Watching Water: Twofold Bay, Eden, NSW

WIde-angle view of a calm harbour with recreational and fishing boats moored.

Boats in Snug Cove

Piled thick French toast with syrup and banana on an outdoor table.

Breakfast on the Wharf (iPhone)

It is off-season here in Eden.

The days are very quiet, and the evenings are even quieter. The kids are back at school and the humpback whales are feeding in Antarctica. The local caravan parks are almost empty of visitors and it’s easy to get a parking space on main street or an outside table at the cafes near the wharf.

We’ve just had several months’ supply of rain in little over a week, so the waves crashing on the beaches are yellowed and the usually clear-blue waters of the Sapphire Coast are muddy-looking from the silt washed down from the hills.

Last Sunday we decided to take advantage of the first sunny day in what seemed like ages. We rode our bicycles to the Eden’s wharf on Snug Cove and indulged in brunch before joining a scenic cruise on Twofold Bay.

I had been told to check in at ten o’clock, in case the Twofold Bay Discovery Cruise wasn’t going out, so I wandered down to the water’s edge while my breakfast was cooking to have a look.

Colourful Fishing Boats tied to a dock; Snug Cove, Eden

Fishing boats at rest ~ Snug Cove, Eden

Orange conical buoy on blue water

Buoy in the quiet waters of Snug Cove

A blue and white 16 metre aluminium catamaran in the sunshine.

Cat Balou ~ a 16 metre catamaran designed for sight-seeing cruises.

A man and a woman on the deck of a catamaran, cleaning

Rosalind and Gordon, owner-operators of Cat Balou Cruises, make their boat ship-shape in readiness.

The sun was shining and the water was calmer than it had been for several weeks: clearly the perfect weather to go out on the bay.

Twofold Bay, named for its two bights by George Bass, who passed this way in 1797/98 on his way to Bass Strait, is one of the deepest natural harbours in the world. Historically home to whaling stations, the area still pays tribute to the killer whales that used to assist in the hunt for humpbacks. Today, when the humpbacks make their annual migration, between September and November, they are tracked at a respectful distance by the sight-seeing boats.

This time of year we’d be lucky to spot some Australian fur seals, or possibly penguins or dolphins.

Woman outside on a boat deck, checking her camera.

A perfect day for taking pictures, as we leave Snug Cove.

An outcropping of rocks in quiet waters - sailboats behind, Cattle Bay, Eden

Rocks, mussel farm and sailboats: truly a multi-functional space! Cattle Bay, Eden

View of Quarantine Bay: sailboats moored in the water, low buildings on the green grass ashore.

Quarantine Bay, so named because a sailing ship with a smallpox epidemic on board took refuge here in the 1800s, is now home to the Amateur Fishing Club and the local yacht club.

View of a narrow beach with two men walking with surfboards.

Heading home from Boydtown Beach...

Stately cream-coloured building with green trim, fronted by beach and surrounded by trees. Seahorse Inn Boydtown

Seahorse Inn, started in 1843, was the centrepiece of Ben Boyd's eponymous Boydtown.

Cargo ship at a loading dock, two large piles of wood chips.

A Japanese-owned woodchip mill has operated at the south end of Eden's Twofold Bay since 1967.

Red rocks scattered in blue water

Rocks at the mouth of Kiah Inlet. A family-owned whaling station here operated until 1930.

Scottish-style manor amid trees, on a rocky coast.

Edrom Lodge was built in 1910 for John Logan. The 28-room manor was modelled on his Scottish home. It later became a guest house, and then a prison farm. Now, it is managed by the Forestry Commission and operates as a group function facility, accommodating up to 70 people.

Landscape: red rocks in deep blue water, green eucalyptus trees.

The vivid colours of Kiah Inlet.

Sea eagle against a blue sky.

A sea eagle circles over Kiah Inlet looking for fish.

Giant tyre bumpers on a wharf; cargo ship in the background.

The Naval munitions wharf at Kiah Inlet is used as a general loading dock...

People fishing off a navy wharf

... and a fishing platform ...

Large yellow mooring with large cargo ship behind it.

Most months two ships sail to Japan, Taiwan or China, with 43,000 tonnes of wood chips each, to be turned into high quality paper products.

Green trees, red rocks and blue sea, Red Point (South Head).

Boyd's Tower, the 19 1/2 meter sandstone tower built in 1846, can just be seen over the tumbled rocks of Red Point (South Head).

Sightseers on a boat photographing a square tower on a red-rock point.

Ben Boyd built the tower to light the way for his whaling and merchant ships. The government said that if he lit it for his boats, he must light it for all boats - which he refused. So, it never operated as a lighthouse.

Jagged red rocks

Some say the jagged red rocks of Red Point look like the face of a North American Indian.

Yellow speedboat in deep blue waters, agains red rocks.

Recreational boaters, sporting white zinc to protect from the sun, race through the waters of Red Point.

Man standing outside on the upper deck of a catamaran.

After a delightful two hours, we head home.

Rosalind and Gordon, the owner-operators of Cat Balou Cruises, looked after us well and did their best to point out the one seal who was hiding under the dock. Aside from the seaeagle, and the usual cormorants and seagulls, we had no luck with the wildlife at all. We were, essentially, watching water.

But what views! We’d seen some of this coastline from the air, and it is just as magnificent from the water.

Text: Safe SailingCan you imagine what it will be like in the good season?

I can hardly wait!


  • Signe Westerberg - March 16, 2012 - 7:10 am

    We did this cruise when we were down there, the water colour is just magic and we did get to see some wildlife and the scenery, man it was stunning.

    this place really is a jewel…. I hope to come down sometime soon and experience it all again… counting your blessings I hope!ReplyCancel

    • Ursula - March 16, 2012 - 11:52 pm

      Greetings to the two Liverpools! Yes, we count our blessings daily. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Anna :o - March 16, 2012 - 10:31 am

    Oh I do so wish I was there!

    Anna :o]ReplyCancel

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