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New South Wales
Merimbula is located in New South Wales
Coordinates36°53′53″S 149°54′04″E / 36.89806°S 149.90111°E / -36.89806; 149.90111Coordinates: 36°53′53″S 149°54′04″E / 36.89806°S 149.90111°E / -36.89806; 149.90111
Population3,544 (2016 census)[1]
Elevation11 m (36 ft)
LGA(s)Bega Valley Shire
State electorate(s)Bega
Federal division(s)Eden-Monaro
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
20.8 °C
69 °F
9.9 °C
50 °F
770.0 mm
30.3 in
Merimbula Bar and Main beach

Merimbula /məˈrɪmbjələ/[2] is a town on the Merimbula Lake, located on the Far South Coast or Sapphire Coast of New South Wales, Australia. At the 2016 census, the population was 3,544.[1]

The population within 10 km of the Merimbula Post office is over 18,000 people. The satellite town of Tura Beach lies within the 10 km population radius.[3]


Merimbula has one primary school; Merimbula Public School. However, the town does not have a high school. Children from Merimbula have to travel to either Bega or Eden to attend public high school, or attend private schools in the surrounding areas, including Pambula Beach, Eden and Bega.

Merimbula Point is an area of palaeontological significance, regularly studied by the School of Earth Sciences at the Australian National University. Several previously unknown species have been found in the ancient sedimentary rocks there, including Merimbulaspis and Pambulaspis.[4][5]


Merimbula is one of only a few towns on the South Coast of NSW to have its own airport, Merimbula Airport. There are daily flights services by QantasLink and Rex Airlines, from Sydney and Melbourne to Merimbula. Flights from Sydney often stop in Moruya.[6]

Situated just off the national highway 1, the Princes Highway, Merimbula is nearly the same distance to both Sydney and Melbourne, with both trips taking between five and seven hours to drive. It is approximately three hours drive to Australia's capital Canberra.

Merimbula is serviced by many interstate and intrastate road coach services, and connects with rail services at many interchanges.

Local commuter passenger bus services operate six days per week to all urban areas and some regional centres within the council area.


Merimbula has a green football oval and two soccer fields on the Berrambool Oval. The oval is used, depending on the time of year, for cricket (summer period) and Australian Football (winter period). There are additional sporting facilities located within the Merimbula urban area. The Merimbula Pambula Bulldogs competes in the Group 16 Rugby League Premiership. Merimbula hosts two football clubs, the Diggers and the Marlins. Merimbula's soccer club is the Merimbula Grasshoppers which hosts men, women and junior sides. The Merimbula Knights Cricket Club are a club in the Far South Coast Cricket Association. Other sporting clubs include the Merimbula Basket Ball Club, Merimbula Big Game and Lakes Angling Club, and Merimbula Netball Association.

There are five golf courses within a one-hour drive from Merimbula, including Pambula Merimbula GC, Tura Beach Country Club, Eden Gardens Country Club and Bermagui Country Club.


Merimbula has an oceanic climate (Cfb) with mild, sometimes warm summers and cool, windy, drier winters. Extreme temperatures have ranged from 44.2 °C (111.6 °F) to −2.0 °C (28.4 °F) and the average annual rainfall is 770.0 millimetres (30.3 in). As with most areas on the coastal plain in southern New South Wales, the relatively low precipitation in late winter and early spring is attributed to the Great Dividing Range, which blocks the moist, westerly cold fronts that approach from the Southern Ocean, where they become Foehn winds on the mountain range's leeward side.[7] Its relatively low annual rainfall of 770.0 millimetres (30.3 in) is owed to its sheltered position on the NSW coast, as it is dented more westward or inward compared to other areas on the immediate NSW coast, which generally feature rainfall above 1,000 millimetres (39.4 in).

