The wharf, in use between 1862 and 1952, was restored by the National Trust, Department of Planning and local residents. It is also a favourite fishing spot for tourists and locals as it features deep water and spectacular scenery.
The first wharf at Tathra (not Kianinny) was constructed around 1860-1861 and was in the form of a simple jetty projecting into the ocean. It was known as the Farmer’s Sea Wharf. This structure was quickly superseded in 1861-1862 with the erection of a new wharf built over the earlier structure. It was constructed from turpentine timber brought down from the north coast. The structure was consequently extended in 1873, 1878, 1886, 1889 up to the turn of the century. There is a record of two sheds being erected on the early wharf of which there are no remains but drawings prepared by the Department of Public Works survive.
The wharf was built in response to the need for coastal shipping after the commencement of the Illawarra and South Coast Steam Navigation Company in 1858. The first cargo vessel to call at Tathra was in 1858. It moored offshore and the cargo was transported by small boat from a location known as Kangarutha. A store shed was constructed there in the same year and an access road a year later. The following year Kianinni was discovered to be more sheltered for loading and a store was built there. Cargo was still shipped from the beach by small boat to vessels moored in the bay.
During the early period of the wharf Public Works records show that significant repairs were carried out to the wharf structure including re-piling and change of location of piles as techniques of piling improved. The changes and increase in size of the wharf can also be clearly related to increased shipping needs, larger ships visiting the wharf and the need for deeper mooring.
The wharf and buildings continued to be extended after the turn of the century. The cattle and pig yards were added in 1901, the wharf was again extended in 1903 and the buildings reconstructed with the present two storey structure in 1907. At this time a major upgrade took place with the introduction of spring-loaded wrought iron buffers to assist in the berthing of larger vessels in the difficult north-easterly seas to which the wharf was exposed. This was in conjunction with a mooring buoy to the north east of the jetty. When ships berthed at the wharf they would drop anchor to the north west of the wharf and attach a spring line from the mooring buoy and from these would spring against the buffers in front of the wharf.
The position of the wharf was selected as it was the most protected position in the area particularly from the south.
Between 1907 and 1912 the wharf underwent major extensions in 8 definable stages including a sub-deck, jib crane, the addition of the cattle race, loading ramp and passenger shelter.
In 1919 the passenger shelter was replaced by a single storey shed abutting the two story building. This correlated with the decline in passenger transport by sea and the concentration on freight and cargo. With the advent of road transport further decline in shipping took place. The south coast was however one of the last areas to see the effects of other forms of transport as there was no adjacent railway line to carry bulk freight from the area to Sydney. The last ship to take freight from Tathra was in 1954.
Mountain Bike Riding
Mountain bike riders will be challenged; “Must Watch Ride”
Right on our doorstep is a 2.5 km sealed, level bike track that will take you to Mogareeka Inlet and the Bega River.
Ride on over the bridge and you will find some great fire trails through Mimosa Rocks National park and the state forests.
One kilometre north you can access the Doolagharl mountain bike single track. These recently extended tracks now comprise 3 graded climbs and 3 graded descents. This is beautifully groomed flowing high quality sweet single track. If you want more head to the top of town and ride the 8 kilometres of flowing Fire Shed trails.
The Tathra MTB Enduro is a mountain biking odyssey that extends from the Doolagharl trails into state forests and the stunning Mimosa National Park. The event staged annually in March offers a choice of a 20km, a 50km and a 100km race. The event is a collaboration between the local mountain bike club (Wilderness Coast and Snow Mountains MTB Inc) and environmental group Clean Energy for Eternity (CEFE). Profits from the Tathra Enduro will go towards helping Tathra achieve its 50/50 by 2020 target through the provision of solar panels for local service organisations.
Tathra Beach House has been the starting point on a number of occasions for cyclists riding from the ocean to the top, Tathra to Kosciusko, a fantastic challenge. If you don’t think you could ride up, perhaps the return, Kosciusko to Tathra?
Tathra Beach and Bike with its remodelled premises, offers an expanded range of quality bikes to hire or purchase, along with a full mechanical workshop for repairs and servicing. An additional benefit for customers is shop’s test ride facility, giving clients the opportunity to trial a potential new bike on the local trails.
Held annually in the third week of January, the Tathra Wharf to Waves Weekend holds a mountain bike ride from Bega to Tathra Beach. Mountain biking enthusiasts can take on the 30km bush track from Bega through State Forest trails, over Dr George Mountain, through a pocket of the Mimosa National Parks – riding through some of the most breathtaking bush land scenery the Sapphire Coast has to offer.
The event finishes at the Tathra Surf Club where a BBQ and cold refreshments are available and major random prizes are drawn.
Among the prizes each year is the chance to win a state-of-the-art Tathra Beach and Bike Mountain Bike. Visit www.tathrawharf2waves.com.au
For more on local bike rides visit Tathra Tourism
Tathra Beach & BikeTelephone 02 6494 4357
Golf and Tennis
The Tathra Beach Country Club is located in Andy Poole Drive a short drive or a longer walk from the Tathra Beach House.
The golf course follows the winding contours of the Bega River’s estuary and Mogareeka Inlet.
You will experience lovely water views and abundant wildlife with water birds and kangaroos on the course.
Fairways are well grassed and undulating and the greens are some of the best on the Sapphire Coast.
The 9 hole layout has different tee placements to enable a very satisfying 18 hole round of 5,632 metres, par 72. The course is easy walking and given the proximity to the sea stands up to wet weather extremely well.
Social golfers are always welcomed.
Men’s competition days are on Thursdays (roll up start from 8.30am) and Saturdays (timesheet available). Ladies competition golf is on Tuesdays from 8.30am and Saturdays from 9am. There is a mixed competition on the last Sunday of each month.
Golfers visiting Tathra are also welcomed at courses located at Bega, Bermagui, Tura Beach, Merimbula and Eden, that is six courses within 40 minutes from Tathra!
Tathra Country Club also has six all weather tennis courts available for hire. The tennis club also run regular competitions in which visitors are welcome to participate. A major competition is held every year on the October Long Weekend.
Thursday and Sunday are raffle days at this friendly club, tickets on sale from 6:00pm draw between 7:00pm – 7:30pm then stay on and enjoy the bar, pokies and restaurant.
Kayaking & Canoeing
Whether you have your own kayak or canoe, you would like to hire a kayak or canoe, or you would like to join an organised tour, Tathra has many options. There is Tathra’s magnificent surf beach opposite, the Bega River just down the road and the beautiful waterways in the National Parks both North and South of Tathra. Another option is the Brogo within the Wadbilliga National Park.
Tathra Beach House guests can join an organised sea kayak guided tour exploring the waterways of the Bega River and the Mimosa Rocks National Park. with.
Paddle your own sit-in sea kayak to marvel beautiful scenery, spot local wildlife and maybe even catch a wave. Learn about the local environment from the knowledgeable guides.
Another option is a kayaking tour with Coastlife Adventures www.coastlife.com.au, the easy to use sit on style kayaks are great for beginners with tours nearby in Merimbula and Pambula.
For self guided adventures, both Mimosa Blue and Coastlife offer a hire service. Brogo Wilderness Canoes hire canoes on the spectacular Brogo waterway.
Tathra Beach Bowling Club
Opposite Tathra Beach House Apartments entrance in John Taylor Crescent. Provides three of the best grass greens in the area and holds regular competitions for men and women.
With weekly entertainment. Killarneys restaurant provides a great variety of reasonably priced meals. Club raffles every Tuesday and Friday nights with a members cash draw.
Visitors are always welcome, enjoy a game of bowls, bingo, raffles or just have a drink.