surrounding area of Broulee, Mossy Point and Barlings Beach are perfect for a day on the beach, snorkelling, kayaking or fishing. Take a walk around Broulee Island, or up to Melville Point at Tomakin and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the area.
Tomakin Cove is a protected sandy cove that is a shallow lagoon making it popular with novice snorkellers and kayakers. The cove is part of the greater Broulee Bay and is almost completely surrounded by rocky outcrops and reefs - on its southern side rocky platforms extend out into the bay, while to the north the cove is sheltered by Melville Point.
Above the water the rocks at Tomakin Cove are loved for their rambling exploring, while below the water snorkellers commonly see stingray species such as stingarees and eagle rays buried in the seabed floor, as well as schools of small whiting, mullet and baitfish feeding over the sand. On the seaward side of the cove the dense cover of kelps shelter many small fish and garfish are common in the deeper gutters near Melville Point.
Tomakin Cove is backed by dense vegetation which hides the houses of Tomakin village. To the south of Tomakin Cove is Tomakin Beach where there are amenities including toilets, wood barbecues and picnic tables.
There are two parts to Tomakin, the village and the river. To access the village from Batemans Bay or Moruya, turn off George Bass Drive into Ainslie. This way you can access Melville Point via Ainslie Parade .
FISHING: Tomakin Cove is within a general use zone of the Batemans Marine Park but just north of Melville Point the zoning changes to habitat protection zone, where certain restrictions apply. Check the Batemans Marine Park zoning guide for more information.
There are two caravan parks with on-site vans and cabins available. There are other accommodation options including bed and breakfast establishments and holiday cottages for rent.
Activities in the area include surfing, swimming, wind surfing, fishing (beach, rock, estuary, ocean) walks, bicycling and kayaking.
Mogo Zoo is a privately owned zoo situated in the nearby picturesque and historic gold mining village of Mogo. Mogo Zoo is committed to survival of endangered animals and provides for over 200 animals, of which 42 are rare and exotic species
Below are extracts and pictures from the book “Tomakin The Undiscovered History” by Mark Young and published by the Tomakin Community Association along with additional historical material. The book can be purchased for $15 by contacting the TCA.
Our little village has been variously known as Tommaghan; Tomago; Tomakin; Burry, Burri, Sunpatch and back to Tomakin again across its history. Even its current name of Tomakin has had several suggested origins with rumours that it was named after a local fisherman (Tom Akin) or that it was a shortened form of the name of a local Aboriginal - Thomas Tinboy, King of Nelligan who spent a great deal of time in the Tomakin area with the early European settlers.
While these have a certain attraction as explanations, it is most likely that the NSW naming board, on changing the name from Tomago in 1880, anglicised the Aboriginal name of Tommaghan which had been given to it by Thomas Florence in the sailing ship Wasp who had been ordered to examine the coast from Port Jackson to the Moruya River in 1828 and name places overlooked by Captain Cook.
Other unofficial and tongue in cheek names, largely bestowed upon it by Canberra visitors have included “Dogpatch” after the Li’l Abner American comic strip series by Al Capp - In Capp's own words, Dogpatch was "an average stone-age community nestled in a bleak valley, between two cheap and uninteresting hills somewhere." The inhabitants were mostly lazy hillbillies, who usually wanted nothing to do with progress. It was also referred to as “Flypatch”; “the Village that Time Forgot” and “Sleepy old Tomakin”. These descriptions belie the fact that Tomakin has a very long and important history, playing a major role both pre settlement and in the development and growth of the Eurobodalla, punching way above its weight compared to many of the better known settlements.
The area in which our village now sits has a rich tapestry of Aboriginal history and usage, stretching back in time well before the pyramids were built. As European settlement began and grew in the area, Tomakin developed into a vibrant and industrious village having variously had five sawmills, a ship building yard and operating as a very busy port with hundreds of visiting schooners trading across New South Wales, Victoria and even Queensland. The village grew rapidly around these facilities with a Post Office, Church, Schoolhouse, Boarding houses and Racecourse being established. It has also had several farms, dairies, cheese-making facilities and stores of various kinds including a butcher.
Where the well-known Caravan Park now stands there was just a shack, occupied by a very self-sufficient gentleman, Tom Barling. The village was called ‘SUNPATCH’ in the 1960's for a short period of time by the land developers as part of the extensive development which saw the introduction of streets named after Canberra suburbs. To the north of Tomakin on the grass flats there was a small airstrip to fly in prospective buyers.
After a couple of decades the name reverted back to Tomakin.
There were two farms in the area, three cheese factories and a steam driven saw mill was located by the riverbank. The local shop, now a busy hub for locals, was originally operated by Alf Stephens and opened just half a day, once a week. There was also a small cemetery at Gravehead, now known as Melville Point lookout.
These days the Tomakin Rivermouth Store opens and is ready to go every day great food and good coffee. The area of Tomakin is much larger than just the village. There are approximately 755 folk living within a 7-kilometre radius of this little village which a great deal to offer the casual visitor also.