town in New South Wales, Australia
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Oceania > Australia > New South Wales > Shoalhaven > Nowra and Bomaderry

Nowra is a town on the Shoalhaven region of New South Wales situated on the Shoalhaven River 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. Bomaderry is its twin town to the north of the Shoalhaven River and contains the town's train station.

Nowra Bridge

Understand edit

The traditional owners of the area south of the river are Wandi-Wandandian tribe of the Yuin nation. Nowra is an Aboriginal word meaning 'Black Cockatoo'.

The centre of city is a service town, just a short diversion of the Princes Highway. There is a shopping mall, and handful of speciality shops. It is good to stop for supplies or a coffee, but the centre of town isn't particularly scenic. It is away from the Shoalhaven River, and away from the coast.

The hinterland, the river, and the nearby beaches are spectacular on a sunny day, and offer good opportunities for scenic drives, or even a bicycle ride down country lanes if you plan your trip carefully.

Get in edit

By train edit

Trains on the South Coast Line (SCO) run to 1 Bomaderry Station   from Kiama, which has direct trains from Wollongong and 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 journey from Kiama usually runs every two hours – from anywhere north of Kiama, you'll need to change from electric to diesel trains in Kiama for the last leg. Consequently, some indicator boards show the train only going as far as Kiama. So check the timetable before travelling, or check with station staff. The train from Sydney (Central) usually takes three to three and a half hours to arrive in Nowra/Bomaderry. Bomaderry is on the Opal network, so no seat reservations or bookings are required.

The train fares to Nowra are cheap for the distance travelled - no more expensive than to the outskirts of Sydney. The Opal Sunday fare cap in particular makes it a good value trip.

The trip down the coast south of Sydney by train is a pleasant one.

By bus edit

Premier Motor Services run coaches from Sydney to Nowra and beyond. Priors Scenic Express 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 A1/M1 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. Driving will easily beat the train and the bus for time, although the train line is more scenic and runs closer to the coast for most of the distance.

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Map of Nowra and Bomaderry

Being in Nowra without a car is limiting, as many of the attractions are away from the town centre; the city layout is also car-centric otherwise. 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 3-4 km from the town centre to the station. Most other locations will require a car.

There are cycle lanes on the Princes Highway around the centre of Nowra, but paint isn't true cycle infrastructure. The streets south of the river down to Comerong Island and Greenwell point are good for cycling. Bolong Road to the north of the river gets busy with fast traffic and narrow shoulders.

By bus edit

Nowra Coaches, Kennedy's tours and Shoalbus provide local bus services, but these only run a few times a day to surrounding areas.

See edit

Aircraft on display at the Fleet Air Arm Museum
  • 1 Fleet Air Arm Museum, 489A Albatross Road, Nowra Hill, +61 2 4424 1920. 10AM-4PM. Features an interesting and well-presented collection which includes examples of almost all of the aircraft to have been operated by the Royal Australian Navy, including those which flew from its aircraft carriers. There is a cafe on site with a balcony overlooking the airfield, but it has a pretty limited menu. Adults $10, children free. Military personnel free.
  • 2 Shoalhaven Zoo And Adventure World, 23 Rock Hill Rd, North Nowra, +61 2 4421 3949. Daily 9AM-5PM. Has more than a hundred species of wildlife, both native and exotic. Takes around a couple of hours to see them all, though you can hang around for a little longer if you have kids, who will want to and pat the farm animals.

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  • Jervis Bay and Huskisson 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.
  • Kangaroo Valley is 30 minutes drive north
Routes via Nowra and Bomaderry
SydneyBerry N A1 S  UlladullaBatemans Bay
KiamaBerry N  SCO  (diesel) S  END

This city travel guide to Nowra and Bomaderry is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.