NSW South Coast walking tour: Winter (Central Tilba)

Central Tilba is pocket-sized heritage-listed village nestled in dairy country on the coast of southern New South Wales, halfway between Sydney and Melbourne. Surrounded by mountains, national parks, rolling farmlands, rivers, lakes and miles of pristine coastline, the area offers fantastic walking

strip 1

We believe the south coast of New South Wales is very special place:  mountains covered in eucalyptus rainforests, rolling green farmlands; breathtaking coastline made up of stunning beaches and pristine lakes; and sleepy heritage villages and coastal towns.  There are four national parks and a nature reserve in the region.

In fact, we think the South Coast is so special, we have decided to offer two tours down there, one (this one) for autumn/winter (which is based in a lovely country estate a short walk from Central Tilba) and one for spring/summer based in a luxurious seaside retreat south of Bermagui (which has a pool and is short walk from a pristine beach)  Click here to see the details for the Bermagui (summer) tour.


Central Tilba and its neighbour Tilba Tilba are two Heritage villages on the south coast of New South Wales.  Behind the village is spectacular Mt Gulaga (an extinct volcano) and the forests of the Gulaga National Park.  In front, rich farmlands roll down to kilometres of uncontaminated beaches and freshwater lakes.  The district is dotted with some of the State’s most charming towns including Narooma, a short drive to the north; the laidback fishing town of Bermagui and the old port of Tathra, with its famous wharf and historic pub to the south.  Central Tilba has a very rich indigenous and colonial history (dating from the gold rush days when the area was first settled).

strip 2

It was not by chance that Central Tilba was used as the site for the very successful TV show ‘River Cottage, Australia’.  Hosted by Tasmanian chef Paul West, the show highlighted the region’s excellent culinary treasure, including: its famous cheeses; its celebrated local produce; the Mimosa and Tilba Valley wines and ales; but most of all, its fresh seafood, particularly the fine Sydney Rock oysters that are cultivated in the area's crystal-clear waters.

strip 3

This seven day, fully inclusive tour is based in fabulous, four-star accommodation on an eight-acre estate a short walk from Central Tilba.  It starts with a guided heritage walk and dinner in Central Tilba and then includes with:  a spectacular walk up Mt Gulaga; a walk along the rocky coast to Bermagui; another from the village through spotted gum forests to the Narooma inlet; a boat trip out to Monague Island (a nature reserve that is home to hundreds of seals and over ninety species of birds);  as well as a private cooking lesson with a very accomplished local chef, whose credits, among many, include working as the producer and menu designer for ‘River Cottage Australia’).

Having grown up in Canberra, this beautiful part of the world has always been special to me and I’m very glad to have the opportunity to share it!

The accommodation:

The accommodation:

The accommodation is in a very comfortable 4-star lodging in an eight-acre estate a short walk from Central Tilba.  Each spacious room has an en suite bathroom, French-door access to the verandah, which has outdoor furniture and spectacular views over the park-like grounds and on to the surrounding farmlands and forests.  There is a large lounge area with a fireplace.  Breakfast will be served on the verandah or at the French farmhouse table.

The walks:

The walks:

Surrounded by mountains, national parks, rolling dairy farmlands, rivers, freshwater lakes and miles of pristine coastline, this area offers some fantastic walking.  First and foremost, Mt Gulaga, an extinct volcano that dominates the whole coast, which is considered sacred by the local Yuin people.  We also include country rambles through fields and forests and a lovely coastal walk.  There will be two guides on each walk.  Please see the itinerary for details of each walk.

The food and wine:

The food and wine:

As the popular TV program ‘River Cottage, Australia’ showed, the district around Central Tilba has a wonderful culinary tradition: excellent fruit and vegetables grown in the deep volcanic soil; the celebrated cheeses, butter and yoghurts produced from local milk; fresh seafood available at the wharves of nearby Bermagui and the oysters grown in the pristine estuaries behind Narooma.  Our all-inclusive tour includes pop-up picnic lunches; visits to some of the regions best restaurants; two privately catered dinners and a cooking lesson conducted by the executive chef of ‘River Cottage, Australia.’  We will also have a wine-tasting at the lovely local vineyards.

Getting there:

Getting there:

Central Tilba is on the coast of southern New South Wales, approximately five hours’ drive from Sydney and approximately seven hours from Melbourne.  The roads are good but we would recommend breaking the drive into two days, there are plenty of good places to stop along the way.  The closest airport from Sydney is Moruya while Merrimbula has the closest airport for Melbourne.

Health and safety:

Health and safety:

All aspects of the tour will comply with the NSW government recommended health, safety and cleanliness procedures. including: the maintenance of social distancing (in the accommodation; in the transport; at meal-times and during activities); regular deep cleaning of the accommodation and transport, compulsory hand sanitizer use entering and leaving the accommodation, transport and restaurants.  Each member of the group will be provided with surgical face masks, disposable gloves and a bottle of hand sanitiser.

Booking conditions:

We require a $500 per person non-refundable deposit to confirm the booking.  Should government COVID-19 travel restrictions prevent the tour from operating, the tour will be rescheduled.  In the event the new dates are not suitable, you will have the option of a credit note for the amount paid which can be used towards future tours or a full refund, minus the deposit which will be held as credit for future tours.  Click here for full T&C’s

The tour leader:

The tour leader:

The tour will lead by Simon Tancred.  "I first went to Italy as a backpacker in 1980 and fell in love with the country.  I returned in 1983, living and working in Milan until 1988. Afterwards I worked at the Institute of Languages, University of New South Wales (Sydney) taking guided tours to Italy annually. I spent two years with my family in Prato (Florence) in 2003 and 2004, working at the Monash University (Melbourne) Centre. Since then I have dedicated myself full-time to Hidden Italy. I love photography and writing and have had articles and photographs on Italy published in most major Australian newspapers and travel magazines. I speak fluent Italian, alas with a pronounced Australian accent.  "Great Walks" magazine recently said I had the best job in the world.. there are other much more worthy jobs around but I am lucky my passion has become my profession - click here to read their interview."

Interested in the NSW South Coast walking tour: Winter (Central Tilba) Guided Tour?

Don't miss out, make your booking now. Book Now › Make an Enquiry ›
Print Friendly

NSW South Coast walking tour: Winter (Central Tilba)

  • Tour Lead

    Simon Tancred

  • Tour Dates

    27 March to 2 April, 2022

  • Tour Size
    10 people
  • Tour Cost


    per person
  • 6 nights’ accommodation in 4-star accommodation (a short walk from the village
  • All breakfasts, all lunches and dinners with wine included (see itinerary for details)
  • All transfers listed in the itinerary
  • 4 guided walks (with two guides)
  • A half-day trip to Montague Island
  • A professional seafood cooking lesson in purpose-built kitchen

NSW South Coast walking tour: Winter (Central Tilba) FAQs

Find out a little more about the NSW South Coast walking tour: Winter (Central Tilba) tour by reading some of our most frequently asked questions.

View all FAQs ›


The tour was wonderful and certainly lived up to any expectations I may have had. The highlights..... that is a difficult one to answer. The walks, the food, the accommodation... Personally, I wouldn't know of any changes to suggest.

– Pam Parodi, 2021

View all Testimonials ›

August 2021: Impressionists, Damin Hirst and a weekend cycling around the heel of Italy

Keep up to date with the latest news from Hidden Italy and any upcoming events.

Subscribe to our e-newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter to receive regular updates, travel tips, info on local events and discounts on our popular tours.

Our People

Get to know some of the people who make Hidden Italy Walking Tours happen.