Eden Whale Festival just the start of Sapphire Coast

There's a whale of a time to be had on the NSW Sapphire Coast. Picture: Shutterstock
There's a whale of a time to be had on the NSW Sapphire Coast. Picture: Shutterstock

The annual migration of the majestic humpback whales along the New South Wales coastline attracts thousands of visitors a year to the Sapphire Coast town of Eden.

And with good reason. Eden is a prime spot for whale-spotting - large numbers are seen in stunning Twofold Bay - whether you're on a boat or standing onshore.

Over the weekend of 30 October to 1 November, the Eden Whale Festival celebrates the migration of thousands of whales that stop to feed at Twofold Bay. The plankton-rich waters of the inlet, which is the third deepest natural harbour in the Southern Hemisphere, attract mothers and their calves which can be seen breaching in clouds of spray.

For one weekend a year, Eden, which has a rich maritime and whaling history, puts on a show with a spectacular street parade, vibrant markets showcasing the work of local artisans, and this is also a prime place to sample the state's best seafood.

To learn about the history of the whales, the Eden Killer Whale Museum has fascinating displays like the skeleton of Old Tom, the last of the herding killer whales.

The wharf at Snug Cove is home to several seafood restaurants and you can often buy mussels straight from the fishermen on their boats.

The iconic Seahorse Inn, which was one of the region's first luxury boutique hotels, was built in 1884 and is also known for its restaurant, Bettena's. Famous for its seafood platters filled with local oysters and prawns, the chef's other signature dish is the indulgent chilli mornay crayfish.

On your weekend away, you might be able to spy the whales from the golf course. The Sapphire Coast also has some of the country's lushest fairways.

The Tura Beach Country Club boasts a championship golf course, designed by Peter Thomson and Mike Woolveridge, two great Australian legends. With million-dollar views of the Pacific Ocean, the challenging course provides obstacles for golfers of all abilities. But there are other lovely courses, including the Pambula Merimbula Golf Club which was created in a 27-hole layout.

But whether you're there to see the whales or enjoy a round of golf, this stunning region beckons for a weekend away.

Drive: Eden is about three and a half hours' drive from Canberra and about six hours from Sydney.

Stay: There are plenty of Airbnbs in the area. Among the hotels, the Sea Horse Inn on the bay has chic rooms, some with water views, priced from about $200 per night.

The area also offers some lovely motels. Try the Pelican Motor Inn in Merimbula, priced from $129 per night.

Explore more:visiteden.com.au

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