18 great bike rides in the Narooma - Tilba - Bermagui area of the New South Wales Far South Coast
Narooma has a population of about 6000 permanent residents, but during the main holiday season, the population increases to about four times this number.
Narooma is a good base for all rides in this area, including those starting from Bermagui and Bodalla.
The town is situated on Wagonga Inlet, a picturesque inlet that is permanently open to the ocean. Narooma is surrounded on the west by State forests, and is close to the Eurobodalla National Park. Several lakes are within only a few minutes drive or a short ride of Narooma.
The town has everything a visitor would expect from a seaside town of this size—there are clubs and pubs, restaurants—many specialising in locally caught fresh seafoods—medical facilities, and a whole lot more.
Gold was discovered in the area (particularly around the Nerrigundah area) in the 1860s, but this gold rush was followed by the demand for timber. Steamships used to enter Wagonga Inlet, to the wharf at the top of the inlet and load the timber for shipment to Sydney. The entrance now, though, is rather shallow, narrow and very treacherous.
Today, Narooma depends on tourism, as well as fishing, timber and forestry, and oysters.
Recently, a boardwalk was constructed over the waters of Wagonga Inlet, and this has become very popular with tourists as well as locals. The recently formed cycleway, or shared pathway from Narooma to Dalmeny is attracting a lot of use. Near Narooma, there is the Montague Island Nature Reserve, with its seal colonies that are several thousand strong, and include Australian fur seals, the New Zealand fur seals, and a small colony of Antarctic fur seals. There is a large colony of little penguins on the island. Tours to the island to view the light station and the wildlife can be arranged through the Narooma Visitors Centre in town.
The town is also the centre for whale watching activities, particularly from September to November. Several charter boats take visitors to the island to watch the whales on their annual migrations.
There are several national parks close by, and the area has huge areas of State forests within easy reach of the town.
Seven great bike rides start from Narooma
Ride 1 Easts Holiday Park Ride - Boardwalk to Australia Rock
Return distance 8 kms, easy grade. Child-friendly
Ride 2 Seaspray Drive to Dalmeny and Mummuga Lake
Return distance 16 kms, easy grade
Ride 3 Forsters Bay to the northern breakwater
Distance 6 kms, easy grade. Child-friendly
Ride 4 Bodalla Forest Park to Brou Lake
Distance 12 kms, easy grade. Child-friendly
Ride 5 Narooma to Mystery Bay via the historic velodrome
Distance 28 kms, a few hills, but beautiful scenery
Ride 6 Narooma to Central Tilba, Mystery Bay and return
Distance 85 kms, rather challenging, quite a few hills
Ride 7 Harold Buckeridge Lookout to Central Tilba via Scenic Road
Distance 55 kms, moderate grade, some hills