Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sapphire Coast’s springtime feast of beasts

Children who like to get up close and personal with the wild, weird and wonderful should be heading for the NSW Sapphire Coast over the spring school holidays. It’s the best time of the year to see whales on the move – and get involved in lots of animal adventures.

National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre and Potoroo Palace are all offering a range of activities that will allow kids – and their parents – to find out more about critters with fur, feathers and fins.

The NSW NPWS Discovery activities include rock pool exploring, shore-based whale watching, night bush adventures and tours of the Davidson Whaling Station. Bookings are essential and full details are available from the NPWS office at Merimbula (02 6495 5000) or on the website (check Eurobodalla and Sapphire Coast at

Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre at Eden is offering a range of its most popular activities during the holidays including a 90-minute guided tour of the local rock platforms with a marine biologist and special marine-related creative sessions. Bookings are essential. For more details, phone (02) 6496 1699 or check the website (

Potoroo Palace Native Animal Education Sanctuary at Merimbula looks more like a baby nursery right now, with a new potoroo, three emus and a koala among the recent arrivals. And there is a baby tawny frogmouth due any minute! More information is available on the website ( or by phoning the Sanctuary on (02) 6494 9053.

Eden whale watching
Eden-based whale specialist Cat Balou will be running its popular whale watching cruises every day during the holidays. Learn about Eden’s fascinating whaling history while catching sight of the humpbacks at play. More information is available on the website,

Of course, it’s not just all about animals on the Sapphire Coast. Experienced and would-be mountain bike riders should make sure they bring their gear (or hire some locally at Tathra Beach and Bike) for the Sapphire Coast October Cycle Fest. From September 28 to October 1, there is a range of activities geared from the absolute beginner, to the highly experienced racer. A highlight is the social Wharf to Waterhole Ride to celebrate Tathra Wharf’s 150th birthday. Check all the details on the club website (

Cobargo Farm is having an Open Garden Day and Spring Equinox Celebration on Saturday, September 22. From dawn to dusk, there are demonstrations and activities including permaculture, wood turning, soap making, cheese making, spinning and sustainable gardening. Entry by gold coin donation. More information [(02) 6493 6817 or 0409 033 828] or drop into the farm, corner of Bermagui Road and Avernus Street, Cobargo.

And on September 30, Tathra Wharf celebrates its 150th birthday with food, fun and entertainment from 150 years ago, from around 9am. Come and learn the history of Tathra and its unique wharf. Enjoy delicious local produce. Watch the surf boats race past the Wharf. Be part of the panorama and the history. More information from the Tathra Wharf Celebration Committee on (02) 6494 1689.

Located on the far south coast of NSW, the Sapphire Coast is three hours’ drive from Canberra via Cooma or a six/seven-hour drive from either Melbourne or Sydney. There are also regular daily flights from Melbourne or Sydney via REX Airlines into Merimbula, and regular inter-city bus services.

More information on the area, and accommodation details and bookings, are available by calling toll-free on 1800 150 457 or by visiting the region’s website,

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