Boyd’s Tower

After visiting Davidson Whaling Station we travelled a little further along to the 1840’s folly Boyd’s Tower.

Rising as a monument to one mans devotion to empire building Boyd’s Tower is a massive sandstone tower rising from the coastal brush that has now taken over the site.  While only the ground floor is open to the public there’s a further 4 levels making up this surprisingly intact piece of history.

Boyd's Tower
Boyd’s Tower

Around the site the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service has built a number of lookouts and paths which give visitors easy access to the amazing views.

From the most easterly lookout we spent some time watching for Humpback Whales and were (finally) rewarded with a fine breach or two of a mother and her calf.

Boyd's Tower - Humpback Whales Breaching
Boyd’s Tower – Humpback Whales Breaching

It’s easy to understand why Boyd chose the location for his tower, it offered a commanding view of the oceans (for whale spotting) and could also serve an a navigational marker for shipping coming into Boydtown.

Entry into this part of the Ben Boyd National Park is AUD8.00 paid via a honor system (Place payment in a provided envelope, and display the receipt portion on your car) and I feel is good value considering the quality of access to the site.

Overall the scale of the tower is difficult to grasp until you’re standing in it, the “Boyd” name still clearly legible on the ramparts reminding all who saw it of the man who commissioned it.

Davidson Whaling Station

As part of our Roadtrip through the Sapphire and South Coasts we stopped at a few sites along the “Killer Whale Trail“.  The (in my opinion) most somber is Davidson Whaling Station located on the shores of Twofold Bay.

While the site retains natural beauty and has stunning views out onto Twofold Bay there is also a “feeling” of the darker history.

Davidson Whaling Station
Davidson Whaling Station – View to Two-Fold Bay

The Historic Site features the cottage used by the Davidson family and the remnants of the whale processing facilities.  There’s good factual information added through signage around the well maintained site.

The cottages are maintained by the National Parks & Wildlife Service NSW in a largely original condition with displays added to illustrate the history.

Davidson Whaling Station - Inside Displays

A highlight for me was the grounds which feature an array of plantings made by the Davidsons including considerable volumes of Garlic which was to mask the smell of the whale processing.

Davidson Whaling Station - Beach Panorama
Davidson Whaling Station – Beach Panorama

The above photo is the beach area where whales were processed, the cauldrons for rendering down the blubber were located on the rocky outcrop on the right side of this photo.

Today there’s a quiet tranquility to the location.

Davidson Whaling Station - Site Entry
Davidson Whaling Station – Site Entry

The station is a reasonable distance off the nearest “main” road, with a 4km dirt road for access.  It’s readily passable in any car although if you have limited ground clearance you may want to be a little more careful.  On the other-hand rental vehicles excel at this sort of off-tar escapades!

While there’s no escaping the sad history of whaling, and many of the displays on the site can be somewhat affronting it’s also a time-capsule of early settlement and well worth visiting when you’re in the region.


Roadtrip: Canberra – Merimbula

Not every holiday we take involves jumping onto a jet plane.  Instead for a nice week away we decided to head for the region of Merimbula & Sapphire Coast slowly travelling up towards the South Coast of NSW.  There’s going to be a few other posts about this trip so check out the links below.

Getting to Merimbula

To make this a little more comfortable on the varied road conditions and unsealed carparks we left the Megane GT220 at home and hired ourselves a Mitsubishi ASX through Hertz.  Ultimately it proved a good move with the more relaxed ride and increased ground clearance making some of the National Park access roads a much more comfortable affair.

Canberra to Merimbula Navigation
Canberra to Merimbula Navigation

Our route from Canberra was one new to both of us and turned out to be both thoroughly enjoyable and much smoother than the more traditional route travelled by Canberrans to the South Coast.  We’d taken a leisurely approach to departure time and meandered along the highways.  Stopping at Cooma for lunch before a relaxed break at the Fred Piper Memorial Lookout before descending down to the coast visiting the Bega Co-Operative Heritage Centre.

After stocking up on local dairy goods we completed the journey arriving at our (almost) Beachfront accommodation and wandered out to the beach to take some photos.

Unlike a lot of our Driving Daytrips where we end up spending 5-6 hours in the car this leg of our holiday was all about slowing down into a week of relaxation.  Stepping down into a more relaxed vehicle worked, and we made a point of stopping at any and every lookout or “point-of-interest”.

Sometimes it’s nice to step into the “Slow Lane”.

Review: The Bower at Broulee

The Bower at Broulee is an exclusive couples getaway accommodation on the NSW South Coast.  Our two night stay in one of the self-contained “bowers” lived up to the high expectations and ranks as one of the best short stay holidays we have enjoyed.

Location, Location, Location

The Bower is nestled on a large property with a modest entry marked by a rather significant boulder (The Boulder at Broulee?) with a rustic sign.  Despite all the website notes about it being hard to miss the reality is that once you are looking it’s not difficult to find.  There’s also a map (below) which is pretty self-explanatory.

How to find The Bower

We stayed for two nights (mid-week AUD498) as part of our road-trip along the NSW South Coast and enjoyed the peace and tranquility on offer.  We enjoyed a long walk through the grounds, before emerging on George Bass Drive and making our way along to the town of Mossy Point, before turning south and walking along the waterfront

The Wildlife

One of the consistent features of other reviews of the The Bower is the amazing animal life and our stay was no different.  While the abundant birdlife provided entertainment with the antics of Mr Fluffypants and a myriad of native parrots the arrival one night of a Possum family which was friendly enough to take fruit slices offered to them was a highlight.

Baby Kookaburra - Mr Fluffypants

The Accommodations

The Bowers are scattered over the property in such a way that we only really saw them from a distance while driving on the access road, and some glow at night from the lighting in the trees.  The Bower itself (Premium Spa Bower) is a well designed mini-home with a spacious feel and very high quality finish.

The well appointed kitchen will let you cook just about anything you can imagine and the provided hamper of breakfast supplies kicked off our days perfectly.  The inclusion of local produce (such as the distinctly brilliant Tilba Milk) is a great touch.

Final Thoughts on The Bower

Our stay, although short and somewhat dampened by overcast skies in the region was excellent.  The Bower experience is unique and exclusive, and as such there’s only some many weekend nights available and the rates reflect this.

If you’re serious about taking a break from the “rat race” do a longer mid-week stay and enjoy both the tranquility at The Bower, but also take the time to enjoy the hospitality of the region.

You won’t regret it.