|Looking from Mossy Point
across Broulee Bay to Broulee Island Nature Reserve
One of the many attractive seaside resorts south of
Batemans Bay which are popular weekend destinations for
people from Canberra.
The sleepy settlement of Broulee (located on the coast to
the west of Moruya and south of Batemans Bay) came into
existence as the first harbour in the Moruya area because
there was a dangerous sand bar at the mouth of the Moruya
River which caused difficulties for smaller ships and
prevented access by larger ones.
The Broulee area had been surveyed and gazetted in 1837
and land sales commenced in 1840 when a post office was
opened, receiving mail weekly overland from Braidwood.
In 1840 Broulee became the site of the first court in the
Moruya district and, the following year, it was made the
centre of a police district which covered the area from
Jervis Bay to Eden. There were, at the time, about 100
convicts under its jurisdiction, working the farms along the
By 1841 the port was being regularly used by whaling
ships and coastal sailing vessels bringing settlers and
supplies to the farms in the vicinity. That year, the
schooner Rover , en route from Twofold Bay to Sydney, had
taken refuge in the harbour and went aground near Candlagan
Creek. The eleven crew members were rescued by local
Aborigines who formed a human chain through the surf. In
appreciation Captain Oldrey presented every member of the
tribe with a commemorative brass plate featuring an etching
of the ship and an Aboriginal figure.
It was also in 1841 that Captain William Oldrey built the
district's first inn near the edge of the cliff on the
northern end of the island-headland. Shortly afterwards it
was named Erin-go-Bragh.
On the beach below the headland there were one or two
outbuildings and a small stockyard used for the shipping of
cattle. Today only a few red bricks remain to mark the spot.
A second inn, on the mainland, was soon opened but there
were never many permanent residents in the town (22 in
At that time the mainland was joined by a sand spit to
what is now Broulee Island. In 1873 the vegetation was
removed from the spit to widen the track to the promontory
but, as a result, the root systems which bound the sand
together were destroyed. After a particularly violent storm
the sea broke through and the headland became isolated.
Today the island is again connected to the mainland by a
sand bar bound together with dune vegetation.
Broulee declined in importance in the 1840s. In 1841 a
great flood washed away the dangerous sand bar at the mouth
of the Moruya River and, although it would return to plague
the maritime traffic in years to come, it allowed vessels
easier access to the growing town of Moruya.
In 1851 gold was discovered at Araluen and on smaller
creeks running into the river between Araluen and Moruya.
The Araluen valley proved one of the richest goldfields in
the county. Initially diggers disembarked at Broulee, to the
north, and walked to the site but, with the establishment of
a new and improved road Moruya started to function as a
In 1859, as a sign of the general shift in emphasis, the
court, which had been moved from Broulee to Glenduart in
1852, was relocated, building and all, to Moruya, where it
remained until the present courthouse was constructed in
1879. The Erin-go-Bragh Hotel was also shifted from Broulee
Island to Campbell St, Moruya by Abraham Emmott who opened
it as the 'Beehive' store.
In recent times Broulee has been revitalised by the
influx of holidaymakers from Canberra. It is now a popular
weekend resort for Canberra's public servants.
Things to see:
|Looking across at Broulee
Island Nature Reserve from the beginning of the
Exploring Broulee Island
Broulee Island has been declared a nature reserve by the
National Parks And Wildlife Office. There are coastal
banksias, casuarinas, coastal wattles, ruby saltbush,
westringias and boobiallas on the cliffs, a grove of
muttonwood trees on the heights overlooking the sand bar
plus, in the shadier areas, lilli pilli, red olive plum,
silkpod vines and sickle fern.
Broulee and Fishing
Broulee, and the coastal area to the south, is considered a
good location for whiting. The area around the surf club is
popular with surfers, windsurfers, divers, anglers and
swimmers alike. North Broulee at Candlagan Creek is a family
spot with calm water and natural playpools. A walk from the
surf club to North Head (14 km return) is lengthy but scenic
and enjoyable, though best at low tide.
Surfing at Pink Rocks
Pink Rocks off the northern side of the island is the
best-known surfing location on the Eurobodalla Coast,
although six-metre waves and a dangerous break are not for
|Looking up Tomago River
from Mossy Point near Broulee
From Mossy Point to Tomakin
More gentle swells lay just to the north of Broulee and
novices in the surfing field can try the beaches from Mossy
Point to Tomakin (note that the streets in Tomakin are all
named after suburbs in Canberra) near the mouth of the
Tomago River. Both are favoured family fishing sites, both
have ramps and Tomakin has a boat-hire service. Bream,
flathead, whiting, blue swimmer crabs and, in season, prawns
can be found along the river mouth, near the rock walls and
jetties and on the edge of the weed and nipper beds.
Offshore there are plenty of flathead and reef fish. Fine
views can also be had at Melville Point by Tomakin and at
Mossy Point, the latter featuring a lookout and historic
The Beaches north of Tomakin
There are worthy beaches north of Tomakin, including
Barlings (popular with windsurfers) and North End, while
Rosedale offers reasonable protection and is suitable for
families and divers. North of Rosedale Malua Bay and Pretty
Point are well-supplied with luderick, bream and tailor
while Surf Beach and McKenzie's Beach around Malua Bay are
popular with surfers. There is a boat ramp at Mosquito Bay
in Lilli Pilli further north.
Diving at exploring at Burrewarra Point
Burrewarra Point (turn off the coast road for Guerilla Bay a
little south of Rosedale) is a noted spot for divers. There
is a 1.5-km walking trail through banksia and heath to the
point and a lighthouse located off Burri Point Road which
offers excellent views of the coast from Malua Bay in the
north to Montague Island and Mt Dromedary in the south.
Burrewarra Point, Guerilla Bay and Jimmies Island (the last
two being located just north of the Point) are ideal for
those after snapper, tuna, kingfish, luderick and flathead.
Diving at Malua Bay
Malua Bay is also a popular spot for divers. There is Black
Rock, the Bubble Cave, the Arch, which has a spacious tunnel
passing through the rock and a brilliantly hued ceiling and,
at the end of a nearby underwater box canyon, the equally
colourful Tunnel (30 metres).
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