Bermagui. What a name for a town. Beaches, water sports and more are conjured when you hear the name of this place. Well, Bermagui lives up to the reputation and more. But if you are looking for any history or heritage forget it. For Bermagui it has all ‘happened’ in relatively recent times.
The name is derived from the Aboriginal word, permageua, possibly meaning 'canoe with paddles'.
It is said that offshore from Bermagui the continental shelf is at its closest point to the mainland and hence there is good fishing. This closeness of the continental shelf also means that Bermagui is renowned for cold currents, and sudden changes in water temperature.
Zane Grey the well-known big-game fisherman of the 1930s and author of Westerns, wrote of his experiences there. He was patron of the Bermugui Sport Fishing Association for 1936/37 and anchored his yacht, the "Avalon" in Horseshoe Bay.
During the 1940s and 1950s the detective writer Arthur Upfield lived in the town and made it the setting for one of his novels, "The Mystery of Swordfish Reef", published in 1943.