Wildlife & Marine Experiences
Feed a kangaroo, meet a koala or take a guided snorkel tour - you can do all three in a day!
Captain Sponges Magical Oyster Tours
Discover the secrets of Pambula Lake, learn about oyster farming, the river estuary and taste oysters straight from the lake. All aboard for Captain Sponge’s Magical Oyster Tour!
Pambula produces around 215,000 dozen Sydney Rock Oysters a year and have a subtle earthy taste, rounded by the daily meeting of river waters from Yowaka and Pambula and the incoming tide from the beautiful river mouth.
Board ‘The Kangaroo’, a glorified oyster punt, and set sail downstream past towering eucalypts, ancient Aboriginal middens and resident white bellied sea eagles. See how the catching of oysters is done, how they are grown and sample some for yourself before heading back to the jetty.
Tours take approximately 1.5 hours. Minimum 6 persons, max 23. Private group charters by appointment.
Light to Light Camps
Walk the wilderness coast with the support of Light to Light Camps.
The iconic 2 night/3 day Light to Light Track follows some of Southeast Australia’s most spectacular coastline.
Located in Ben Boyd National Park in Australia’s Coastal Wilderness region, the 31 kilometre track passes rock dating back over 400 million years, a marine environment with incomparable diversity, coastal heath and forests of Banksia and Ti-tree.
Ancient Aboriginal shell middens on the shores showcase a resource-rich ocean. The stories of an incredible and long-lasting relationship between whalers and Killer Whales adds to the mystery and wonder of this place.
This place is very special. Explore it at your own pace without the burden of tents, food and water, and be spoiled at the end of the day with delicious dinners, a hot shower and luxurious camp beds, sleeping bags, sheets and towels.
We’ve got you covered.
From sharks to shrimps, the octopus to the tropical fish. It’s all on display in our living theatre of the deep. The Merimbula Aquarium has 27 tanks and a fantastic Oceanarium full of large ocean fish and sharks.
Fish feeding is the best time to visit as all tanks are fed and the fish become very active. Fish feeding is held every Monday, Wedesday and Friday at 11.30am and Monday to Friday during School Holidays.
The Aquarium Kids Club is held 6.45pm every Wednesday and Thursday nights during January. Activities are held in the Aquarium including a Touch Tank on display for children to hold some some marine creatures.
Aquarium Group Tours. We offer discounts for group bookings and can organise age-specific aquarium tours for school groups. Contact us for more details.
Snorkel with Marine Discovery Guides
Snorkelling with a guide is a deeply immersive way to explore our amazing coastline. The Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre hosts two hour guided snorkel tours at Eden’s Snug Cove and Merimbula Lake.
The experience is wonderful for people who want an introduction to snorkelling, to improve your skills, and learn about sea creatures who call the Sapphire Coast home.
Tours are suitable for children aged 12 and above, and cost $100 for groups of 1 to 3 people, or $25 per person for groups of four and more. Tours include snorkel, mask and fin hire with wetsuits available in some sizes.
To enquire, please contact the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre. Tours are flexible, but times are subject to tides and weather conditions.
Cat Balou Cruises
Tours range from two hours to 3.5 hours, from discovering Twofold Bay to exploring the coastal wildnerness all the way to Green Cape Light House.
Whale watching cruises begin in mid September, continuing each morning until late November.
Owner operators since 1987, Ros and Gordon Butt are NSW’s most experienced whale watching operators and offer daily whale watching cruises from mid September until late November with a 99% success rate of seeing whales.
It is mainly Humpback whales seen on their southern migration but there is also a chance of seeing other species of whales along with dolphins, seals and a variety of seabirds. Cat Balou has a hydrophone onboard to enable passengers to listen to whales singing. Throughout the year Cat Balou also offer a Twofold Bay Cruise which highlights the history, industries and natural beauty of this whaling port plus a good chance of seeing dolphins & seals.
Cat Balou is a 15mt catamaran with optimum viewing and inside seating for all passengers in case of inclement weather. A live, informative commentary is given on all cruises. All cruises depart from Snug Cove, Eden which has direct ocean access with no sand bar crossings.
Cat Balou Cruises has a boatload of awards, including the South Coast Tourism Hall of Fame and Ecotourism Winner and is consistently recognised for excellence by Trip Advisor.
Bookings are essential.
Oaklands Barn & Garden Centre
The kids will really enjoy our animal nursery, where they can experience animals close up.
Oaklands is home to several businesses, including the Oaklands Barn that carries a wide range of stock feeds, farm and landscaping supplies. There’s also a wonderful nursery and gift shop stocked with a huge range of plants and garden ornaments.
Coaches and large groups are welcome.
Opening hours are:
Monday to Friday 8am – 5pm
Saturday to Sunday 9am – 4pm
02 6495 7257
02 6495 7122
Merimbula Marina, Ocean Adventure Tours
Merimbula Marina operates multiple cruises each day during September to November. A family owned and operated business, they believe in responsible and respectful whale watching practices. They have a deep love of the ocean and all its amazing creatures and enjoy sharing this with passengers.
True Blue has been operating from Merimbula for over 10 years. She is a 16 metre Super Sea Cat with three unobstructed 360 degree viewing decks to whale watch from. She has both indoor and outdoor seating and onboard toilets. Live and informative whale commentary and morning or afternoon tea is provided. You are also likely to see other whales like Southern Rights, Minkes, Bryde’s, Blue and Orcas and marine life like dolphins, sea turtles, Australian Fur Seals, a bounty of sea birds and more from the boat.
Enjoy peace of mind with a money back guarantee that whales with be sighted on your cruise –please check the website for full details.
