Location. Eden South Coast New South Wales
At the junction of the Bega and Brogo rivers, Bega is the pretty rural heartland of the Sapphire Coast and only a short drive away from beautiful sandy beaches and national park wilderness. Dairying began in the verdant Bega Valley in the 1850s and the original Bega Cheese factory opened in 1900.
Visit the site of the original cheese factory in Lagoon Street, where cheeses are still made today. Learn about cheese making at the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre, a faithful reconstruction of one of the first buildings of the Bega Co-operative Creamery Company, the forerunner of Bega Cheese.
In the heritage centre taste the famous cheeses exported around the world, learn about the history of the valley and enjoy lunch in the cafe. You’ll find plenty of accommodation options in Bega, which is home to one of Australia’s richest portraiture awards at the Bega Valley Regional Gallery.
The gallery hosts significant touring exhibitions, too. Open Tuesday to Saturday, entry to the gallery is free. Another popular attraction is heritage-listed Bismarck House, built in 1876. With marvellous views, the Georgian-style building is home to Thornleigh on Newtown cafe and restaurant.
The valley is halfway between Sydney and Melbourne. Daily flights are available from both cities to Merimbula Airport, where you can rent a car for the short drive to Bega. From Canberra, the drive is under three hours. Within easy driving distance of Bega are delightful and splendid attractions.
Cobargo is a charming village with gift shops, weekly Laneway Markets and the Cobargo Show, first held in 1889. The Cobargo Folk Festival is popular, too. And explore the wonderful national parks near Bega – Wadbillga, Bournda, Mimosa Rocks and Biamanga, a significant site for local Aboriginal Yuin people. In a canoe or kayak, paddle on a waterway in the enchanting Brogo wilderness.