Destination Inspiration: Merimbula, Australia

Merimbula is a must-visit on any New South Wales itinerary. Home to happening beach bars, quirky stays and seafood galore, this laid-back Australian coastal town is on course to become the new Byron Bay.


Merimbula, Australia.

Why now?

Bordered by Queensland and Victoria, New South Wales is situated on Australia’s
glorious east coast. Originally home to Aborginal tribes, its
population today stands at around eight million, making it the
country’s most populous state. Though it’s best known for the
breathtaking Bondi Beach and the sparkling capital of Sydney, we suggest skipping past the tourist
hotspots and heading for one of its most magical towns,

Water babies will love this southern end of the sapphire coast,
and the pristine Merimbula Lake. While tiny, it’s the town’s sense
of community and busy calendar of local events that have allowed it
to flourish. Its windsurfing and kiteboarding festival and the
Pambula Merimbula Golf Club’s legendary annual competition have
caught the attention of cool creatives. With a fresh breed of beach
shacks and design-driven restaurants cropping up at every turn,
this has fast become a go-to holiday destination for laid-back


Don’t miss

Australia is home to some of the world’s most treasured
wildlife. Animal lovers should carve out time to visit Bega Valley
sanctuary Potoroo Palace. Just a 10-minute drive from Merimbula,
the centre cares for animals who have been injured and are no
longer able to live in the wild. We’re talking everything from
kangaroos and lizards to dingoes and wombats.

Those looking to cool off will enjoy an evening dip in the
tranquil waters of Bar Beach, while hikers will want to explore the
Pambula-Haycock area of Ben Boyd National Park. Follow winding
trails through secluded coves and past Aboriginal shell middens –
the remains of shellfish meals once gathered and eaten on these

Hillcrest Motel Interior
Hillcrest Motel Pool

Hillcrest Motel Merimbula | Image credit:
David Rogers

Where to stay?

Open since 1974, Hillcrest Merimbula has long served as
everyone’s favourite beachside motel. New owner Caspar Tresidder
has overseen a recent wholesale makeover, which has transformed the
30 bedrooms into contemporary, cosy hideaways. Interiors, courtesy
of architects Atelier Chardon and stylists Miranda O’Rourke and
Harrison Balodis, marry traditional features with modern detailing:
think exposed brickwork, burnished wooden cabinets, whitewashed
walls and rattan and walnut-timber furnishings. The best bit? The
authentic 1970s clay tennis court is available for guests’ use, if
you fancy a match. Be sure to pack your whites.

Where to go for dinner?

Merimbula Gourmet Oysters. Located on the western edge
of Merimbula Lake, this family-owned oyster farm is known for
serving some of the best seafood Australia has to offer. With
sharing platters jam-packed with fresh crayfish, prawns and
scallops it’s borderline impossible to leave without having
overdone it. The angasi oysters, in particular, are

And for a drinkā€¦

It’s got to be Dulcie’s. A white weatherboard cottage built by couple
Arthur and Dulcie Goodsill in 1925, this much-loved spot offers
family-style feasting in its outdoor courtyard. With oak barrels
for tables and a retro caravan rustling up build-your-own burgers,
it’s the perfect place to spend an evening with an Aperol spritz or


Who to take with you

Take that friend who always knows the best place in town for a
nibble and a tipple. They’ll delight in Merimbula’s buzzy beachside

When to go

When not to go? We’ve waited long enough for borders to reopen
and can’t wait another moment for our big return down under. But,
weather-wise, December to February is the best time to enjoy
Australia in all its sun-drenched glory.

Essentials to pack

Fed up of your phone overheating? This Sacai rattan cross-body basket bag is the
perfect partner for keeping you and your possessions feeling and
looking cool.

How to get there

No airline flies direct from the UK to Merimbula. We suggest
flying from London Heathrow to Dubai with Emirates. From there,
jump on a connecting flight to Merimbula Airport, which is just a
five-minute drive from the town’s bustling Market Street.

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