Walawaani Njindiwaan.
Ngayaga bundj nguumbun muladha gumara muruul yuwinj wanggan njin dhugandha.


We recognise Aboriginal peoples as the first people and custodians of Country.

South East Centre for Contemporary 
Art acknowledges and pays respect to the traditional custodians of the lands, waterways and airspace of the Bega Valley Shire.

Visiting the region

Bega is the country heart of the Sapphire Coast, surrounded by rolling green hills, rich pastures and the most relaxed cows in Australia. The town is dotted with galleries, cafes and quirky shops, as well as the famous Bega Cheese Factory. Settle in on the banks of the Bega River, Kisses Lagoon or Glebe Park, there are picnic tables under the shade of she oaks, poplars and weeping willows. In Autumn the spectacular show of colour makes you want to kick up your heels in the leaves. The preservation of historical buildings, particularly in the main street and Church Street, make it easy to imagine what life was like when horse and cart ruled the roads. Three kilometres north of the township you can take it all in at the Bega Lookout.

Histroy & culture

The Traditional owners of Bega are the Djiringanj people of the Yuin Nation. From ancient times they have been the inhabitants and custodians of the land, sea and waterways.

Evidence is limited but the tabulation of marriages makes it quite clear that the far south coast formed a distinct region marked by the intensity of intermarriage while demonstrated that there were, nevertheless, links with Gippsland and the Monaroo prior to colonisation as would be expected, since few if any groups lived completely isolated from their neighbours.

The Tadjera-Munji-Djiringanj (from Cape Dromedary south to beyond Bega, inland to the sharp scarp of the Dividing Range east of Nimmitabel), Thaua (north of Merimbula south to Green Cape and west to the scarp of the Dividing Range), Bidawahal (just south of Green Cape) and Nulliker (Twofold Bay), Monaroo (on the escarpment country) groups comprised the Yuin-Monaro Nations in the area now known as the Bega Valley Shire. This was the case for many thousands of years.

The groups of the Yuin communities living in coastal areas are known as (Katungal from the work Katung) sea coast people and the Baianbal or Paienbara (the tomahawk people) those who lived in the forests. A third group, the Bemerigal or mountain people at Cooma belonged to the Ngarigo people.

Sites throughout the Shire demonstrate occupation by these rich cultures to be in excess of 7,000+ years. These people nurtured an organised and active culture many thousands of years older than the creators of the great pyramids of Giza did or the medieval monuments of Stonehenge did. Some of the oldest physical records of human occupation and activity to be found anywhere in the world are located beneath our noses here in the Bega Valley Shire.

The Bega Pioneers’ Museum is a “time capsule” managed by the Bega Valley Historical Society, focused on the collection, preservation and celebration of the history of Bega and surrounding districts.

87 Bega Street, Bega

Dairying began in the verdant Bega Valley in the 1850s and the original Bega Cheese factory opened in 1900. Learn about the history of the valley and the cheesemaking process – and taste the delicious results at the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre, a reconstruction of one of the first buildings of the Bega Co-operative Creamery Company.

Eat & drink

Café Evolve on Carp Street, the Bega Main Street, serves coffee and hearty meals, opening up at the cock’s crow most mornings for locals out, about and on the town.

At PeaNut Eatery, expect inventive cocktails and modern Australian cuisine like crumbed local fish and hearty burgers, while over at Nook Tea & Espresso Bar, try one of their delicious toasties. Grab vibrant vegetarian food with local seasonal produce, alongside a turmeric latte at Red Café, and for an upscale pub meal, step inside the Commercial Hotel. New cafe on the scene direct from Italia is Osteria da Franco for daily fresh pastries and gelato.

Find them all here.


Uncover the tranquil nature reserve of Brogo Wilderness in the valley of Brogo river, with deep narrow gorges, glassy waterways and abundant wildlife. It’s backed by the majestic Kybean Range to the west, densely carpeted in banksias and grevilleas, and fringed by mountain gum forests.

Enjoy a trek with Brogo Wilderness Canoes and paddle through the serene natural landscape – pause to hear birdsong, explore curved inlets and have a picnic by the water. Owner Dave will set you up with maps, route suggestions and comfortable canoes that fit two to three people, along with dry bags and safety gear.

There are many magnificent national parks to explore with rich indigenous history and diverse landscapes. They include Wadbilliga, Bournda and Biamanga: a significant site for local Yuin Aboriginal people. In 2006, Biamanga was returned to its traditional owners — immerse yourself in the wild landscapes of granite boulders and gum trees and ancient Indigenous lore.

Just a short drive from Bega, Mimosa Rocks National Park is home to beautiful lagoons, quiet beaches and breathtaking headland views. It’s the perfect spot to camp by the shore, snorkel in calm waters and look for the thousands of birds that call the park home


Working from an intriguing and enticing shopfront, artisan Gabrielle McGrath creates original silver jewellery, objects and small sculptures. Commissions available.

3/104 Carp Street, Bega

Maggie and Rosie’s Antiques Emporium displays a great wealth of worldly heritage from clothing to jewellery, crockery to cutlery, to paintings and collectables, and historic furniture from France, Italy, Egypt and England, and rugs from the Middle East.

219 Carp Street, Bega


Nestled in the heart of Bega’s Main Street, Fox Den is a family-owned venture boasting over two decades of expertise in importing. With an unwavering commitment to nurturing relationships, they steadfastly support their boutique suppliers from the sun-drenched coasts of Australia to the vibrant islands of Central Indonesia. Frequent shipments grace their inventory throughout the seasons, ensuring that customers are always presented with an exquisite selection of products. Every piece on their site not only resonates with quality but is also priced to offer unmatched value. Dive into their collection and experience the unparalleled blend of heritage, craftsmanship, and affordability.

200 Carp Street, Bega

The heart of Bega’s literary scene and one of the regions only independent booksellers, Candelo Books showcases the latest local and international authors. With a huge range of beautiful coffee table books, cookbooks, and as many cerebral tomes you could desire, the shop on the Main Street is well worth a visit! There is an active program of local authors readings and visiting authors presenting intimate book launches. The store is passionately run by husband and wife duo Myoung Yi & Marianne Ypma.

208 Carp Street, Bega