Originally inhabited by the Yuin Aboriginal tribe, their word Tilba means wind.
One of the first European settlers in the area was Henry Bate and it was he who first established growth with subdivisions. Soon after, the gold rush hit the area and the town of Central Tilba became a booming and colourful settlement. After these heady days the town settled down and again relied on the local dairy (especially cheese) industry for its survival. More recently it has become famous as a day trip destination of excellence or as a wonderful place to stay, central to other attractions of the Eurobodalla region.Thousands of sightseers and lovers of history come here each year to experience the ambience of a gentler and slower existence.
Settled mostly during the gold rush years of the 1890's and 1900's, this area retains the period's Victorian timber buildings. Its historic cultural value was recognised in 1974 as such a fine example of the character of towns of its era, that it was preserved and protected by a listing on the National Estate. Its streetscape and architecture are clearly evident today with the only constructions standing being original weatherboard residences and shops. The local hotel and general store are particularly evocative of our pioneers days. Television commercials are filmed here taking advantage of the superb scenery and real set.
Not only a delight to those inspired by yesteryear but also now a bustling centre for artisans of many forms, there is plenty to occupy and interest visitors of all ages. These craftspeople work from the quaint and original business houses of the village offering their wares and demonstrating their fine work to fascinated visitors. They include, amongst others; leatherworkers, woodturners, jewellers, cheesemakers and galleries. Nearby, along the scenic drive from Narooma is Tilba's winery and deer farm.
The Tilba Festival is held annually on Easter Saturday, attracting thousands of visitors to its famed live music, theatre and other events and exhibitions.
Nestled in the green undulating foothills beneath the sacred Gulaga (named by Captain Cook as Mount Dromedary) and now a Flora Nature reserve, the villages are surrounded by lush dairying areas only minutes from the coast.
Accommodation in and around the town includes bed and breakfast, guesthouses and cabins plus of course the town pub famed for its hospitality.
The Tilba villages must be amongst the most picturesque of their kind in Australia. No visit to the NSW South Coast is complete without a trip to Tilba, making a memorable day trip from anywhere in the region.