Definitive guide to what to do in Merimbula and Pambula with kids
Merimbula is the heart of the Sapphire Coast region, famous for its sparkling beaches, coves, lakes, cliffs, caves and national parks, most of which are easily accessible by coastal paths and trails.
With its stunning beachfront location, family holidays in Merimbula and Pambula generally gravitate towards the sand and sea and there is plenty of fun both in and under the water. Try snorkelling, diving or various fun water sports at Lake Wallagot and Lake Merimbula. Interested anglers can take to the water to fish for walleye and mullet and during the shrimp season from November to May, pick up buckets of fresh shrimp.
Animal-loving kids can pet a koala or enjoy an up-close encounter with the slippery species at Potoroo Palace's native wildlife park. Merimubla is a great place to watch whales during migration, so take a whale watching tour and see these magnificent animals up close. You can even experience some of the local marine life without getting wet at Merimbula Wharfand Aquarium.
Visit Bega, just 20 minutes' drive away, to explore historic buildings surrounded by lush dairy farms and the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre, or follow the food, wine and arts route on the beautiful Tathra-Bermagui Road.
Kids looking for a little more excitement can head to Magic Mountain for roller coasters, beach rides and go-karts.
Things to do in Merimbula and Pambula
This area is a true jewel at the top of the NSW coast, with something for everyone in and out of the water. These are some of our favorites.
- Explore the scenic rivers and canals by kayak.
- Learn to surf on one of the excellent beaches.
- Take a whale watching tour during migration season.
- Explore Mimosa Rocks National Park
- Enjoy the thrills and spills of Magic Mountain
- Play for a day at Mandeni Family Fun Park
- Get into the sea without getting wet at the Merimbula Wharf Aquarium
- Get up close and personal with the creatures at Oaklands Barn
- Pat and Koala Palace in Potoroo
- Enjoy cheese in the nearby cheese town of Bega
Things to do in Merimbula and Pambula with…
children from 0 to 4 years
You'll find plenty of calm lakes and beaches perfect for little ones to paddle or play in the sand, and if you prefer, you can take them for a swim at the indoor Sapphire Aquatic Center, where there's a shallow pool.
Little animal lovers will love Oaklands Barn & Garden Center's Animal Barn, where they can meet and greet a variety of farm animals, including pigs, goats, cows, sheep, alpacas, chickens, cats, dogs and camels.
Or head to the non-profit Potoroo Palace for the chance to see many species of Australian animals up close. Perfect for younger children, there are opportunities to pet a koala, walk among roaming kangaroos, touch a slithering snake, feed an emuor, visit the caged birds or take the train through the park.
children from 5 to 8 years old
Visit the nearby cheese-making town of Bega, where you'll find historic buildings surrounded by greener countryside. Be sure to visit the Bega Cheese Heritage Center to learn how dairy farming has shaped the region's culture. And be sure to stock up on snacks.
Alternatively, immerse yourself in local marine life without getting wet at the Merimbula Wharfand Aquarium, where you'll find everything from sharks to prawns in the expansive 27-tank aquarium.
If you prefer feathers to fins, take a short walk north to the award-winning On The Perch Bird Park in Kalarou, where you'll find more than 80 species of native and exotic birds on display. At the popular park, kids can get up close to the birds in their cages while learning all about bird conservation during talks with the keepers.
9-12 years old
The Montreal Goldfield offers an exciting and educational tour for children. At the former goldfield, the only goldfield in Australia that extends out to sea, take a guided tour through the regenerated rainforest to the edge of the mine shafts as you hear historical accounts, watch water-diving demonstrations and then visit the Museum.
Those looking for slightly dirtier adventures should head to Mudd Monsters Obstacle Park in the Bega Valley for a day of physically and mentally challenging obstacles aimed at under 15s.
Kids will love Mandeni Family Fun Park, where they can play a round or two of golf on the 9-hole golf course, 18-hole mini golf or 9-hole Pitch and Putt. For those who don't want to work on their disability, there's also archery, jet skis, mountain biking and boules.
The sandy beaches of Merimbula, Tathra and Pambula are ideal for stand up paddling, paddle boarding and surfing, whether you are an expert or a beginner. For those looking to learn the ropes, you'll find several excellent surf schools. And for even more thrills on the water, try a sea kayak tour or perhaps a small group wild kayak tour on the Towamba River, south of Eden.
For thrills out of the water, get back to nature by exploring the cliffs, sea caves and cliffs at Mimosa Rocks National Park.
