Batemans Bay

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Batemans Bay
New South Wales
Batemans Bay.jpg
Looking towards the Batemans Bay Bridge from the banks of the Clyde River which flows into the bay.
Australia New South Wales location map blank.svg
Red pog.svg
Batemans Bay
Coordinates 35°42′29″S150°10′28″E / 35.70806°S 150.17444°E / -35.70806; 150.17444 Coordinates: 35°42′29″S150°10′28″E / 35.70806°S 150.17444°E / -35.70806; 150.17444
Population11,294 (2016 census) [1]
Established1885 [2]
Postcode(s) 2536
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST) AEDT (UTC+11)
LGA(s) Eurobodalla Shire
Region South Coast
County St Vincent
State electorate(s) Bega
Federal Division(s) Gilmore
Mean max tempMean min tempAnnual rainfall
21.8 °C
71 °F
10.0 °C
50 °F
916.8 mm
36.1 in

Batemans Bay is a town in the South Coast region of the state of New South Wales, Australia. Batemans Bay is administered by the Eurobodalla Shire council. The town is situated on the shores of an estuary formed where the Clyde River meets the South Pacific Ocean.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Eurobodalla Shire Local government area in New South Wales, Australia

Eurobodalla Shire is a local government area located in the South Coast region of New South Wales, Australia. The Shire is located in a largely mountainous coastal region and situated adjacent to the Tasman Sea, the Princes Highway and the Kings Highway.

Estuary A partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea

An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea.


Batemans Bay is located on the Princes Highway (Highway 1) about 280 kilometres (170 mi) from Sydney and 760 km (470 mi) from Melbourne. Canberra is located about 151 km (94 mi) to the west of Batemans Bay, via the Kings Highway. At the 2016 census, Batemans Bay had a population of 11,294 [1] with surrounding communities including Long Beach, Maloneys Beach and the coastal fringe extending south to Rosedale bringing the total population of the urban area to 16,044. [3]

Princes Highway highway in Australia

The Princes Highway is a major road in Australia, extending from Sydney to Adelaide via the coast through the states of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. It has a length of 1,941 kilometres (1,206 mi) or 1,898 kilometres (1,179 mi) via the former alignments of the highway, although these routes are slower and connections to the bypassed sections of the original route are poor in many cases.

Highway 1 (Australia) circumnavigational highway in Australia

Australia's Highway 1 is a network of highways that circumnavigate the country, joining all mainland state capitals. At a total length of approximately 14,500 km (9,000 mi) it is the longest national highway in the world, surpassing the Trans-Siberian Highway and the Trans-Canada Highway. Every day more than a million people travel on a part of it.

Sydney City in New South Wales, Australia

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.

It is the closest seaside town to Canberra, making Batemans Bay a popular holiday destination for residents of Australia's National Capital. Geologically, it is situated in the far southern reaches of the Sydney Basin. [4] Batemans Bay is also a popular retiree haven, but has begun to attract young families seeking affordable housing and a relaxed seaside lifestyle. Other local industries include oyster farming, forestry, eco-tourism and retail services.

Sydney Basin Region in New South Wales, Australia

The Sydney Basin is an interim Australian bioregion and is both a structural entity and a depositional area, now preserved on the east coast of New South Wales, Australia and with some of its eastern side now subsided beneath the Tasman Sea. The basin is named for the city of Sydney, on which it is centred.

A retirement community is a residential community or housing complex designed for older adults who are generally able to care for themselves; however, assistance from home care agencies is allowed in some communities, and activities and socialization opportunities are often provided. Some of the characteristics typically are: the community must be age-restricted or age-qualified, residents must be partially or fully retired, and the community offers shared services or amenities.

House Building that functions as a dwelling

A house is a building that functions as a home. They can range from simple dwellings such as rudimentary huts of nomadic tribes and the improvised shacks in shantytowns to complex, fixed structures of wood, brick, concrete or other materials containing plumbing, ventilation, and electrical systems. Houses use a range of different roofing systems to keep precipitation such as rain from getting into the dwelling space. Houses may have doors or locks to secure the dwelling space and protect its inhabitants and contents from burglars or other trespassers. Most conventional modern houses in Western cultures will contain one or more bedrooms and bathrooms, a kitchen or cooking area, and a living room. A house may have a separate dining room, or the eating area may be integrated into another room. Some large houses in North America have a recreation room. In traditional agriculture-oriented societies, domestic animals such as chickens or larger livestock may share part of the house with humans. The social unit that lives in a house is known as a household.


