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Recharging in Batemans Bay

Recharging the batteries with an extra long weekend away down the south coast proved to be something of a revelation. We chose to stay in a nice holiday apartment by the bridge in Bateman’s Bay. A short walk from river, beaches, shops, cafes, and the Soldier’s Club meant we could satisfy all our interests and get in plenty of exercise at the same time. A total win-win situation!

I wasn’t going to push myself with the writing, but I packed my IPad and a notebook just in case. I haven’t been able to settle on reading a paperback – I have a nice little stack waiting for my attention, but I just can’t get into it. As my IPad is also stocked with a Kindle app, I hoped for a general weekend of reading (or skimming), some writing, walking, hitting the cafes, and getting as much rest as possible. I’m happy to report that I managed all of that.

We were lucky with the weather (which hardly ever happens) and left behind a cold and rainy weekend in Sydney to drive into (mostly) blues skies and sunshine on the Eurobadalla coast. Our accommodation was lovely, clean, spacious, super comfy bed, and facing the river. I’m sure that in summer the place would be packed with people as there’s a boat ramp, play ground, and picnic area across the road, but the road itself is a dead end so no through traffic, and it’s still pre-season so no crowds. We’ve been eating meals on our little sun trap of a front porch. It’s quite pleasant watching people pull up to have a driving break; kids piling out to use up their pent up energy on the swings and slide, relieved parents loading up the picnic tables with paper-wrapped fish and chips, and mugs of coffee.

You can hardly come to town perched at the point where the Clyde River spills into the Tasman Sea and not partake of the local speciality: fish and oysters. We had the best fish and chips on our first day. Starving after the 3-hour drive down from Sydney (even though we stopped for coffee and cake in Kiama), we unloaded our car and immediately walked under the bridge and into the nearest fish market. The batter was perfectly crunchy, and the blue grenadier inside melted in our mouths. The café overlooks the river and a jetty. A group of pelicans hung around outside waiting for throw-offs, but no one seemed inclined to share. They looked well-fed anyway and didn’t need our scraps.

The next morning, we put on our walking shoes and stretched out for a 5km stroll before breakfast, came back, ate and flaked out on the lounge for a nap. That afternoon, after a lunch of fresh oysters, I managed two paragraphs of my Crossing the Line book 2 before I gave up and found something to read. By Sunday though, I’d settled down and wrote a whole chapter. It felt great to be getting the story out of my head.

Prior to my surge of Sunday afternoon writing, we managed another 5km walk without requiring a nap afterward and on Monday, the 5km walk was done with a spring in our step. It helped that we stopped halfway back to our car to have a scrumptious breakfast at Corrigan’s Beach.

I haven’t been to Bateman’s Bay for decades and was surprised to find it not far off the fishing village it used to be. I don’t know how long that will last though. Many of the accommodation choices have been around since the 70s, but there are a lot more being built and real estate prices reflect that upward trend in development. There’s a maze of shopping centres and arcades, and all the usual franchise stores and branches can be found. Local and independent shopping is still predominant while touristy “summer resort” style stores aren’t quite as prevalent as I thought they’d be. All of which is good. I think Bateman’s Bay has managed to keep something of its own identity – not bad for a town that’s been tourist targeted for decades.

If you’re thinking about a quick trip down to Bateman’s Bay, we stayed at the Bluedock Apartments and bought our fish and chips at The Boatshed. We ate in for most other meals but when we did venture out, we decided on Sam's Pizzeria; they do a great pizza!

fish and trips from the boatshed - Traveller photo submitted by Tanya S (Apr. 2018)

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