Gem of the Sapphire coast - Merimbula, a dreamy coastal road trip for campervanners

Gem of the Sapphire coast - Merimbula, a dreamy coastal road trip for campervanners

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MERIMBULA, a South-Eastern NSW hotspot known as the “gem of the Sapphire coast”, is a coastal midway point for Melbourne and Sydney, a one-hour flight from either direction but a seven-hour coastal road trip (minus the stops) along the Hume Highway that lures campers, caravanners and cabin hunters from far and wide.

For those wanting to kick out the trip a few days and stop off at some great spots along the way, there's plenty to see and do. For road-trippers who grab a Melbourne campervan rental, some key moments for us included Paynesville, Lakes Entrance, Cann River, Eden and Pambula, while northerners hiring a campervan in Sydney the highlights along the way southern route include Wollongong, Sanctuary Point, Bateman's Bay and Bermagui.

For us, a stay at Merimbula Beach NRMA Holiday Park, one of Big4’s major players in Australia, proved to be the utlimate holiday park experience from more than a dozen we stayed at during a six-week road trip up and down the east coast of Australia. This venue offers the complete package for campervanners wanting to stop off somewhere for at least 3 days – there are stacks of family activities and superb facilities, it has a prime location on a peninsula, and accommodation that caters for all types.

It boast a an excellent variety of accommodation options from beachside luxury villas to well maintained camp sites, it's extremely clean and whether you’re a vanner, camper, big family, young couple or flying solo, there’s something for everyone. The park's Cheeky Mango cafe is first class. It's a place to grab a great espresso coffee, supplies and enjoy scrumptious meals. Owner Andy O'Donnell doubles up as the resident entertainer, too, providing a sensational Sunday Session afternoon of entertainment poolside, as you feast on some of the tasty menu dishes including Rare Thai Beef Salad, Terriyaki Chicken Skewers, Mediterranean Plates, Crab Ravioli and much more. There are awesome children’s activities at Kidz Korner (crafty, sporty, adventurous and pizza and paddle pop movie nights), two resort pools, giant jumping pillow, games room, go-kart and bike hire, tennis courts and beach volleyball court. Stroll down the hill for beaut beach walks or head for the rocks to watch the local surfers hang 10 from about 50 metres away.

Nearby, the attractions are endless, from Magic Mountain theme park for a ripper toboggan ride, freaky rollercoaster, dinosaur park and waterslides. The Wharf Restaurant and Aquarium is a treat as you get the best seats in the house for some fish feeding activity, then there’s fishing, swimming, boat tours and a range of restaurants and shopping in town, whale watching, Oaklands shops and animal farm including pony rides, and a list of quaint little towns nearby worth visiting.

During our stay, we were lucky enough to catch some migrating Humpback whales putting on a spectacular show of breaching and tail slapping 100m from the resort’s sweeping clifftop views.

This one's a road trip you won't forget and a holiday park where you'll want to stay forever.

Scott Podmore

Scott Podmore

Award-winning writer, editor, photographer, videographer and owner of October Grey Media. Specialising in travel and lifestyle content and a full member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers. Has contributed regular content for the NewsCorp stable of newspapers and magazines, TravelTalk mag, The Departure Lounge and many more publications in Australia and internationally. Follow on Twitter & instragram #scottpodmore

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