Destination NSW
New South Wales
Merimbula & Sapphire CoastThe Sapphire Coast is where dazzling sandy beaches meet turquoise waters dotted with whales, Sydney rock oysters are pulled fresh from the water each day, and visitors are treated to a bounty of Australian produce.
The beautiful Sapphire Coast is a jewel of the NSW far South Coast. It sparkles with stunning beaches, spectacular wilderness, great fishing, exhilarating bushwalks, delicious oysters, charming towns, and one of Australia’s best whale-watching destinations, Twofold Bay. Stretching from Bermagui in the north to Eden in the south, you’ll find a great variety of things to do and see. Unwind and relax on splendid sandy beaches and enjoy swimming, snorkelling, surfing and kayaking in crystal-clear waters. Fishing is popular, with many game, reef and deep-sea fishing tours. In the pretty countryside, admire touring exhibitions in the Bega Regional Art Gallery and browse artisan crafts in Cobargo. The excellent whale is watching in winter from headlands in national parks and vantage points around Twofold Bay in Eden, home to the fascinating Eden Killer Whale Museum. Tathra Beach, near Tathra’s heritage-listed wharf and Merimbula Main Beach, are popular family beaches. You can learn to surf with Coastlife Adventures. For secluded beaches and breathtaking views, explore Mimosa Rocks National Park, Bournda National Park and Ben Boyd National Park. Mimosa Rocks is a stunning sanctuary for koalas, swamp wallabies and long-nosed potoroos, to name just a few of the many native animals that call the Sapphire Coast home. There are many more enchanting nature and parks experiences, such as the Goodenia Rainforest walking track.
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Things to do
Merimbula has long been a holiday haven, loved for its lakeside frontage, great dining and central location. The township of Merimbula nestles in and around an unspoilt ocean-fed lake; its pristine beaches and surrounding National Parks, are perfectly matched with eateries, galleries, boardwalks and oyster farms. Remarkable close encounters define the annual whale migration along the Sapphire Coast of New South Wales, and Merimbula is the perfect place while you explore from sea and shore. Whether on a whale-watching cruise, strolling on sandy beaches, hiking from headland to headland or settling in for a long lunch with panoramic ocean views – there are many opportunities to see these incredible creatures and their delightful companions - dolphins, seals, penguins and seabirds. Seafood is a specialty, just ask Sammy the well-fed New Zealand Fur Seal who lives on the lake’s edge. The Sapphire Coast’s boutique fishing fleet is one of the biggest suppliers to the Sydney Fish Market and you will find fresh local seafood on many menus as well as being available at the passionate wholesalers. Or catch your own seafood – book a berth on one of the charter boats or launch your craft from the boat ramp (which has some of the best facilities on the coast). There’s plenty of opportunity for adventure and tours, like surf, stand-up paddleboard, kayaking and snorkel hire around the lake, horse riding or game fishing charters. If it’s the big game fish you are chasing, charter operators can take you to where the wild things are and if it’s something smaller and more accessible, then favourites such as flathead, whiting, bream and snapper are among the many species on the Sapphire Coast. Or travel more slowly and improve your swing on the 27-hole golf course, enjoy a social round of bowls or browse the art galleries, where artists are inspired by coastal life. Merimbula does have it all - and remains one of the best beach holiday destinations in Australia.
Pambula Beach
Stunning Pambula Beach is one of the Sapphire Coast's most accessible beaches and is ideal for walking and beachcombing. Step onto this beach at any time of the day (or year) and be wowed by the pristine water, long stretches of sand and beautiful national park that surrounds. If you feel energetic, take a walk along the beach to Merimbula, around five kilometres, or take a shorter stroll and explore the headland walking track between the beach and Pambula River Mouth and the rock pools at low tide. The Surf Life Saving Club patrols this beach in the summer months, with the Pambula Beach Surf Club nestled just behind the dunes. The surf club has two beach wheelchairs and The Same Wave program that offers surf and beach activities for people with special needs. Pambula Beach is famous for its resident kangaroos, who are often seen on the beach and in the surrounding streets. For an off-leash, dog-friendly beachhead to nearby Lions beach (just around the headland and accessed from Coraki Drive).
Set like a gem into shades of green and blue, Tathra surrounds itself in natural beauty and is rich in history and traditions of the sea. Tathra Wharf is still a centre of activity today, its historic timbers standing proud and creating a focus for visitors and those wanting to cast a line. It is the only remaining sea wharf on the East Coast and watches over the main beach as it meanders three kilometres around the shoreline. Tathra Beach is patrolled in summer and protected from southerly winds making it great for surf, board riding and sailboarding. The town is home to a variety of shops, galleries and eateries all celebrating the best of the local talent and produce. To the north of Tathra is Mimosa Rocks National Park, a 17-kilometre strip of coast where crashing waves have eaten away at the cliffs leaving honeycomb-like caves. To the south, Bournda National Park has spectacular isolated beaches, lakes and rugged cliffs while at the northern end of Tathra Beach is Mogareeka Inlet, a safe swimming spot for children. Boat ramps facilitate access to the estuary and the sea.
Bermagui is a small and vibrant coastal town that offers boutique services and attractions, many unique to this area. Surf, swim, kayak, SUP, snorkel, water ski and bushwalk at the surrounding national parks and pristine beaches and waterways. Wallaga Lake is an area of outstanding natural beauty and holds special significance for the area's Aboriginal people. Bermagui is famous for its fishing and with the continental shelf just 20 kilometres offshore - its closest point to the Australian mainland - there's exceptional deep sea and game fishing. Take a guided tour of the historic Montreal Goldfield. Discover the Bermagui Heritage Trail and Yuin Cultural Heritage Trail. Have a game of golf or bowls. Wander through the boutiques, shops and local galleries. Check out the calendar of exhibitions and festivals. Enjoy a variety of dining styles with a la carte restaurants and casual cafes. Savour locally grown and other iconic produce.
Nestled between the escarpment of Mount Darragh on one side, and under the watchful eye of Jingera Rock on the other, is Wyndham. Established during the gold rush of the 1860s, Wyndham flourished with the demand for timber in the first half of this century. The surrounding foothills and forests are an ornithological paradise with a wide diversity of animals and birdlife, luring horse riding enthusiasts, 4WD adventurers, and bushwalkers. Only an hour and a half from the Australian snowfields, Wyndham is considered the gateway to the snow. The Wyndham Markets are held on the fourth Sunday of every month and here you are sure to find a bargain or hear a good yarn. A range of locally produced goods, crafts, plants and vegetables are always available.
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