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Posted January 20, 2014 by Jennifer Lam (Jenius) in Accommodation
 
 

Sydney to Batemans Bay road trip

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With my kid brother (11) and Zen’s nephews (11 & 9) in tow, Zen and I decided to kick off 2014 with an adventure down the NSW South Coast! We’ve babysat plenty of times and there are many sleepover parties at our place, but this was our first holiday together with ‘the kids’. I’d like to say that we chose Batemans Bay as a destination because of it’s gorgeous string of beaches but in actual fact, we were rather limited with accommodation choices given the last minute nature of planning this trip!

The Route

Sydney to Batemans Bay

Batemans Bay is an easy drive from Sydney and took approximately 4 hours (280km). With beautiful mountain scapes and amazing coastal views along the way, Mother Nature kept us entertained.

We broke up the stretch with several pit stops including visits (we went twice, on the way there and once again on the return leg) to the donut van in Berry! More details on that below.

Another notable stopover would be Ulladulla, a fishing village where fresh local seafood is aplenty.

And of course, it’s not a road trip til you buy fresh fruit on the highway roadside!

 

The Famous Berry Donut Van

Worthy of a road trip alone just for these donuts, they’re freshly made to order and simply dusted with cinnamon and sugar.

It’s a well organised affair; you place an order at the van, get a number, take a seat then pick up your piping hot donuts when the order is ready. From my experience, the wait can vary from 2 to 15 minutes.

The Famous Berry Donut Van

We shared the pack of 12 doughnuts ($14), two milkshakes, banana and caramel ($5 each), sausage rolls ($3.80 each) and I had a bottle of Mac’s sparkling sour apple juice ($4.20).

Donuts and milkshakes at Berry

Fresh donuts really do make all the difference.

The outside of these donuts are fried to a crusty golden hue and the inside is ever so moist and fluffy. Eat them while they’re hot. I managed to finish off 3 and probably would’ve eaten more if I didn’t have to share!

The Famous Donut Van, Berry
73 Queen Street, Berry NSW
Famous Berry Donut Van on Urbanspoon

Araluen Motor Lodge

Our home away from home was at Araluen Motor Lodge. Although the address stated Batehaven, it’s actually just a few minutes drive from the heart of Batemans Bay and is right across the road from Corrigans Beach.

Araluen Motor Lodge, Batehaven, Batemans Bay

At an affordable $220/night, our family suite contained a queen bed and 3 single beds and was basic and comfortable. Beneath the 80′s style bed fittings were mostly new furnishings, some things, straight from the shelves of Kmart. There was a BBQ area which we didn’t end up using; the outdoor pool and aircon was all we needed. Such is life, when you travel with 3 kids.

Araluen Motor Lodge
226 Beach Rd, Batehaven NSW
Phone (02) 4472 6266
Web: araluenmotorlodge.com.au

Innes Boatshed

By dinnertime, we drove into town for fish & chips. The Innes family have been running Innes Boatshed for three-generations and offers at least three types of fish each day. Fried to order, there was a choice of grenadier ($8), marlin ($9) or flake ($9).

Fish counter at Innes Boatshed

The eat-in special seemed to be the most popular choice. For $14, it was a fillet of battered grenadier with chips, salad and tea or instant coffee. We also had some calamari rings ($1 each), Crystal Bay prawns ($34/kg) and a dozen of local Clyde River oysters ($15/dozen).

The indoor seating area had a nice family vibe with framed portraits of the Innes family’s history in fishing, but the outdoor deck overlooked the river and was the place to be.

Indoor seating at Innes Boatshed, Batemans Bay

Outdoor deck at Innes Boatshed

The queue stretched out the door. However, service was efficient – fillets of fish were picked right from the display and put in queue at the fryer upon ordering.

Fish and chips at Innes Boatshed, Batemans Bay

The batter was exceptionally light and crispy and the calamari rings were highly prized among the kids. The chips were mediocre, the highlight was definitely the crunch of the batter and the freshness of the fish.

