The Sapphire Coast along the Southernmost point of the New South Wales coast has been on my travel wish list for a while now. When I found out that my kids had two curriculum days in a row after the recent long weekend it seemed like the perfect opportunity to venture a bit further than we usually would when we only have a normal long weekend. So we packed the car, loaded up the lunchboxes and set off for a seven hour drive hugging the coast of Victoria all the way up to the border and just over it until we reached beautiful Merimbula. I booked our stay at NRMA Merimbula just a few weeks ahead and thankfully managed to secure a little cabin for us. It was affordable and had all we needed without being fancy. The holiday park itself was fantastic. It was in a stunning location looking out over the ocean with an incredible, HUGE pool, splash park, jumping pillow, kids club, playground, etc! Below are a few pics of things we saw on the road trip up…
Our dreamy holiday park…
The thing about Merimbula is there are so many swimming spots to choose from. You can swim in one of the ocean beaches (Middle Beach, Main Beach, Short Point) or at the more calm lakeside beaches like Bar Beach and Mitchies Jetty at the mouth of Lake Merimbula. Mitchies Jetty is a cute little shed on a Jetty with a Cafe open until lunch time and SUP or Kayak hire and fishing charters. It is also next to a gorgeous swimming spot. Perfect for kids! Then if you walk around the sand from Mitchies Jetty lake beach you’ll pop out at the ocean beach so you can move your towels when you feel like a change from calm water to waves. We also went to a stunning rockpool which was a highlight of our trip. It’s about a twenty minute drive South of Merimbula and its called Aslings Beach Rock Pool.
Aislings Beach Rock Pool
I was keen to see neighbouring Tathra (about 20 minutes North) and had read the pub was pretty spectacular so we set off one day for lunch and it did not disappoint. The Tathra Hotel is set up on a hill overlooking the ocean with a huge deck and playground right next to it so you can see the kids play while having lunch! Then we had a wander down to the Jetty to watch the fishermen reeling in their catch and there is also a coastal walk you can do but our kids were done by that point! Next time!
We spent lots of time at our awesome holiday park going between the pool, jumping pillow, playground and back to the pool again!
Something I was disappointed about was that there was only one icecream shop in Merimbula and it wasn’t great. It hit the spot for the kids but I love icecream and was determined there must be a better one nearby. My research led me to Pambula (an easy ten minute drive South) where there is an icecream shop making homemade icecream with local ingredients. Enough said. It was delish. The name of the shop is Bianchini Gelati and while you are in Pambula there are a few great stores in the main street like The Candy Store, Goldfinch (who make their own clothes onsite as well as a cute vintage clothing selection and plenty of accessories and gifts) and Aloha Eve with some lovely Australian brands.
We were so lucky to get picture perfect weather for our whole six day trip aside from one morning when it drizzled a little so we hit Top Fun in Merimbula (a retro bowling alley and arcade game place). My kids were blown away as we have never taken them to an amusement centre before. We went ten pin bowling, had a private game of Laser Tag with just the five of us and had heaps of fun on the arcade games. Suddenly two and a half hours had flown by and the rain had cleared but it was the perfect way to spend the morning… followed by an afternoon jumping in and out of the pool a hundred times!
A final thing to note… don’t leave without having a burger at Dulcie’s Cottage. It is a really beautiful, relaxed cottage that has been turned into a restaurant. They make the burgers in a Retro caravan and inside is a gorgeous bar. It has a huge courtyard and is a great spot for dinner with the kids. Or you can get takeaway and watch the sunset over Lake Merimbula just down the hill. It was honestly the yummiest burger I’ve had in years.
Oh and another easy dinner is to get take away fish and chips from Fishpen Fish and chips and eat them over the road at the park!
I didn’t think much of the shops in Merimbula until the last day when I found a hidden little outdoor arcade with a couple of really gorgeous shops. Keep an eye out off the main street for a little laneway called ‘The Plaza’.
Then it was time to hit the road again. We stopped SO many times for a toilet break so we saw most towns along the way home. There is a great park and coffee stop at Cann River, we went through Lakes Entrance but didn’t find anywhere enticing to stop for lunch so kept driving to Bairnsdale again where we stopped for a play at the giant slide and had a delicious bakery lunch at Jarrod’s Bakery. Then it was straight on home.
We had the best week. Very special family time! We’ll definitely be visiting Merimbula again. Until next time…