Sapphire Coast and Bega Valley

The Sapphire Coast is the marketing/tourist name for the Bega Valley Shire region in South East New South Wales, Australia.

It is known for its clean beaches, clear water,and unspoilt surroundings  See http://www.southcoast.com.au/sapphire/

From Wallaga Lake in the north, through to Wonboyn Lake, the Sapphire Coast & Bega Valley has many attractions & activities for tourists.

The main commercial and government centre of the Sapphire Coast is Bega. Bega Cheese is famous both in Australia and overseas.

To the east of Bega is Tathra Beach - a beautiful place to swim & relax,and the mouth of the Bega river is a popular picnic spot

Merimbula "the jewel in the crown" of the sapphire coast is located around beautiful lakes and their entrance to the Pacific. There is plenty of things to entertain visitors just in Merimbula. Further south, Eden is well known for its whaling in years gone by. The lookout up past the marina is worth a visit. The craft village of Cobargo is on the way to Narooma heading north (Central Tilba and Tilba Tilba are historic locations in between )

Merimbula is Aboriginal for 'two lakes'.There are daily flights from Sydney and Melbourne with Rex Airlines. Flights from Sydney usually stop in Moruya. 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 six and seven hours to drive. It is approximately three hours drive to Australia's capital Canberra.

Activities

Merimbula has five main beaches - Main Beach (or Merimbula Beach), Mitchies Jetty, Bar Beach, Spencer Park Beach and Short Point( Short Point is off leash for dog owners all year round with great views). Main beach and Short Point are considered to be the best beaches for surfing, whilst Bar Beach is used for snorkeling. Other activities include whale watching, fishing, kitesurfing and boating. 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 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.

Events

Merimbula is the host of the Australian Native Orchid Show, held in Twyfold Hall. Another event that is drawing more and more people each year is the Annual Jazz Festival which is held on the Queens Birthday weekend in June.

Attractions

Merimbula offers a range of activities from horse riding to roller coaster rides. Magic Mountain, Merimbula's own theme park has one of the best toboggan slopes in New South Wales. Top Fun is a games arcade offering Ten Pin Bowling, Mini Golf and Zone 3 Laser maze.The Picture Show Man cinema is opposite Club Sapphire.10 kilometres to the west of Merimbula along the Princes Highway towards Bega, you will find Potoroo Palace. 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. www.potoroopalace.com/