There is a whole lot to do and see around the Merimbula area and further down the Sapphire Coast! After travelling to this beautiful town for many years (10 if we are counting), we still found new things to do, see and explore on our trip for the week.
Originally, we were meant to be heading up the coast and hitting Byron Bay, but unfortunately, like many other people, new COVID-19 regulations came into play and the borders were closing, quickly. So quickly in fact that we had to half our trip and stay in just the one place. We are now glad Merimbula was this place!
Heading off in the early hours, we travelled from our home on the Murray towards Canberra with some quick stops and recovery breaks along the way (don't forget these on any road trip). Our first stop was in Holbrook where we saw the HMAS Otway in all its gigantic glory! We stretched our legs, and explored this beauty, where we got to climb and walk along the submarine. This would be a great place to stop as a family, as it is surrounded by large, grassed spaces and lots of room and thing for the kids to play on!
We then continued through the beautiful ranges surrounding Canberra, arriving at our well-presented and beautiful accommodation for the next few days, NRMA Merimbula Beach Holiday Park. The staff here were incredibly accommodating, and every change we needed to make they were easy to communicate with and understanding.
The park is placed between both Merimbula Beach and Tura Beach, and surrounded by beautiful rock pools and edging! Each morning and night we made our way to the water's edge to watch the sunrise and set, the many people and their fur friends and families to watch the gorgeous sights as well.
Be sure you head down to our all-time favourite cafe and brewery at Oaklands in Pambula. It is a pleasant 10km ride along the highway then through the Panboola Wetlands, before you enjoy the scenic environment of Oaklands Farm. Children can visit the petting farm, ride ponies, and see some baby animals for just a gold coin donation.
It is worthwhile stopping at the cafe for breakfast or bite to eat. Their carrot cake was to die for, and we have had some pretty good carrot cake (our favourite still at Erldunda Roadhouse!), but you really can't go without their AWARD-WINNING scones and home-made mixed berry jam. Some nights during the week you can find a great set of music/band playing at the Longstocking Brewery onsite, we enjoyed some locally crafted beer, wine and of course delicious wood fired pizzas!
Heading up the coast, and just around the corner from our accommodation, Tura beach is a lovely, clean, and beautiful place to spend some time, look at beautiful seashells and waste the day away, well spent by the beautiful sounds of the crashing ocean.
Further up the coast to Tathra, you can't go past without visiting the historic Tathra Wharf and state of the art mountain bike trails. On our way through we stopped for a quick coffee lunch at a wonderful cafe/surf shop call The Gap! Coffee was great, food was delicious and shopping in the same place makes for a pleasant time overall! Situated on the water's edge, makes for a lovely lunch date! And did I say SHOPPING!
If you head further up again, you will eventually reach Bermagui. The town of fishing!
We have spent many afternoons over the years eating fish and chips from Blue Wave Seafood on the fishing docks, this year it was even more special as we were visited by some beautiful stingrays. It was truly magnificent to watch these ocean giants glide between the fishing boats and under the piers. On our way out of Bermagui, we stopped quickly at a whale lookout. The views were simply stunning, with an added visit from a family of seals.
Some top towns you need to visit are Cobargo, Central Tilba, Tilba Tilba, Bega and although we didn't get all the way up to Mogo and Bateman's Bay this time, they are definitely places we recommend and should not be missed.
On our way home, we went through Jindabyne and just fell in love! We had originally planned on doing a straight trip back but due to the current lockdown situations, we had to remain in NSW without crossing to ACT or VIC to allow me (Kacey) to be able to get home. Because Kyle lives in VIC and I live in NSW if we crossed to VIC Kyle wouldn't have been allowed back, therefore I wouldn't be able to get home. So, we weaved our way through Kosciuszko National Park and over Mt. Kosciuszko, a sight that was simple stunning. We stopped by the Birchwood Cafe for brunch, and although we did have to wait 30 minutes for a table, it was without a doubt the best decision we made for our way home, the food was beyond delicious!
Our final stop before arriving home was Blowering Dam, and if you need to stretch or a place to have a bite to eat, these views and serenity here were unexplainable! The smooth, glass-like waters and history to read up was beyond amazing!
We hope this post gives you the insight to visit some hidden secrets on the East Coast of Australia, as well as getting your planning started for post lockdown trips, because we all need something to look forward too, right?!
Keep safe, while you're STAYING OFF TRACK!
Kacey & Kyle
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