Monday will mark one year since a bushfire ripped through the hearts of many residents.
The blaze started just kilometres from Bega, with NSW Rural Fire Service fire investigators blaming electrical infrastructure as the most likely cause.
Strong winds pushed the fire east, destroying or damaging 148 homes, caravans and cabins from Reedy Swamp to Tathra.
One year on, construction vehicles weave their way through town, and vacant blocks slowly make way for new beginnings.
The true heroes around here are the ones you never hear about.Tathra Bowling Club operations manager Dean Payne
On the day of the tragedy Tathra's Mick Preo remained to protect his business and surrounding homes armed with just a bucket to put out spot fires caused by the raining embers, making sure the fuel tanks and gas tanks were shielded from the fire.
"I was a little bit traumatised afterwards, I'm just lucky to be here. I made sure the gas tanks stayed cool, because if an ember hit them, then kaboom, the whole place would've gone up," Mr Preo said.
For days after the fire his was the only business open, selling drinks and cigarettes to firefighters and the media.
"It was an eerie time with an empty town," he said.
Mr Preo said while turnover from his roadhouse was down 15 per cent over the summer period, largely due to the destruction of the Tathra Beach Motor Village, business has picked up during February.
"We need it rebuilt for the sake of the town because all the businesses have suffered," he said.
While he said he feels the chances of another bushfire in the next 50 years is "minimal", he said more hazard reduction burns should be done during the winter months.
"The government needs to change the laws so you can take firewood from the bush and do more back burning," he said.
For many residents the last twelve months has been a long journey.
"Everyone was panicking because they knew something was happening," 83-year-old Tathra resident of 25 years Mike Tupper said as he recounted the tragic events of March 18 last year.
"We were all piled up at the surf club waiting and waiting and waiting. Nobody knew what was going on.
"There were three policemen who eventually told us to go, and everyone went to Bega as quickly as they could.
"From there it was just go, go, go."
Once the dust had settled Mr Tupper was forced to wait a month before he could return to his Flora Place property, spending most of the time thinking he may have lost everything.
Luckily his home was still standing, and has now been repaired.
"The memories are coming back, but it feels like the year has gone quickly," Mr Tupper said.
Mr Tupper visits the Tathra Bowling Club every week to catch up with friends, all of whom have been affected in some way by last year's tragic events, and play the game he loves.
We do need to be very sensitive to the fact that most of the families that lost their homes haven’t rebuilt them yet and a couple of businesses are still in the midst of planning.Tathra Chamber of Commerce president Carmen Risby
Club operations manager Dean Payne was also evacuated on the day, and said he has been inspired by what he has seen within the community over the last year.
Mr Payne said while many residents were "too proud" during the aftermath of the blaze to ask for help, "everyone who needed a hand got one".
"The true heroes around here are the ones you never hear about," he said.
"They stayed quiet, saved houses and made sure everyone was okay.
"Our community was strong before, but it's stronger now."
The club helped feed residents for three weeks after the fire, even dropping off food hampers on doorsteps of those in need.
"What I found amazing is that everybody pulled together so well," Mr Payne said.
"The minute we came back to town the sleeves were rolled up and everyone banded together.
"I actually think we are going remarkably well, especially considering we've got a lot of older people in town.
"Nobody really talks about the fire. There was a lot of hugging and kissing when everyone returned, but then we all just got into it," he said.
Tathra Beach House Apartments' Rob White said the town is doing well considering the damage the blaze caused.
The business has been the location of a Recovery Support Office, which will be staffed by qualified caseworkers until June.
"People I've spoken to are happy with their new homes. It is tragic what they've lost and will never get back," Mr White said.
Mr White said the 2018 drought also affected the number of visitors to the town over the summer.
"January was just average, but the rest of the year has been good," he said.
"We've had drought-affected farmers from out at Wagga and Griffith who haven't visited this year."
Tathra Chamber of Commerce president Carmen Risby said the town has recovered "surprisingly well in such a short time".
"The last 12 months, although difficult, have seen some real leaders take charge and help those along that really need it," she said.
"The business chamber is stronger than ever and the business community and town amenity has even seen some post traumatic growth.
"Visitor numbers are only down slightly and have almost fully recovered, we hope this will grow even further.
"The community members themselves are in great spirits."
Ms Risby said events planned throughout town for Sunday will help the community heal even further.
"This weekend marks a year since that dreadful day, and although most of the community is healing well and ready to celebrate their survival, we do need to be very sensitive to the fact that most of the families that lost their homes haven’t rebuilt them yet and a couple of businesses are still in the midst of planning," she said.