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Before crossing the New South Wales and Victorian border we arrived into the coastal town of Merimbula. The two jewels of the Sapphire Coast, Merimbula and Eden are a world apart, even though they are only separated by about 20 kilometres. We found Merimbula to be a great holiday resort for families with gorgeous beaches lining the foreshore of Lake Merimbula. Eden on the other hand has a working port and a deep dark history of one of the longest operating shore-based whaling stations in Australia.
The largest coastal town on the Sapphire Coast is a playground for water sports lovers of all types, including fishing, swimming, surfing, boating, lake cruises, scuba-diving, sailboarding and canoeing. So you can understand why my husband loved this place, being a water-sports fan.
Merimbula, meaning two lakes, was discovered by explorers Bass and Flinders in 1797 and were the first of many visitors to be struck by the beauty of its waterways, and surrounding forests. I can totally get this as the lake seems to be endless as the town hugs both sides of the expanse of water.
Things to do in Merimbula include:
1. Take the children to the safe beaches on the lake at Mitchies Jetty or Spencer Park for a range of water activities.
2. Surf at one of Merimbula’s surf beaches at Main Beach, Short Point or Bar Beach.
3. Visit the Old School Museum with artefacts from Merimbula’s past on display.
4. Amble on the boardwalk around the lake beginning at the bridge and winding its way around to Top Lake Jetty.
5. Play a round of golf with the kangaroos at Pambula-Merimbula Golf Club.
6. Have lunch or dinner at Merimbula Aquarium & Wharf Restaurant and enjoy the spectacular views and their display of tropical fish in their living theatre of the deep.
7. Head out on a fishing charter for some game fishing.
8. Hire a stand-up paddle board, canoe or kayak and paddle around the lake.
9. Take the kids to Merimbula’s Magic Mountain for a full day of rides, thrills and spills at this family fun park.
10. Go whale watching during June to August when the whales are heading north for Winter or better still from September to November, when mothers and calves return to the feeding grounds of the Antarctic.
Nestled comfortably within three National Parks, Eden on majestic Twofold Bay, not only provides easy access to the ocean for boat enthusiasts, but it opens many pages of our fascinating Australian history. We discovered that it had some of the most pristine undeveloped coastline and secluded sandy beaches on the South Coast of New South Wales.
Eden has one of our nation’s deepest harbours, Twofold Bay for access for the recreational fisherman and opportunities to enjoy the finest whale watching between September and November each year.
Things to do in Eden include:
1. Visit Davidson Whaling Station and see relics and read about life of the 19th century whalers.
2. Experience Snug Bay and wander the wharves and see first hand the fishermen unloading their catch.
3. Drive out to Boyd’s Tower approximately 34 kilometres south of Merimbula to where entrepreneur Benjamin Boyd built this elaborate sandstone tower in 1847.
4. Meet ‘Old Tom’ the famous killer whale skeleton at the Eden Killer Whale Museum that offers insights and tales of bravery of the area’s whaling past.
5. Go fishing. Choose from big game fishing charters, reef fishing, beach fishing, estuary fishing or rock fishing. There are plenty of fishing locations.
6. Taste the flavours of Eden. Fresh seafood such as oysters, mussels, abalone, easter rock lobster, local fish and smoked seafood is available to purchase in Eden.
7. Stroll along the Aslings Beach pathway for sweeping views across Calle Calle Bay with a viewing platform at the eastern end for spotting whales, dolphins and seals.
8. Discover historic Boydtown, just 8 kilometres south of Eden and visit the Seahorse Inn built by Benjamin Boyd in 1843 using convict labour.
9. Take in the views from Lookout Point and visit the Seamen’s Memorial that commemorates all seamen who have sailed from the Port of Eden, who were lost at sea.
10. Take a self-guided Eden Heritage Walking Tour around the historic sites of the town.
If you’re looking for places to stay in either Merimbula and Eden there is a range of accommodation options, from caravan parks, hotels, B&Bs to holiday apartments. To book your Sapphire Coast Accommodation CLICK HERE
During your stay in this spectacular region it’s also worthwhile checking out the coastal towns of Bermagui, Pambula and Bega. There’s plenty of interesting little towns to explore.
No wonder The Sapphire Coast is one of Tourism Australia’s ‘National Landscapes’. The waters of this coastline are as blue and iridescent as the name suggests – sparkling sapphire blue.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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JohannaMarch 15, 2014
Love the idea of visiting somewhere that is saphire blue! Am truly green around the gills at the places you are seeing Kelly, one after the other in quick succession … You will have to write a book! Cant ‘t wait for it!
KathyMarch 15, 2014
Everywhere we have been has been awesome Jo. I would be hard pressed to pick a favourite place. I never knew Australia had such a variety of beauty and yes I would love to write a book about it!
JohannaOctober 26, 2018
Ohh was this post from way back then – how time flies. I’m glad I commented then. I’ve just re-read it and loved it all over again – can’t wait to visit Eden one day :)
KathyOctober 26, 2018
Yes we visited here in 2014 (so long ago now!) The South Coast of NSW really impressed me with its diversity and beauty. Eden was a beautiful little town.