"Batemans Bay" Top 5 Page for this destination Batemans Bay by tiabunna

Batemans Bay Travel Guide: 43 reviews and 128 photos

Or, usually, just ‘The Bay’ to locals

One of the nice things about writing is that you can place yourself anywhere at any time. So let’s start off on the deck of HMS Endeavour under the command of Lt. James Cook, on 22 April 1770.

A few days before, after crossing the Pacific Ocean, the ship had reached the eastern coast of what now is Australia and, turning northwards to follow it, the good Captain had begun mapping. Maps just don’t look much more convincing than a wavy line unless there is some detail, so he needed some place names. About a day earlier he had named Mt Dromedary, a short distance inland from the coast, because that made its rounded camel-like hump easily identifiable for future mariners. Now he was passing a wide V shaped bay with some small islands in it. I can imagine him looking at a list of names of luminaries, dignitaries and fellow naval officers intended for posterity as place names, before placing a tick alongside the name of Captain Nathaniel Bateman, under whom he had served several years previously. I am unsure if he also named the Tollgate Islands in front of the bay, but it seems likely. Although it should have appeared a reasonable place for a landing, he continued sailing northward.

Timber cutters reached the area in the early 1800s following the founding of the colony in New South Wales. Apparently one boat was attacked by the local Aboriginals, but in general the area developed quietly with agriculture, fishing and timber logging the main industries. As with much of coastal New South Wales, road transport was primitive with unsealed roads and ferries across rivers until the 1950s. Finally the Princes Highway to Sydney and Melbourne was sealed, bridges were built. Maybe most importantly for “the Bay”, up the range the National Capital, Canberra, began to grow and this was the nearest beachside area. Which is why, when the hordes of holidaymakers come down from the hills, “the Bay” sometimes is rather unkindly called “Little-Canberra-by-the-Sea”. What would Cook have thought of that as a name on his map?

More to come – this will be a ‘work in progress for some time.

The World comes to the Bay

Yes, folk, it’s true! The World has come to Batemans Bay. Well, to expand on that just a little, the luxury cruise ship The World made a stopover at the Bay late in December 2009. Great excitement all around, because this is not part of the usual route, in fact it seems only one cruise ship has ever before visited and that was 15 years ago – though the Bay was formerly a port on the old coastal shipping service.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Pleasantly quiet beachside area on a spectacular coastline
  • Cons:Can become crowded in holiday periods
  • In a nutshell:Well, it offered enough for us to move here.
  • Intro Updated Jan 12, 2010
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Reviews (9)

Comments (14)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Oct 19, 2011 at 2:51 AM

    Hi George, it’s been nearly two years since I last looked at this page, so I’m just checking back for updates. Hope all is well over at your end of the world.

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Sep 25, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    Oh, lovely additions since I was here last time :-)) I would eat these oysters and am sure that they will cure my phobia (after a week with problems following oysters in Venezuela, lol). Tons of hugs to Pauline & you :-))

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Mar 9, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    Thanks for looking at the cruise pics..One we enjoyed more is to Costa Rica, Panama, and Cozumel last spring-10 days and great new things

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    I came back to see how you get acquainted with your new home, George The best oysters of Australia! Hundreds of VT-ers have another pretext to visit you!:)) Acclimation is going well! I enjoyed reading, as usual.

  • Kakapo2's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2010 at 8:26 PM

    First class tips about your new home region. And thanks for warning me that there are oysters all over the place ;-)))) Sissi

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Jan 17, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    I do love the coast = Cruden Bay is home to me but maybe my name sake should take me to Batemans Bay

  • victorwkf's Profile Photo
    Dec 1, 2009 at 2:38 AM

    Hi George, glad you have started on a VT page about Batemans Bay, your new home :-)

  • atufft's Profile Photo
    Nov 29, 2009 at 11:59 PM

    There's a lift span bridge of exactly the same design, age and two lane bottle neck traffic variety at Rio Vista, California, quite near the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. Bookstore with old maps--that's good shopping!

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Nov 27, 2009 at 8:41 AM

    Beaches look great..bet you'll be adding wonderful sunrise/sunset photos. Good coffe, yes. shopping mall-not so much,,,but Amanda's has folk art, according to their sign....give us a peek!!??

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Nov 25, 2009 at 1:50 AM

    Seconhand bookshops, good coffee, unspoiled beaches and snow leopards - 4 good reasons for visiting Bateman's Bay - maybe I will jst have to turn right instead of left out of Sydney one day. L.

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