Indigenous history

The traditional custodians of the land surrounding Batemans Bay are the Indigenous Australian Yuin people of the Walbunja clan. The traditional language spoken by the Walbunja people is Dhurga. A number of sites in the region are considered culturally significant to the Aboriginal peoples. [5]

Indigenous Australians are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, descended from groups that existed in Australia and surrounding islands before British colonisation. The time of arrival of the first Indigenous Australians is a matter of debate among researchers. The earliest conclusively human remains found in Australia are those of Mungo Man LM3 and Mungo Lady, which have been dated to around 50,000 years BP. Recent archaeological evidence from the analysis of charcoal and artefacts revealing human use suggests a date as early as 65,000 BP. Luminescence dating has suggested habitation in Arnhem Land as far back as 60,000 years BP. Genetic research has inferred a date of habitation as early as 80,000 years BP. Other estimates have ranged up to 100,000 years and 125,000 years BP.

European history

On 22 April 1770, European explorer Captain James Cook first sighted and named the bay. [6] Cook gave no reason for the name, which may commemorate either Nathaniel Bateman, the captain of HMS Northumberland when Cook was serving as her master from 1760–62, [7] or John Bateman, 2nd Viscount Bateman, a former Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty in the 1750s. [8]

James Cook 18th-century British explorer

Captain James Cook was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy. He made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.

HMS Northumberland was a 70-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built at Plymouth Dockyard to the draught specified by the 1745 Establishment, and launched on 1 December 1750.

John Bateman, 2nd Viscount Bateman British politician

John Bateman, 2nd Viscount Bateman was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1746 to 1784.

A colonial vessel, Fly, was driven into Batemans Bay by bad weather during April 1808. Local indigenous Australians attacked her crew; resulting in three fatalities from the Fly. [9] In 1821, Lt Robert Johnston entered the bay and explored the lower reaches of the Clyde River on board the cutter Snapper. [10] Snapper Island within the bay is named after Johnston's boat. Johnston returned with Alexander Berry and Hamilton Hume and they traced the river to its source. [11] When the district was surveyed in 1828, a deserted hut and stockyards were found. Cedar getters and land clearers were in the district in the 1820s. From 1820s through to the 1840s, the area to the Moruya River was the southernmost official limit of location for the colony of New South Wales.[ citation needed ]

Alexander Berry Australian politician

Alexander Berry was a Scottish-born surgeon, merchant and explorer who in 1822 was given a land grant of 10,000 acres (40 km2) and 100 convicts to establish the first European settlement on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia.

Hamilton Hume Australian explorer

Hamilton Hume was an early explorer of the present-day Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria. In 1824, along with William Hovell, Hume participated in an expedition that first took an overland route from Sydney to Port Phillip. Along with Sturt in 1828, he was part of an expedition of the first Europeans to discover the Darling River.

Moruya River river in Australia

The Moruya River is an open and trained mature wave dominated barrier estuary or tidal river is located in the South Coast region of New South Wales, Australia. In its upper freshwater reaches, the river is known as the Deua River.

The Illawarra and South Coast Steam Navigation Co found the Clyde River to be navigable in 1854. Regular services by the company in the 1860s and 1870s contributed to growth of the district. [12]

The village of China Bay was surveyed in 1859. Oyster farming commenced in 1860, and by 1870, there was a fleet of 40 oyster boats. A sawmill was erected in 1870. The port and town was proclaimed in 1885. [2] A ferry service across the Clyde ran from 1891 until the bridge was opened in 1956. In 1942, during World War II, a trawler was attacked by a Japanese submarine between Batemans Bay and Moruya. [13]

In May 2016, an estimated 120,000 bats suddenly descended upon and swarmed the town, prompting the town to declare a state of emergency. Due to the fact that they were flying foxes, they had to be removed using non-lethal methods, including smoke, noise, lights and removing vegetation. [14] The town received AUS$2.5 million in order to relocate the bats. [15]


The change of population of Batemans Bay since 1881.

  • 1881 was 266
  • 1961 was 1,183
  • 1981 was 4,924
  • 1996 was 9,568 [16]
  • 2006 was 10,845 [17]
  • 2011 was 11,334 [18]

According to the 2016 census of Population, there were 11,294 people in the Batemans Bay urban centre.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 7.3% of the population.
  • 77.1% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were England 5.0% and New Zealand 1.5%.
  • 88.1% of people only spoke English at home.
  • The most common responses for religion were No Religion 26.3%, Anglican 24.8% and Catholic 23.4%. [1]

The median age in Batemans Bay is 53 years, compared with the Australian national average of 37 years. For people aged 60 years and above, Batemans Bay is well above the national average, and has twice as many people aged 70 years or over than the national average. Conversely, in all age demographic groups below 60 years, Batemans Bay is below national averages. This is most strongly presented in the categories for ages 19 years to 35 years. [19]

This skewed demographic is attributed to Batemans Bay’s proximity to Canberra, from where it attracts a large number of retirees. [20] In recent years, community concern has grown as hotels and resorts in the region have been purchased and converted to aged care and retirement living, creating a perceived threat to the town’s primary industry – tourism. [21] In addition, the aged demographic has been said to create a culture were the towns infrastructure is geared towards the aged, resulting in a net migration away from Batemans Bay of younger families exacerbating the imbalance. [22] In 2015, research from Nielsen revealed older people were less likely to support rates funding towards youth focussed infrastructure. [23]

Arts and culture

With its stunning natural features at the forefront, and an aged population, [24] the arts and cultural scene in Batemans Bay was seen for some time as underdeveloped for a regional hub. As the town has recently enjoyed a renaissance of its CBD, [25] so too its arts and cultural landscape, with a growing and interesting calendar of events [26] and a strong community of practicing artists.

