Quick Guide to the Merimbula Lake Boardwalk

It feels like the southern New South Wales town of Merimbula is surrounded by water. This isn’t just because there are several lovely beaches around the town. It also straddles Merimbula Lake; a stunning area with lots of wildlife and great views.

One of the best ways to experience the lake is from the Merimbula Boardwalk. It takes you through mangrove forests and past oyster farms. Along the walk you can see fish, crabs, stingrays, swans and pelicans.

If it is not beach weather, or you want water views without getting sand between your toes, check out our guide on the Merimbula Lake Boardwalk so you can explore this lovely part of Merimbula.

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Merimbula Boardwalk

Quick Guide to the Merimbula Lake Boardwalk

Length – 3.4km return walk

Difficulty – Easy. It is a flat walk along the boardwalk, dirt track or paved path. Suitable for prams and wheelchairs

Start – Either at Sunny’s Kiosk car park on Lakewood Drive or there is a car park on the left of the bridge driving away from the airport

Not permitted on the boardwalk – bikes, skateboards and rollerblades

Dogs are allowed on lead

Merimbula Boardwalk

Best Time to do the Walk

The Merimbula Lake Boardwalk is known as a great place for taking in sunset. You will also see a bit more birdlife if you go early or late in the day. Having said that, we started our walk mid afternoon and still saw a lot of birds.

We picked our walking time to coincide with high tide. This meant there was water under the boardwalk which added to the experience.

With the water right below your feet you can spot fish and crabs on either side of the boardwalk which was a lot of fun. If you want to keep children entertained on the walk, high tide is the time to go.

If you do the walk late in the day, it is worth noting that Sunny’s Kiosk is only open in the late afternoon (4pm – 8.30pm) on Friday and Saturday.

Start of the walk Sunny's

Which end did we start?

We started from the Sunny’s Kiosk end. There is a bit more parking here and a toilet. You can also launch a kayak from here if you feel like a paddle after your walk.

If you time walk right, you can finish your stroll with something refreshing from the kiosk. Sunny’s Kiosk is open Thursday to Monday from 7.30am – 2pm and on Friday and Saturday also from 4pm to 8.30pm.

If you do walk in the afternoon, you will be walking right into the sun on the way back if you start from the Sunny’s end. The walk is pretty exposed so have hat and sunnies handy, it got pretty warm!

Merimbula Mangroves

Top 5 Things to Watch for on the Walk

We had a lot of fun on this walk. There is something fun to see around every corner. Here are a few of the sights you can look out for along the way.


Walk amongst the Mangroves

It might just be us, but we do love a mangrove boardwalk. The grey mangroves on the Merimbula Boardwalk are mostly at the Sunny’s Kiosk end. In fact, you walk into the forest soon after starting the trail.

There are a couple of spots where the boardwalk veers through the trees to the water where you get nice views. And if you go when the water is in, you’ll see lots of tiny fish swimming around, confirming the mangrove’s role as a fish nursery.

It was also good to see some new mangrove saplings just poking their way leaves up above the intertidal mudflat.


Oyster Farms

Depending on where you live in Australia, seeing an oyster farm up close might not be something you can do every day. That is certainly the case for us living in the Adelaide Hills!

So, it was fascinating being able to see them lined up here and watching the shallow water rising and falling between the rows. Towards the bridge end of the walk, you can also see some wild rock oysters on either side of the path.


Fish and Crabs

If you are a nature lover or have curious kids, you could spend ages watching the small fish dart around (if the tide is in) and the soldier crabs scuttling around the intertidal zone. We saw a lot more around the mangrove end of the walk.

The more you keep still, the more you see. The crabs were everywhere, and I think we saw male crabs trying to drag lady crabs into their hole – usually with little success.

We spotted most of the crabs on the land side of the boardwalk just out of the water. Further into the lake, we also saw a couple of schools of small whiting.



Short-tail stingrays, also known as smooth rays, are a common sight in the shallows along the New South Wales coast. We have seen them in Jervis Bay, Eden and Narooma. They are also regular visitors at Kianinny Bay in Tathra.

You can spot them in Merimbula Lake too. They have learnt they can get an easy feed wherever people are fishing so keep an eye out for them near the carpark at the bridge where people often cast a line.

There were two or three there when we hit the turn around point of the walk. They are huge things and seeing them up close is always a magic experience.



Bird watchers will have a lot of fun around Merimbula Lake too. Keep an eye out for black swans, pelicans, cormorants and eastern curlews. As you move from the mangroves to eucalypt bushland, you can also see blue wrens and bellbirds to name just a few.

Merimbula Boardwalk

Views over the Lake

And finally, even if the wildlife isn’t showing itself, there are still the beautiful views across the water. Whether you go at sunset or some other time of day, the shallow water looks brilliant and between the oyster farms and the hills in the background, it is a beautiful spot to unwind.

If you enjoyed this story you might also like:

Eden Nature Cruise | Visit Kianinny Bay | Barmouth Beach Walk

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Merimbula Boardwalk
Merimbula Boardwalk
Merimbula Boardwalk
Merimbula Boardwalk
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