Merimbula is a coastal town on the Far South Coast or Sapphire Coast of New South Wales, Australia. At the 2006 census, the population within a 10km radius of the Merimbula Post Office was over 8,775, Merimbula has a town population of 3,851 people.Merimbula serves predominantly as a tourist town and its meaning is Aboriginal for ‘two lakes’.
Merimbula is one of only a few towns on the South Coast of NSW to have its own airport, Merimbula Airport. There are daily flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Merimbula. Flights from Sydney often stop in Moruya.
Situated just off the national highway 1, the Princes Highway, Merimbula is nearly the same distance to both Sydney and Melbourne, with both trips taking between six and seven hours to drive. It is approximately three hours drive to Australia’s capital Canberra.
Merimbula hosts an oval and two soccer fields on the Berrambool Oval. The oval is used, depending on the time of year, for cricket (summer period) and AFL (winter period). The Merimbula Pambula Bulldogs competes in the Group 16 Rugby League Premiership. Merimbula hosts two football clubs, the Diggers and the Marlins. Merimbula’s soccer club is the Merimbula Grasshoppers which hosts men, women and junior sides. The Merimbula Knights Cricket Club are a club in the Far South Coast Cricket Association. Merimbula has a 27 hole Golf Club.
The area’s main hospital is Pambula Hospital, which is located approx 4 kilometres south of the town centre in Merimbola Street, Pambula. Merimbula boasts many holiday accommodation options, high quality and family restaurants, clubs & pubs. There is a full range of shops and a post office.
Merimbula is the host of the Australian Native Orchid Show, held in Twyfold Hall. Another event is the Annual Jazz Festival which is held on the Queens Birthday weekend in June. While a much smaller festival, a Country Music Festival is held in the Merimbula-Imlay Bowling Club around the beginning of November each year. Merimbula Main Events Calendar can be found at http://www.merimbula.com.au/events_monthly.asp
Merimbula is a predominantly a tourist town, with a majority of the town’s earnings coming from tourism. Merimbula does, however, have a small, but significant oyster farming industry. Merimbula grows approximately 3% of NSW Sydney rock oysters and a small amount of native flat oysters Ostrea angasi .
The seals near the NAB branch.
Merimbula has five main beaches – Main Beach (or Merimbula Beach), Mitchies Jetty, Bar Beach, Spencer Park Beach and Short Point. Main beach and Short Point are considered to be the best beaches for surfing, whilst Bar Beach is used for snorkeling. Other activities include whaling, fishing, kitesurfing and boating. With a decent percentage of the population being retirees golf and lawn bowls are popular as well. Merimbula has scuba diving, with the Sponge gardens at Yellow Rock and the Empire Gladstone wreck off nearby Haycock Point popular dives.
Merimbula is close to Bournda National Park, South East Forest National Park and the northern end of Ben Boyd National Parks. A coastal walk running through Bournda National Park from Tathra to Tura Beach just north of Merimbula takes in coastal scenery.
Merimbula offers a range of activities from horse riding to roller coaster rides. Magic Mountain, Merimbula’s own theme park has a roller coaster and one of the best toboggan slopes in New South Wales. Top Fun is a games arcade offering Ten Pin Bowling, Mini Golf and Zone 3 Laser maze.
The Merimbula Wharf offers its own aquarium full of some of the common sea creatures on the Sapphire Coast. The fish species on display include whale sharks and Bondi torpedoes.
10 kilometres to the west of Merimbula along the Princes Highway towards Bega, Potoroo Palace Wildlife Sanctuary is located. This nature park has a collection of native species with some hands on opportunities for the children. It also cares for injured or orphaned animals.