Mogo has a charm that is hard to define. The former gold rush village has developed that certain something – an authentic but quirky mix of history, art, food, shopping and outdoor adventure.

It’s worth exploring the entirety of both sides of the main street to ensure you don’t miss any hidden treasures. Shops, galleries and eateries now fill the old miners’ cottages and stores to both ends of the village. More recently, Mogo’s side and back streets have attracted a new wave of artisans and businesses, reinfusing an already eclectic blend.  Creativity thrives in Mogo, and the result is both surprising and fun. A few hours exploring often produces something unexpected and unique to take home.

While very much a place to eat, shop and discover, it’s worth pausing to consider Mogo was once part of Australia’s third most productive goldfield, with 30,000 people from across the globe, including 7,000 from China, calling Eurobodalla’s gold fields home. Legend has it there is still gold close to foot, and a lot of prospecting continues quietly in the surrounding area.

For those wanting a taste of life in those times, The Original Gold Rush Colony is a high-quality 1850s re-creation, set across 13 acres of bush at the edge of the village. The site includes the original Mogo mine shaft, part of which can be accessed, as well as numerous static and interactive displays. The Mogo Bush Walk, an interesting and scenic short walk in the Mogo State Forest, starts at the entrance to the Colony.

In a town known for its quirkiness, finding one of Australia's best zoos here makes perfect sense. Mogo Zoo is much awarded and truly superb. Owned by a passionate animal advocate, the zoo and its collection of amazing and varied animals unfolds across acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. Mogo Zoo has an intimacy and atmosphere not found at larger zoos, and invites you to linger and spend more time with each animal. And if you kayak the Tomaga River and hear a thundering rhinoceros, you are not imagining things. This popular paddle takes you close by the zoo.

Like all of Eurobodalla, Mogo offers superb outdoor activities. Just north are the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens. These gardens abound with native flora and fauna, with a focus on plants native to the south coast. The barbecue area and children’s playground here are remarkable, with a highly imaginative design incorporating music and exploration that brings out the inner-child in most visitors.

More recently, Mogo has gained a reputation as a haven for mountain bikers, with the village surrounded by trails highly regarded for their diversity. The most popular of these is The Snaketrack, which offers a 15km ride with a fun, fast-flowing 2km descent. The same terrain is also highly considered by rally drivers, with the area hosting stages of the national rally championships.

An historic, artistic, shopper’s paradise surrounded by outdoor adventure; Mogo still has gold in spades.

The Original Gold Rush Colony
The Original Gold Rush Colony
Lions at Mogo Zoo
Loving lions at Mogo Zoo