There is so much to see and do when you visit Merimbula on the Sapphire Coast, it is hard to know where to start. We have put together a guide to some of the best experiences that the Sapphire Coast has to offer, based on our visitor demographics.
- Wineries, breweries and distilleries.
The Sapphire Coast features a number of craftspeople who brewing, distilling and cutlivating unique bespoke beverages. If you like to experience some of these micro businesses, check out the one of the local venues or better still, make a day of it and folllow one of the trails like the South Coast Ale Trail.
- The 10 Best Coffee spots on the Sapphire Coast
Unlike coffee spots in the cities, finding the best coffee spots on the coast is not just about great coffee, it all about experiences the coastal wonders as well. Here you can enjoy fresh locally roasted coffee alongside hand-made surfboards, overlooking stunning coast lines, on historic wharfs, at the local jetty where the kids can swim, or in a roastery. The choice is up to you, but no matter how you take your coffee, you will want a bit of the Sapphire Coast on the side.
For those of you that don't know, the Fishpen is a small parcel of land, located between Merimbula Lake and Main Beach Merimbula. It is best viewed from the air as seen in the picture below.
Due to it's great location, It is a popular place for holiday makers in Merimbula and Lakeside Holiday Apartments is positioned perfectly for you to enjoy your stay. Lakeside Holiday Apartments face North across Merimbula lake which means that your apartments will take in the morning sun, which is especially beautiful during our winters.
The Fishpen is flat which makes walking very easy, so you will be able to step out your door and go for a walk, drop a line, ride a bike, or take to the lake on a SUP board, or one of our kayaks which you can rent for free. You are only a few minutes walk to Mitchies Jetty (picture below) which is a Merimbula Icon and provides safe swimming year round and hours of entertainment for the kids.
A few minutes walk in the other direction and you will find the local shops including one of our favourites, Cranky's Cafe which is a great spot for coffee or brunch. Jodies takeaway also provides a great range of snacks and meals including the compulsary holiday meal, fish and chips. Next door you can visit Claude at Merimbula Cycle and Surf and hire a bike, boogie board or surfboard to further explore Merimbula. Just across the road you will find Ford Park which is a great new accessable playground which will keep the kids happy for hours. Merimbula Main Beach provides safe swimming most of the year and is great for some boogie boarding and is patrolled during the Christmas holiday period. Sunrise and sunset walks are also inviting in both summer and winter.
If you are looking for more action, you can head across the bridge and into town (which will take about 15 minutes) where you will find everything you need. So if you are planning a holiday in Merimbula, Lakeside Holiday Apartments in Merimbula is the place to be.
Enjoying the cooler months in Merimbula
Did you know that in Merimbula, the month of July has the most sunny days of any month in the year? So, it's a mistake to think there's nothing to do in Merimbula outside of the summer months. Not only is the place particularly beautiful during autumn, the cooler months bring opportunities to explore things you might not consider during your summer break.
Have you ever walked to Pambula via the beach? This is a great way to get outdoors and truly come to know the beauty of our coastline. Simply check the tide chart and plan your walk. At the end, treat yourself to coffee and cake as you'll have burnt a fair few calories!
Still on the fitness front, you could challenge yourself to the fitness trail recently installed around Merimbula. The local Merimbula Area Committee called for local sponsorship and have put together a series of fitness stations that stretch from Ford Oval (behind Lakeside) and finish round at Spencer Park.
Stand up Paddle Boarding is another activity that you can enjoy, even though the water's getting colder! Stand Up Paddling, or SUPing is that peaceful, slow, flat water surfing you may have seen on your last visit to Lakeside. An oversize surf board provides amazing flotation and stability and Merimbula Lake is the perfect place to learn this gentle sport.
The shopping in Merimbula remains great throughout the Autumn/Winter seasons. In fact, you could argue it's even better as the crowds have gone and you can have the shop all to yourself. Boutiques such as Ginger & Luvvy, Koko Mai and Enhance U boast gorgeous designer labels while Millers, Noni B and Phantasea always showcase beautiful winter ranges. Surf Shops like Fatman and The Goddess, Saltwater Dreams and Merimbula Surf Shop can be good places to pick up summer stock at reduced prices and there's no doubt you could find brand name gifts for that hard-to-shop-for teenager.
We've recently done some exploring, trying to find great places our guests can enjoy not more than an hour from Lakeside's door. And wow, the list is endless.
