Aqua lovers, consider Sapphire Coast’s Saltwater challenge. For true Saltwater junkies, it’s 5 days, 5 coastal towns, and one amazing journey. For the rest of us, just choose what you’d like to do in a day and go for it.
From the rolling waves up and down our 150 beaches, to the still water of secluded estuaries, the fast running currents of our rivers and the ever changing tides of our lakes, we challenge you to take a dip at least once in every town.
Day 1 – Bermagui
Bermagui, the northern gateway to our shire encompasses the iconic Bermagui Blue Pool, Camel Rock, Horseshoe Bay, Wallaga Lake and more. There’s plenty of places to start your Saltwater journey here.
Famous for its deep-sea game fishing it seems ironic that the town’s name is believed to have stemmed from the Aboriginal word ‘Bermaguee’ meaning ‘boat with no paddle’. This fishing village has a population of less than 2,000, but it harbours ample opportunity to get wet and start your Saltwater challenge.
Start in town with a dip in the iconic Bermagui blue pool, then head 7 kms north to Wallaga Lake, the largest coastal lake in southern NSW, a perfect place to swim, fish or canoe. For the more adventurous, a trip out on one of famous fishing charters out of Bermagui Harbour, is an adrenaline charged way to see the coastline as well as catch the big one. Or book yourself a lesson at the local surf school. As the shadows lengthen in the afternoon, take a walk along the family friendly Horseshoe Bay, whose shores hug the town, and decide where you’ll stop for dinner.
Sydney to Bermagui – 5 hrs 8 minutes, 379 kms
Melbourne to Bermagui – 7 hrs 55 mins, 669 kms
Bermagui to Tathra – 49 kms, 49 minutes.
More Bermagui Saltwater Secrets
- Visit dog friendly Beares Beach.
- Visit nudist friendly Armands Beach.
Other Bermagui highlights
Bermagui Fishermen’s Wharf. Camel Rock. Horsehead Rock. Bermagui Growers Market. Camel Rock Brewery. Mimosa Rocks Winery
Day 2 – Tathra
Watch the sunrise over Gulaga mountain at Bermagui before you grab breakfast and head south to the stunning seaside playground that is Tathra. Travelling via the Bermagui Tathra Road, a stop at Cuttagee Beach (8 km south of Bermagui) is a must and you’ll probably have this stunning beach all to yourself.
As you travel the Bermagui Tathra Road, winding tracks with signposts that promise adventure lead off the main path (Moon Bay, Nelsons Lagoon and Wapengo – home of award winning oysters, just to name a few). Stop a while at one or all of them if you wish. They’ll all provide a salt water fix.
As you get closer to Tathra glimpses of the ocean increase and finally, the trees give way and the stunning expanse of Mogareeka inlet (swimming and fishing paradise) is ahead of you. Cross the bridge and head into Tathra town, where coffee, food and the beach await. Tathra Beach is superb, a 3 km stretch of shimmering sand and perfect ocean. Swim, surf, hire a SUP or just dip your feet in the swell. Keen anglers, head to famous Tathra Wharf or Kianinny Bay just up the hill – you can drop a line in at both, and enjoy some great fishing. As this is the Saltwater challenge it would be wrong for us to tell you about Tathra’s world class mountain biking but you could ask the guys at Tathra Beach and Bike to give you a bit more info if you were really keen. As the day ends, we suggest a meal at any one of the great local eateries overlooking the ocean, all of whom serve the best of local produce.
Sydney to Tathra – 5 hrs 39 minutes, 437 kms
Melbourne to Tathra – 7 hrs 1 mins, 602 kms
Tathra to Merimbula – 22 kms, 18 minutes.
More Tathra Saltwater Secrets
- Walk from Mogareeka to Moon Bay and take a secret dip
- Spot whales from Wajurda Point lookout
Other Tathra highlights
The historic Tathra Wharf Museum, historic Tathra Hotel, Tathra Headland Walk (amazing for whale watching from Sept to Nov), all abilities playground at Taylors Square.
Day 3 – Merimbula
More beautiful scenery as you travel south from Tathra to Merimbula on Sapphire Coast Drive.
