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JOHN ROZENTALS reflects on the legacy of Benjamin Boyd, one of the country’s most ambitious entrepreneurs.

January 8, 2018 Headline News, Travel Feature No Comments Email Email

I first came across the name of pioneering entrepreneur Ben Boyd (1801-51) many years ago when I lived briefly in the Sydney harbourside suburb of Neutral Bay.

Just around the corner was Ben Boyd Road, complete with commemorative plaque.

There are plenty who’d argue that Boyd, who was elected to the NSW Legislative Council, was someone who started many ambitious projects but finished very few of them.

And they’d have plenty of evidence on their side, though he is quite fondly remembered on the state’s south coast, near Eden, where he commenced the Boydtown settlement on the shores of Twofold Bay, once site of a prolific whaling industry.

Like many of Boyd’s visions, Boydtown fell into decay, but it has been substantially rebuilt into a fine resort that looks back over Twofold Bay to Eden, and trades as the Seahorse Inn.

The Eden Killer Whale Museum … absolutely outstanding.

It’s well worth checking out, especially for its dining options — the classy, upmarket Bettena’s Restaurant, and the more casual Brasserie, where I had a very satisfying lunch, including a hearty dish of pasta with fresh seafood.

Many of the rooms have patios overlooking Twofold Bay and make an excellent spot for a twilight drink after a long day’s touring.

A considerable stretch of the coast south has been designated as Ben Boyd National Park, which contains many reminders of the whaling days, including the Old Davidson Whaling Station, with its original wooden buildings and many historic relics.

Gorgeous Twofold Bay … the outlook across the Seahorse Inn’s back lawn.

There’s also an 800-metre return walk of moderate difficulty to Boyd’s Tower, which was initially intended as a lighthouse but remained unfinished and was used instead as a whale-spotting station.

Accommodation-wise within the park, there are good camping options and the heritage-listed Lightstation Keepers’ Cottages at Green Cape.

Eden very much plays on its maritime heritage which has two main focal points — a busy, picturesque working dock and the beautifully constructed and maintained 1938-vintage Eden Killer Whale Museum.

A fine resort … touches of great class in the Seahorse Inn’s bar area.

Be prepared to devote at least a couple of hours to exploring each of these.

The museum is absolutely outstanding and was built largely as a tribute to ‘Old Tom’, who led a pack of killer whales in what was a unique partnership with the local whaling fraternity early last century.

There are plenty of dining options both in Eden and nearby.

Delicious, hearty fare — a dish of pasta and seafood at the Seahorse Inn’s Brasserie.

One I was particularly taken with was Ritzy Wine and Tapas Bar, in the heart of Merimbula.

The atmosphere is laid-back and funky, the food mainly consists of delicious shared plates, and there’s plenty of emphasis on local seafood, including some delicious octopus.

See www.visitnsw.com/destinations/south-coast.

A great spot for twilight drinks … the Seahorse Inn’s patio.

Disclosure: John Rozentals was a guest of Destination NSW.

Written by John Rozentals

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