Cruising to the Congo

by Dawn Simpson
(Batemans Bay)

Congo Beach Camping Area

Congo Beach Camping Area

Today we are off to deep dark Africa??

Heavens what am I thinking?
We are off to another well kept secret in the Eurobodalla Shire, our very own CONGO! Far from being deep and dark, Congo is bright, cheery, sunny and serene.
To get to the Congo, turn off the Princes Highway on the South Heads road, just south of Moruya. Congo is signposted as 8 kilometres but you need to be alert and turn right after travelling on the South Heads road for 2.1 kilometres, then left at the top of the hill after 2.5 kms. You will know you are on Congo Road and NOT Noads Road if you travel past 'Mynora Jersey Stud' sign on the fence almost immediately after you turn left. Continue on this road and you will hit a stretch of dirt at 6.4 kilometres. Don't panic! This stretch of dirt only lasts for 800 meters and then you are back on tarmac as you enter The Eurobodalla State Forest.
Why this stretch of dirt? There is an urban myth that Congo residents come out at dark and dig up a stretch of tarmac in an endeavour to dissuade visitors to their pristine piece of paradise.
I have it on good authority from a local, Benjamin that this is not so and he keeps his ear to the ground on these matters!
Carry on down the Congo Road and you will pass a very pleasant park, complete with children's gym and picnic tables, a nice spot to enjoy morning tea, especially if you have little ones with you. However, a little further on at 8.9 kilometres, turn sharp left and you enter the Congo Beach Camping Area, complete with another set of picnic tables and toilet facilities. At 9.4 kilometres, you can hop out and stretch, ... you have arrived! The park is a really well cared for environment, with yet more picnic tables set up close to the beach to make the most of the scenery and oh what beautiful scenery it is. There are two different sets of sturdy wooden steps leading up into the distance, emerging at the hilltop with 180-degree views up and down the coast.
Walk back to the weather shed to 'read all about it'.
Here you will find information on the Congo environment, including the fact that it is home to several endangered birds such as the Hooded Plover. Possums, bats, oyster catchers, and many other birds, abound at Congo.
Dogs, cats and foxes take eggs and young birds and disturb their nests, so please DO NOT bring your dog with you to Congo.
Admire the inlet, which runs out to the sea, a funny colour but not dirty, this is tannin from the trees, leached into the creek.
Forget the Congo drums, bring a board and join the numerous surfers who know about this well kept secret.
Back into the car, turn left and we head for a drive around the hamlet. A particularly nice feature of north and south Congo beach is that you cannot see any of the 100 plus houses from them; this coastline is really wild and undisturbed. It's no wonder members of the rock band Hot Chilli Peppers have a home here, last one at the top of the hill before you turn right to access the dirt road back to Moruya via Bingie and Bergalia.
If you are feeling particularly energetic, you might like to walk the 7.5 kilometres of the Bingie Dreaming Track, which also commences here. This is a beautiful 7-kilometre walk through the bush from Congo to Bingie.
Don't fancy a return trip on a partly unsealed road?
Then retrace your journey back to Moruya.
Why not stop off at the beautiful 'Wundina' Nursery on the Congo Road.
Open Sunday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm (Closed Saturdays)
Congo is C and ½ by 3.5 Map Co-ordinates on our Cartoscope map.
Congo has special significance for the Koori people who gathered here regularly for traditional ceremonies. Treat it well when you visit. There are no shops at Congo; it is just as many of our Aussie beaches used to be back in the 50's.
Remember to slip, slop and slap, wear sensible shoes, oh?...and don't forget the thermos!

Congo Cake
This is a quick one bowl cake, rich, delicious chocolate with a caramel top.
3 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted.
2 eggs.
½ cup milk.
1 cup sugar.
Teaspoon vanilla essence.
1 cup SR Flour
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder.
Place all ingredients in a bowl, pour melt butter over and blend well together. Cook in a moderate oven for 35-40 mins.

Caramel topping
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup cream or milk
1 dessertspoon butter
Pinch of cream of tarter.
Place all ingredients in a large saucepan, boil for 10-12 minutes, beat until thick and flavour with vanilla essence.

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Feb 16, 2011
by: Marion Ashworth

Love that cake! I had never heard of the Congo before.....may go there now and check it out.

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