Launched in May 2015 “Sensational” is the Sapphire Coast’s newest and fastest whale watching experience! She is a fast, economical eco-RIB.
Get out to the whales fast and spend more time with them! Licensed to carry 20 passengers plus crew ensuring you a more personalised and intimate experience with the whales. With real 360 degree water level viewing this vessel allows you to get up close and personal with the whales!
Check out the daily photos and whale reports Facebook. Like our page and download photos taken from your cruise for free!
If whale watching is not your thing then why not try one of our NEW: 45min Sensational Beaches Blast trips. This high speed adventure is an awesome way to see Merimbula’s coastline whilst having a blast!
Outside of whale season take a Marine Discovery Tours, and see the region’s spectacular coastline and amazing wildlife.
Fishing Charters for the beginner to experienced anglers also available year round.
Book now by phoning (02) 6495 1686 or online www.merimbulamarina.com
Australia’s Coastal Wilderness Adventures
Australia’s Coastal Wilderness Adventures provide safe, enjoyable and insightful marine experiences for you. We operate on the stunning Far South Coast within close proximity to Eden, Pambula, Merimbula, Tathra and Bermagui.
Immerse yourself in stunning marine nature with ACWA’s experienced local guides that will provide all equipment, guidance on the activity and insights into the marine environment. Snorkelling tours are available year round so take the plunge. More details here.
2 hours: $60 pp ($45 under 18’s & pensioners).
4 hours: $85 pp ($70 under 18’s & pensioners).
PrawningDiscover a unique and exciting coastal activity. Prawning offers a unique opportunity to see interesting nocturnal marine wildlife and collect a feed of premium Australian seafood.
ACWA’s guides will offer expert guidance, all equipment and insights into this unique coastal activity for you. More details here.
$70 pp ($60 under 18’s & pensioners).
Ocean to plateExperience the very freshest seafood on an Ocean to Plate experience with ACWA.
Our experienced local guides will provide all equipment, select the best sites and provide tuition on sustainable marine harvesting techniques required to collect your very own mussels, abalone, crayfish, and sea urchins. At the end of the day enjoy a cooking demonstration along with the finale, an unforgettable seafood smorgasbord including your own catch of premium Australian seafood served alongside local oysters, prawns and cheese platter and wine. More details here.
Savour the rare opportunity to see a koala, wander among the kangaroos, touch a snake, stroll through the cooling mist of the walk-through aviary, feed an emu or grab a snack for yourself at the Blue Wren Café.
Potoroo Palace is an animal sanctuary and a not-for-profit organisation that is home to many species of Australian animals. Many of the animals at the sanctuary are native to the Merimbula area and some are very rare now. Some animals roam freely in the park, and others you can meet in special one-on-one close encounters.
Potoroo Palace is now open 7 days per week throughout the year from 10am to 4pm (closed Christmas Day).
There are animal talks at 11am & 2pm and train rides for the kids.
Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre
It has live aquaria, a very popular touch tank where you can get up close and personal with live marine animals, beautiful video footage, microscopes, a beach combing table and loads of information about the temperate marine environment.
With qualified marine scientists on staff, there are indoor and outdoor activities that will fill the family with wonder: enjoy a Rocky Shore Ramble or guided Snorkel Tour or the kids can participate in indoor educational craft activities during school holidays.
Opening hours are from 10am to 3pm Monday to Friday
School holidays: 9:30am to 3:30pm Monday to Saturday.
The Centre will open outside these hours for a booking of 10 or more.
“The kids were so entertained with hands-on activities, the touch tank is the best!”
Sail with whales on the Pelican 1 at Bermagui
Experience whale watching under sail aboard the 19m Pelican 1, at Bermagui. The 19-metre sailing catamaran and her crew specialise in marine research and education all around Australia, including studies on Blue and Sperm Whales. Bermagui is her home port and she’s a familiar sight during whale watching season.
Tours begin September 24, with 3 hour trips daily at 9am. You can help to sail the catamaran, or relax on the covered deck with a drink as the coastline slips away.
Bookings are essential, cost is $60 per person, $50 per concession (includes a light morning tea).
All proceeds support Pelican’s environmental work.
On The Perch: Aviaries, gifts, cafe
Walk among birds from around Australia and the world and enjoy local produce at On The Perch aviaries, gifts & cafe, just a few kilometres south of Tathra.
Meet the keeper at 11am or discover for yourself how local efforts to conserve and rehabilitate threatened and endangered species are making a real difference.
Take your time to explore walk-in aviaries, bring a small gift of blue for the bowerbird and visit the website or Facebook page to check the calendar of events.
Open 10am to 3pm (4pm in summer). Last entry is 30 minutes prior to close.
Kiah Wilderness Tours
Nature at your own pace….Kiah Wilderness Tours offers small group kayak tours on the beautiful Towamba River, just south of Eden.
- Morning Tour (3 – 4 hours)
- Lunch Tour (3 – 4 hours)
- Afternoon Tour (2 hours)
- Full Day Tour (4 – 5 hours)
An estuary that wanders through stunning forests and green pastures, the river winds its way to Twofold Bay. It is pristine and quiet, with an impressive diversity of both bird and marine life. Each sit-on-top kayak is kitted with a pair of binoculars so you can check out the wildlife up close along the way.
Tours are tailored for a maximum of six people, crafted to suit your experience and abilities and designed to allow you time to enjoy the wilderness. You can request time out for a swim, photography shoot, or to cast a lure. Morning or afternoon tea in the form of plunger coffee and freshly baked goodies is served on one of the many sandy beaches on the river’s edge.
No experience is necessary as the kayaks are designed for easy paddling. Guides are accredited through Australian Canoeing / Paddle NSW.