There’s a great local day trip you can plan while in Nowra that will take you to some of the lesser known sights around town.
The Shoalhaven Showgrounds and surrounds offer a lot to do amongst the natural beauty of the region. Always a mecca for local organisations, the show grounds themselves consist of 17 acres of parkland and plays host to the annual show, football matches, dog training and many community events, even camping.
The majestic grandstand pavilion was completed in 1905 and many people enjoy the natural space. Its central location is great as it leads to other experiences in the area.
Nearby, Meroogal House is a quaint and delightfully restored building. Built in 1886 by entrepreneur Robert Thorburn for his widowed mother and four single sisters at the time of his own marriage. The house was lived in and loved by four generations of women who tended the self sufficient garden of fruit trees and large vegetable beds, tall trees and flowering shrubs.
The home still displays their simple furnishings, appliances, clothing,recipes and a host of favourite ornaments, books, photographs, journals, scrap books, newspaper clippings and craft creations. A visit to this wonderful home is an insight into the home life of these characters, content in their busy daily routines and genteel pursuits in each others company.
You will also want to check in and visit the war memorial. A seven metre tall monument constructed from sandstone to commemorate World War I and later an imposing sculpture added to commemorate World War II and other conflicts. A more recent addition was the soldier with no rifle and no helmet – representing a safeguard for the future. The site is used for local ANZAC ceremonies.
If you’re looking for a bit of a trek that ends in a bit of a view – then Ben’s walk and Hanging Rock Lookout are definitely worth checking out.
The lookout commands stunning views of the Shoalhaven river and it’s a nice spot for a picnic atop the cliffs with tables and barbeques provided. It’s also easily accessible by car.
Ben’s Walk starts at the lookout in the showgrounds and winds leisurely through the hinterland scrub on a 5.5 kilometre return walk which can take around one and a half hours. Named for Ben Walsh, who developed the track during the Great Depression – it initially descends steeply then follows nowra Creek beneath huge sandstone boulders and eroded overhangs. You’re likely to encounter native bird and wildlife and you get to cross the suspension bridge over the creek to another recreational reserve and picnic area. There are also a couple of swimming holes along the way for those looking to take a dip.