The regional centre of Nowra, situated on the beautiful Shoalhaven River, is a major town on the New South Wales south coast and is close to the many popular natural and cultural features of the Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands districts.
Taking its name from the Aboriginal word meaning “camping place” or “black cockatoo”, it was only after drastic floods in the nearby township of Terara in 1870 that Nowra became well established in its own right.
Its distinctive bridge and elevated location herald the entry to this thriving cultural centre. Pretty landscaped gardens and parks make a great stop for travelers looking for a drive-revive ‘cuppa and cake’ and a good selection of restaurants, cafes and fast food outlets are located in the main centre and points of entry.
For those looking to stay, there’s plenty of accommodation and lots to do and see in the local area. The Shoalhaven City Arts Centre proudly displays works by Arthur Boyd and other notable Australian artists as well as an ever changing array of excellent works by local artists.
Nearby is the gracious Meroogal, an Historic Houses Trust property, its contents a tribute to the four generations of Australian women who lived there.
A short drive from the city centre is Australia’s Museum of Flight – the largest aviation museum in Australia. Housing innovative displays of military & civilian aircraft, engines, weapons, uniforms and equipment this is a ‘must-see’ for anyone remotely interested in flight. It is located adjacent to HMAS Albatross, Australia’s home of naval aviation.
Surprising to many is Nowra’s growing list of local wineries, now winning awards nationally and producing excellent vintages. Most have cellar doors and also house local art in the tasting areas, while on weekends jazz-style entertainment is becoming popular.
Shoalhaven has well established and colourful weekend markets and Nowra is no exception, with monthly stalls in the local car park. The local area grows bountiful produce, with commercial vegetable gardens adjoining the city and hard-to-beat local seafood available in town.
Nowra has a strong sports orientation so there’s plenty to do whatever your interest. Aside from the many watersports (including a 50m Olympic sized pool and waterslide), there are playing fields for many team sports, ten pin bowling, and rifle club. For the more leisurely inclined, local river cruises offer a balmy relaxed style of activity.
There are some good local bushwalks within the Nowra district, notably Bens Walk which is an easy, shady and well-graded riverbank walk winding beside the Shoalhaven River, affording excellent views of the local district.
On the bank of the Shoalhaven River in North Nowra is the Wildlife Park which offers over 100 species of Australian wildlife.
Other towns in the area:
Nearest Airport: Mascot (159kms)