MERIMBULA: THE GUIDE
Merimbula lies on the Far South Coast of NSW, about 3 hours drive from Canberra, a 6-hour drive from Sydney and a 7 hour drive from Melbourne. This small coastal town lies in a quiet bay, alongside Pambula.
Merimbula is a tourist destination all year round, however its population (of approximately 5000) triples in size in the summer months.
Merimbula prides itself on its laid back culture and many beaches. From the surfer’s favourites – Short Point, Bar Beach and Pambula River Mouth, to the family-friendly – Spencer Park, Mitchies Jetty and Pambula Beach.
Pambula Beach lies 15km south of Merimbula along the same stretch of sand. It is patrolled by volunteer lifesavers in the warmer months. Keen young Nippers can be seen every Sunday during Summer practising their lifesaving skills on the beach and in the water.
The town ofPambulais where many locals dwell when the hoards of tourists arrive. Its boutique atmosphere offers relief from the buzzing town centre of Merimbula.
Another 15km south of Pambula is Eden, a historical whaling town, and 25km north-west from Merimbula is Bega, the dairy farming town famous for Bega Cheese.
Where to stay
Merimbula has a plethora of accommodation options, from motels, hotels and caravan parks to apartments and holiday homes.
Merimbula Beach Holiday Park is great for couples, groups or families. Located right atop Short Point, remarkable views across to Tura Beach plus the many family-friendly facilities on offer, the whole family will enjoy their holiday.
Pambula boasts a Discovery Park Resort, complete with put-put golf, indoor and outdoor pools and plenty of other activities for the kids.
What to do
When the weather is fine, head to one of the many magnificent beaches! If you want to try your luck at surfing, why not book a lesson with Coastlife Adventures, who also offer kayak tours. If a lesson is not your thing, you can hire a surf board from Core surf shop in Pambula. Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUP’s) are available to hire from Spencer Park.
Whale watching from September through to early December is also a big tourist attraction. Cat Balou departs from Eden and True Blue does trips from the Merimbula Marina. If you’re not in the Merimbula area for the whale watching season, discovering the region from the water is truly spectacular. Not only are the views superb, but the chances of spotting sea eagles, seals and dolphins are highly likely, and every so often a penguin might make an appearance.
The main shopping street of Merimbula, Market Street, offers a variety of stores including Ginger and Luvvy Clothing Boutique for women, to fishing and tackle shops for the men. For the teens and children, hours will be spent admiring the lollies in the Lolly Shop, but there are also plenty of surf shops to or the main street will keep you busy!
‘Oaklands’, which combines a plant nursery, café, petting zoo and function centre is located just outside Pambula. Oaklands is a great destination for a bike ride through the wetlands, or for a family lunch trip.
Day trips are a great way to see the surrounding area; Bermagui (about an hour), Tilba Tilba (about an hour and a half) and Mallacoota (also about an hour and a half) are some local favourites.
When to travel
Summer is easily the most popular time to travel to the Far South Coast, closely followed by Easter.
If you’re after a quieter beach holiday, the water is generally still warm going into March, when the weather is also but the crowds have dispersed.
The following annual events are always popular with locals and tourists alike. The Merimbula Jazz Festival, held on the June long weekend, the Merimbula Mambo Classic, held in November and the Sapphire Coast Rock Festival, held in January.
REX Airlines arrive and depart Merimbula Airport three times a day from Sydney and once from Melbourne.
Buses depart Canberra (Countrylink),Melbourne(V-Line) and Sydney (Premier Motor Service) daily to Merimbula.
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