Bega is the urban centre of the Sapphire Coast, but it’s heart is dotted with rich lagoons and galleries and it’s surrounded by rich pastures and rain forests. Bega is home to many historical buildings, but it’s also surrounded by lush dairying country and dotted with lagoons that are rich in bird life.
The preservation of historical buildings, particularly in the main street and Church Street, make it easy to imagine what life was like when horse and cart ruled the roads. Just around the corner modern life returns with the Bega Valley Regional Gallery and Sapphire Market Place. Three kilometres north of the township you can take it all in at the Bega Lookout.
Picnic by a lagoon
Settle in on the banks of the Bega River, Kisses Lagoon or Glebe Park, there are picnic tables under the shade of she oaks, poplars and weeping willows. In Autumn the spectacular show of colour makes you want to kick up your heels in the leaves.
Bega Cheese Heritage Centre and the Bega Visitor Information Centre
A visit to the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre is a must for dairy lovers and history enthusiasts.
As well as being a hub for visitor information for Bega and the region, you can taste the entire Bega Cheese range, along with fudge, milkshakes and more made from Bega milk. The cafe is a lovely spot for a country lunch while the story of local dairy farming is told through photographs, film and the upstairs museum.
Art Galleries and Museums
There are a number of local galleries to be explored with an array of arts and crafts available including pottery, paintings and some magnificent wood work.
Bega Valley Regional Gallery is the only regional gallery between Wollongong and Bairnsdale showcasing a dynamic contemporary exhibition program, including the biennial Shirley Hannan National Portraiture Award. This prestigious art award is one of the nation’s most famous.
Spiral Gallery is an artist run space that hosts regularly changing contemporary and innovative exhibitions. The gallery promotes established and emerging artists through an exhibition program which reflects a variety of media and styles.
The Pioneer Museum, Bega’s first hotel, was built in 1859 and stands at the corner of Bega and Auckland Streets. It is home to the largest display of framed, early pioneer photographs in New South Wales and also includes memorabilia, tools and equipment.
Download a copy of the Bega Heritage Walk, an intriguing way of stepping back into the past and observing the heritage of the town.
Just north of Bega is the stunning Brogo Dam which offers picnic facilities and a ramp from which to launch your canoe or row boat. You can hire canoes to explore the dam and gain access to remote pockets of bush, teeming with wildlife. This is really getting away from it all!
A short drive out of Bega takes you to Mumbulla Creek Falls, the key feature of Biamanga National Park. It is a place rich in Aboriginal lore and life, and one that is readily accessible by people with mobility challenges as it has a boardwalk and paved picnic area. To get there from Bega, drive north-east along Dr George Mountain Road, turn left on to Mumbulla Creek Road and follow the signs to the Biamanga Cultural Area. The Aboriginal custodians request that visitors, through respect, do not swim in the Mumbulla Falls area – a site that is sacred to the Yuin People
There are plenty of well kept sporting arenas in Bega. There is a large skate park, swimming pool, squash courts, tennis courts, bowls and an 18 hole golf course.
Every second Friday the town’s centre comes alive with a Farmer’s Market between 8am and 1pm. Enjoy a wide range of locally grown fruit and vegetables, meat and eggs, homemade foods, oils, honey and wine. A variety of local crafts to browse through, plus the Seed Savers’ local seeds and a lovely venue to enjoy a snack and a drink.
The Bega Showground hosts several major events during the summer including the Bega Show and the Bega Showjumping Cup.