Tilba Tilba and Central Tilba are actually two beautifully preserved villages just north of Bega on the New South Wales south coast. The villages were settled in the 1890’s and early 1900’s in the region’s gold rush years. Much of the original timber Victorian style buildings are still intact thanks to the protection of National Heritage Listing for both villages.
Both are working villages, home to small artisan businesses lining the main road, pretty cafes, gift shops and the ABC Cheese Factory. It comes as no surprise that cheese is a big deal around here, as the villages of Tilba Tilba and Central Tilba are surrounded by stunning green hillside pastures and Jersey cows dot the landscape.
We visited the ABC Cheese Factory where the friendly staff helped us try our way through the selection of free tastings on offer. Our favourites were the chili infused cheese, The Fire Cracker, and the Cracked Pepper variety. Even Simon, who usually won’t have anything to do with chili, had to admit that the balance of bitey vintage cheese and chili in The Fire Cracker were a winner, and naturally we left with a large haul and a promise to return again soon. The ABC Cheese Factory also has a viewing window, but we just missed seeing cheese being made and milk bottled the day we visited, so more incentive to visit again soon.
Tilba Tilba has a beautiful outlook, the original settlers choose a setting at the base of Mt Dromedary, or Gulaga, a sacred site, as it is known the Aboriginal Yuin people. Lieutenant James Cook named the strangely shaped granite outcrop Mt Dromedary, it is the highest point in the area. Interestingly, rainforest species are said to thrive in several places high up near the peak of the mountain. The villages are so close to the coast that a breathtaking sea view, framed by mountains, presents itself to visitors on the way out of Tilba. What a gift to those returning to the Princes Highway, after a short, but delightful side trip to Tilba Tilba and Central Tilba, whilst heading along the coast!