Nestled right in the middle of the picturesque Sapphire coast is Merimbula. Near the border of NSW and Victoria, it’s a bustling coastal town known around Australia for its incredible seafood, stunning beaches, cultural events and foodie focus.
In the last 12 months, Merimbula has seen as pleasing 17% median property price growth, yet it remains relatively affordable when considering its sweet-spot location between three of Australia’s highest priced regions.
For those of us looking to explore our own backyard as tourists or potential homebuyers looking for the ultimate sea change, Merimbula should be at the top of the list.
Here are the top 5 things to do in Merimbula this summer:
1. Enjoy the great outdoors
From glistening blue waters and white sand, to some of Australia’s freshest food and delicious beers, to golfing and jazz, Merimbula truly is a hidden gem. Take in some whale watching during the cooler months from the shore, take a leisurely stroll on one of the beautiful boardwalks, or tackle the more challenging 27km Wharf to Wharf bush walk covering stunning trails, reserves, beaches and the Bournda National park. Merimbula has a reputation as a great golfing destination, so remember to pack your golf clubs along with your walking shoes.
2. Eat Australia’s best oysters straight from the lake
When it comes to oysters, you can’t get any fresher than Merimbula Gourmet Oysters, led by local oyster farmer Pip Boyton. Located right on the lake itself, the farm is an unmissable experience for anyone passionate about provenance. When it comes to fine dining, you can’t miss Wheelers Seafood Restaurant, which offers an incredible dining experience and oyster tour.
3. Take a journey down the gourmet food and ale trail
The South Coast is a foodie’s wonderland of gourmet food and craft beer. Beyond the aforementioned oysters, there are artisanal food and ale trails stretching from North to South, perfect for those driving down from Sydney to visit Merimbula.
4. Swing from the trees or experience the marine life
Take the family on a thrilling eco adventure on the Tree Climb Challenge at Merimbula’s Magic Mountain amusement park. Or enjoy a day of food and activities at the Merimbula Wharf and Aquarium. Situated on the wharf overlooking clear blue waters, the aquarium offers 28 tanks, live fish feeding for the kids and a great restaurant.
5. Visit the Seachange Expo – 22-23 January 2022
Merimbula is hosting its Sea Change Expo to highlight Merimbula and the Sapphire Coast as the perfect place to live, work and play. Held over two days, the Expo combines information for those looking for a seachange or to invest in the area, as well as those looking to buy holiday homes or local businesses. The expo is held on the Saturday, with the Sunday dedicated to fun for the whole family. Enjoy the highlights of Merimbula, including guided walks, meetings with locals, gourmet food and drinks experiences, tours, outdoor and adventure experiences, and lots more.
Is Merimbula a good place to invest in or move to?
While property prices have increased in Merimbula as they have around the rest of Australia, they remain relatively and comparatively affordable, making the seaside town a viable interest for those in the market for a new home. Jo Thorpe from Bega agency, Fisk and Nagle, says “Merimbula offers homebuyers bang for buck. We’re not seeing the silly increases of neighbouring towns two hours away, but we are seeing a profitable increase in property value for owners and investors.”
Jo continues, “The beauty of Merimbula is just that: a lack of explosive population has meant we have an incredible unsullied beauty. Homebuyers come to us from Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne to get away from it all. There are no queues, a slower beautiful beachside town where you can get away from it and you’ll be buying into truly astonishing natural beauty from bush to beach. More so than other coastal areas.”
Merimbula is located 3 hours from Canberra and with daily flights to Melbourne and Sydney, its distance from nearby capital cities makes it a desirable destination for those looking for a seachange in the new era of remote work.
Jo says, “Like most agents around Australia, there are five buyers for every property. We’ve got significant interest in our properties from Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, while investors are beginning to come back to the area looking for a healthy return from the area’s quality investor properties that provide a very decent yield.”
“I moved from Sydney myself. During the week, I can watch the whales breach while I’m working from home while on the weekends we’ll drive two hours to the Snowy Mountains. It’s a fantastic place to live and work.”
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Like many regional areas disproportionately affected by the confluence of bushfires and the pandemic of the past three years, Merimbula has its lights on for business. The town is showcasing itself as a hub for employment and business opportunities for those looking to move to the area.
“Merimbula is very attractive to people looking to make a sea change and escape the busy pace of the city” says Nigel Ayling, President of Merimbula Chamber of Commerce, who moved from Sydney 17 years ago. “With a great outdoors lifestyle, access to all sports, no traffic, affordable housing and strong employment prospects, it really ticks all the boxes.’
“We’re a community that loves belonging to something, so it’s easy to meet new people and we have a very high rate of volunteerism. I have travelled extensively and I believe we truly do live in the best place in the world. ”