Eden (Australia) Cruise Port

Port of Eden (Australia): An Overview

Eden (population 3,040) is the southernmost port of NSW located on the far south coast region known as the Sapphire Coast. Perched on the edge of Twofold Bay, the third deepest natural harbour in the southern hemisphere, Eden historically prospered in whaling, fishing and agriculture. The township was laid out by Thomas Townsend in 1843 and locals celebrate its unique whaling history, which saw men and killer whales work in tandem to capture baleen whales.

Today, Eden is a sleepy coastal town renowned for being one of the few places in the world humpback whales feed on their southern migration in spring. The Killer Whale Museum even sounds a siren when whales are spotted. Calm waters and open ocean access make it the perfect viewing platform to watch these massive creatures, as well as dolphins, seals and penguins. There are several vantage points on land, too. Bounded by national forest and ruggedly beautiful coastline, Eden is abundant in nature trails, spectacular coastal scenery and surf beaches.

Eden's town centre comprises one low-key street populated by modest shops, eateries, a local gallery, supermarket and pub. One street away is the stunning coastline and boardwalk leading to Aslings Beach. Grassy areas, parklands and the crystalline blue ocean waters are never far from sight.

The Sapphire Coast region, stretching from Bermagui in the north to the Victorian border in the south, is an untouched wilderness with some of the best national parks, lagoons and seas in which to explore its dynamic marine and bird life. Kayaking is a popular pastime, as is bird watching and hiking. The area is also home to a burgeoning artisan food and wine scene with oysters a specialty. Bega is famous for its cheese; Pambula for oysters; and deep-sea fishing town, Bermagui, for its yellowfin tuna and marlin.

Port Facilities

Eden and the Sapphire Coast have undergone a transformation of sorts, with grower's markets, festivals and unique nature-based adventures on offer. The Visitor Information Centre, located on Mitchell St near Imlay, has information on attractions, tours and special events, including self-guided walking tours.

Eden Wharf has a number of eateries, some with Wi-Fi. Cat Balou Cruises depart from here, too.

Don't Miss

Eden's Heritage Walks and Drive: There are 35 sites of interest listed on Eden's Heritage Walks and Drive offering a glimpse into its convict past, historic buildings and whaling history. Of these, 26 can be reached on foot. The Heritage Drive takes in nine stunning locations including the imposing Boyds Tower and Australia's first concrete cast lighthouse, Green Cape Lighthouse. You can also learn about the Bundian Way, an ancient indigenous walk that stretches 350 km between Mt Kosciuszko and Eden, and is now being revived to teach Aboriginal history and culture to visitors.

Eden Killer Whale Museum: The museum has boats, whaling gear, photographs and other maritime memorabilia on display. There are two permanent exhibitions -- one on the area's whaling history and the story (and skeleton) of the orca, 'old Tom'; the other features general maritime and fishing artifacts, the timber industry and local social history. There are also regular visiting exhibitions. Guided tours are available daily on request. (184 Imlay Street; open Monday to Saturday from 9:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and Sunday from 11:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.)

Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre: The centre is dedicated to marine education and research with outdoor programs that include guided snorkel tours, beach formation walks and marine life discovery tours. (253 Imlay Street; open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday during school term, and Monday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. during the school holidays)

Aslings Beach: Eden's main surf beach is a long stretch of rugged, sandy coastline with a rock pool at the southern end. During October and November, whales can be seen sheltering and feeding in the bay, along with dolphins. The beach is only patrolled in summer and rips predominate so exercise caution while swimming.

Ben Boyd National Park: Hike through tall coastal forests and along dramatic, rocky coastlines gnawed by the sea and discover secluded beaches, sheltered inlets and pristine waters as well as rare fauna and flora.

Cat Balou Cruises: This family-run business is the longest running whale-watching outfit in NSW. During the migratory season, expect up-close encounters with whales, dolphins, seals and penguins on a 3.5-hour whale watching tour. At other times, there is a two-hour bay cruise. (0427 962 027; tours depart from Eden Wharf)

Potoroo Palace: This native animal educational sanctuary conserves an area of natural bushland in the Bega Valley, located 25 minutes northwest of Eden. Visitors can walk among kangaroos, potoroos, emus and peacocks, spot sleepy koalas and have special one-on-one encounters with the animals. (2372 Princes Highway, Merimbula; open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily with educational talks at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.)

Captain Sponge's Magical Oyster Tours: Discover the secrets of Pambula Lake, learn about oyster farming and river estuaries, and eat freshly shucked oysters on an oversized oyster punt. (Landing Road, Broadwater Lake, Pambula; 0429 453 545)

Longstocking Nano Brewery: This is the only craft brewery on the Sapphire Coast. Try 'wine in a lager' and seven other small-batch beers in a 1920s'-built industrial-themed space just a 15-minute drive north of Eden at Oaklands, Pambula. There is a cafe and animal farm onsite, too.

Getting Around

From Eden Port

Cruise lines usually offer a shuttle service to the centre of Eden. Taxis are also available. The local bus service runs morning and afternoon and there is a bus stop on Imlay St near Eden Wharf. It takes about 20 minutes to walk this uphill section on foot.

Within Eden

On foot: Eden is mostly flat, compact and fairly easy to navigate on foot.

