Best places to stay, eat and play in Narooma NSW

Whether seeking an adventurous holiday, food lover’s paradise, or ultimate relaxation, nurturing Narooma welcomes all.

Where to see wildlife

Whale-watching tours are operated during annual migrations (May to November) in the nutrient-rich waters around Montague Island Nature Reserve (Barunguba/The Son) just 9 km offshore, also a year-round haven for seals, penguins, and seabirds. More accessible are the fur-seals who sunbathe daily around Narooma’s breakwater, near Australia Rock, named not for the jagged formation but the oz-shaped hole at its heart.

Wildlife encounters abound on Montague Island
Wildlife encounters abound on Montague Island. Picture: Sebastian Goldhorn

Best trails

You’ll find oodles of pathways, suitable to all levels of fitness, from the easy-breezy 350m Mill Bay Boardwalk to a 21k cycle track between Narooma and Dalmeny Villages. Hiring an e-bike from Southbound escapes (or joining their excellent guided tours) will ensure maximum coverage of this stunning landscape. Mountain bikers should note that existing forest trails are set for imminent extension.

Where to eat

Narooma's waterfront tiki bar, Quarterdeck
Narooma’s waterfront tiki bar, Quarterdeck

One particularly precious segment of Eurobodalla Shire’s Wagonga inlet, is famous for two things, rock oysters and Quarterdeck restaurant, a local institution with a freshly shucked Merivale facelift. Lunching in this flirtatious space with Tiki drinks and a swaying soundtrack feels like holidaying from the world. Slick So-Cal- meets – Costa del Sol-inspired share plates allow local ingredients, including pristine oysters and sweet, buttery Bateman’s Bay crayfish, to shine brighter than a summer’s day.  Spectacular sunsets are the cherry on top.

Best coffee

On a softly shimmering bay, sitting between Narooma Marina and a huddle of boatsheds, café Salt not only turns out swellegant breakfast and lunch fare made on South Coast farm produce (complemented by Bermagui’s Honour Bread and pastries by Wild Rye in Pambula) but pours a deeply restorative, perfumed brew made with from beans by Moruya’s fanatical Guerrilla Roasters.

Where to play a round

Narooma Golf Course, ranked no.18 of Australia’s top 100 public access courses in 2019, perches on a clifftop with breathtaking ocean and district scenery and boasts both coastal and forest sections with options for playing 6, 12, or 18 holes. Hogan’s Hole, named after ‘our’ Paul filmed a ’70s commercial on the site, requires golfers to hit over the ocean to a clifftop green.

Cracking views from the Narooma Golf Course
Cracking views from the Narooma Golf Course

Best pub

Lynch’s, established in Narooma’s town center in 1895, has all the charm of a regional local but with top-notch cocktails and premium pub grub. It’s tough choosing between a DIY grazing table of say, Salt and pepper squid with roast garlic aioli, Smoked fish dip with green pickle and potato crisps and bright veg-centric sides, or selfishly tucking into re-imagined mains like their delectable house-made pies (imagine chunky beef or creamy fish, leek and peas), Eggplant Parmigiana, Chicken Schnitzel with roast chicken gravy or a perfectly char-grilled steak. Don’t miss the hand-cut fries – that’s an order.

How to celebrate

Narooma folk know how to party, whether it’s River of Art, Winter Night Markets or the wondrous Oyster Festival, held over one weekend each May. Approximately 6000 eager punters per day slurp their way through Rock Oyster Country merroir. Additional local producers (cheese/wine/gin etc), raucous shucking competitions, cooking classes, brilliant long table seafood lunches, indigenous culture demonstrations by local Yuin people, live music, and overwater fireworks equates to one magnificent support act. 

Narooma folk now how to party. The Oyster Festival is a great time to visit town.
Narooma folk now how to party. The Oyster Festival is a great time to visit town

Where to sleep

Clearly named for the blue expanse viewed from their broad balconies, Horizon Holiday Apartments are positioned in a quiet residential neighborhood, just a gentle uphill stroll from shops, cafes, and Lynch’s pub. Comfortable beds, kitchenettes, and plenty of storage (and enormous TVs) are primed for longer stays with family or friends.

Getting there

Narooma is a good 5-hour drive south from Sydney via the Princes Hwy/A1 (or M1). From Canberra, it’s only 3 hours. Rex flies between Sydney and Moruya airports in just 50 mins. Rent a car for the 50-minute drive from Moruya to Narooma – also essential for exploring the sites.

This article originally appeared on Escape and do not necessarily represent the views of australiaexploring.com

About the author

Ozzie

Hi! I’m Ozzie!

Before joining Australia Exploring, I was a writer at Tripadvisor.

I'm looking for the best posts for you about travel adventures in Australia and around the world. This website has the purpose to inspire you to travel… travel more and better. I hope it can help you explore the world a little bit better.

I graduated from the University of Sydney. I live in California with my wife and two children.

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