Calm water, barefoot coffee and fireside beer – Tathra in June
Snow has fallen in Nimmitabel and it seems winter has arrived on the South Coast. But here in Tathra the sun is shining on early morning walkers, coffee drinkers, swimmers and SUP boarders, and there are still the barefoot amongst us. The low-slung sun finds its way into the heart of this Eastern facing town, warming cafes, decks and front rooms, and drawing you outside into our nature.
Spend mornings on the beach with only the bellbirds and oyster catchers for company, shake out the cobwebs and stretch out your legs. Take a hike through one of our many National Parks; Mimosa Rocks to the north, or Bournda to the South. This is the perfect time of year to explore our coastal walks and landscapes: Forest walks through tall spotted gums and Barrawang ferns, by cool inlets and rivers and along secret coastal fringes in Mimosa Rocks NP. Or spend mornings exploring the mirror like waters and the long, empty beach between Bournda Lagoon and Wallagoot Lake, where cormorants and black swans, terns and lyrebirds have their homes, and you may not see another person at all.
Stay close to town, hire a kayak from Tathra Beach & Bike and get out onto the splendid river, spend calm, clear mornings in the mist that rolls down the Bega River towards the sea. Or simply walk the pristine sands from the Surf Club to the river mouth and back, ready for an excellent coffee and perhaps a fine French pastry.
Tathra’s food scene has gone through a quiet revolution lately. Breakfast, lunch, brunch, and some of the best coffee on the NSW Coast is being served up in new and refurbished cafés like The Gap, open from 6am, where you can also update your surf wear. Wild Orchid café serves sublime breakfasts, smoothies, fresh juice and lunch dishes. Then of course the iconic Tathra Wharf Local, serving coffee made with beans roasted in Canberra at ONA Coffee, a cabinet overflowing with sweet temptations, savoury tarts and pies, and where you can curl up in the sun in one of the cosy corners, the waves shifting under the boards at your feet. At Blend Café & Providore, aside from truly excellent coffee, you can stock up your Tathra pantry and picnic hamper with cheeses from France, Italy and Spain, gourmet small-goods, fresh house-baked sourdough bread and baguettes, and also hot and crunchy croissants. Left your coffee machine at home? No problem, Blend can sort you out with beans and machines!
Enhance your Tathra picnic or grazing table further with some local wine or spirits from the newly re-opened Tathra Cellars. Located at the top of the hill, you’ll find wine from our local vineyards and also our very own Bega Valley gin. North of Eden Gin is made just outside Bega in ancient copper iambic stills. All the botanicals are measured out to a secret recipe, and many have been hand foraged, like the kelp gathered from Camel rock near Bermagui. Also behind the forests of Bermagui is a valley known as Coolagolite, where the grapes for our local wines are grown – Breakfast Creek and Rusty Fig. Give the good people at Tathra Cellars a call, or just drop in – there’s often a sneaky little tasting going on.
A day trip to Bermagui will reap many rewards besides winery hopping. If you’re interested in the work of regional artists stop off and spend time at Ivy Hill Gallery in Tanja, Ivy Hill features the work of significant contemporary artists, both emerging and established, many of whom live and work in the region. The gallery is located on a farm in the fertile Wapengo Valley between Tathra and Bermagui, a well-known artistic and cultural haven. Once in Bermi township, head to Narek Gallery, and check out contemporary Australian ceramics, glass, textiles, wood and metal works.
Tathra’s beloved wharf has a place in history as the only remaining timber deep-water wharf on the East Coast of Australia. From the departure of the last cargo steamer in 1954, the wharf fell into disrepair, and was officially re-opened in 1988. Today, as well as great coffee and eats at Tathra Wharf Local you’ll also find hand-picked art, local ceramics and Tanja resident Tanya Riese’s beautiful printed lamp shades.
Above the café and gallery is the maritime focussed Tathra Museum. Built from 1862, the Tathra Wharf still stands grandly on the headland, and the museum provides the village with a showcase for its maritime history, kept open by dedicated volunteers.
If you feel the need to add to your wardrobe or return home with gifts, like linen to layer, scarves and knits in beautiful shades, jewellery, gifts, St Agni footwear and bed linen – Tathra Beach Designs, run by local resident Stacey Leafe, is a store with a strong focus on Australian design and styles which reflect our relaxed and beachy Tathra lifestyle. Now in her seventh year of trading beside the beach, Stacey has put together a tasteful collection of natural fibres and minimalist wares, perfect for a lazy holiday perusal.
After a day of roaming and rambling, head to the Tathra Hotel for a beer paddle from the new Humpback Brewery and a game of pool by the fire. And why not stay for dinner, perhaps accompanied by live music? Or mix it up and head over the road to Fat Tony’s Bar & Grill for a cocktail at the bar, and catch up on some of the local news from Ant Little, who happens to make the best Margarita on the coast by the way, perfect with a dozen oysters.
Accommodation in Tathra has come along in leaps and bounds, with the opening of the new high end suites in the Tathra Hotel, plus creative additions to Tathra Beachside, like the cute-as-buttons retro-caravans.
If you’re planning a trip to our beautiful region, there are accommodation options from Kalaru to Tanja, and two real estate offices to help you out – Elders Real Estate and Tathra Real Estate. Here is our accommodation hub link too.
Whether you want to wander the wilds watching birds and fishing, or graze your way around our eateries and bars, our friendly town truly looks forward to welcoming you, it’s in our nature.
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