Expecting a plain and simple garden salad, I was delighted it was a gourmet mix of lettuce, Spanish onion, carrot, cabbage, tomato, cucumber and orange. We happily tucked into fresh prawns and juicy oysters too.

Prawns and oysters at Innes Boatshed

Innes Boatshed
1 Clyde Street, Batemans Bay, NSW
Phone: (02) 4472 4052
Innes Boatshed on Urbanspoon

Batemans Bay Night Markets

Coincidentally, Batemans Bay was also running it’s first foreshore evening market in Clyde Street, just outside Innes Boatshed.

Batemans Bay foreshore - Jen and Bryan

I loved the community vibe – it felt like the entire town and their pets were out, enjoying this balmy summery night and the live jazz music.

Fridays at the Foreshore, Batemans Bay

Stallholders included pastries, sweets, and even oysters!

I stocked up at the local nut roasters stall, The Batemans Bay Nut Roasting Company, who have been cooking and selling nuts up and down the South Coast and in Canberra for the past 16 years. They were cooking caramel macadamias on the spot and were simply irresistible.

Batemans Bay foreshore market - nuts

Fridays On The Foreshore
Batemans Bay Foreshore, Clyde Street, Batemans Bay, NSW
The markets will run every Friday, 5 – 9pm until the first Friday in February

Bell’s Carnival at Batehaven

On the drive home, we were startled that the carnival across the road from our hotel had come to life! Glowing from afar, we approached it like a moth to a flame.

Bell’s Carnival was massive, comparable to the amusement extravaganza put on at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. It didn’t feel like we were in regional NSW tonight!

My favourite part of any fair is always the food – fairy floss, dagwood dogs, popcorn and snow cones. Meanwhile the kids were addicted to a rifle shooting game… Alas, we left with no winning prizes!

Bell's Carnival, Batehaven

Bell’s Super Family Carnival
Corrigans Beach, Batehaven, NSW
Open daily, 7 – 10pm from 21 December 2013 until 26 January 2014

North St Cafe & Bar

In search of decent coffee, North St Cafe & Bar caught my eye with their Toby’s Estate sign.

Zen’s flat white looked good and my soy cappuccino was velvety goodness that really hit the spot.

North St Cafe & Bar, Batemans Bay

On the menu, I was surprised to find healthy food options. Batemans Bay was much larger than I had imagined, but I certainly didn’t expect the quinoa craze to have hit rural NSW!

All the boys had the North St double egg & bacon Turkish roll ($10) but I stuck to my new years resolution where ‘my body is my temple‘ and got the vegetarian breakfast ($16). It consisted of housemade baked beans, poached eggs, grilled haloumi and a quinoa slice. One of the eggs was overcooked but all was forgiven as the baked beans were divine.

North St Cafe & Bar
5 North Street, Batemans Bay, NSW
Phone: (02) 4472 5710
North St Cafe & Bar on Urbanspoon

Clyde River Berry Farm

In the months of December and January, Clyde River Berry Farm opens up their ‘Pick Your Own’ operation where blueberries are bountiful! Be warned though, a significant portion of the drive from Batemans Bay is off-road and your car may end up looking like mine:

Dirty car, Batemans Bay offroad drive

An elderly man greeted us at the entry and instructed us to always carry the basket beneath each clump when picking. All of the ripe blueberries will fall off together.

“Only pick the blue ones”, he said. “The young ones won’t ripen further once picked”.

Clyde River Berry Farm

The front blueberry bushes are mainly for families with young kids. He advised that there were more berries at the back of the farm, but we’re to be watchful of wasps.

With a 5kg target in mind, we strolled to the back and were astonished that such a small tree could produce so many blueberries!

Berry picking, pick your own fruit, Batemans Bay, Clyde River Berry Farm

The farm also has raspberries, strawberries, mulberries, plums and pears, but it’s mostly blueberries that you’d come here for.

