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Batemans Bay is a town in the South Coast region of the state of New South Wales, Australia. Batemans Bay is administered by the Eurobodalla Shire council. The town is situated on the shores of an estuary formed where the Clyde River meets the South Pacific Ocean.

Batemans Bay
New South Wales
Batemans Bay.jpg
Looking towards the Batemans Bay Bridge from the banks of the Clyde River which flows into the bay.
Batemans Bay is located in New South Wales
Batemans Bay
Batemans Bay
Coordinates35°42′29″S 150°10′28″E / 35.70806°S 150.17444°E / -35.70806; 150.17444Coordinates: 35°42′29″S 150°10′28″E / 35.70806°S 150.17444°E / -35.70806; 150.17444
Population11,294 (2016 census)[1]
Time zoneAEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST)AEDT (UTC+11)
LGA(s)Eurobodalla Shire
RegionSouth Coast
CountySt Vincent
State electorate(s)Bega
Federal Division(s)Gilmore
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
20.5 °C
69 °F
11.2 °C
52 °F
956.8 mm
37.7 in

Batemans Bay is located on the Princes Highway (Highway 1) about 280 kilometres (170 mi) from Sydney and 760 km (470 mi) from Melbourne. Canberra is located about 151 km (94 mi) to the west of Batemans Bay, via the Kings Highway. At the 2016 census, Batemans Bay had a population of 11,294[1] with surrounding communities including Long Beach, Maloneys Beach and the coastal fringe extending south to Rosedale bringing the total population of the urban area to 16,044.[2]

It is the closest seaside town to Canberra, making Batemans Bay a popular holiday destination for residents of Australia's National Capital. Geologically, it is situated in the far southern reaches of the Sydney Basin.[3] Batemans Bay is also a popular retiree haven, but has begun to attract young families seeking affordable housing and a relaxed seaside lifestyle. Other local industries include oyster farming, forestry, eco-tourism and retail services.



Indigenous historyEdit

The traditional custodians of the land surrounding Batemans Bay are the Indigenous Australian Yuin people of the Walbunja clan. The traditional language spoken by the Walbunja people is Dhurga. A number of sites in the region are considered culturally significant to the Aboriginal peoples.[4]

European historyEdit

On 22 April 1770, European explorer Captain James Cook first sighted and named the bay. Cook gave no reason for the name, which may commemorate either Nathaniel Bateman, the captain of HMS Northumberland when Cook was serving as her master from 1760–62,[5] or John Bateman, 2nd Viscount Bateman, a former Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty in the 1750s.[6]

A colonial vessel, Fly, was driven into Batemans Bay by bad weather during 1808. Local indigenous Australians attacked her crew; resulting in three fatalities from the Fly.[7] In 1821 Lt Robert Johnston entered the bay and explored the lower reaches of the Clyde River on board the cutter Snapper.[8] Snapper Island within the bay is named after Johnston's boat. Johnston returned with Alexander Berry and Hamilton Hume and they traced the river to its source.[9] When the district was surveyed in 1828, a deserted hut and stockyards were found. Cedar getters and land clearers were in the district in the 1820s. From the 1820s through to the 1840s, the area to the Moruya River was the southernmost official limit of location for the colony of New South Wales.[citation needed]

The Illawarra and South Coast Steam Navigation Co found the Clyde River to be navigable in 1854. Regular services by the company in the 1860s and 1870s contributed to growth of the district.[10]

The village of China Bay was surveyed in 1859. Oyster farming commenced in 1860. By 1870, there was a fleet of 40 oyster boats. A sawmill was erected in 1870. The port was proclaimed in 1885. A ferry service across the Clyde ran from 1891 until the bridge was opened in 1956. In 1942 during World War II, a trawler was attacked by a Japanese submarine between Batemans Bay and Moruya.[11]

In May 2016, an estimated 120,000 bats suddenly descended upon and swarmed the town, prompting the town to declare a state of emergency. Due to the fact that they were flying foxes, they had to be removed using non-lethal methods, including smoke, noise, lights and removing vegetation.[12] The town received AUS$2.5 million in order to relocate the bats.[13]


The change of population of Batemans Bay since 1881.

