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JOHN ROZENTALS finds six really good things to do in the NSW South Coast town of Tathra.

July 21, 2018 Headline News, Travel Feature No Comments Email Email

I wrote recently about Tathra and how resilient its residents had been following devastating fires that had destroyed some 70 homes — and how the small NSW South Coast town was producing some of the country’s finest oysters.

On just a short visit I found that there was plenty to do in Tathra, especially, but not exclusively, on the dining front.

Here are half-a-dozen things well worth pursuing:

1) Stay below the limit if you’re driving, but have a beer, or two or three, in the historic Tathra Hotel, which dates from 1888 and occupies prime real estate on a point with great ocean vistas.

I’ve heard it claimed that it’s the must attractively located pub in Australia.

There are plenty of others that would dispute that claim, so let’s just settle for ‘one of’.

Tathra Beach … an absolutely waterfront location for Frankie J Holden’s Beachside.

Renovations have included the addition of four roomy and quite luxurious suites, plus a terrific bar and dining area.

There are also plans to add a micro-brewery and the bar already stocks some terrific independent-maker beers on tap, including the excellent Crankshaft IPA by Canberra’s BentSpoke.

Phone (02) 6494 1101 or visit

2) Say g’day to legendary Australian rocker Frankie J Holden while staying at Tathra Beachside.

Bronwyn Pividori … doing great things with Blend@Tathra.

He was in Sydney during my visit, but I did thoroughly enjoy my stay at his ‘retirement’ project, which includes accommodation ranging from well equipped holiday units to powered van and camp sites.

It really is beachfront and the appeal as a summer holiday destination must be magnetic.

It almost goes without saying that music plays a leading role at Beachside, and that Frankie J often adds a personal touch, such as playing at the Rockabilly Retro Week the park sponsored last year.

Emma Benton … not surprised that customers are often tempted to buy the whole shop.

Phone (02) 6494 1302 or visit

3) Have an absolutely top breakfast prepared by Blend@Tathra’s Bronwyn Pividori.

You’ll recognise her by the shock of red hair and she’s always ready to have a chat about the excellent, largely local, produce she stocks, ranging from spices through fresh meats to cheeses and breads.

The café also serves lunch, and the coffee is first rate, as is the location directly across the road from the beach.

A delicious pastry at The Wharf Locavore.

Phone (02) 6494 5145 or visit

4) Browse the shelves at The Wharf Locavore and be sorely tempted to buy up the shop.

The owners, sisters Emma and Poppy Benton, have secured a great position, right on the town’s historic wharf and serve delicious breakfasts and lunches as well.

As well as fresh bread, pastries and other local produce, The Wharf Locavore also markets an exceptional ranges of pottery and beauty products.

Steve Sass … the birds have become part of his family.

For the owners a favourite pastime is sitting on the wharf, sipping coffee and watch whales glide by, sometimes coming right up and nudging the historic timber structure.

Phone 0438 762 175 or visit

5) Visit On the Perch Bird Park and feed the many birds that owner and curator Steve Sass obviously loves and takes care of like they were part of his family, which I guess they are.

To the point where he doesn’t open if he thinks conditions will overstress the birds.

Steve runs daily ‘Meet the Keeper’ sessions which help visitors understand the 80-odd types of birds in the aviary, including nearly 20 species that are endangered.

The Tathra Hotel … tasteful renovations in keeping with an historic building.

Phone (02) 6494 1169 or visit

6) Dine at Fat Tony’s Bar and Grill and discover that there’s absolutely no truth in the restaurant’s name.

Owner Anthony Little is the fittest, slimmest Fat Tony you’ll ever cross paths with and he runs a very slick operation out of a renovated 1905 heritage cottage.

My entrée of crisp, lime-scented calamari was exemplary, as was ‘Phat Pasta’ main course.

The tagliatelle was cooked to perfectly al dente, and woven through a delicious mix that included wild mushrooms, semi-dried tomatoes and asparagus. As I said, delicious.

Phone 6494 4550 or visit

Disclosure: John Rozentals was a guest of Destination NSW.

Written by John Rozentals

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