Merimbula’s Main Beach
Every Winter when I was growing up my parents used to take us on holiday to Merimbula, a quiet but very beautiful town located on the Sapphire Coast of New South Wales. I never really enjoyed it at the time because it was a coastal town and we couldn’t enjoy the beautiful beaches in the area. When my parents retired they moved to this town and over the years I have gained a better appreciation for this town,so without further ado here is our guide of what to do in Merimbula.
Merimbula is a popular tourist place for Victorians and many settle here in their retirement, like my parents did. Many people also have permanent holiday homes who mostly live in New South Wales and come to stay for short breaks. Merimbula’s population is around 6,000 people but can swarm to 50,000 during the peak summer time.
Merimbula is located three hours south of Canberra by car or just over four hours by bus. Merimbula also has an airport with daily flights with Rex from Melbourne and Sydney. Free Spirit Airlines also has flights from Melbourne departing from the Essendon airport.
What to do in Merimbula
Merimbula is well known for its beaches and the Merimbula Lake that lies in the central part of town but it also has some other fun attractions in the area which also relies on the warm climate and the great outdoors to explore.
The town is built on Merimbula Lake and makes for some fine viewing of the boats on the lake as well as the oyster farms which farm their oysters here. The lake has a promenade with some cafes and shops as well as a boardwalk built around the northern side of the lake which takes about two hours return.
Merimbula Lake is also where dolphin/ whale and fishing trips depart from.
Merimbula Main Beach
Merimbula beaches are natural beaches which have still not been developed as no hotel leads directly onto the beach as you often find in places famous for its beaches. The Main Beach located across the bridge in Fishpen is a well known surf beach which sweeps along the shores for five kilometres all the way to Pambula.
The beach is located behind Ford Park where the monthly markets take place. The park is also great for its free BBQ’s or just across the road is a local fish and chip shop where you can take out and eat in the park or on the beach.
Other beaches worth visiting while in Merimbula are Bar Beach, Short Point and Tura Beach.
This is my favourite in the Merimbula area located in the small town of Pambula a ten minute drive from Merimbula. This beautiful untouched, picturesque beach surrounded by Ben Boyd’s National park is a place to go for peace and quiet with the family to enjoy the tranquil waters.
Surfboard and bike rentals from Cycle and Surf
Just opposite the Main Beach at 1B Marine Parade Cycle and Surf offer an extensive line of bikes and surfboards for rental. They provide knowledge and maps of some of the best riding on the coast. The shop is located only 500 metres from the family friendly bike track that takes you past the Merimbula airport and golf club to the town of Pambula.
Half day (4 hours) $25
Full day (24 hours) $35
Half day $40
Full day $60
For more information http://www.cyclensurf.com.au
Kayaking and SUP Board tours with Coastlife Adventures
Kayaking is one of my favourite things to do on holiday having done it in various places in Asia.We really do enjoy it. Coastlife Adventures offers kayak tours or SUP board tours on the Merimbula lake. Personally I haven’t done SUP Boards but if you have good balance it looks like great fun.
Their kayaks are very beginner level kayaks very buoyant. If you are experienced in either you can even hire the kayaks or SUP boards without taking a tour.
SUP Board $25 per hour
Single kayak $25 per hour
Double Kayak $40 per hour
Rental from Merimbula Lakes every day in the summer school holidays.
For more information http://www.coastlife.com.au
Fishing with Fishpen Charters
When you are in Merimbula you spend so much time on the water so many locals are keen fisherman. My dad and I went out with Fishpen Charters many years ago and they were great. I was and still am a beginner fisherman but they looked after us so well. We caught some flat head and they gutted and cleaned the fish for us, ready for mum to put it in the pan. If you are not used to going on a boat I advise you to take sea sickness medicine. I got sick when I went out.
Five hour reef fishing trip
Children $75 per child up to 16
Three hour family fishing trip
Children $50 per child up to 16
Family two adults two children $220 additional children $30 per child
for more information http://www.fishpencharters.com
Scuba Diving with Merimbula Divers Lodge
Scuba diving is something I have always wanted to do and we have always said once Rei is 16 we will all get trained to go scuba diving. Merimbula Divers Lodge offers dive trips out on their boat to wrecks in the water of Merimbula such as the Empire Gladstone and the Henry Bolte. If you live near the area they also organize dive tours in other countries.