Tilba has to be top of the list. Nestled among gorgeous green, rolling hills this quaint little village takes bold steps back in time. Gorgeous little gift shops like Tilba Treasures are full of stunning jewellery, antiques, kids' games and more! The pub, bakery and cafe provide a good choice for lunch or drop into Bates General Store and pick up some of Mrs Jamiesons yummy Home Made Fudge. Take your camera because youâ€™ll find a perfect picture around every corner!
Bermagui is like the Garden of Eden. Beautiful beaches are framed by grassy green lookouts. The little harbour is so picturesque and the whole thing can now be enjoyed from the Fisherman's Wharf. Enjoy a great meal while you soak up the salty, seaside atmosphere of this unspoilt little town! Be sure to check out Camel Rock, the Rock Pools and if golf's your thing, the Bermagui Country Club.
Eden, okay so we're pretty sure all of our guests know about this historic, whaling town, but we discovered something new just recently. Cocora Park and beach, wow! It's a bit tricky to find the place but it's worth the effort. Cocora Beach provides a beautiful view of Eden harbour and has a great little park for the kids. It's the perfect place for a BBQ or fish and chips.
Ask Matt for directions to this well kept local secret.
If you are heading to Merimbula with your family, here are our Top 10 family outings on the Sapphire Coast. You can visit just one, or come and stay for a week or more at Lakeside Holiday Apartments and visit them all.
- Green Cape Lighthouse
Green Cape Lighthouse is located in the Ben Boyd National Park just South of Eden. Access if available by 4wd and a short walk. Tours of the lighthouse run twice weekly and if you visit during Whale Season you might spot some whales. If you are a bit more adventurous you can take on the Light to Light walk which is usually done over 3 days.
- Potaroo Palace
Potaroo Palace is located in the Princes Highway just a short drive from Merimbula and is a wildlife sanctury showcasing some of the Native wildlife. The kids will love getting up close next to the Kanagaroos and other wildlife.
The towns of Central Tilba and Tilba Tilba offer a unique opportunity to step back in time and visit perfectly preserved heritage villages. But the region also offers so much more with great shops, cafes, gardens, romantic getaways and Tilba Valley Wines - all surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. Tilba is about 1 hours drive North from Merimbula.
- Mumbulla Falls
Mumbulla Falls is located in the Biamanga National Park about a 30 minute drive from Bega. Access is via 4wd but it is certainly wirth the trip. Whilst there are some great walks in the area, the main reason for visting is the rock pools and water falls which make a great swimming spot and picnic area for the family.
- Eden Whale Museum
The Eden Killer Whale Museum has been in operation for over 80 years and follows the history of Eden as a Whaling Station. You will be fascinated by the stories of the Killer Whales like Old Tom and how they helped local whalers. Definately worth a visit.
- Top Lake Boat Hire
Top Lake Boat Hire is Western end of Merimbula Boardwalk, which is approximately 1.7 kms from end to end. You can leave your accommodation at Lakeside Holiday Apartments and walk across the bridge towards town and then veer along the boardwalk. When you reach your destination you can sit and enjoy a coffee, light lunch or an ice cream or you can gran a tinny or paddle boat and head out on to the Lake. Which ever you choose, it will be a great day out.
- Magic Mountain
Magic Mountain Family Fun Park is one of Merimbula's main attractions. Just a few minutes drive from town you will find plenty of activties to keep the whole family entertained including the Rollercoaster, Go Karts, Toboggan, Water Slides and more.
- Mandeni Family Fun Park & Golf Centre
Activities at Mandeni include Mini Golf, Archery, Paddle Boats, Biking, Mountain Biking, Croquet, Bocce, Jumping Pillow, Pitch & Putt, on the 9 hole Golf Course and Water Golf Driving Range. Take a picnic or BBQ, grab a family day pass and stay the whole day.
- Bega Cheese Heritage Centre
Of course a visit to the Bega Valley wouldn't be complete with out a visit to the Bega Cheese Heritage centre. The centre offers visitors the chance to try our world famous cheese and to learn about the history of dairying and Bega Cheese in the Bega Valley.
- Merimbula's Wharf & Aquarium
The Aquarium is open daily and 28 tanks featuring local and tropical marine life of all kinds. Try and time your vist around Fish feeding to see some action. When you have finished you can enjoy a coffee ot lunch at the restaurant
For more ideas or information about things to do in Merimbula, talk to us. We want to make sure you enjoy your stay !
Are you looking for the top 10 cafes near Merimbula?
Well Matt from Lakeside Holiday Apartments can certainly point you in the right direction.
Here is our top 10 Sapphire Coast coffee and cake experiences. How many have you ticked off?