For man-made thrills, teenagers will definitely want to spend a day at the iconic Meribula Magic Mountain to ride the Diamond Python roller coaster, drive Mini Grand Prix cars, slide down the Doom Tube and Black Hole waterslides, or fly the Toboggan mountain. Slide.
Best time to visit Merimbula and Pambula with family
This is a suitable area to visit all year round. The winter months are the coolest and the best time to enjoy the longer trails and relaxing walks on the beautiful beaches of the area. If it's too windy to go to the beach, visit the lake as it's secluded and well protected.
As one of the best places on Australia's east coast to watch whales on their annual migration from June to November, we recommend visiting from September to November as this is when the mothers return with their calves and they are often seen near the coast.
Summer is the beach and the weather is great for spending days enjoying the water and water sports. Along with the NSW school holidays, it's peak season for the region, which can mean higher prices, but also has the benefit of lots of other families getting together and having fun.
Places to eat with the family in Merimbula and Pambula
Visitors can enjoy flavors in and out of the sea in this area, which is all about succulent seafood and amazing inland produce. And just a short drive from Bega, there are also great cheeses and dairy products.
Oysters and mussels are a local specialty. Wheelers Oyster Farm and Restaurant offers some of the best. Delcie's Cottage, housed in a cute log cabin on Merimbula's main street, is another good place for fresh oysters and burgers, which may appeal more to younger palates.
Kids will love eating at On the Perch, a bird park where the cafeteria is open every day except Wednesday. Oaklands Barn also has great coffee, as does the Merimbula Aquarium at the Wharf Restaurant. If your family prefers finer dining, head to the Ritzy Wine and Tapas Bar and Waves Restaurant.
Free activities in Merimbula and Pambula
- The beaches and the lake in the area are a major attraction. From swimming to surfing, kayaking and canoeing or just taking a leisurely stroll on the beach or lakeside, there are plenty of excuses to get wet. Praia Principal is ideal for family surfing fun, while Praia da Barra offers more secluded swimming. Mitchies Jetty and Spencer Park on Lake Merimbula are two more of our favourites.
- The Pambula River Estuary is ideal for families. Bordering Ben Boyd National Park, it has a patrolled swimming beach in the peak summer months, a playground, picnic areas and an off-leash area for your pet. Experienced anglers, including hobbyists, are often rewarded with catches of whiting and mullet.
- There are short and long hikes as well as national parks to explore. Visit the National Parks and Wildlife office for more information.
What to do in Merimbula and Pambula with children
The Ultimate Guide to Things to Do in Merimbula and Pambula with Kids Merimbula is the heart of the Sapphire Coast region, famous for its sparkling beaches, coves, lakes, cliffs, caves and national parks, most of which they are easily accessible by footpaths and coastal walks. With its beautiful seaside location, family holidays in Merimbula...
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Janeece Keller is the founder and editor of Family Travel. She mostly travels with her husband and two young children. He has a large blended family living in Australia and Europe. He has visited 52 countries and lived on 3 continents. From camping to luxury resorts, Janeece strives to ensure your family has a variety of vacation experiences each year. She is an avid hiker and ocean swimmer who loves good food, margaritas and getting off the beaten path.
Bar Beach is on Merimbula Lake and offers a stunning turquoise waters to soak in. It is well provisioned with outdoor showers and amenities, and the Bar Beach Kiosk (one of the regions best eateries). For families, the water is wave free and the beach is patrolled seven days a week throughout summer.What is Merimbula known for? ›
Merimbula is an enchanting seaside town on the sparkling Sapphire Coast that offers rugged ocean beaches and tranquil coastal lakes. Wonderful things to do and see here include a range of water sports, whale watching, exploring an aquarium and wildlife sanctuary, and tasting the best local seafood.How big is Merimbula? ›
The 2022 Estimated Resident Population for Merimbula - Millingandi and District is 4,847, with a population density of 99.42 persons per square km.Is Tunnels beach good for kids? ›
Protected by this reef, Tunnels Beach provides calm and predictable conditions necessary for young families to enjoy the ocean, which means it is a perfect beach for the “in-between” family that has both older kids who want to experience sea life and underwater caverns and younger children who will be happier playing ...Is Pearl Beach good for kids? ›
This beautiful spot is home to generally calm waters and is the perfect family-friendly beach. The nearby playground, shops, cafes, and picnic spots make it a great place to head for an easy, breezy day in the sun!
