Merimbula has one primary school; Merimbula Public School. However, the town does not have a high school. Children from Merimbula to travel to either Bega or Eden to attend public high school, or attend private schools in the surrounding areas, including Pambula Beach, Eden and Bega.
Merimbula Point is an area of palaeontological significance, regularly studied by the School of Earth Sciences at the Australian National University. Several previously unknown species have been found in the ancient sedimentary rocks there, including Merimbulaspis and Pambulaspis.
Merimbula is one of only a few cities on the South Coast of NSW to have its own airport, Merimbula Airport. There are daily flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Merimbula. Flights from Sydney often 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 five and seven hours to drive. It is approximately three hours drive to Australia's capital Canberra.
Merimbula is serviced by many interstate and intrastate road coach services, and connects with rail services at many interchanges.
Local commuter passenger bus services operate six days per week to all urban areas and some regional centres within the council area.
Merimbula has a green football oval and two soccer fields on the Berrambool Oval. The oval is used, depending on the time of year, for cricket (summer period) and AFL (winter period). There are additional sporting facilities located within the Merimbula urban area. The Merimbula Pambula Bulldogs competes in the Group 16 Rugby League Premiership. Merimbula hosts two football clubs, the Diggers and the Marlins. Merimbula's soccer club is the Merimbula Grasshoppers which hosts men, women and junior sides. The Merimbula Knights Cricket Club are a club in the Far South Coast Cricket Association. Other sporting clubs include the Merimbula Basket Ball Club, Merimbula Big Game and Lakes Angling Club, and Merimbula Netball Association.
There are five golf courses within a one-hour drive from Merimbula, including Pambula Merimbula GC, Tura Beach Country Club, Eden Gardens Country Club and Bermagui Country Club.
Merimbula has an oceanic climate (Cfb) with mild, sometimes warm summers and cool, windy, drier winters. Extreme temperatures have ranged from 42.8 °C (109 °F) to −2.1 °C (28.2 °F) and the average annual rainfall is 830.6 millimetres (32.7 in).
Climate data for Merimbula Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) 42.8
Average high °C (°F) 24.3
Average low °C (°F) 15.1
Record low °C (°F) 4.8
Average rainfall mm (inches) 74.5
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2mm) 10.0 9.3 10.0 9.2 9.4 9.3 7.3 9.1 10.9 11.1 12.6 10.7 118.9 Average afternoon relative humidity (%) 66 67 67 65 65 64 61 59 61 64 67 67 64 Source: Bureau of Meteorology
Merimbula hosts two annual Orchid Shows, both held in Twyfold Hall opposite the Tourist Information Centre. The winter Orchid Show is in late August, and the Australian Native Orchid Show is in early November. The annual Jazz Festival is held on the Queen's Birthday weekend in June. A much smaller Country Music Festival is held in the Merimbula-Imlay Bowling Club around the beginning of November each year. The Pambula Merimbula Golf Club hosts one of the country's bigger Weeks of Golf attracting over 900 golfers during October.
Merimbula has a windsurfing and kiteboarding festival, the Mambo. This is held in late November each year. Merimbula serves predominantly as a tourist town and is also renowned for its fresh rock oysters and annual Jazz Festival, June Queen's Birthday Long weekend.
Other popular events include 'The BIG float' on Australia Day. Locals and visitors grab their most outrageous floats and when the tide turns at the bridge out of town, they float down to Spencer Park or Mitchies Jetty. Another very popular event is the Sapphire Coast New Year's Eve Spectacular which is a family event with music and two firework shows.
Merimbula is largely a tourist town, with the bulk of the town's earnings coming from tourism. There is a wide range of holiday accommodation in the area including motels, self-contained units and holiday houses for rent.
Merimbula does, however, have a small, but significant oyster farming industry. Merimbula grows approximately 3% of New South Wales Sydney rock oysters and a small amount of native flat oysters, Ostrea angasi.
Merimbula has five main beaches—Main Beach (or Merimbula Beach), Mitchies Jetty, Bar Beach, Spencer Park Beach and Short Point. 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[specify] 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. Southern Right Whales (less frequent) and Humpback Whales are big feature in the areas.
Merimbula offers a range of activities from horse riding to roller coaster rides. Magic Mountain, Merimbula's own theme park has a roller coaster and one of the best toboggan slopes in New South Wales.
The Merimbula Wharf offers its own aquarium full of some of the common sea creatures on the Sapphire Coast. It is also a popular restaurant for tourists as well as locals.
There are many restaurants and eateries in Merimbula, including one small bar. Just outside Merimbula, found at the Oaklands centre is a new nano-brewery.
10 kilometres to the west of Merimbula along the Princes Highway towards Bega, Potoroo Palace Wildlife Sanctuary is located. 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.
Merimbula has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Merimbula (state suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
- Macquarie Dictionary (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
- "Merimbula". Visit NSW. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- Les Murphy, Story (8 July 2009). "Earliest evidence of land life found on our shores". Meribula News Online. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- Young, Burrow, Long, Turner, Choo (March 2010). "Devonian macrovertebrate assemblages and biogeography of East Gondwana (Australasia, Antarctica)". Palaeoworld. 19 (1–2): 55–74. doi:10.1016/j.palwor.2009.11.005.
- "Flight Information". Merimbula Airport. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Kingaroy Prince Street". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. April 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
- South East News Blog (13 August 2010). "Coast move to save endangered birds". Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- "Courunga". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H00235. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
Media related to Merimbula, New South Wales at Wikimedia Commons