  • 1881 was 266
  • 1961 was 1,183
  • 1981 was 4,924
  • 1996 was 9,568[14]
  • 2006 was 10,845[15]
  • 2011 was 11,334[16]

According to the 2016 census of Population, there were 11,294 people in the Batemans Bay urban centre.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 7.3% of the population.
  • 77.1% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were England 5.0% and New Zealand 1.5%.
  • 88.1% of people only spoke English at home.
  • The most common responses for religion were No Religion 26.3%, Anglican 24.8% and Catholic 23.4%.[1]

Arts and cultureEdit

With its stunning natural features at the forefront, and an aged population,[17] the arts and cultural scene in Batemans Bay was seen for some time as underdeveloped for a regional hub. As the town has recently enjoyed a renaissance of its CBD,[18] so too its arts and cultural landscape, with a growing and interesting calendar of events[19] and a strong community of practicing artists.

This shift is best illustrated in the announcement of 26 million dollars toward the development of an indoor aquatic and cultural centre.[20] To be built at the Mackay Park precinct, the cultural facility will include a purpose-built exhibition and performance centre, as well as workshop and storage space that will serve the wider region’s 18 art, dance and theatre groups. (While welcomed by many, the centre is not without controversy, with several community groups questioning Eurobodalla Shire Council's design and community consultation process.)[21][22][23]

A recent push by digital creatives and artists into Batemans Bay’s industrial estate also signals this new chapter. Based at the South Tribe and Cultivate Space business and arts incubators, these grass roots non-government centres have spawned a thriving and growing community of artists, creatives, freelancers, entrepreneurs and digital nomads.[24]

Sculpture on Clyde - a ten-day art festival celebrating imagination in 3D, debuted in 2017 as a bold and generous new acquisitive art prize. Set along the foreshore of the pristine Clyde River, it is one of Australia’s richest 3D art prizes. Presented by The Batemans Bay Tourism and Business Chamber, the festival is open to professional, emerging and novice artists worldwide with 2018 prize money to the value of $70,000. The inaugural acquisitive prize was won by Dora A. Rognvaldsdottir for Duet.[25] (As of June 15, 2018, the prize has been cancelled, due to a dispute between Batemans Bay Business and Tourism Chamber, and Eurobodalla Shire Council.)[26]

South East Arts (SEArts) is the regional development organisation for arts and culture in the Bega Valley, Eurobodalla and Snowy Monaro however the organisation is poorly funded and has a small footprint in Batemans Bay.

Food and produceEdit

Batemans Bay sits as the northern gateway to the pristine Eurobodalla Shire - the entire region gaining national recognition for its terroir and as a centre for sustainable agriculture.[27] Most notably for the town itself, are the oysters from the Clyde River. One of Australia’s cleanest estuaries,[28] the Clyde produces what is considered by a growing number to be Australia’s best oyster. These are available widely on local menus and at farm gates.

Buildings and architectureEdit

Batemans Bay has many historical buildings, sharing an insight into the areas colourful past. Batemans Bay Bridge, officially opened on 21 November 1956 and replaced the motorised punt which had operated from 1915–1954. Northcourt Arcade was erected in 1935 as a hospital and operated until the 1960s. During these years the community fought for a more updated structure and all patients were moved to the new location on Pacific Street in 1970.[29]


Batemans Bay experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb). The climate of Batemans Bay is moderated by the sea, with warm summers and mild sunny winters. Nights can be cold in winter. Thunderstorms mostly occur between November and March, with rainfall maximums in summer. The town gets 87.3 clear days annually.

Climate data for Batemans Bay
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 45.6
Average high °C (°F) 25.8
Average low °C (°F) 15.6
Record low °C (°F) 6.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 82.3
Average precipitation days 11.8 11.6 10.3 8.4 7.8 8.3 6.8 6.4 8.7 10.2 12.3 11.4 114.0
Average afternoon relative humidity (%) 63 66 63 62 62 61 58 56 57 58 61 62 61
Source: [30]


Radio stations
  • East Coast Radio 2EC (FM 105.9 – commercial)
  • Power FM NSW South Coast (FM 104.3 – commercial) – POWER FM from Nowra can also be received in parts of Batemans Bay on FM 94.9.
  • 2 EAR FM (Eurobodalla Access Radio FM 107.5 – community station)[31]
  • Hot Country Radio (87.6FM – commercial – country music format)
  • 2KY / SKY Racing Radio (FM 96.3)[32]
  • ABC South East NSW (FM 103.5) – part of the ABC Local Radio network
  • Radio National (FM 105.1)
  • ABC NewsRadio (FM 100.5)
  • ABC Classic FM (FM 101.9) – also on 95.7 from the adjacent Illawarra region.
  • Triple J (FM 98.9 – from the adjacent Illawarra region). A local service from Mount Wandera is planned, subject to the clearance of local television stations.

