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Merimbula, New South Wales

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Merimbula has long been a holiday haven, loved for its lakeside frontage, great dining and central location. The township of Merimbula nestles in and around an unspoilt ocean-fed lake; its pristine beaches and surrounding National Parks, are perfectly matched with eateries, galleries, boardwalks and oyster farms. Remarkable close encounters define the annual whale migration along the Sapphire Coast of New South Wales, and Merimbula is the perfect place while you explore from sea and shore. Whether on a whale watching cruise, strolling on sandy beaches, hiking from headland to headland or settling in for a long lunch with panoramic ocean views – there are many opportunities to see these incredible creatures and their delightful companions - dolphins, seals, penguins and seabirds. Seafood is a specialty, just ask Sammy the well-fed New Zealand Fur Seal who lives on the lake’s edge. The Sapphire Coast’s boutique fishing fleet is one of the biggest suppliers to the Sydney Fish Market and you will find fresh local seafood on many menus as well as being available at the passionate wholesalers. Or catch your own seafood – book a berth on one of the charter boats or launch your own craft from the boat ramp (which has some of the best facilities on the coast). There’s plenty of opportunity for adventure and tours, like surf, stand-up paddle board, kayaking and snorkel hire around the lake, horse riding or game fishing charters. If it’s the big game fish you are chasing, charter operators can take you to where the wild things are and if it’s something smaller and more accessible, then favourites such as flathead, whiting, bream and snapper are among the many species on the Sapphire Coast. Or travel more slowly and improve your swing on the 27-hole golf course, enjoy a social round of bowls or browse the art galleries, where artists are inspired by coastal life. Merimbula really does have it all - and remains one of the best beach holiday destinations in Australia.

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