The word “Eden” conjures up images of paradise and a place of perfect happiness; and never was a place more aptly named than this small seaside community, the last township in the Southern Coast of New South Wales, bordering with Victoria. Situated approximately halfway between Australia’s two major cities, Sydney, the state capital of New South Wales, to its North, and Melbourne, Victoria’s capital, to its South, it is the ideal overnight stopover if travelling between the two capitals, with driving time from Eden to each of these cities being between six and seven hours. The traveller will find a wide range of accommodation available for that relaxing overnight stop.
With its spectacular scenery, the unspoilt beauty of its sandy beaches and rolling surf, pristine waterways, backdrop of mountain ranges and surrounding forests, this coastal haven bears its paradisiacal name with pride. It’s an ideal holiday destination which offers something for everyone; nature lovers, fishing and water sport enthusiasts, bushwalkers, families, honeymooners or those just wishing to sit back and relax on a secluded, golden beach, will all find their particular paradise in Eden. Because it caters for so many tastes, the choice of holiday accommodation in Eden is also diverse and offers something for everyone, from budget and self contained accommodation to luxury holiday villas, anyone looking for holiday rentals is guaranteed to find their ideal holiday home in Eden.
Situated on the southernmost tip of the Sapphire Coast, a stretch of shoreline renowned as exceptional fishing grounds, Eden once thrived as the centre of Australia’s whaling industry. Once whaling stopped in the 1930’s, fishing became the main activity in the town. Avid saltwater fishermen will be able to choose between either ocean or bay fishing, and whether to fish from the beach or from the rocks; while those preferring freshwater fishing may choose the serenity of lakes or rivers. With its wide choice of estuaries, Eden is a haven for salt water fishing and is well known for the diversity of its catch. Eden is famous for its tuna, as from December to May, with the warm currents, it is a superb game fishing spot where you are likely to catch both marlin and yellow fin tuna. Reef fishing is also excellent with catches of snapper, morwong, trevally, flathead, and ling amongst many other varieties. There are many boat ramps, with the larger ones offering deep water access for ocean fishing. Charters are available for deep sea fishing.
Eden’s past is closely linked to the sea and the fishing industry. Each year, from late September to late November, humpback whales migrate to Antarctica along the east coast of Australia. Taking advantage of its privileged position on Twofold Bay, which acts as a natural enclosure, when whales from Antarctica swam north to warmer water, packs of killer whales helped local whalers by herding the migrating whales into the bay, where they were killed for their oil. One pack of the killer whales which helped the whalers was led by a killer whale named Old Tom by the whalers. Old Tom died around the time when whale fishing in Australia ceased; one of Eden’s attractions is its whale museum, where many exhibits bear testimony to Eden’s whaling past, with the skeleton of Old Tom taking pride of place as its centrepiece.
Another interesting testimony of Eden’s Whaling past which is open to visitors, is Davidson Whaling Station, Australia’s longest operating shore based whaling station, where the visitor may also enjoy its picnic grounds and walking tracks. Although whaling is a thing of the past and happily relegated to a museum, whales still form an important part of Eden, drawing many visitors to the town during whale migrating season during winter and spring (June to November) when the humpbacks migrate north from the Antarctic to warmer Australian waters and then back to the Antarctic again. The town celebrates this migration with its whale festival, a carnival affair with parade, displays, stalls, competitions music and a spectacular night show, as well as superb food and wine throughout. Eden is paradise for lovers of marine life, as it is possible to sit back and relax with your favourite drink in hand, by the pool, on the sun-deck of your holiday house or the terrace of your holiday apartment, while you watch the gentle giants frolic in the clear, sparkling waters of a beautiful bay. Dolphins and seals may also be spotted in Twofold Bay.
The stretch of coast known as The Sapphire Coast is famous for the colour of the sapphire blue waters which earned it its name. The unspoilt beauty of its numerous golden sandy beaches is one of Eden’s major attractions. There are beaches to suit everyone from the families with young children, and those chasing a relaxing holiday lazing on fine golden sands to beaches for the more adventurous holidaymaker.
The waters of the sheltered beaches on the southern sub-embayment of Twofold Bay are generally more tranquil. Corora Beach is one of these sheltered beaches and a popular picnic spot for families, as it is leafy and shady and has picnic and barbecue facilities, as well as a children’s playground and showers and toilets. Another tranquil beach in this southern area is Boydtown Beach, which is almost 3 km. in length and popular with swimmers, divers, fishing enthusiasts and wind-surfers. This is a dog friendly beach, so holidaymakers travelling with their dogs and staying in pet friendly accommodation will definitely favour this beach, as it is a leash-free zone. Neither of these two beaches is patrolled.
Aislings Beach to the north of Eden is the main surf beach of the town; it is 2 km. long, stretching from Curalo Lake to a rock tidal pool which is fed by the ocean. There is road access from Eden’s town centre to Curalo Lake. Aislings beach is perfect for surfing and paragliding. It is quite common to spot leaping dolphins in this beach. Although unpatrolled, Aislings beach enjoys many facilities such as toilets, showers and changing rooms, a viewing platform, parking, tidal swimming pool and lake access. It has a leash-free area for dogs. Aislings beach is not far from the town centre.
These are just a small example of the many beaches in the Eden area, beaches as diverse as peaceful coves and pounding surf, some with estuarine lakes surrounded with vegetation, while others with rugged headlands. Some are isolated and may be reached by boat or for those who are adventurous by hiking, while others are close to town. Some are pet friendly and safe for children, while others are in natural parks, where pets are not allowed. Some have camping grounds, whilst others have shops and cafes nearby; there are fully patrolled beaches and unpatrolled beaches.
As difficult as it may be for the holidaymaker in paradise to walk away from the sun, sea, surf and sand of Eden beaches, this region encompasses much more, as it is surrounded by spectacular ancient State Forests and National Parks teeming with native flora and fauna and delightfully colourful birdlife. Leave the comfort of your air conditioned serviced apartment behind and go into the hinterland for scenic drives or bushwalks. The Mt Imlay National Park, just 32 km southwest of Eden covers an area of 3764 hectares with thick forest, and is home to many species of birds, including the elusive lyrebird and the wedge tailed eagle.
Eden is blessed with a temperate climate with warm summers, and its mild winters are mostly clear and sunny. Minimum temperatures during the winter months of July and August rarely drop below 9ºC. These two colder months are also the months with the lowest rainfall. Maximum temperatures during the hottest months of December, January and February, rarely rise above 23ºC. It is an idyllic climate without extremes of weather, all year round.
Eden is almost halfway between Sydney to its North and Melbourne to its South, with approximately seven hours driving time from each of those capital cities. Australia’s capital, Canberra is located 282 km. west of Eden. A Country Link bus service runs once a day, every day from Canberra to Eden and surrounding towns, while there are two Premier bus services running twice a day, every day from Sydney to Melbourne along the Princess Highway with stop in Eden. For holidaymakers travelling from the UK, the closest international airport is in Canberra, less than three hours drive away from paradise.