A Very Enjoyable ‘Shallow’ Experience

by Dawn Simpson
(Batemans Bay)

John Layt and Scott Martin enjoy a quick dip at the Crossing whilst Blake Deaves skims a stone or two.

John Layt and Scott Martin enjoy a quick dip at the Crossing whilst Blake Deaves skims a stone or two.

This trip we set off to discover Shallow Crossing. Armed with our free map from the Batemans Bay Tourism Office, we headed north out of Batemans Bay to Nelligen, situated 7 kms west on the King’s Highway.

Drive past the village of Nelligen, past the pub and then about 1 km further, on your right you will see a sign that says ‘Shallow Crossing’.
Shallow Crossing is approximately 16 kilometres from the turn in. The road is 'dirt' but in very good condition, with the occasional corrugated section. Believe me though, the views of the magnificent Clyde River, flowing on the right hand side of the road is well worth a couple of bumps.
If you can plan your trip on the weekend, like we did, then you will see the river alive with activity. Fishing boats, water ski-ers, families picnicking, boats towing do-nuts out the back…gosh that looked fun!
There are lots of spots by the river to pull in and enjoy morning tea with your thermos or you can continue on to the Crossing and be entertained as we were by locals enjoying the river at the Crossing. The great Aussie bush is looking lush and green at the moment. Keep an eye out for a particularly nice glen on the left, with a very nice display of tree ferns and fish bone fern. The spotted gums and stringy bark are truly magnificent and on display all through this journey.
Most sections of this road, The River Road, are filled with overhead greenery and dappled sunlight, which make for a very pleasant trip. Travel slowly, as the road is narrow in parts and some local folk more familiar with the road travel a wee bit fast in their big four wheel drives.
Watch for small black wallabies as one jumped out unexpectedly in front of us but since we were travelling slowly, we managed to look but not touch!
We travelled through bush and then cleared farmland with fat cattle paying us little attention as we drove by. Lots of weekenders in the shape of Jayco, Coromal and Viscount, placed on million dollar sites by the river, all with a chair placed strategically for a fishing line. Some even have elaborate stairs leading down to the riverbank.
We travel through a beautiful property where horses graze peacefully and still the beautiful Clyde River keeps company with us on the right hand side. Islands in the middle of the river are reminiscent of tales from Mark Twain.
As we reach Shallow Crossing proper, we are amazed at the number of folk who have made the journey. There are children on mini bikes in an area on the left and canoe hire to the right. Down at the crossing, folk have left their cars parked to come and watch others traverse the crossing, to play in the water or just to stand and have a chat with other travellers.
Be aware that this trip is not practical at high tide or after heavy rain as the crossing becomes unpassable then.
We crossed over and continued on our way, about another kilometre until we turned right onto Barkshead Road. You will be alerted to this by the sign which reads; "Beer Ice and Groceries", a sure indication that we are heading back to civilisation, in the form of the East Lynne Shop!
We decided to turn left at the Prince’s Highway and try a ‘world famous’ East Lynne pie before heading back into town. Not he first pie shop to claim that status, but they certainly are a very good pie. Yummo! Worth the visit!
Heading back into the Bay after a very enjoyable day off the beaten track we were lured by another sign on our map ‘Big Bit Lookout’, approximately 6 kilometres south, down the road from the East Lynne Roadhouse.
The road is a very steep 3.5 kilometres to the top but the views are magnificent. All the way up the coast to Bawley Point and down the coast to Moruya, including great views of The Tollgate Islands.
What a great day, home to beautiful Batemans Bay after a very satisfying day of adventure off the beaten track!
Shallow Crossing proper is located at Map 1, co-ordinates D1. Take the Aeroguard, remember to slip, slop and slap. Wear sensible shoes and …oh, don’t forget the thermos!

Crossing Chicken Burgers
1 Sheet of puff pastry, cut into rounds and sprinkled with
finely grated parmesan.
Mix together:
1 good handful of cooked chicken, cut up finely
1 tablespoon good mayonnaise
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives or spring onion.
Cook the rounds of pastry in a hot oven until crisp and light brown. Allow to cool, then split and fill with the chicken mixture. Yummo!

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