- Crankys Cafe (Merimbula)
- Sprout Cafe (Eden)
- Waterfront Cafe (Merimbula)
- Merimbula Wharf & Aquarium (Merimbula)
- Top Lake Boat Hire Cafe (Merimbula)
- The Deli (Eden)
- Red Cafe (Bega)
- Oaklands (Pambula)
- Wild Rye Bakery (Pambula)
- Booktique (Merimbula)
Merimbula is a great place for kids to holiday (with their parents of course) as there are plenty of child friendly activities to partake in.
The Best things in Life are Free, especially when you visit Merimbula
One of the most popular places for kids is Micthies Jetty and it's a short walk from Lakeside Holiday Apartments. The simple old wooden jetty is home to local fishing charter and SUP board hire, but it provides kids with hours of entertainment as the run and jump into the lake, bombing and diving. It's simple, it's free and it's fun and you might even find yourself jumping in too, otherwise you can sit on the beach and watch.
Take the kids to Spencer Park. There are BBQ facilities, kids playground, plus large grassy areas perfect for the family picnic. The lake is tidal which means you can dig in the sand or enjoy a swim. If the tide's right you can almost walk back to Lakeside!
Merimbula Attractions for kids
The Picture Show Man
The Picture Show Man has two cinemas and is open all year round. They have a candy bar for ice-creams and popcorn. Check their web site for session times and details. www.pictureshowman.com.au
Who wouldn't love a visit to Magic Mountain? With carpet slides, toboggan rides, roller coaster before the water slides and the cars. Magic Mountain really is a great day out for the whole family. www.magicmountain.net.au
Sapphire Aquatic Centre
No matter what the weather Sapphire Aquatic Centre is open all year around and is the perfect activity to keep the kids entertained. They will loves playing in the kids pool which has toys and water fountains and some days they even have a inflatable castle. www.sapphireaquatic.com.au
Merimbula Wharf and Aquarium
We are not sure who gets the most from a trip to Merimbula's Wharf and Aquarium. The parents or the kids. The a;; love to see all the fish and creatures swimming around in the aquarium but Mum and Dad can also enjoy a coffee or some fine dining overlooking Main Beach. www.merimbulawharf.com.au
No matter what your interest, you will find something to do in Merimbula. Here is just a small sample of some of the things you could be doing on your next holiday in and around Merimbula.
Tura Beach Country Club
Tura Beach Country Club is less than a 5 minute drive away. It's a 18 hole Championship course designed by Peter Thompson. It's called the club with the million dollar view, with the club house overlooking the ocean, it has a bistro, bar and betting facilities.. www.turacountryclub.com.au
Cat Balou Cruises
Cat Balou offer whale watching and dolphin cruises out of the Port of Eden. During the whale season you can get up close to these wonderful mammals as they migrate up and down the East Coast. This is a must see event if you are visting the area during Whale Season. www.catbalou.com.au
Cranky's Cafe is just a short stroll from Lakeside Apartments, it is one of our favourite places for a coffee.
Merimbula Air Services
There is no better way to see Merimbula and the Sapphire Coast than from the air. Merimbula Air Services operates scenic flights from Merimbula Airport and are highly recommended. www.mairserv.com.au
Candelo Markets - First Sunday of the month
These markets have a bit of everything; trash and treasure, homemade goodies, farm fresh produce, pony rides, jumping castles, delicious snacks and more. Always a good way to enjoy a lazy Sunday morning.
Oaklands Barn & Garden Centre
Just south of Pambula, it's the big barn on your right. Enjoy strolling through the nursery, antique store and gallery. Kids can meet the farm animals whilst the adults enjoy lunch or coffee and cake in the Restaurant.
if you love fresh seafood, it doesn't get any better than Wheelers. Fresh local seafood cooked to perfection in the modern Ã la carte restaurant, and of course the best oysters on the coast. www.wheelersoysters.com.au
When visting Merimbula why not try out some of our favourite things to see and do. We all enjoy:
Follow Lake St to the Wharf and watch for the sign on the right which leads you to Bar Beach. It's a no-wave beach with BBQ facilities perfect for families. Bar is sheltered and calm when the Northerly is blowing! Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins. The cafe offers meals, snacks and great coffee.
Discover Eden, Tathra, Bega, Bermagui, Tilba, Pambula, Tura and more. Lesser known spots include Gillard's, Greencape and Haycock's. Maps available in Gem Attractions and the Visitor Information Centre. Matt is happy to sketch a mud map.
Mitchie's Jetty is just 150m down the road. The board walk is just over the bridge and on your left. The airport is a good flat stroll. You can actually do a loop from here, going along the bike path to Pambula, on to Pambula Beach and then along the beach back to Merimbula. not for the feint hearted!