This shift is best illustrated in the announcement of 26 million dollars toward the development of an indoor aquatic and cultural centre. [27] To be built at the Mackay Park precinct, the cultural facility will include a purpose-built exhibition and performance centre, as well as workshop and storage space that will serve the wider region’s 18 art, dance and theatre groups. (While welcomed by many, the centre is not without controversy, with several community groups questioning Eurobodalla Shire Council's design and community consultation process.) [28] [29] [30]

A recent push by digital creatives and artists into Batemans Bay’s industrial estate also signals this new chapter. Based at the South Tribe and Cultivate Space business and arts incubators, these grass roots non-government centres have spawned a thriving and growing community of artists, creatives, freelancers, entrepreneurs and digital nomads. [31]

Sculpture on Clyde - a ten-day art festival celebrating imagination in 3D, debuted in 2017 as a bold and generous new acquisitive art prize. Set along the foreshore of the pristine Clyde River, it is one of Australia’s richest 3D art prizes. Presented by The Batemans Bay Tourism and Business Chamber, the festival is open to professional, emerging and novice artists worldwide with 2018 prize money to the value of $70,000. The inaugural acquisitive prize was won by Dora A. Rognvaldsdottir for Duet. [32] (As of June 15, 2018, the prize has been cancelled, due to a dispute between Batemans Bay Business and Tourism Chamber, and Eurobodalla Shire Council.) [33]

South East Arts (SEArts) is the regional development organisation for arts and culture in the Bega Valley, Eurobodalla and Snowy Monaro however the organisation is poorly funded and has a small footprint in Batemans Bay.

Food and produce

Batemans Bay sits as the northern gateway to the pristine Eurobodalla Shire - the entire region gaining national recognition for its terroir and as a centre for sustainable agriculture. [34] Most notably for the town itself, are the oysters from the Clyde River. One of Australia’s cleanest estuaries, [35] the Clyde produces what is considered by a growing number to be Australia’s best oyster. These are available widely on local menus and at farm gates.

Buildings and architecture

Batemans Bay has many historical buildings, sharing an insight into the areas colourful past. Batemans Bay Bridge, officially opened on 21 November 1956 and replaced the motorised punt which had operated from 1915–1954. Northcourt Arcade was erected in 1935 as a hospital and operated until the 1960s. During these years the community fought for a more updated structure and all patients were moved to the new location on Pacific Street in 1970. [36]


Batemans Bay experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb). The climate of Batemans Bay is moderated by the sea, with warm summers and mild sunny winters. Nights can be cold in winter. Thunderstorms mostly occur between November and March, with rainfall maximums in summer. The town gets 87.3 clear days annually.

Climate data for Batemans Bay
Record high °C (°F)45.6
Average high °C (°F)25.8
Average low °C (°F)15.6
Record low °C (°F)6.6
Average rainfall mm (inches)87.1
Average rainy days11.711.
Average afternoon relative humidity (%)63666362616157565758616261
Source: [37]


Radio stations

Batemans Bay and the Eurobodalla region receive five free-to-air television stations (television in Australia) including two government funded networks:

The ABC (ABC1), the SBS (SBS ONE) and three commercial networks:

SBS offer digital high-definition simulcasts of their main channel, SBS ONE on SBS HD.

The other networks broadcast ten additional channels: 7Two, 7mate, GO!, GEM, ABC2, ABC3, ABC News 24, SBS Two, One HD and Eleven.


The local newspaper for Batemans Bay and the Eurobodalla region is The Bay Post; published by Fairfax Media. [40]

The Beagle Weekly is an independent online newspaper covering the Eurobodalla shire from South Durras to Tilba Tilba.Established in November 2016 it provides a full news service. [41]

Daily newspapers such as The Canberra Times , the Illawarra Mercury from Wollongong, the Sydney Morning Herald , the Daily Telegraph , The Australian , The Age , Herald Sun and the Australian Financial Review are available in Batemans Bay. Some local newspapers from other NSW South Coast towns such as Bega, Nowra, Ulladulla, Moruya, Merimbula and Narooma are also available.

See also

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Further reading