9 Best Things in Merimbula for Nature Lovers

Merimbula is a beautiful place surrounded by beaches, lakes, pristine coastline and bushland. If being outdoors is your special place, here are some of the best things to do in Merimbula if you want to discover the areas wildlife and natural beauty.

Disclosure: Please Note That Some Links In This Post May Be Affiliate Links, And At No Additional Cost To You, We Earn A Small Commission If You Make A Purchase. Commissions Go Toward Maintaining The Curious Campers Website.

The Pinnacles
The Pinnacles

Where is Merimbula?

Merimbula is on the south coast of New South Wales in a region called the Sapphire Coast.

The shortest route between Sydney and Merimbula is along the the Prices Highway, a road trip of about 450km, but it is not necessarily the quickest. Depending on the traffic, believe it or not, it might be faster to drive via Canberra and Cooma.

Nearby towns include:

  • Eden – 25km south
  • Bega – 32km
  • Bermagui – 68km
  • Narooma – 107km
  • Mallacoota (Victoria) – 111km
  • Cooma – 130km
  • Melbourne – 580km (with tolls)

Best Natural Attractions around Merimbula

We have been to Merimbula a few times and the reason we keep going back is that it is such a beautiful place. Whether you enjoy wildlife, walks, snorkelling or whale watching, Merimbula is a great spot for nature play.

If you like an outdoor adventure, here are some fun things to do in and around Merimbula.

Merimbula Boardwalk
Merimbula Boardwalk

Merimbula Lake Boardwalk

This easy 3.4km return walk along the north shore of Merimbula Lake has a bit of everything. You get great views across the water and oyster farms; you walk through mangrove forests and bushland and there is lots of wildlife.

High tide is a fun time to do this family friendly walk that starts either near the main town bridge or at Sunny’s Kiosk. When the water is up you can spot fish, crabs, and stingrays. There are also lots of water birds.

Check out our full guide of the Merimbula Boardwalk to this easy, fun and relaxing walk.

Potoroo Place
Potoroo Place Train
Potoroo Place Train

Potoroo Palace

This is a great activity for families just 5 minutes out of Merimbula. The small wildlife park has an intimate feel. You will certainly see plenty of cute potoroos as well as many other local native animals. The echidna feeding is a lot of fun and there is a chatty cocky named Max who is a crowd favourite.

A highlight here is the little train that does a lap of the park. Kids and the young at heart will love it. Allow a couple of hours to look around. You can buy snacks and drinks in the foyer. The toasted sandwiches are excellent!

Bar Beach

Go for a Snorkel

The clean, clear water around Merimbula just calls out to be explored with a mask and snorkel. One place to try is Merimbula Lake. Best entry is around Fishpen Road before Mitchies Jetty either side of high tide. Just watch the currents which can be quite strong in the shallow water.

On a calm day you will also see fish around Bar Beach. One of the best snorkel spots is right under the Merimbula Wharf. You can enter from the rocks to the left of the jetty. Entry and exit are easiest at high tide. There are stacks of fish under the wharf, just look out for fishing lines.

Merimbula Aquarium

Merimbula Aquarium

If you want to experience the local marine life but don’t want to get wet, have a look around the excellent Merimbula Aquarium. Located at the wharf below the restaurant, the aquarium might be hidden away but it is a fascinating place to look through.

A range of aquariums, the big Oceanarium, displays of shells and fossils and attentive and passionate guides make the visit here a lot of fun. Open Wednesday to Sunday, try and time your visit for the fish feeding on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Well priced and easy to get around, this is another good family activity in Merimbula. If you are more information, read our review of the Merimbula Aquarium.


Beowa National Park

Walks, amazing scenery, wildlife, and beautiful beaches all feature in Beowa (formerly Ben Boyd) National Park. The park has two sections, the Pambula – Haycock area is less than 30 minutes south of Merimbula.

We have a short guide to the best attractions in Beowa National Park which is worth a look if you are travelling between Merimbula and Eden.

If you want to see some wildlife, we highly recommend the Haycock Point to Barmouth Beach 6km return walk, the view at the Pinnacles is impressive and on a sunny day you won’t believe how beautiful the view from Barmouth beach is across the Pambula River.

There are no park fees for the Pambula – Haycock Point section of Beowa and the dirt roads are suitable for 2wd cars.

Pambula river at Barmouth Beach
Pambula River at Barmouth Beach

Pambula River Kayak

Another way to explore the beauty and wildlife of Beowa National Park is take your own kayak or go on a kayak tour of the Pambula River. When the sun is out there isn’t a more stunning sight than the crystal clear turquoise water of the Pambula River.

Unfortunately, we didn’t see a lot of sun on our last trip, just a bit of rain and a lot of wind so this experience is still on our bucket list. But if going for a paddle is your thing, exploring the Pambula River by kayak is a must do activity.

Northcote falls
Northcote Falls

Nethercote Falls

You can escape the coastal crowds with a 25 minute drive to Nethercote Falls. A warning up front, it is not an easy walk, but it is fun if you are up for it! From Nethercote Road, turn onto Pipeclay Road. When you get to three dirt tracks, take the middle option. You will need a high clearance vehicle for the short drive to the picnic area.

From the picnic area there is a short, steep walk down to the river. You need to cross the river to get to the walking track. If there is a lot of water, you might get your feet wet but often you can rock hop your way over. It’s a bit of an adventure! The falls are not huge, but it is a lovely swimming spot, and the rocky river channel is an interesting place to explore.

Salt Creek Beach
Salt Creek Beach

Merimbula Beaches

Whether you enjoy surfing, swimming, paddling or snorkelling there is a beach in Merimbula for you. The northern end of Main Beach has lots of facilities and is a good beach for families. Smaller Bar Beach is also a great place for a swim and snorkel and there is a café there for a snack or drink.

Short Point Beach is the place to go for surfers. If you want a quieter spot, Middle Beach between Long Point and Short Point is accessed by a steepish path and steps. You might only be a few minutes from the heart of Merimbula, but Middle Beach feels remote. It is a good whale watching location, currents can be strong here.

Humpback Whales
Humpback Whales

Whale Watching

From May to early November whales migrate up and down the east coast of Australia. The Sapphire Coast is one of the best whale watching locations in Australia so if you are in Merimbula during whale season, going on a cruise to see them is a great experience.

Whale watching cruises depart from Merimbula and neighbouring towns Eden and Bermagui. Peak viewing time is when the whales are returning to the Antarctic waters from August to November. Often they can be spotted in sheltered bays.

If you are around Merimbula outside of whale watching season, we can recommend the wildlife watching cruise that runs out of Eden. Read more about the Eden Wildlife Cruise.

If you enjoyed this story you might also like:

Kianinny Bay | Tura Headland Walk | Things to do in Narooma

Liked it? Pin it for Later…

Things to do in Merimbula for Nature Lovers
Things to do in Merimbula for Nature Lovers
Things to do in Merimbula for Nature Lovers
Things to do in Merimbula for Nature Lovers
Things to do in Australia

Join our mailing list and receive our Free Top 500 things to do in Australia. If you love the Australian Outdoors download this list and keep it handy when you are planning a weekend away or a road trip around Australia.

Recent Posts

Leave a comment