|history of bermagui|
where we are
It is thought that 'Bermagui' may be derived
from an aboriginal word 'permageua' meaning "resembling a canoe with
paddles", from the Dyirringany clan which inhabited the area before
The port of Bermagui was first used in the 1840s as vessels called for tallow from the boiling-down works near the entrance to the river. A government built wharf was constructed upstream from the present bridge in the 1870s to ship out wattlebark, timber and dairy products from local areas and Cobargo.
Gold was discovered seven kilometres north of Bermagui at Montreal in 1880 but only lasted for three years. The goldfield gained notoriety with the mysterious disappearance of Government Surveyor Lamont Young, his assistant Max Schneider and three men from Batemans Bay which hasn't been solved to this day.
By 1888 the government had constructed a sea wharf in Horseshoe Bay and a bridge to access it the same year. This was the start of the growth and development of Bermagui with its main income derived from farm produce, the timber milling industry and sleeper cutting which lasted until the 1950s.
In 1933, Bermagui hit the world stage with a black marlin being caught near Montague Island and a big game anglers club was established hosting big game fishermen from around the world. The warm currents in Spring and Summer still bring marlin and yellowfin tuna close to the coast but the practice of
tag and release is encouraged today.
One of the most notable big game figures to arrive in Bermagui was American author of 'American Westerns', Zane Grey. Grey wrote of his experiences at Bermagui in many articles that he published world wide and in his book, "An American Angler in Australia" (1937). The Zane Grey Tourist Park is named after him and many photographs of his massive catches are on display in the BBGAC rooms at the Bermagui Country Club.
Grey was responsible for the start of the tuna industry which became a major industry in the town from 1948 until extensive fishing has reduced the stocks.
Today the town shows off its beauty to visitors as services and businesses work together to create an enjoyable stay.