Howdy all! Well, so far this year has brought me three getaways, albeit one was only an overnight stay at Mount Baw Baw. The longest getaway was the road trip my wife and I took to New South Wales back in March now (jeepers I cannot believe it was over six weeks ago! 2022 is moving fast!!) which saw us drive to Nowa Nowa for an overnight stay (where I also visited the Buchan Caves), which was around 350km from home, then another 275 kilometres on to the next and main stop, which was the New South Wales southern coastal town of Merimbula, on what is known, for some reason, as the ‘Sapphire Coast’. A little Google action tells me that apparently the sly and the coast are the ‘gem’, so no actual sapphires found in the region which is pretty disappointing and frankly, it’s completely a weak reason to label it ‘Sapphire Coast’. But every part of the country needs a name, right?
Anyways, we arrived mid-afternoon after a pretty interesting drive from Nowa Nowa in Victoria. It’s pretty nice all said, mixed in with parts of the bushland which had clearly been hit by bushfires a few years earlier with black tree trunks, but thankfully plenty of regrowth as well. We stayed in the Pacific Heights Apartments, which turned out to be a great choice and I will be reviewing them in due course for you.
Merimbula is a town that is built around an inlet. There are a lot of large houses with water views, a huge main beach and plenty of hills as well. It has a small town centre with one main supermarket (Woolworths). There’s a small cinema too where we watched a film which was nice – had the entire cinema to ourselves.
It’s not a town with a million things to do, which suited us just fine. The March weather was around 24 degrees Celsius each day, maybe up to 26, it was fairly humid and it didn’t feel cold, nor did it feel hot. I tried a little snorkelling on more than one occasion and found the water was warm enough not to be an issue. Sadly the tide was against me, but I did see a few fish and a crab when I tried this little spot called Mitchies Jetty.
The town’s make up does seem to some extent to focus on retirees, and if I had one criticism it would be lack of really nice places to eat. We ate out a couple of time, one at an RSL kinda of deal, which was packed out at 6pm and by 8pm was starting to clear. And the food was nice but it was standard pub/bistro fare – which I prefer to be frank but might disappoint those looking for a more upmarket place to eat. The last night we dined at the ‘Aquarium Restaurant’, which was as close as Merimbula gets to fine dining (and prices reflect that), where seafood is unsurprisingly the feature, and it actually is above an actual aquarium which was kind of cool. It’s out on a point so the views aren’t too bad although by the evening it did get a little chilly, and it was windy too. Otherwise we were happy to cook and eat in our very spacious apartment. There are a few takeaway shops too and a couple places we thought about trying but went with the places we went with in the end!
In contrast to the retirees who have moved to Merimbula, it is known as a bit of a surfy town too, although we didn’t see many, if any surfing at the time. The wind was constant and I think in the area there would have been plenty of places with decent surf if that’s your thing. Mostly though, and if you’ve met me you’ll know that I am not the surfy type lol (AT ALL!), we relaxed and did little in Merimbula besides explore a couple of beach spots, get in the water and enjoy the pool at our accommodation.
There is a small amusement/theme park just out of Merimbula called ‘Magic Mountain’. Very much for the kids, not a lot to interest the adult with a kid inside but nevertheless a good way to spend a few hours as a family with rides and waterslides (nothing to really push into the realm of ‘thrill’ ride though!).
It was a pretty friendly place all up, pretty, and in the height of summer no doubt much busier (although it wasn’t that easy to find accommodation). We certainly enjoyed a few days r ‘n r there! And would be happy to come back, there are boat tours to see whales in October/November. From there we would be driving on to Australia’s highest peak – Mt Kosciusko, but that’s for another blog! Thanks for popping by! May the Journey Never End!