As others have said, Merimbula is a far nicer town and there are plenty of reasonably priced accommodation options near the centre of town. Both towns are quite hilly despite being by the coast. I would pick Merimbula over Eden any time for its vistas, beaches and vibe. Boydtown beach, out of Eden, is amazing.What is the best time of year to visit Merimbula? ›
The best months for good weather in Merimbula are January, February, March, April, May, June, September, October, November and December. On average, the warmest months are January, February, March and December. The coldest months are July and August. The rainiest months are February, March, June and November.How long is the boardwalk in Merimbula? ›
Merimbula Boardwalk meanders around the lake shore and through mangrove forests, under eucalyptus canopies and past pristine oyster farms. It's approximately 3.4 kilometres return and will take around 1.5 leisurely hours to complete. It's famous for sunset views, and dotted with seats and jetties to enjoy them.Are there penguins in Merimbula? ›
Seals, penguins and dolphins are regular visitors and you may spot the resident seal basking near the Merimbula Bridge, or catching a fish or two in the lake. Motor out onto the water or around the beaches for some epic reef, rock or game fishing.What does the name Pambula mean? ›
The name Pambula is derived from its Dharwa name, pronounced "panboola", meaning 'twin waters'.
The 2022 Estimated Resident Population for Pambula District is 3,371, with a population density of 23.34 persons per square km.Why are tunnels good for kids? ›
Developing Motor Skills: They can help children develop their gross motor skills. The climbing movement helps them control the moving of their arms and legs. Choosing various shapes can help develop these important skills. Fun: Of course, tunnels offer a child a fun and interactive way to play.Why is Tunnels Beach famous? ›
Tunnels Beach (also known as Makua Beach) is a world-famous beach on Kauai's North Shore renowned for its world-class snorkeling and world-class beauty. The beach features a protective inner reef perfect for beginners and children and a complex outer reef for more advanced snorkelers.Is Avoca Beach good for kids? ›
Avoca Beach is perfect for kids of all ages. The cafes, beach and playground are all next to each other. It makes it easy to spend many hours at the beach comfortably with kids.Which beach in Nice is best for kids? ›
Villefranche-sur-Mer, near Nice
Plage des Marinières, the main beach in the area at the end of the quayside, is a sandy favourite for families, with its expanse of facilities and ice-cream huts making it an easy choice for a long sunny day. Head to the eastern end for a quieter spot.
From the smallest newborn to those up to 24 months, your baby is in the very best hands at Beaches. Luxurious, climate-controlled nurseries-filled with cribs, strollers, high chairs, rocking chairs and everything your little one could ever need await to cradle them in the very lap of luxury.Can you swim at Merimbula? ›
Merimbula's Main Beach has five kilometres of pristine blue ocean where you can surf, swim, fish or stroll.How much is a taxi from Eden to Merimbula? ›
The quickest way to get from Eden to Merimbula is to taxi which costs $65 - $85 and takes 21 min.What cities are between Sydney and Merimbula? ›
Top cities between Sydney and Merimbula. The top cities between Sydney and Merimbula are Canberra, Shoalhaven, Wollongong, Blacktown, and Kiama Municipality. Canberra is the most popular city on the route — it's 3 hours from Sydney and 3 hours from Merimbula.What to catch in Merimbula? ›
Merimbula Lake is a great spot for flathead, whiting and trevally and there are plenty of places to fish from shore if you don't have your own boat. The flat, clear waters of Merimbula Lake are bordered by beaches, walks and boardwalks and home to famous oysters and vibrant sea life.
Moderate to strong W winds with choppy seas. Very small mid period waves. Winds: W 17 to 34 knots. Seas: ESE 2 feet at 11 seconds.What are the best months to do East coast Australia? ›
Australia, and the East Coast in particular, is a spectacular and relatively warm country for backpackers all year round. However, both Spring (October and November) and Autumn (March, April and May) boast temperate weather that isn't too hot or cold and are our favourite times to travel the East Coast.Where is the longest boardwalk in the world? ›
The Atlantic City Boardwalk is the oldest in the United States and the longest in the world. First opened in 1870 and now spanning 5.5 miles, the Atlantic City Boardwalk is both the oldest in America and the longest in the world, garnering plenty of attention from East Coast visitors.What state has the longest boardwalk in the world? ›
Atlantic City, New Jersey
It sports the longest boardwalk in the world, at 5.5 miles, and also the oldest, first offering visitors the chance to stroll the sand-free walkway in 1870.
