Day trips, cocktails, clear water and oysters – Tathra in November is waiting for you
At last we are loaded up, heading along the open trail towards Tathra, filled with anticipation. What will the weather bring, how warm is the water, is there surf? What changes have taken place in the township? Are there any new eateries?
Tathra has certainly been changing itself up over the last 2 years. With every visit it seems there are new places to eat and more sophisticated menus, new accommodation options, local product, playgrounds and parks and always plenty of regeneration. What we love about Tathra is its distinct combination of pristine wilderness and all the services you could need.
Hiring a SUP with your espresso and heading off to the deserted local lagoons deep in the Mimosa National Park. Walking a windy wilderness track for several hours and finishing with a plate of oysters and glass of Australian sparkling. A brisk swim in the crystal-clear morning then an iced cold-pour whilst choosing your imported cheese. It’s all here. We have no traffic lights, but we do have locally distilled gin.
So just what does a weekend in Tathra look like these days? We’ll let you in on a secret, there’s no place quite like it.
Whereas once you would pack all your gourmet goodies, wine, bubbles, spirits etc to bring with you, those days are gone. Tathra’s local pair of brothers, the Littles, have got things sorted at the top of the town with the re-built bottle shop in full swing, and Fat Tony’s shaking up cocktails and great dining most nights.
New local legends in town are the good people of North of Eden Distillery just outside Bega, who have created not one but two sought after, award winning gins and are now opening a ‘Gin School’.
And in October, Tathra’s favourite redhead Bronnie Pividori of Blend Providore expanded her café into to rocking cheese focussed eatery.
Order your escape SUP or Kayak with your coffee at The Gap Espresso & Surf, (open from 6.30am, just so you know) along with post swim conversations.
Rowena’s Wild Orchid Café which is going from strength to strength, her eatery buzzing all day with people high on excellent, wholesome food and the cool, beachy atmosphere.
Something we always get excited about in addition to the prospect of a weekend in Tathra, is the potential for a day trip to Bermagui, taking in the galleries and artists’ studios along the way. Not to mention more restaurants of course.
Day tripping on a treasure trail:
A trip to Tathra is a joy, and the road north through spotted gums reveals many treasures.
The tourist drive through Mimosa Rocks National Park is stunning as you whizz along through spotted gum forest, with glimpses of the Sapphire waters and sands. Weaving through the pristine environment, leaving worries further behind at each bend.
Start your day-trip early at Tathra’s magnificent The Wharf Local, with a good strong coffee and Honourbread pastry. Your host Emma will show you her bevvy of wares from local artists and craftspeople, whetting your appetite for foraging on the road to Bermagui.
First stop along the way is the delightful Gosia and Barry Jackson’s Tanja Open Studio. Barry and Gosia met at a ceramics symposium in Poland many years ago and theirs is a true love story. They also love living and making pottery in Tanja as is evident in their fine gallery. A few hours spent chatting in their studio is a must. Ask Barry about his ‘painting with smoke’ inspired by artist Rover Thomas. Tanja Open Studio is open whenever the sign is out, or you can phone them on 02 6494 0171.
Then just along the road in Wapengo, you’ll find Carolyn Killen and Ivy Hill Gallery. Carolyn is a passionate and enthusiastic advocate for local artists and runs this elegant gallery, which is a must visit. Recently profiled in the New York Times – Style Section, Carolyn has been deeply involved in the cultural world of the region for twenty years and is a font of information. She also holds an extensive collection of works in the gallery stockroom and throughout her beautiful property. In December Ivy Hill Gallery presents a celebration of the ‘exuberance of flowers’ with an exhibition titled Bloom, a colourful and voluptuous collection of works from three local artists.
If in need of nourishment along the way, and of course you will be, take a left turn at the stunning entrance to Mimosa Winery. A wine tasting and cheese board may carry you through to dinner, however we recommend taking your time over lunch, lingering on the stunning sun deck, enjoying Chef Glen Simpson’s thoughtful, pretty dishes – like seafood such as seared scallops and banana prawns, specials like sardines, or slow cooked beef cheeks and other delights. Then it’s back on the road, ready for the final leg to Bermagui, via Cuttagee, Barragoot and other rattling, historic bridges.
Once in the gorgeous fishing village that is Bermagui you have a choice of Gelato, Coffee, Italian Restaurants like Il Passaggio, Cocktail Bars (Harbar), Vegetarian Eateries (Boneless) and of course Fish and Chips at the fabulous Philip Cox designed Fisherman’s Wharf.
But what might happen on the way back to Tathra is this: You will begin to think about a light meal. Something not heavy, but tasty, something quite special. And that something? Oysters. Popular family-run oyster shop Tathra Oysters is at the top of the town, and Jo and Gary Rodely, or perhaps their son Sam will be there to serve you with a smile.
Are oyster farmers happy because they work in an incredibly beautiful, pristine environment? Or are they happy because they eat plenty of oysters? They will open their award-winning oysters for you, but we do recommend shucking them yourself.
Of course, if you are tré fatigué from your day trip experience, head to the pub for a meal looking over the sparkling ocean and perhaps there enjoy some tunes from local musicians. The kitchen team at the Tathra Hotel is constantly changing it up, with new menus each season exploring a variety of cuisines. Perhaps a Humpback Brewery tasting paddle and something from the snack menu might suffice?
Choosing and booking accommodation is worth spending time over, given such options as “Retro Caravans” at Tathra Beachside, “Historic Beauty” at the Tathra Hotel, and some gorgeous Airbnb options like the beautiful linen, thoughtful essentials in the pantry, and the warmth of a beautifully furnished home such as Seatons and also the stunning retro-style beach house “Harbour House”.
You can always visit Tathra’s handy accommodation link here.
The evolution of Tathra has been amazing to watch. Food, shopping, experiences are growing, but you know, it’s in our nature.
All images in this blog courtesy @davey_rogersView all blog posts