One of the best places in the region to enjoy, Merimbula is the heart of the Sapphire Coast. A place where you can relax, reconnect with family or release your inner child. Jump off Merimbula Wharf; float with the tide at Bar Beach, kayak on Top Lake and surf the break at Main Beach. Or head a little away from the town and discover the beautiful, unspoilt beaches and estuaries on offer. If you’re not the leisurely explorer type, we suggest a morning fishing charter. Our coast has some of the best inshore and offshore fishing in NSW and Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna Bluefin Tuna, Kingfish, Snapper are all caught in these pristine waters. Private charters can be arranged through Merimbula Marina, Freedom Charters at Eden or Fish Bermi at Bermagui with these 3 towns also host big game fishing tournaments all year round.
Sydney to Merimbula- 5 hrs 52 minutes, 452 kms
Melbourne to Merimbula – 6 hrs 55 mins, 580 kms
Merimbula to Pambula – 9 kms, 9 minutes.
More Merimbula Saltwater Secrets
- Bournda Lagoon
- Prawning at Spencer Park beach
- Back lake at Short Point
Magic Mountain, Potoroo Palace, Merimbula Wharf Aquarium, Merimbula Boardwalk and it’s hidden beaches
Day 4 – Pambula
Pambula town has emerged in recent years as one of the most unique shopping villages on the Sapphire Coast. Pambula is well-known for its bespoke shops, galleries, organic and local produce , bustling brewery and envied village vibe. But for salt water lovers there’s really only one place to go. To the beach of course. Pambula’s main beach is a family friendly paradise with a picture perfect sweep of sand that will take you all the way to Merimbula, for those inclined to take the (around 4km) walk. Rockpools on the southern side of main beach are places of discovery for littlies so don’t forget the buckets and spades. If you’ve got the dog with you (and we hope you do), head up the hill and around the corner to Pambula’ surf beach Jiguma, which is dog friendly and also a great place to launch the board or the SUP.
But the best is still to come. Just stroll around the corner from Lions beach and voila – the Pambula Rivermouth awaits. Jaw dropping scenery, pristine water and the softest sand. It’s simply stunning. Swim, paddle, launch a kayak – you can do it all here. And for the more adventurous – just keep walking up the sands of the rivermouth until you come upon a beach with no footprints, that can be yours for the day.
Sydney to Pambula- 5 hrs 59 minutes, 452 kms
Melbourne to Pambula- 6 hrs 51 mins, 576 kms
Pambula to Eden- 23 kms, 22 minutes.
More Pambula Saltwater secrets
- Severs Beach within Ben Boyd National Park (you can wave at it from the rivermouth)
- The rope swing along the rivermouth – you might need a local to help with this one
- Take an oyster tour on the still waters of Pambula Lake
Other Pambula highlights
Panboola wetlands, the kangaroos at Pambula Beach, Broadwater jetty
Day 5 – Eden
Take the 20 minute drive south to Eden, famous for it’ whaling history and stunning harbour. For lovers of walks, you can stroll along rugged clifftops overlooking stunning coastline, yet still be only minutes from town. Plenty of saltwater challenge choice here. You could start by a dip at Aslings beach, simply stunning on the outskirts of town and dog friendly. While you’re there take a walk to the very southern end and take a dip in Aslings Pool. For safe paddling and very few waves, visit Cocora Bay and enjpy amazing views of Snug Cove. From Cocora Beach, take a walk along the Bundian Way fto Quarantine Bay and stop for a swim along it’s hidden coves.
Further south is Boydtown Beach, 7 kilometres of long white sand and perfect for beach cricket, photography, fishing and long, long walks.
For the more adventurous you can scuba the old wrecks that lie in Twofold Bay or take a guided kayak tour of the Towamba River.
More Eden Saltwater Secrets
- Scuba the wrecks in Twofold Bay
- Fish at the Nullica Rivermouth
- Discover where the whales are
Sydney to Eden- 6 hrs 17 minutes, 474 kms
Melbourne to Eden- 6 hrs 33 mins, 554 kms
Eden to Bermagui – 116 kms, 1 hr, 29 minutes