The out and back route begins from the parking area just below the Merimbula Lake Bridge near the centre of town. The trail itself is a mix of flat gravel paths and boardwalks that wrap around the edge of the mangrove.When can you see whales in Merimbula? ›
The main whale watching season for the Southern Migration is August to November, however recently they have been spotted as early as mid-July. The season peaks at the end of October, with the whale watching Festival in Eden.Are there whales in Merimbula? ›
Each spring, the waters off Bermagui, Tathra and Merimbula on the Sapphire Coast come alive with whales. Locals regularly report seeing pods breaching, tail waving and fin slapping as they make their way north to warmer waters and then back south to Antartica.What is the penguin capital of the world? ›
New Zealand is the penguin capital of the world.What does the name Michelle mean for a girl? ›
Originally a variant of the French Michel—itself a derivation of the Biblical name Michael—Michelle means “who resembles God.” Michelle has remained fashionable throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, buoyed in part by the Beatles' love song of the same name.What does the name Pam mean in English? ›
What is the meaning of the name Pam? The name Pam is primarily a female name of English origin that means All Honey.
September 29, 2022. Origin:British. Meaning:willow river crossing. Safford as a boy's name is of Old English origin, and the meaning of Safford is "willow river crossing". On This Page.Does Pambula have a hospital? ›
Pambula District Hospital, Merimbola St , Pambula. (02) 6495 8200.Is Pambula a good place to live? ›
Pambula Beach is very popular for families chasing a beach side getaway. With safe swimming beaches which are patrolled during the summer months and home to the only surf club in the Merimbula - Pambula area, it is no wonder this town is so popular.What is the history of Pambula? ›
* Pambula was proclaimed a town in 1885. * In 1888 the discovery of gold on the Yowaka and Pipeclay Rivers prompted a goldrush in the district. * By 1891 there were eleven mining companies in the Mount Gahan area. * In 1891 oyster farming began on the river.What is the best beach in Merimbula? ›
1: North Tura Beach
Surfing, swimming, fishing, whale watching, bushwalking tracks, picnic table, toilets, 200m from carpark. Accessible via Bournda National Park just north of Tura Beach.
See more about safety on Nice beaches. Some private beaches in Nice have small playground areas for kids and special kids menus. Ruhl beach and Les Canailles are reliably kid-friendly. Best is Li Rateta, a sandy beach maintained by the city especially for kids 6-12 years old.Is Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast better for kids? ›
The Gold Coast is better for families looking for an action packed holiday that also has beautiful surf beaches and mountains. The Sunshine Coast is better for families who want quieter beaches, fewer high rises and animal encounters like zoos and natural experiences.Is Eden or Merimbula better? ›
As others have said, Merimbula is a far nicer town and there are plenty of reasonably priced accommodation options near the centre of town. Both towns are quite hilly despite being by the coast. I would pick Merimbula over Eden any time for its vistas, beaches and vibe. Boydtown beach, out of Eden, is amazing.Where is the best place to swim in Pambula? ›
PAMBULA RIVER MOUTH
Not technically a beach, but with it's turquoise waters and white sand, the river mouth is one of the most popular swimming spots on the Sapphire Coast, and surely one of the prettiest as well! Pambula Lake feeds into this stunning location that delights visitors and locals alike.
- Pick a child-friendly beach. Big waves can be dangerous, and scary for toddlers or young children. ...
- Pack the right beach toys, & gear. ...
- Make a Family Beach Vacation Packing List. ...
- Apply sunscreen (A lot!) ...
- Drink lots of fluids & Stay Hydrated. ...
- Bring A Cooler. ...
- Pack sand-proof snacks. ...
- Avoid peak sun times & Nap Times.
Little smiles, Big Dreams. With Beaches family resort vacations, we give kids extra attention with tailor-made fun just for them, offering age-appropriate activities for kids of all ages, from tots to teens.Which ocean city is better for families? ›
West Ocean City – the best place to stay for families
Located just 2 miles (3 km) west of the Ocean City Boardwalk on the mainland.
Both offer what you are looking for. Noosa is a small coastal town whereas Gold Coast is a city and has much more as far as tourism goes, more people, more accomodation, more restaurants etc. You want the best beaches forget Noosa, try Mooloolaba, Maroochydore Alex Headlands!Is Mooloolaba or Noosa better? ›
Mooloolaba is a great family option for a Sunshine Coast holiday and much more affordable than Noosa. Restaurants are cheaper and you'll easily be able to find a decent affordable apartment with ocean views like we did here. Mooloolaba is a great place to base yourself during your trip to Sunshine Coast.What time of year is best for Sunshine Coast? ›
The best time to visit Sunshine Coast towns is spring (September to November). This time of the year sees minimal rainfall and comfortable temperatures of around 24°C to 27°C.