With beautiful ocean beaches and tranquil coastal lakes, Merimbula is an enchanting seaside town on the sparkling Sapphire Coast. Wonderful things to do and see include a range of water sports, whale watching, exploring an aquarium and wildlife sanctuary, and tasting delicious fresh seafood.
On Australia’s Oyster Coast, Merimbula is derived from a local Aboriginal word meaning ‘two lakes’, a reference to Merimbula Lake on the southern side of the town and the smaller Back Lake on the northern side. The calm waterways are popular for sailing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.
You’ll find accommodation options to suit various budgets and check out the events calendar for festivals and shows, including the tasty Eat Merimbula. Enjoy local seafood and produce at a delicious range of restaurants, from waterside delights to Dulcie’s Cottage in a 1925 weatherboard.
Beaches are a major attraction, with Merimbula Main Beach stretching 6 km. The sandbank at the northern end creates a lovely wave for surfers. Short Point enjoys good waves, too. Bar Beach is great for snorkelling. Spencer Park Beach is ideal for families with kids and there’s a playground.
At Merimbula Aquarium you’ll discover a colourful array of sea creatures. At Potoroo Palace wildlife sanctuary, amble among the kangaroos and touch a snake. An exciting range of tours is available, including fishing charters, whale-watching cruises, and diving and snorkelling experiences.
There are enjoyable walking trails, too. The lakeside Merimbula Boardwalk is sign-posted with information on the local marine life. On the 1.2km Goodenia Rainforest walking track listen out for superb lyrebirds’ mimicry. Just north is the Bournda National Park and shimmering Wallagoot Lake.
Merimbula is on the far NSW South Coast and six hours’ drive from Sydney, 6 h 45 min from Melbourne and three hours from Canberra. You can also fly from Sydney and Melbourne to Merimbula Airport, where there are car rental and shuttle buses to other towns in the region.