Things We love
Stating the obvious here but we do love our little town! We've got everything you need including varied shopping (with a mix of bigger stores and smaller boutiques), a variety of cafes & eateries, a few cool bars plus our modern, spacious clubs with plenty of facilities and a variety of entertainment all-year round.
Our position by the lake means the water is never more than a few hundred metres from you at anytime.
Oh and there's plenty of great coffee - a winter essential!
And it's not just about eating & shopping (although it could be) - hop on a tour, float away and spot whales, throw a line in off the jetty, cycle, walk, swim, relax, pamper ... Merimbula is the hub with access loads of great activities.
We are the heart of the Sapphire Coast
Native Animal Educational Sanctuary Potoroo Palace is a wonderful place to see and learn more about our native wildlife. Say hello to a koala, wander among the kangaroos, touch a snake, spot a birdie or 3 in the walk-through aviary or have a close encounter with any number of other species - including animals native to the Merimbula region.
Winner of Trip Advisor 2018 Certificates of Excellence for 6 consecutive years, Potoroo Palace proudly put animal welfare and conservation at the the top of their priorities.
A wonderful stop for children, 'Potoroo' is also fascinating for adults with an interest in the natural environment, wildlife or conservation. For those with mobility issues a train tour is ideal. You'll be driven around the park accompanied by a keeper/guide making several stops. Your journey can even be tailored to your specific animal interests. Choose from tours of 15 minutes up to an hour.
Finish off with a delicious lunch or coffee & cake in the Blue Wren Cafe, which is open everyday with no admission fees and be sure to ask about "Wombat Wednesdays" - only happening in the off peak months!
Take a stroll along the boardwalk and go on a journey through an ever-changing landscape of tidal flow and mangrove beds, under tall eucalypts and past Merimbula’s famous Sydney Rock Oyster farms.
Winding it's way from Merimbula Bridge to Top Lake it's the perfect way to appreciate the lake's ecology & positioning. Accessible from several places, it's easiest to find the start near the bridge or park at Top Lake carpark and walk back towards town.
Note the boardwalk is for walking or jogging only.
WHEELER'S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
More than a restaurant, Wheeler's is an iconic Sapphire Coast destination featuring fine dining, a cafe & take away, oyster farm tours and the daily oyster bar to sample their world class oysters.
We love their their local seafood dishes, but the surf n' turf is well worth a mention and the menu offers more than seafood dishes, catering to meat eaters and vegetarians.
Recently voted in The Good Food Guide's Top 11 Seafood Restaurants in NSW, people are traveling far and wide to sample their delicious menu. If you're on a budget, head to the take-away section and grab some fish and chips and one of their gorgeous cakes - it's just as good as the restaurant.
One of our most popular spots, Fishpen Peninsular is that funny little stretch of land opposite the town centre, tucked in between the lake and Merimbula's Main Beach.
Our iconic pelican sculptures are dotted around the lake along with a cluster of charming ramshackle jetties, the old slipways and squadrons of real pelicans - making Fishpen a popular destination for photographers!
Many locals start their day with a walk, jog, cycle or swim around Fishpen. The path along the lake edge is suitable for prams and wheelchairs and you'll find parking right next to the pavement. Fishpen is very accessible and comes with an atmosphere that provides instant relaxation.
Love 'em or hate 'em there's no doubt they're the best in the world. Sydney Rock Oysters are known as the premium variety around the world and only grown from Sydney to the Victorian border. Our thriving aquaculture industry is testimony to their goodness!
You might have spotted the racks positioned in our lakes which are the local oyster farms, diligently growing these tasty bivalves. Refinements to the farming process have advanced over the years and the eating quality just keeps getting better - even though they are completely naturally and organically grown. The large tidal exchange of Pambula Lake and Merimbula Lake is ideal for oyster farming and the constant flow allows the oysters to feed and grow just as nature intended.
Both Pambula and Merimbula Lakes produce premium quality "Sydney Rocks" which are in demand around the world, and now also a few farms are producing the native Angasi or Flat Oyster as well. Many of our farms export to Asia and beyond. But don't worry, there's still plenty for us locals! Many farms choose not to export and instead fulfill the significant local demand for the freshest and best. A menu staple in many of our local restaurants, if you are going to eat oysters, here is definitely the best place to get them!
Learn more about the fascinating world of the oyster by taking a tour.
WHALES & NATURE
An ideal place to go a bit wild, we've an abundance of wildlife to observe in the natural environment.
Whale watching is a favourite winter pastime. Although some whales appear in our waters as early as May travelling north, the peak time for whale watching is from August through to November as they migrate south towards Antarctica.
As one of Australia's best land-based whale watching destinations, you can head to one of several local vantage points with keen eyes or binoculars. Although nothing beats getting up really close with a whale watching tour to really appreciate the scale of these gentle giants as they feed and frolic just metres away from you.
Taking a walk through one of our nearby National Parks or 'Panboola' is sure to reward you with sighting a variety of wildlife including parrots, eagles, tiny wrens, wallabies, kangaroos, possums, echidnas, water dragons, lizards - even pods of dolphins are frequent visitors to our local beaches. You never know what you'll spot so keep the camera handy!