About as far south as you can go before reaching Victoria, the Sapphire Coast is very much the unspoilt getaway of days gone by: empty beaches, friendly cafés and some of the most reliable whale-watching in the country. The relaxed coastal town of Merimbula, which can now be reached by direct Qantas flights from Sydney, in addition to existing Melbourne flights, sits at its heart. Here’s how to make the most of your trip.
Book a stunning stay
Settle in for a luxe stay in one of the three-bedroom penthouse apartments at Coast Resort Merimbula, right across from Main Beach. For something a little retro and in keeping with the old-school holiday vibes, book a room at the Hillcrest, a 1970s-era motel that’s been lovingly revamped for the modern traveller.
Take a drive
Take a 10-minute drive south to the town of Pambula for the coffee at Wild Rye’s Roastery before browsing ethical fashion and jewellery at Goldfinch. Craft beer and woodfired pizza at Longstocking Brewery make for a laid-back afternoon.
Watch whales at sea
See humpback whales on a Sapphire Coastal Adventures daytrip that departs from Bermagui, an hour north of Merimbula, and has a 100 per cent whale-spotting guarantee (in season).
Dine at an upscale eater
Book a stand-out dinner at the recently opened Valentina – its concise menu is as refined as the pared-back palette adorning this upscale waterfront eatery. The signature lobster cocktail and butterflied prawns with beurre noisette are a must-try.
Do a cultural walking tour
Join a cultural walking tour with an Aboriginal community member on the 1.8-kilometre Bundian Way Story Trail near Eden, about 25 minutes south of Merimbula. Learn the stories of country, such as the unique relationship the local Indigenous people had with the killer whales that were once common along this coastline.