Climate data for Merimbula (Merimbula Airport AWS) (1998–2022)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 44.2
Average high °C (°F) 24.9
Average low °C (°F) 15.5
Record low °C (°F) 3.0
Average rainfall mm (inches) 66.8
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2mm) 11.3 9.9 10.7 9.8 8.4 10.6 9.4 8.6 9.8 11.8 11.3 11.5 123.1
Average afternoon relative humidity (%) 65 64 62 61 60 60 58 55 58 61 65 63 61
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[8]


View of town
Merimbula's boardwalk

Merimbula hosts two annual Orchid Shows, both held in Twyfold Hall opposite the Tourist Information Centre. The winter Orchid Show is in late August, and the Australian Native Orchid Show is in early November. The annual Jazz Festival is held on the Queen's Birthday weekend early in June. A much smaller Country Music Festival is held in the Merimbula-Imlay Bowling Club around the beginning of November each year. The Pambula Merimbula Golf Club hosts one of the country's bigger Weeks of Golf attracting over 900 golfers during October.

Merimbula has a windsurfing and kiteboarding festival, the Merimbula Classic. This is held in late November each year.


Merimbula is largely a tourist town, with the bulk of the town's earnings coming from tourism. There is a wide range of holiday accommodation in the area including motels, self-contained units and holiday houses for rent. Merimbula is known for its good beaches and locally produced oysters.


Merimbula has six main beaches—Main Beach (or Merimbula Beach), Mitchies Jetty, Bar Beach, Spencer Park Beach, Middle Beach and Short Point. Main Beach and Short Point are considered to be the best beaches for surfing, whilst Bar Beach is used for snorkeling.[3] Other activities include whale watching, fishing, kitesurfing and boating. Middle Beach is more suited to fishing, and whale watching in season. With a decent percentage of the population being retirees, golf and lawn bowls are popular as well. Merimbula has scuba diving, with the sponge gardens at Yellow Rock and the Empire Gladstone wreck off nearby Haycock Point's popular dives.

Merimbula is close to Bournda National Park, South East Forest National Park and the northern end of Ben Boyd National Parks. A coastal walk running through Bournda National Park from Tathra to Tura Beach just north of Merimbula takes in coastal scenery. Southern right whales[9] (less frequent) and humpback whales are big feature in the areas.

It is also a short drive to other scenic places in the area such as Tathra, Eden and Bermagui.

Merimbula offers a range of activities from standup paddleboarding and kayaking, to some of the best surfing on the Far South Coast. Magic Mountain, Merimbula's own theme park has a roller coaster and one of the best toboggan slopes in New South Wales.

The Merimbula Wharf offers its own aquarium full of some of the common sea creatures on the Sapphire Coast. It is also a popular restaurant for tourists as well as locals.

The Aquarium is a has a wide variety of marine life, 'from sharks to shrimp, octopus to tropical fish, it's all in the living theatre of the deep!’, according to TripAdvisor. It has 25 tanks of aquatic life.

There are many restaurants and eateries in Merimbula, including one small bar.

10 kilometres to the west of Merimbula along the Princes Highway towards Bega, Potoroo Palace Wildlife Sanctuary is located.[10] This nature park has a collection of native species with some hands on opportunities for the children. It also cares for injured or orphaned animals.

Heritage listings[edit]

Merimbula has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Merimbula (state suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 9 July 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ Macquarie Dictionary (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
  3. ^ a b "Merimbula". Visit NSW. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  4. ^ Les Murphy, Story (8 July 2009). "Earliest evidence of land life found on our shores". Meribula News Online. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  5. ^ Young, Burrow, Long, Turner, Choo (March 2010). "Devonian macrovertebrate assemblages and biogeography of East Gondwana (Australasia, Antarctica)". Palaeoworld. 19 (1–2): 55–74. doi:10.1016/j.palwor.2009.11.005.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ "Flight Information". Merimbula Airport. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  7. ^ Sharples, J.J. Mills, G.A., McRae, R.H.D., Weber, R.O. (2010) Elevated fire danger conditions associated with foehn-like winds in southeastern Australia. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology.
  8. ^ "Merimbula Airport AWS". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. July 2022. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  9. ^ "- YouTube". YouTube.
  10. ^ South East News Blog (13 August 2010). "Coast move to save endangered birds". Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  11. ^ "Courunga". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment & Heritage. H00235. Retrieved 18 May 2018.

External links[edit]