I’ve eaten my fair share of blueberries, but never before, have I seen them so large! Some must’ve been just under the size of a 10 cent coin!

Picking blueberries, Clyde River Berry Farm

This was our delicious berry picking haul:

Weighing blueberries at pick your own farm

We couldn’t leave the novelty of berry picking without doing a Hadouken at the farm:

Hadouken dragon ball photo at Blueberry farm

We also treated ourselves to berry ice-cream ($5 each) which were made in front of us with real berries.

Berry icecream at Pick your own berry farm

I’ve since been incorporated blueberries in everything – my breakfast smoothies with banana, chia seeds, spinach and soy milk; pancakes; and more. Hopefully this experience also inspired the boys to learn more about where their food comes from.

I should also mention that there are no entry fees, you just pay for what you pick. It was so much fun!

Clyde River Berry Farm
Lot 22 River Road, Mogood, NSW
Phone: (02) 4478 1057
Web: clyderiverberryfarm.com.au
Call ahead to check what’s in season for picking

The Oyster Shed

The Batemans Bay area is also known for the coveted Sydney Rock Oyster. The pristine Clyde River is scattered with oyster leases, many of which end up at top end restaurants around the country.

The Oyster Shed

The Oyster Shed is an open to the public ‘farm gate’.

Situated on the riverside, it’s a simple family run operation. They sell oysters both opened and unopened. Plate grade oysters are $8/dozen unopened or $12/dozen opened. You can also buy them in a bag of 40 unopened for just $24! Bistro grade oysters are even cheaper at just $15 for a bag of 40.

Shucking oysters

Fresh Clyde River oysters

The Oyster Shed, photos of family history

We declare we wanted three dozen and as we peeped into the kitchen to watch fresh oysters being shucked, a table was being set outside, with tablecloth, camping chairs, Tabasco, toothpicks and all.

Sitting outside enjoying fresh oysters at The Oyster Shed, oyster farm outlet

The oysters are plump, sweet and creamy. A squeeze of lemon and a drop of Tabasco was all it needed to lift the flavours. We alternated each slurp with deep breaths of the crisp fresh air. There was total silence as we devoured all three dozen oysters.

Oysters and Tabasco

The Oyster Shed
The last shed on Wray Street
Phone: (02) 4472 6771
Web: oystershed.com.au
Open Tuesday to Sunday 9.00am to 4.00pm

Best spots for snorkelling in the NSW South Coast

Naturally being at the South Coast, life was all about the sea. If we weren’t eating from it, we were swimming in it.

Hyams Beach

The above photo was taken on the last day at Hyams Beach where the sand is fine, soft and brilliantly white!

We didn’t get a chance to visit each of these snorkelling hotspots, but based on our research, they’re worth putting on your to-do list:

  • Batemans Bay
    Maloneys Beach, Sunshine Cove Beach, Long Beach
  • Durras North
    Calm Corner, Depot Beach
  • Narooma
    Bar Beach South, Montague Island
  • Jervis Bay
    Hyams Beach, Plantation Point, Green Patch, Murrays Beach
  • Currarong
  • Shellharbour
    Bass Point Reserve

Fishes at Hyams Beach

Berny’s Fish And Chips

On the last night, we still hadn’t gotten our fish & chips cravings out of our system yet, so dinner was at the local Batehaven fish shop. This was in walking distance from the hotel – we couldn’t not try it!

What a gem it turned out to be! We’d definitely found the cheapest oysters in the area, at just $8/dozen! It was $12 for the slightly larger size.

Berny's Fish and Chips

Most oyster connoisseurs buy the oysters whole to shuck at home as the ultimate experience is to have them fresh, in its own natural juices. However, for those on the go like us, the shucked oysters at just $8 per dozen were satisfyingly good.

Fresh Clyde River oysters

Fishes on offer at Berny’s included grenadier, flake and perch.