Batemans Bay and the Eurobodalla region receive five free-to-air television stations (television in Australia) including two government funded networks:

The ABC (ABC1), the SBS (SBS ONE) and three commercial networks:

SBS offer digital high-definition simulcasts of their main channel, SBS ONE on SBS HD.

The other networks broadcast ten additional channels: 7Two, 7mate, GO!, GEM, ABC2, ABC3, ABC News 24, SBS Two, One HD and Eleven.


The local newspaper for Batemans Bay and the Eurobodalla region is The Bay Post; published by Fairfax Media.[33]

The Beagle Weekly is an independent online newspaper covering the Eurobodalla shire from South Durras to Tilba Tilba.Established in November 2016 it provides a full news service.[34]

Daily newspapers such as The Canberra Times, the Illawarra Mercury from Wollongong, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Daily Telegraph, The Australian, The Age, Herald Sun and the Australian Financial Review are available in Batemans Bay. Some local newspapers from other NSW South Coast towns such as Bega, Nowra, Ulladulla, Moruya, Merimbula and Narooma are also available.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Batemans Bay (Urban Centre and Locality)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  2. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Batemans Bay (Significant Urban Area)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Batemans Bay and Eurobodalla". Visit NSW. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  4. ^ "Hanging Rock Catalina", Preliminary Public Aboriginal Heritage Inventory, Eurobodalla Shire Council, April 2009
  5. ^ Historical records of New South Wales, volume 1, part 1, Cook 1762–1780. Lansdown Slattery, Mona Vale. 1978. p. 160. OCLC 686639680.
  6. ^ Robson, John (2009). Captain Cook's War and Peace. University of New South Wales Press. p. 107. ISBN 9781742231099.
  7. ^ Mann, David Dickenson (2005) [1811]. "Chapter II: Cruelty of the Savages in Bateman's Bay". The Present Picture of New South Wales (text). London: Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  8. ^ Moore, Dennis (2002). "The Inlet That Eluded Bass, Batemans Bay – South Coast NSW". Morningside Internet. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  9. ^ "Report from Robert Johnston to Governor Macquarie on the discovery and naming of the River Clyde". The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser. National Library of Australia. 15 December 1821.
  10. ^ Coroneos, Cosmos (2005). "Steamer Bega (1883–1908): Conservation Plan" (PDF). Parramatta, New South Wales: NSW Heritage Office: 6. Retrieved 1 February 2009.
  11. ^ Dept Environment & Heritage, NSW Government. "War casualties and the Merchant Navy". Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  12. ^ "Australian town declares state of emergency after 100,000 bats swarm Batemans Bay". IBTimes. 25 May 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  13. ^ "Batemans Bay gets $2.5 million funding to relocate bats as residents live in 'state of emergency'". ABC. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  14. ^ "Urban Centres and Localities, Ranked by Total Number of Persons: New South Wales". 1996 Census of Population and Housing. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 15 January 2008. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  15. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Batemans Bay (Urban Centre and Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  16. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Batemans Bay (Urban Centre and Locality)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 25 May 2013.  
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Pool campaign's big squeeze". Bay Post-Moruya Examiner. 2017-11-20. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  22. ^ Nguyen, Han (2018-01-12). "Locals and council bump heads over Mackay Park Batemans Bay pool". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  23. ^ Council, Eurobodalla Shire. "Statement from Mayor Liz Innes to 'Our Town, Our Say' meeting". Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Food, produce and markets". Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  28. ^ "Clyde River (Bhundoo), South Coast NSW". Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  29. ^ Council, Eurobodalla Shire. "Batemans Bay". Retrieved 2017-02-20.
  30. ^ "Climate statistics for Batemans Bay". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  31. ^ "2EAR FM Home". 15 October 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  32. ^ "Welcome to Sky Sports Radio Australia 1017 – Your Racing & Sports Radio Station". Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  33. ^ "Bay Post". Fairfax Media. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  34. ^ url=

Further readingEdit