NSW Top Tourism Town Finalist

Welcome to Eden

Small Town: population between 1,500 - 5,000 residents

09:00 Fri 28 April - till - 17:00 Fri 12 May.
Members of the public may lodge only one vote for one town in each category. See Terms & Conditions.

Wonderfully wild Eden

Eden is a town surrounded by pristine wilderness and steeped in history. Nestled on the southern tip of the beautiful Sapphire Coast, the town is a gateway to spectacular national parks, world-class mountain biking trails, fascinating Indigenous stories and a unique maritime heritage. For many years the summer holiday destination of Melbourne families, Eden is now becoming renowned for another type of wild holiday — the backto- nature kind. Offering wild encounters, wild nights, wild water, and wild life, Eden truly is Wonderfully Wild.

The picturesque town is set on one of the deepest natural harbours in the Southern Hemisphere. Its bustling port sees record numbers of cruise ships visiting along with regular cargo and navy vessels. The port is also home to the Eden fishing fleet, many of the fishermen belonging to families that have provided fresh fish to the Sydney Fish Markets, as well as local cafes and restaurants, for generations. Locally caught fish is complemented by the prawns, abalone and sea urchin found in the surrounding waters, while the bay is also home to mussel leases and the surrounding lakes abound with the native Sydney Rock Oyster. Recreational fishing is also popular and nearby Quarantine Bay has a four-lane boat launching ramp, pontoon and fish cleaning facilities. You can often watch the resident giant stingrays vying for the scraps. Nor will divers and snorkelers be disappointed, with Eden waters offering wharf and shipwreck dives as well as a colony of the elusive weedy seadragon.

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As you would expect from a coastal town, maritime stories abound. The most fascinating tale is that of the killer whale Old Tom and his pod of orcas. Nearly seven metres long and weighing six tons, Old Tom and his orca crew worked alongside the whalers of the early 20th century to herd humpback and baleen whales into Twofold Bay — a symbiotic relationship that has not existed anywhere else in the world. The site of one of the first shore-based whaling stations in mainland Australia, these days Eden is known for its Killer Whale Museum and its annual celebration of whale migration in September-October. The whales quite often come into Twofold Bay to rest and play, where they can be seen from sea and land. Listen out for the whale siren. Sounded from the Killer Whale Museum, it is the signal to head to one of the many lookout points around the town to spot whales inside the bay.

Nearby Beowa National Park has endless deserted beaches that are popular for surfing and serene hidden coves that are perfect for snorkelling and kayaking. You can enjoy the many hiking trails on an afternoon bush walk or embark on a three-day hike, staying at the campgrounds along the way. Although Beowa was affected by the black summer bushfires, regrowth has already created immense areas of green beauty where the wildlife— wallabies, kangaroos, echidnas, wombats, lace monitors and birdlife — flourishes. The National Park is also home to highly significant geo-heritage sites such as the 65-million-year-old Pinnacles, created by eons of erosion, and the 360-million-year-old Devonian period red rock coastline at Red Point.

Manmade history also abounds in Eden. Several impressive historical buildings have been painstakingly renovated, including the Seahorse Inn that stands among beautiful gardens on Beermuna Beach. The Hotel Australasia, known affectionately as the Grand Old Dame, takes pride of place on the main street. Recently reopened after a 10- year closure, renovations have brought the building back to its early 1900s splendour. Cottages, houses and old whaling stations are all on the historical trail map to visit, as are coastal landmarks such as the sandstone Boyds Tower, and Green Cape Lighthouse which offers unique accommodation in its Keeper’s Cottages.

Traditional custodians of the land, the Thaua people of the Yuin Nation host one of the South Coast’s biggest celebrations of Indigenous art, music and culture. The\ Giiyong Festival is aptly named as giiyong which translates to “welcome” in the local language. However, visitors can learn and Traditional custodians of the land, the Thaua people of the Yuin Nation host one of the South Coast’s biggest celebrations of Indigenous art, music and culture. The Giiyong Festival is aptly named as giiyong which translates to “welcome” in the local language. However, visitors can learn and celebrate the local culture at any time by exploring the Bundian Way Story Trail. This two-kilometre coastal walk — which features story boards along the way explaining various points of cultural and historical interest —is soon to be expanded to run from Jigamy in the north to Fisheries Beach in the south. When exploring this walking trail, it is easy to imagine the long-ago journeys of the ancestors as they walked the 365km from Turemulerrer (Twofold Bay) where they hunted whales, to Targangal (Mount Kosciuszko) where they harvested bogong moths.

Eden really is as it is named — a place of pure paradise. With its sparkling, crystal-clear water, a spectacular coastal wilderness and the freshest of produce at your fingertips, Eden provides a truly Wonderfully Wild escape.


Three days in Eden

Hard working and corporate climbing in the bustling nation’s capital, these couples dream of a coastal adventure - to smell the salt air, indulge in the freshest of seafood, unplug from busy working roles, and get into the outdoors away from it all.  


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