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Nowra [5] is a town on the South Coast of New South Wales situated on the Shoalhaven River some 163 km south of Sydney. With a population 29,000 Nowra is the chief administrative and business centre in the Shoalhaven City municipality, and a regional centre for tourism.


The regional centre of Nowra, situated on the beautiful Shoalhaven River, is a major town on the New South Wales south coast and is close to the many popular natural and cultural features of the Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands districts.

Taking its name from the Aboriginal word meaning "camping place" or "black cockatoo", it was only after drastic floods in the nearby township of Terara in 1870 that Nowra became well established in its own right.

Its distinctive bridge and elevated helicopter herald the entry to this thriving cultural centre. Pretty landscaped gardens and parks make a great stop for travelers looking for a drive-revive cuppa and cake  and a good selection of restaurants, cafes and fast food outlets are located in the main centre and points of entry.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

Cityrail [6] runs services to Nowra (Station: Nowra/Bomaderry) from Sydney. The trains terminate at Bomaderry which is north of the Shoalhaven river from the Nowra township. A bus connects with the train to go over the road bridge to Nowra (extra fare). The train usually runs with a 2 hour frequency, so check the timetable before you travel. Usually a change of train in Kiama is required. Some indicator boards show the train only going as far as Kiama, so some familiarity with the timetable before you travel is a good idea. The train from Sydney (Central) usually takes three to three and a half hours to arrive in Nowra/Bomaderry

By bus[edit]

Premier Motor Services [7] run coaches from Sydney to Nowra and beyond. Priors Scenic Express [8] run coaches from Greater Sydney and the Southern Highlands to Nowra and as far south as Narooma.

By car[edit]

Nowra is on the Princes Hwy which is National Route 1 heading south from Sydney. Follow the signs south to Wollongong, then Kiama and then continue on to Nowra. It is about 2 hours drive from Sydney to Nowra on good quality roads. You should easily bear the train and the bus over the same distance although the train line is more scenic and runs closer to the coast for most of the distance.

Get around[edit]

Being in Nowra without a car is limiting, as many of the attractions are away from the town centre. You can access the shopping strip easily, but this is probably the least inspiring part of the town. You can walk as far as the river, bridge and train station if you are enthusiastic, it is around 3-4km from the town centre to the train. Most other locations will require a car.

By bus[edit]

There are local bus services, but tend to run a few times a day to surrounding areas. Kennedys Bus.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Australian Museum of Flight, 89A Albatross Road (8 km south west of Nowra and just outside the main gates of the Royal Australian Naval Air Station, HMAS Albatross), [1]. 10AM - 4PM 7 days. Lots of planes in this large hanger, as might be expected. Annual airshows are held here. Right next to the airbase. There is a cafe on site with a balcony overlooking the airfield Adult $12.50 Child $5.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, Bridge Road, Nowra (Just a 5 minute walk east from the Nowra CBD, or almost directly across from the Nowra Bridge), [2]. 9AM-5PM, or 2 hours before any event.. Newly constructed in June 2008, the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre is considered one of the most versatile venues in Australia. The Centre features a 914-seat auditorium, 192-seat studio and conference facilities. Check on the website for times, but the Centre holds regular events with a wide diversity of performances. There is also a cafe that runs Mon-Fri 9am-5pm for those who just want to have a look at the newly built facility.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • The Tea Club, 46 Berry St (Directly Opposite the Nowra (Roxy) Cinema's in the CBD), (02) 4422 0900, [3]. The Tea Club is a special & unique place located in Nowra on the South Coast. As described on its website: it aims to provide the region with a cultural experience involving music, arts, community & of course, serving delicious, modern, seasonal food & the best coffee for miles. And this it does achieve. Described as Nowra's best kept secret by some, it is an amazing place where you can spend hours chatting & chilling by day or entertained by some of Australia's best original artists by night.  edit
  • Wharf Rd, 10 Wharf Rd, Nowra (Right down the end of Wharf Rd), (02) 4422 6651, [4]. Wharf Rd Restaurant is situated on the banks of the beautiful Shoalhaven River. Chef and owner, Dave Campbell has breathed new life into the historic Harbor Master's residence to create a gracefully rustic space that showcases fresh local south coast produce. Wharf Rd has a relaxed dining atmosphere, perfect place to go with family and friends.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Get out[edit]

Jervis Bay and Huskisson are are not too far from Nowra, with their white sand and calm beaches. The town of Currarong, though a half hour drive, is a sleepy little village which boasts some of the best beaches and bushwalks in the region.

Routes through Nowra
SydneyBerry  N noframe S  UlladullaBatemans Bay

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