Bega is a town most famous for cheese. The town’s cheese factory by the same name has ensured that just about all Australian’s have heard of this regional centre in southern New South Wales. It’s a pretty country town surrounded by rolling hills, forested areas, rivers and lagoons, whilst being only a stone’s throw from the popular holiday beaches on the Sapphire Coast.
Each week we pop into Bega to do some grocery shopping and to visit one of the cafes for a ‘real’ coffee treat. It’s a lovely drive along the Princes Highway to get there from the house that we are sitting. The road winds gently up and down hills, over narrow bridges and through forests with ancient tall trees. There always seems something new to us, and we still enjoy sights like wooden farm houses with big wide verandahs around them. Their white painted exterior walls and decorative details make them look like storybook houses to us, since very rarely are homes built from timber in South Australia where we are from.
As Bega is surrounded by many dairy farms, one of our favourite things to see when we’re driving along is the cows making their way toward the milking sheds in single file. It all looks so orderly and civil, it seems peculiar to see farms animals behave in such a way. We’ve wondered if the cows go into the shed in the same order each day, or if they are just very good at forming a line and waiting their turn?
Of course all of that milk eventually makes its way to the local Bega Cheese Factory. Visitors to the factory can no longer do tours to see the cheese being made for health and safety reasons, but there is an excellent ‘History of Cheese’ museum, free tastings and a café that serves meals on the premises. The Visitor Centre is also home to Bega’s Tourist Information Office, so there are many reasons for those in the area to make their way to the town’s claim to fame factory.
Other pretty spots that we can recommend around the town are the reserve beside the river, (great for a picnic) and the lookout on the northern side of the town on the Princes Highway. Along the town’s main shopping strip you will find just about anything you could need from clothes and shoes to banks, hotels, health food and hair salons. There are also a couple of good coffee shops to stop into for a break. Bega has two large supermarkets as well, so it’s a great place to stock up on supplies for those visiting the many beautiful surrounding holiday spots along the coast.