Narooma

Ultimate guide to things to do in Narooma with kids

Narooma, in the Eurobodalla shire on the NSW South Coast, is surrounded by some of the coast most beautiful beaches and waterways and is the ultimate escape for families wanting to get back to nature.

Though it is a sleepy town, don’t let that fool you into thinking there isn’t much to do, because there is plenty to keep every member of the family busy.

You’ll find an abundance of beaches including good surf beaches, both in Narooma and at nearby Dalmeny and Kianga. There are also calmer, tot-friendly beaches. Billy’s Beach is especially great for beachcombers with its rock pools and caves. Then there are the expansive sands of Mystery Bay, a coastal hamlet between Narooma and Tilba Tilba on the edge of Eurobodalla National Park, from which you can sometimes spot migrating whales.

Overlooking Beagle Bay at South Durras, Eurobodalla. Credit: Destination NSW

For those seeking more active pursuits, the Eurobodalla National Park’s Bingi Dreaming Track traces an ancient route of the Yuin Aboriginal people, or give cycling or horse riding a go.

Boating families can explore the waterways by motorboat or yacht or on an organised fishing charter. Or simply hire a dinghy and drop a line in the stunningly beautiful Wagonga Inlet. Take a tour to fascinating Montague Island, a continental island in a protected nature reserve located a short boat ride from town. The island is home to a large colony of Australian and New Zealand fur seals as well as thousands of Little Penguins, thousands of Sheawaters and other seabirds. More adventurous families can even stay overnight.

Seal swimming in the ocean off Montague Island, near Narooma.

Top things to do in Narooma

From the arts to the outdoors, there is something for everyone in Narooma. Here are a few of our favourites.

  1. Enjoy whale watching during the migration
  2. Visit Corunna Lake for a range of water sports
  3. Go kayaking on Wagonga Inlet
  4. Take a scenic inlet cruise
  5. Visit Montague Island to see the fur seals and the little penguins
  6. Explore the Narooma Lighthouse and Museum
  7. Go on a Seal Snorkelling Adventure
  8. Enjoy a guided scuba or snorkeling tour
  9. Snap a selfie at Australia Rock
  10. Grab your bikes to explore the Narooma to Dalmeny Cycleway

Things to do in Narooma with…

Narooma’s beaches are quiet and uncrowded, and many offer safe swimming with warm paddling channels and rock pools teeming with little creatures for the kids to explore.  There’s also a great community built boardwalk located on the northern side of Wagonga Inlet. Starting at Mill Bay, the scenic boardwalk offers views out over emerald waters teeming with marine life. Sting rays and large schools of fish are regularly spotted, as are seals. Best of all the boardwalk is flat, making it ideal for strollers.

Narooma’s Apex Park provides the perfect location for a pre-school picnic, with gorgeous views of the Wagonga Inlet, trails, loads of space to run free, a cycleway and an awesome playground with tot friendly equipment. Quata Park is another great spot to stretch little legs and enjoy a little playground action after downing a serve of fish and chips from the marina.

Wildlife warriors will love Montague Island, located just 9-kilometres offshore, and home to NSW’s only known colony of Australian fur seals. Known as Baranguba by the local indigenous people, as well as seals, the island is a breeding ground for around 15 bird species – including Little Penguins. The water surrounding the island is also rich with marine life, so keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, grey nurse sharks and, during migration season, whales.

The only way to access the island is by boat but once you’re there you can take a self-guided walk or join a NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service’s tour of the island. 

During Whale season, Narooma is an ideal location to see the majestic giants of the sea as they frolic and play in the pristine waters off the coast. There are several reputable tour operators offering Whale Watching Cruises with a sighting success rate of 98% during the peak of the season.

The best way to explore Narooma is on the water. Hire a kayak or a boat to explore the pristine waters. Besides the glorious beaches, the area is surrounded by lakes that are perfect for water-skiing and canoeing. Corunna Lake is one spot that is especially popular with the water sport set. For more leisurely fun simply hire a dinghy for a spot of fishing in the beautiful Wagonga Inlet.

Above the water there are three National Parks close to Narooma including Montague Island Nature Reserve, a breeding place for over 40,000 sea birds including Little Penguins, and home to a huge population of fur seals. Other great spots for those who like a little bush with their beach include the gorgeous Gulaga National Park that surrounds Gulaga mountain, and Eurobodalla National Park, which extends long along the coastline and incorporates Mystery Bay.

There’s no shortage of action and adventure to be found for teens seeking an adrenalin boost. 

If you’re looking for thrills on the water head straight for the open waters of Corunna Lake where you’ll find all kinds of boating, waterskiing and wakeboarding action. Kayakers can also explore the leisurely length of Wagonga Inlet and, for the more experienced paddler, an ocean kayak from Mystery Bay to Narooma in Batemans Marine Park is a must.

Experienced surfers can enjoy the thrill of catching a perfect wave but even beginners can give it a try with lessons at Surf Beach.

Snorkelers and divers will find plenty of great spots to explore, especially on Montague Island, considered one of the best dive spots in the country. Families with kids ages 12 and over can also stay overnight on Montague Island at the Head Keepers Quarters or the Assistant Lighthouse Keepers Quarters to enjoy bird and wildlife viewing at your leisure.

Montague Island, just off the coast of Narooma. Destination NSW

Best time to visit Narooma as a family

The pretty town of Narooma is surrounded by a secluded bay to the north, the ocean to the east and lush grazing grounds and parks to the west making it ideal to visit all year round.

Summer NSW and Victorian school holidays are peak times for holiday makers, closely followed by spring and autumn. While you can still find good deals during his period, we would advise booking early to ensure you get the best accommodation for your family.

February is generally the hottest time of the year, however the humidity in this part of the coast is generally lower, so the heat is pleasant. The coldest moths are from June to August.

If you intend to time your visit to see the whales during their migration, Narooma has a sighting success rate of 98% from September to November.

The ABC Cheese Factory and Tilba Cheese Shoppe. Photo: Destination NSW

Family-friendly places to eat in Narooma

With a little something from the sea and produce galore from the lush green hinterland, the area around Narooma is a foodie paradise. 

The region attracts chefs who are eager to plate up the best of the best of the local organic foods from in and out of the water.  Taking advantage of these great local ingredients, restaurants like the Whale, Quarterdeck and Paul’s on the Course have become local favourites. The Narooma Golf Club has a kid-friendly Seashore Restaurant which offers fabulous views, or escape to Tilba Valley Wines. Located on the shores of Lake Corunna and beneath Mount Dromedary, the cellar door is surrounded by forest in a very pretty location. 

For a little Italian, try Sorriso Italian while The View is the spot for great coffee and healthy Australian cuisine. Or gather some of the local goodies for a picnic on the beach or at Coruna Lake Picnic Area, Apex Park and Wagonga Picnic Area.

Would you believe the Glasshouse Rocks are between 510 and 440 million years old. Credit: Destination NSW

Things to do for free in Narooma

  • So close to the coast and with so much to do, this little haven has something for all everyone all year round. There are many natural highlights and water sports to experience as well as great museums and galleries.
  • Take a stroll along one of the many easy trail walks, or tackle harder trails like Durras Mountain and the Corn Trail. The walks around the lake and along the beach are particularly beautiful.
  • For a swimming beach that is safe for families, our pick is Narooma Bar Beach South. And be sure to head to Australia Rock, a hole in a rock at Wagonga Head that resembles a map of Australia, minus Tasmania, and the perfect location for that family selfie. Or explore Surf Beach, just a few minutes from the centre of town, to see the spectacular Glasshouse Rocks and soak up views out to Montague Island.

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