Fringed by national parks, rainforests and the stunning Sapphire Coast, Tathra is a natural amusement park that’s around six hours’ drive south of Sydney. There are bike trails to explore, rainforests to hike through and sparkling beaches to surf. This thriving community offers an unforgettable seaside escape that the whole family can enjoy.
Get out on the water
At pretty Tathra beach the whole family can learn to surf with Coastlife Adventures, which offers small group and individual surfing lessons throughout the summer and supplies soft G-Boards, full wetsuits and leg ropes. If you want to fast-track your surfing skills, you can book a three-lesson package. Kids will love the Nudie SurfGroms program, which teaches surf safety and board skills for kids between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. Tathra Beach is also an idyllic spot to try stand-up paddle (SUP) boarding. Get a kick out of SUP at sunrise, paddling out towards Tathra Wharf into Boulder Bay to watch the cliffs turn tangerine with the sun. You can hire all the equipment you need at Tathra Beach & Bike right on the beach.
Hop on your bike
For a biking adventure, hire mountain bikes, helmets and tackle one of the many trails in and around Tathra. For families and beginners, a 2.5km concrete bike path starts right outside Tathra Beach & Bike shop, taking you to Bega River and Mogareeka inlet. Entry-level mountain bikers will enjoy the beautiful Fords Farm headland ride, a 10km loop back to Tathra Beach. For more experienced mountain bike riders, there is roughly 20km of single track to explore through the Bundadung Trail Network, starting at the Tathra Country Club.
Prefer to travel on foot? Tathra’s walking tracks take in stunning views of the hinterland and coastline. Choose from easy beach loops to more difficult hiking trails through Bournda National Park.
Tathra Region Highlights
CREDIT: Destination NSW
Highlights from the untouched region of Tathra on the Far South Coast.
Man heading out for a morning of stand-up paddleboarding at Tathra Beach, Tathra.
Fish for your lunch
Tathra is a haven for fishing enthusiasts, with surf, rock and blue-water fishing, or you can throw in a line at freshwater streams and dams. At Tathra Beach, fish for salmon, tailor or sand whiting, or head to Bega River for bream, flathead and estuary perch. Tathra has a first-rate launching facility at Kianinny Bay, with fish-cleaning tables, ample parking and boat washing facilities too. Picnic tables and barbecue facilities make this a great spot for a cook-up.
If your kids think eggs come from a cardboard carton and milk from a plastic bottle, maybe it’s time to get them out of the city and into the country. Here are six great family farm stays across New South Wales.
Ride a horse at Eden Farm Escape, Bilpin
Like your farm stay with a side of luxury — and horses? Look no further than the five plush cabins at Eden Farm Escape, part of the Eden Equine estate in Bilpin, a 90-minute drive northwest of Sydney in the Hawkesbury region. The estate is a working horse farm; its 36 lush green hectares are home to 12 horses and ponies, along with alpacas, donkeys, goats and a flock of chickens that resides in Cluckingham Palace. Kids can collect eggs and feed the animals, and there’s a horse riding option. The farm also has a swimmable dam, a fire pit and a barbecue area, and is dog friendly. The self-contained cabins have polished concrete floors, black kitchens and oversized couches, with equine-themed art the finishing touch.
Meet the menagerie at Ba Mack Farmstay, Windeyer
Mother-and-daughter team Julie and Kate McLeod offer a huge dollop of country hospitality at Ba Mack Farmstay, a half-hour drive south of Mudgee in the state’s Central West, or about four hours northwest of Sydney. The farm is named after Julie’s grandmother, whom the family called Ba, and Saint Mary MacKillop, whose mantra, “Never see a need without doing something about it”, is part of the reason the farm stay was established. Julie believes children need to interact with animals, and she’s provided the perfect spot for them to do it. At Ba Mack, interaction includes feeding a menagerie of lambs, pigs, chickens and more, and learning how to handle, groom and ride horses.
Milk a cow at Dairy Flat Farm Holidays, Dairy Flat
Six generations of the Lever family have lived on this idyllic farm on the Richmond River at Dairy Flat in the far north of NSW, a 40-minute drive northwest of Kyogle, or an 8.5-hour drive north of Sydney. Dairy Flat Farm Holidays has three country-style cottages, which sleep a total of 16, and an expansive five-bedroom homestead. There’s plenty to keep the young folk occupied: feeding the chickens, goats and lambs in the farmyard area, learning how to milk a cow and bucket-feeding the calves afterwards. There’s also a tennis court and saltwater pool.
Ba Mack Farmstay, Windeyer
CREDIT: Ba Mack Farmstay
A young visitor to Ba Mack Farmstay in Windeyer enjoys a horse ride.
Experience outback life at Corynnia Station, Carrathool
There are farm stays and then there are red-dirt-under-your-fingernails outback experiences — which is exactly what Corynnia Station offers families wanting a little more adventure. An hour’s drive west of Griffith in the Riverina region, or a seven-hour drive west of Sydney, this 6,800-hectare property is a working sheep farm as well as a farm stay. Accommodation ranges from a one-bedroom 1930s cottage to a country lodge that sleeps 12. Take the farm tour to see the 19th-century shearing shed and the thousands of merino sheep, explore red-dirt country by bicycle, play boules and tennis, and finish the day star-gazing by the campfire.
Explore with the dogs at Minimbah Farm Cottages, Kangaroo Valley
The green hills of the Kangaroo Valley, a 2.5-hour drive south of Sydney, form the backdrop to Minimbah Farm Cottages. Here, kids can roam the 60 hectares with the owners’ dogs in tow to visit the alpacas that mind the sheep (hay is left out so they can be fed — the animals, not the kids!), collect the eggs from the chook house, watch the ducks swimming, pat the pony and follow the Cow Trail Adventure. There are two rustic-style cottages and the more upmarket and modern Budderoo House, which sleeps up to 16. The kids will love the play fort and the bubbling creek.
Roam the garden at Markdale, Crooked Corner
At the heart of Markdale, a magnificent 2,550-hectare country estate in the hamlet of Crooked Corner, a three-hour drive west of Sydney, is a renowned garden created by the esteemed landscape designer Edna Walling. When your kids ever tire of exploring its pretty paths and stone walls, they can mingle with the farm animals and donkeys, spot wildlife such as wombats, and practise their polo swings on the wooden horse. Choose from the two-bedroom stone cottage (with log fire), the four-bedroom 1850s homestead or the beautifully restored six-bedroom shearers’ quarters, all equally lovely.
Corynnia Station, Carrathool
CREDIT: Corynnia Station
The Corynnia Station farm stay, outside of Griffith in the Riverina region.