7 Interesting things about the little town of Nowra

Tucked along the South Coast of New South Wales, about 160 kilometres from Sydney, Nowra is the commercial centre of the City of Shoalhaven and the home of Unicorn Cheese. With a population of around 35,000 people, it’s the centrepiece of a region known for its farming community, in particular its thriving dairy industry.

Never heard of Nowra? We don’t blame you. One of the most famous towns in Australia we certainly are not, but that doesn’t mean we’re not interesting either. In fact, as your introduction to our beloved little town, here’s a list of 7 interesting things you need to know about Nowra:

1. Shoalhaven River Festival

We are situated on the beautiful Shoalhaven River, a picturesque expanse of water that is just perfect for river cruises, photography, and fishing, and we also have the Shoalhaven River Festival every year. This year’s festival, to be held on 24 and 25 October, will include a street parade, a music concert featuring local talent, markets, food stalls, dragon boat races, stand up paddle board races, surf boats, and even a local ‘Pollies’ race.

2. History of Nowra

Prior to European settlement, Nowra was probably inhabited by the Dharawal Aborigines. The survivors of the wreck of the Sydney Cove walked through the area in 1797, and George Bass explored it later that year. He is said to have followed Seven Mile Beach and crossed the shoals at the entrance to the river. Unimpressed with the shallowness of the river mouth, he called it ‘Shoals Haven’, which subsequently became Shoalhaven River. Nowra was officially proclaimed a town in 1885.

3. Commercial and administrative hub

In addition to being the region’s commercial and administrative centre, Nowra also houses many local, state and federal government offices for the region, including the Shoalhaven City Council, as well as the Royal Australian Navy.

4. Fleet Air Arm Museum

Speaking of the Royal Australian Navy, the Fleet Air Arm Museum at HMAS Albatross Nowra is a great opportunity to explore and experience the story of naval aviation over the years. The current exhibition is “Wings over Water”, and tells the story of naval aviation in Australia, complete with aircraft such as a World War One Sopwith Pup and an A4 Skyhawk jet fighter.

5. Our sister town, Bomaderry

Nowra has a sister! The adjoining town of Bomaderry is also known as our sister town, and is the southernmost coastal link to the NSW rail system from Sydney. Together with Nowra, the towns historically relied on the timber, wheat, wool and produce industries, but today are also known for tourism, local government, naval bases, manufacturing, paper and starch mills, and of course, dairying.

6. Hanging Rock Lookout

One of Nowra’s most prominent landmarks, the overhanging rock formation known as Hanging Rock Lookout sits 46.25 metres above the Shoalhaven River and offers some truly spectacular views of the entire region.

7. Trees Adventure Nowra Park

Looking for some thrills and a good old-fashioned adrenaline rush? Trees Adventure Nowra Park is an eco-adventure experience not to be missed. Flying foxes zip between the trees at exhilarating speeds, while cargo nets, rope bridges and wooden obstacles offer challenges high above the ground. There’s even an airborne skateboard! And if trees still aren’t high enough for you, why not jump out of a plane at 10,000 ft. with Nowra Skydive – if you dare.