Shoalhaven is an area rich in history with 49 towns and villages to discover, each with their own story through history to tell. Explore our country towns filled with old charm, history and architecture and hear from locals whose families have lived in the region for generations.
Stroll through villages, past showgrounds, gorgeous grandstands, courthouses and heritage homes in Kangaroo Valley, Berry, Nowra and Milton.
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Kangaroo Valley Historical Walk
Kangaroo Valley is one of the seven closed valleys of the world with well-preserved architecture dating back to the 1800s and 1900s. The heritage-listed Hampden Bridge which connects the Southern Highlands and the South Coast is Australia’s very first suspension bridge and arguably most photographed behind the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The sandstone towers resemble an English castle and opened in 1898 after the earlier wooden bridge was washed away in floods of the Shoalhaven River. If it’s history you’re seeking, head to the Pioneer Village Museum dedicated to the Pioneer Settlement with artifacts and 150 year old buildings carefully preserved from the early 19th and 20th centuries. You can’t leave the Valley without stopping by one of the oldest and friendliest pubs in Shoalhaven, The Friendly Inn Hotel.
Berry Heritage Walk
Berry is home to some of the oldest buildings in Shoalhaven including the now place to wine and dine, Coolangatta Estate Winery, where Alexander Berry in which to town gained its name settled in 1822. The Railway Station, The Gate House of David Berry Hospital and The Courthouse are all on the NSW heritage list. To discover the history of Berry follow the Berry Historical Walking Trail with an interactive map, information and audio guide to follow along the way or visit the Berry Historic Museum, the building is a 130 year old bank. We highly recommend stopping by the once site for timber turned in 1863 turned pub in 1924, The Berry Hotel for a schooner in their fireplace lit dining rooms.
Nowra Historical Walk
In Nowra stroll past some of the original 1890’s buildings on the Nowra historical walk. Along the way you can see the Nowra murals painted on the sides of buildings in the CBD. Our favourite is the rear wall of the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery – an Aboriginal child and yellow tailed black cockatoo honoring the Yuin nation by Matt Adnate. Beautiful Meroogal houses displays showing the lives of four generations of women. Just south of Nowra at HMAS Albatross is the Fleet Air Arm Museum in a huge hanger style building with displays of all things naval aviation. Jindyandy Mill east of Nowra, was built by convicts in 1830, and is now a quaint shopping precinct in picturesque pasturelands.
Milton Historical Walk
Embark on a historic walk of coastal town Milton to experience local history with rolling green hills and dairy farms dating back to the 1830s. Head to the nearby Shoalhaven Visitor Centre in Ulladulla to pick up a guide to the 1.5-hour historical walk of Milton. Several of Milton’s main streets public buildings date back to the 19th century and the surrounding streets have many examples of Victorian cottages. Stop by the Heritage Bakery for a bite to eat and coffee before making your way to the Milton School of Arts built-in 1871 now the Milton Library. If you are lucky you can catch live music and festival events at the historic Milton Theatre during your stay.
Booderee National Park is jointly managed by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community and Parks Australia. Some of the most beautiful beaches and bushwalks of the region fall within the boundaries of this park and are worth a visit. Booderee Botanic Gardens are the only Aboriginal-owned botanic gardens in Australia. Visitors can learn about bush tucker and medicinal uses of plants, or walk the picturesque trails and picnic on the lawns.
Galamban Extraordinary Experiences from the Wreck Bay community offer the a series of cultural activities based at Booderee National Park. Choose from campfire yarns, weaving, bushfoods, medicines and survival skills, a spotlight stroll among others.
Raymond Timbery from Gadhungal Murring also operates cultural tours from the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum grounds in Huskisson through the magical mangroves area.
Bomaderry Creek Walk has special significance for the local Aboriginal people which is explained on signage at the picnic area off Narang Road. It is possible to hire a Discovery Ranger to take a guided tour through this beautiful regional park.
Whilst in the Nowra area you can also join in a guided walk along Bens Walk and smoking ceremony with the knowledgeable and passionate group from Djiriba Waagura.
For more Aboriginal Cultural Tours throughout the Shoalhaven be sure to check out our latest Visitor Guide.
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