Bemboka, New South Wales: Travel guide and things to do

Bemboka is a small dairying village 451 km south of Sydney via the Princes and Snowy Mountain Highways and 36 km west of Bega. The township was surveyed in 1876 and officially recognised in 1877. Originally known as Colombo it was changed to Bemboka in 1883 and a private subdivision called 'Lyttleton' was incorporated in 1923.

Bemboka was established to serve the needs of the local dairy farmers and the travellers on the Brown Mountain Route. Brown Mountain (1241 m) lies about 25 km west of Bemboka along the Snowy Mountains Highway. It was first crossed in 1816 when a bridle path was established. In 1822 a mail service from Cooma to the coast began traversing the route which became known as the 'Postman's Track'.

By the outset of this century Bemboka had cheese and butter factories operating, hotels and other shops. Today it is notable because it is a classic Australian timber town with nearly all the buildings being made out of timber.

Things to do

Piper's Lookout and Cochrane's Dam
The highway will take you up to Piper's Lookout, at the edge of the coastal range escarpment, which offers stunning views of the entire Bega valley out to the Pacific Ocean. It was named after Fred Piper in 1951 after he died while clearing snow from the road. If you turn right off the Snowy Mountains Highway, 4 km west of the Lookout a gravel road will take you the 6 km to trout-filled Cochrane's Dam.

Bemboka National Park
The Bemboka National Park has been recently declared and, as yet, has no infrastructure though preparations are under way to develop a site at Cochrane's Dam. Phone the district National Parks and Wildlife office at Narooma (telephone: 02 4476 2888) for further information.