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.
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.
Trains run 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 every two hours and 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. Tickets cannot be purchased in advance, and seats cannot be booked or reserved.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are cycle lanes on the Princes Highway around the centre of Nowra. 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.
Nowra Coaches, Kennedy's tours and Shoalbus[dead link] provide local bus services, but these only run a few times a day to surrounding areas.
- Fleet Air Arm Museum, 489A Albatross Road, Nowra, ☏ +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.
- 1 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.
- Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, 42 Bridge Road, Nowra (Just a 5 minute walk east from the Nowra CBD, or almost directly across from the Nowra Bridge), toll-free: 1300 788 503, email@example.com. 9AM-5PM, or 2 hours before any event..
- 1 Delicious Noodle, 104 Worrigee St, ☏ +61 2 4423 5095. 11AM-8:30PM daily.
- 1 Quest Nowra, 130 Kinghorne St, ☏ +61 2 4421 9300. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM.
- 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|
|Sydney ← Berry ←||N A1 S||→ Ulladulla → Batemans Bay|