By bus: Sapphire Coast Buslines, run a limited timetable morning and afternoon Monday to Friday (routes 790 and 791) looping through Pambula, Merimbula and Tathra and ending in Bega.

By taxi: There are two taxis available that can be booked by calling (02) 6496 1180. Taxis are metered and equipped to accept credit cards.

Food and Drink

In Eden

The Sapphire Coast is a gourmet food trail with a bounty of fresh seafood, dairy and meats. Cuisine ranges from Mod Oz to ethnic options, and local produce features heavily on the menu. Be sure to sample the locally farmed oysters. In addition, the region is home to a couple of boutique wineries and the aforementioned craft nano brewery.

Wharfside Cafe: This place has free Wi-Fi and is the place to sample oysters and fresh local fish and seafood. (253 Imlay Street; open daily 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.)

Great White Bite: Great White Bite does a roaring takeaway trade in bacon and egg rolls, burgers and fish and chips. (253 Imlay Street; open daily)

Devonshire Tea: This is a mainstay at the boutique Seahorse Inn Hotel. On Twofold Bay, expect breathtaking views as well as a varied lunch menu of gourmet and local seafood options from Brassiere, their casual bistro. (Lot 1, Boydtown Park Road; 02 6496 1361; open daily for lunch from noon to 2 p.m.)

In town, Great Southern Inn -- 2014 "Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Guide" two-schooner winner -- serves up 300 g steaks, seafood and cold brews on a back deck with sweeping ocean views. (158 Imlay Street; 02 6496 1515; open daily)

Spout Eden: Down the road, Sprout Eden is a local produce store and cafe that has Kahawa Estate coffee and a varied menu of blackboard specials, sandwiches and cakes showcasing local and regional produce. Serves are generous using pesticide-free ingredients and there's a good selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes along with local jams, preserves and chilli products for sale. (134 Imlay Street; open daily until 4 p.m.)

In Bermagui

Just a 90-minute drive north of Eden is the Bermagui Fishermen's Wharf -- a modern two-storey waterfront retail and dining complex. After a spot of shopping, grab some lunch at one of the cafes and restaurants lining the water.

The Sundeck: The Sundeck has great Campos Coffee, cocktails and seafood fresh from the boats daily. Next door to the Fisherman's Co-op, Blue Wave Seafood does a great takeaway fish and chips. Order the deep-sea marlin or yellowfin, a specialty of the area and settle in to watch the boats. (73-79 Lamont Street; open daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Mimosa Winery & Drystone Restaurant: This small-batch winery has a cellar door and adjoining fine-dining restaurant serving organic, regional produce. In summer enjoy wood-fired pizzas on the terrace. Just 90 minutes' north of Eden in Bermagui. (Corner 2845 Bermagui/Tathra Road; open daily, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the high season, Thursday to Sunday only in the low season)

In Merimbula

Merimbula Aquarium & Wharf Restaurant: Dine lakeside at Merimbula Wharf. Thirty minutes' drive north of Eden, this multi-venue aquarium (daily from 10 a.m., fish feeding at 11 a.m.) and restaurant is fully licensed and serves contemporary Australian cuisine with a focus on local seafood and oysters in a stunning 180-degree ocean view setting. (Lake Street, Merimbula; open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

In Pambula

Wheelers Oyster Farm: This institution, which has been around for more than 80 years, has daily oyster tours, a gift shop, restaurant and takeaway. (162 Arthur Kaine Drive, Pambula; open daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Where You're Docked

The Port of Eden is located about 500 metres northwest of the town centre. The passenger terminal is on Imlay St, Eden. Transport to the port is now by tender but this will change mid-2017 once the port redevelopment is complete.

Good to Know

Rips can be dangerous to swimmers. Most beaches are unpatrolled or only patrolled in summer.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The local currency is the Australian dollar. ATMs can be found on Imlay St, in the main part of town.

Language

English is the official language.

Shopping

From T-shirts, to snow globes and stuffed toys, it's all about whales in Eden. The Visitor Information Centre has a wide selection, along with general souvenirs and gifts.

For a unique souvenir, Art on Imlay (open daily, 9 am to 5 pm in summer and 9 am to 4 pm in winter) has local and indigenous art, craft and photography.

  • Eden (Australia): Sirena
    mllcal
    Darling little town. Excellent Arts and Crafts shop run by locals. A great place to walk around and enjoy a 1950's style town, beautiful beach, and lovely scenery. ... Read more
  • Eden (Australia): Noordam
    emluheldaehc
    Small but interesting town.Great shop selling only locally made craft goods on the Main Street and a walk down to the bay off Museum Street worth doing and great view and the sound of the waves. ... Read more
  • the towns people had hop on off shuttles available to town and various points for a modest fee and we walked the town and visited the Killer whale museum which was enjoyable unfortunately had to tender to and from ship ... Read more
  • Eden (Australia): Pacific Eden
    AdamTravella
    A massive pod of dolphins made this experience a highlight - the staff reaction to the rare event was brilliant and the cruise followed them as they frolicked around us. ... Read more
  • Eden (Australia): Pacific Eden
    buschel2005
    not much scenic.. spent 40minutes in a two horse town and only 30 mins in Merimbula... hostess kept pointing out the local schools etc and not the landmarks... driver took over for 5 minutes and gave us the best commentary of the trip ... Read more