Fresh fish at Bernys Fish And Chips

Their housemade chips (available in small $4, medium $6 or large $12) and potato scallops ($1 each) were serious business here. All night, customers walked out with baby-sized bundles of these old-style, crisp-skinned, moreish potato chips.

Order at the counter at Bernys Fish and Chips, Batehaven

Outdoor seating at Bernys Fish and Chips, Batehaven

Our family feast ($40) consisted of 5 pieces of fish, medium chips, 5 potato scallops and 5 calamari rings.

Unfortunately, the fish fillets are sliced lengthwise, so one piece was actually half a fillet.

However, the chips, oh the chips, we fought over them like seagulls! The boys were slurping down oysters like pro’s and the prawns ($25/kg) were even juicier and sweeter than the previous day’s.

It was all washed down with a battered pineapple fritter. So much deep-fried pleasure.

Fish and chips at Berny's, Batehaven

Berny’s Fish And Chips
246 Beach Road, Batehaven, NSW
Phone: (02) 4472 4947

Batemans Bay Mini Golf

Mini golf at Ermington followed by froyo at YoghurBerry Strathfield. It’s ‘our thing’ with the kids. When the boys saw that there was mini golf at Batemans Bay, they tried to add it to the itinerary every spare minute we had.

“How about mini golf next?”

“Let’s go swimming, then mini golf?”

“We should go mini golf now in case it rains later”

Mini golf was definitely on the agenda, it was just a matter of when!

Things to do with kids, family, Batemans Bay mini golf

As you can see, the course was very well designed and a great challenge for both the small kids and big kids.

For the record, I came second, but they all jumped on the podium anyway ;-)

Batemans Bay Mini Golf
1 Princes Highway, Batemans Bay, NSW
Phone: 0477 228 769
Web: batemansbayminigolf.com.au
Opens 9am – 10pm daily

Bay Wharf Cafe & Grill

We returned to the main street again, before departure. Breakfast for all but one, was this gourmet brekkie roll ($12) which was egg, bacon, cheese, hash brown, caramelised onions and Worcestershire sauce sandwiched between slices of Turkish bread.

It was a glorious sight. The experience of eating this burger was intense, it was almost impossible to bite into it properly! I would’ve liked something tangy or fresh on the side to break it up, but we all completed the burger conquest and didn’t need lunch that day.

Gourmet brekkie roll

Bay Wharf Cafe & Grill
11 Clyde Street, Batemans Bay, NSW
Phone: (02) 4472 5622
Open 7 days from 8am

Staying Connected

Telstra 4G Summer Fun

We no doubt take fast internet for granted in our everyday lives. Nothing makes me more anxious than traveling without internet. Not that I’m constantly plugged in while on holidays, but it’s peace of mind knowing that I can access my emails or work if something arises.

We pretty much enjoyed full Telstra 4G coverage the entire trip, with the exception of when we were at the tip of Clyde River Berry Farm which was fairly whoop-whoop (but a highlight of this trip!).

While my phone reception disappeared, it was a relief to have the Telstra Mobile Wi-Fi 4G hotspot for researching on my laptop the best places to visit, for checking Google Maps on my iPhone against some of the crazy routes my TomTom was taking us on, for keeping the kids amused in the back seat with a YouTube marathon on their iPad, and for keeping this city girl sane and connected.

Travelling with mobile broadband made everything so easy, even with 3 loud boys.

Telstra 4G prepaid broadband device, iPhone5 and laptop

Telstra Mobile Wi-Fi 4G
telstra.com/wifi

This post is sponsored by Telstra 4G; as always, opinions are our own.


Jennifer Lam (Jenius)

 
Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Having grown up in a family where food was always at the centre of all celebrations, family events and milestones, Jen is obsessed with capturing irresistible flavours and stories from myriad cultures. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering people to have good food and invigorating adventures - because life is too short for mediocre meals or dull travel. Her hobbies are breakfast, lunch and dinner. She's globally curious, passionate about female entrepreneurship, is a soy chai latte fanatic, and loves vintage, dressmaking and photography.