Bermagui, NSW

Situated on the New South Wales far south coast, the small fishing village of Bermagui remains a mostly undiscovered paradise.

Just why it has escaped the rigors of commercial development is somewhat of a mystery, given the area's sparkling blue waters, pristine estuaries, abundant wildlife, glorious landscapes and idyllic climate.

It is a seaside town popular with holidaymakers.

It is not as though Bermagui hasn't had contact with the "outside world". The seaside village was considered so picturesque and appealing that it was chosen as the location for the internationally released film, God's Own Country, starring Scottish comedian Billy Connelly.

And famous American writer of westerns and big game fisher, Zane Grey, was a visitor almost every year in the 1930s. Grey's quest to catch marlin at Bermagui created international fame for the coastal town and other well-known celebrities later made their way to Bermagui to try their hand at in big game fishing.

Bermagui's real attraction is its natural beauty - untrodden beaches along a coastline renowned for its natural beauty.

The town centre is small but well equipped to cater for holidaymakers, with cafes and shops.

The town beach is sheltered and safe for families and mostly uncrowded, even in the summer months.

Bermagui's blue pool is an inviting cluster of two rock pools situated on a point close to the town, with an outlook of rugged rocky coastline to the south. Although not widely patronised, the blue pool would have to be one of NSW's most appealing rock pools.

A highlight at Bermagui is the biennial Four Winds Festival - two days of classical, cultural and world music staged on a property nine kilometres from the town.

Bermagui has a good selection of accommodation including bed & breakfast, hotels, motels and a caravan park. You can also moor your boat in the harbour, and sleep onboard.

The area surrounding Bermagui is home to artists, writers, poets, painters, potters and sculptors with galleries popping up throughout the wider district.

Bermagui serves as the gateway to the far south coast. From here you can set out on half-day trips or day trips reaching almost to the Victorian border. There are many scenic splendours on the beautiful coastline between Bermagui and Eden.

A 20-kilometre drive inland takes you to Cobargo, a historic dairy town. Heading south along the gloriously picturesque coastal road is the seaside village of Tathra, with its historic wharf and pier. Hundreds of visitors flock to the camping and caravan grounds situated along Tathra's main surf beach in the summer months.

Heading inland from Tathra is the dairying town of Bega, with its rolling green hills. Bega's community of about 5000 has long enjoyed a private and sleepy existence. However all that is about to change as the town has been earmarked by the State Government to become the economic hub of the far south coast.

Inland from Bega is the village of Candelo, a stopping point for the great bullock teams that hauled cargo between the coast and Cooma.

Between Bega and Candelo is one of the great dairying estates of times gone by. The historic Kameruka Estate was based on an English manor estate, complete with an English-style village, cricket ground and clock tower. The estate once comprised 40,000 hectares of dairy pastures but has since been carved into small parcels of mixed land use. You can still drive around the grounds of Kameruka and watch cricket at its oval and picnic beside the lake.

Further on is Merimbula with its lake systems and nearby Pambula. for decades these towns and their waterways have been a resort playground for thousands of Melbourne families and arguably one of the most beautiful holiday destinations on the east coast.

A 26-kilometre drive further south brings you to Eden, and you quickly realise how this fishing village got its name. Situated on arguably the most scenic harbour outside of Sydney with colourful fishing boats lining the wharves at Snug Cove, Eden is mesmorisingly beautiful. In recent years Eden has become a stopover destination for cruise ships. It also serves as a safe harbour for yachts forced to retire from the Sydney to Hobard Yacht Race in late December.