A Great Lookout On The Way To A Pretty Village
by Dawn Simpson
This trip, our budget day out takes us for a bird’s eye view of beautiful Batemans Bay.
On a round trip of just 25 kilometres, we will visit ‘Holmes Lookout’ and then carry on to the pretty village of Nelligen.
Head north from the Batemans Bay CBD, cross the Bay Bridge and turn left onto Kings Highway, the main road leading to Canberra the national capital.
Travel approximately 3.3 kilometres west of Batemans Bay until you see the sign pointing left, which says ‘HOLMES LOOKOUT’ and ‘Rotary Drive’. If you'd like to see a bird's eye view of the famous forested Clyde River, winding its way to its estuary then don't miss this popular spot, which was a Rotary project, completed in 1968.
Follow the gravel road in for another 1.5 kilometres and you arrive at the lookout, which is part of the Clyde River National Park. From this vantage point, the beautiful Bay is spread out before you. You could pay for an expensive joy flight and still not see as far as you can see from this beautiful spot in the middle of the Aussie bush.
Look East and view the river's entrance at Batemans Bay, its journey under the bridge and beyond to the sparkling blue Pacific Ocean. Look west up river to the mountains, across tall eucalypt forests. Breathe deeply and appreciate the clean fresh smell!
‘Holmes Lookout’ has picnic tables and BBQs and is set amongst beautiful tall gums which host vibrantly coloured parrots and laughing kookaburras.
‘Holmes Lookout’ is named for Commander Douglas Holmes and his lovely wife Trixie who lived on the point here in Batemans Bay for many years and are remembered as a caring and very welcoming couple.
This is a great thermos stop, so sit and relax, enjoy the Nelligen Nibbles before we head off on our next phase of our budget day out.
Back out to the Kings Highway, turn left and follow this to the little village of Nelligen.
Nelligen was established in 1854 and was a thriving sea port in 1860 but is now a relatively quiet village with an architectural mix of homes from the past, mingling with modern vibrant cottages.
Lots of history here in the village;
some of the existing building date back to the time of settlement, such as the Mechanics Institute, located close by the riverbank in Braidwood Street, proudly bearing it’s conception date of 1903.
The old Post Office and Court House, the old Steampacket Hotel, all in pristine condition, so nice to know they are appreciated for their beauty and their place in our local history.
I'm old enough to remember the ferry crossing the river here on our way to Canberra and enjoyed reminiscing as I walked along the riverbank. The relatively modern bridge over the Nelligen River replaced the ferry in December, 1964.
By the riverbank, the remains of a tree can be found, where local bushrangers, the Kelly Brothers, were chained whilst awaiting transportation to Sydney, along with their story of cattle duffing and highway robbery.
The riverbank presents the perfect spot for a picnic. There are tables with benches or a rug on the grassy verge would be fun.
If you wanted to lash out and buy your lunch, we can still stay on our budget as the NEW Steampacket just a little further up the highway serves delicious counter lunches every day and back in the village ‘Benny’s’ has a nice selection of hamburgers, sandwiches and other treats! I opted for a toasted sandwich and a coffee and got out of it for $7.00. ‘Benny’s’ adds to the village feel by posting signs out the front alerting passers by to ‘Fresh Eggs, Limes, and Lemons’. Why you can even buy a few touristy items here such as; the ever-popular tea towel, postcards, fishing tackle and if you forgot to slip, slop and slap before you left home, ‘Benny’s’ can provide that as well!
The village has a very welcoming feel to it, for both locals and visitors alike and a very interesting ‘Historic Happenings’ board by the river, encourages visitors to meander through the village and locate historic places of interest.
If you are a real history buff and enjoy delving into the past, a drive up to the cemetery on Runnyford Road will acquaint you with a ‘Who was Who’ of the Nelligen area.
Headstones date from 1902 on, those that are still legible and include families from Drogheda and Wexford, Ireland, Glasgow Scotland, Kent England and Germany. Graves of tiny infants bear witness to remind us of how hard life was for our pioneers.
Head off soon to enjoy ‘Holmes Lookout’ and Nelligen, wear sensible shoes, bring the camera …..oh and don’t forget the thermos!
Nutty Nelligen Nibbles
1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats (regular oatmeal) uncooked
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup of crushed nuts
1/2 cup butter melted with
2 tbsp golden syrup (or honey)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda mixed with
2 tbsp boiling water
Combine everything in a bowl.
Spoon dollops of mixture, onto a greased tray, (allow for spreading).
Bake in a moderate oven, 180C / 350F, for 15-20 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack or try to resist them by storing in an airtight container.