Situated on the Clyde River about 10 kms upstream from Batemans Bay, the history of the village of Nelligen is closely linked with this beautiful waterway.
In the early days, Nelligen was the end of the line in the sense that all commerce and goods from the hinterland made their way to the town from where they were loaded onto ships for the ensuing sea journey to Sydney and more distant destinations.
Conversely, trade to the Southern Tablelands or people wishing to travel to that region used Nelligen as the final staging place from where they could ascend the escarpment to their destinations. In those days, Nelligen was a busy trade and commercial centre and much larger than it is today.
The barrier to the coast formed by the Clyde River, which is in its wide, estuarine state here, was finally breached in the 1960's with the construction of a bridge, which then linked the road from the Southern Highlands to the Princes Highway and (by way of the recently constructed Clyde River bridge on the highway) to Batemans Bay.
After that, the commercial centre for the region gradually drifted to Batemans Bay which has now grown to be the largest town on the coast south of Nowra.