If you would like to get your divers license with Merimbula Divers lodge then that is possible too.
A single dive with no gear starts from $69
Open water Course license $599 all inclusive plus you get your own mask, fins, snorkel and boots to keep.
For more information http://www.merimbuladiverslodge.com.au
Whale watching and Dolphin Tours with Merimbula Mariner
Merimbula offers dolphin and whale tours from mid August to late November when large humpback whales pass through the waters of Merimbula. Most companies offer two hour tours to see whales, dolphins or seals and if you are one of the very unlucky groups that don’t see any whales then you are given another trip free of charge While you enjoy your two hour cruise searching for bottle nosed dolphins you also get to feast on a BBQ, served on board.
$60 single ticket
$55 double ticket
$50 for four or more
For more information http://www.merimbulamarina.com
What’s not to like about Merimbula with its beautiful natural waters, pleasant sunshine most of the year and its great golf courses. What more would you like in your retirement which makes up a large percentage of the population of Merimbula. I think I could join I’ve always said I only need a beach and a golf course to make me happy. The best golf course is Tura Beach Country club.
Tura Beach Country club
I’ve played this course a couple of times with my dad and it is by far the most challenging course which I have ever played. The Tura Beach Country is located five kilometres north of Merimbula. The layout of the course was designed by Peter Thomson a five time British Open champion.
The front nine takes you to the beach and the back nine takes you to the forest. The fifth hole has you teeing off trying to out hit the 181 metre water hazard. The course has fast breaking greens and strategically placed bunkers . Good luck is needed on this par 72 , covering 6,018 metres.
Mens competition days are Saturday and Tuesday while Ladies competition days are Saturdays and Wednesdays. For more information http://www.turabeachcountryclub.com.au
Other golf courses are Pambula-Merimbula golf course
Mandeni Resort Golf Centre
This is also a golf course but more for the family or the casual golfer than someone who takes their golf seriously.
9 hole golf par 32 golf course
18 hole pitch and put golf course
Family fun with an 18 hole putter golf course which we enjoyed as a family
The best fun though while cooking the BBQ was the water driving range where you get a bucket of balls and aim for the target on the lake. We didn’t go close but the person next to us actually hit it and we were all expecting him to win a big prize and he was only given another bucket of balls.
For more information http://www.mandenifunpark.com.au
While some of the activities listed above may not be suitable for the kids then these activities are made for them and you will be just tagging along.
If you weren’t able to go scuba diving or your children want to see some fish then this is the perfect place to see the local fish in its 28 tanks. The fish go wild during its feeding times on Monday, Wednesday and Friday 11:30 am and Monday to Friday during the school holidays
Family 2 adults and up to four children $55
For more information http://www.merimbulawharf.com.au
Merimbula Magic Mountain
We used to love this park when we were children, especially the toboggan ride. Once we went down the 900 metre toboggan track we would race back up and do it all over again. It was so much fun. The park has only got bigger since then and now even has a tree climbing challenge for an extra charge.
The park now has two water slides, a grand prix circuit. a toboggan slide and even a small roller coaster.
When we used to go to the park there was a cover charge but now you can pay for the ride making it cheaper for the family.
Single ride $8
four rides $30
Unlimited rides 4-11 $38
12+ years $45
For more information http://www.magicmountain.net.au
Top Fun is located on the top of the town and is a fun place for the kids to enjoy with 40 arcade games, an 18 hole mini golf course, ten pin bowling and a zone three laser shoot em up game. Young ones to teenagers will enjoy this place.
For more information http://www.topfun.com.au
For a town the size of Merimbula there is a lot to do if you come in Summer and enjoy the outdoors with so many activities however if you come outside the summer time you may be left looking for something to do.
Merimbula is a very beautiful town though in any season. I hope this guide is able to help you decide on what activities to do and make sure you read our next post on where to eat in Merimbula.