Merimbula is an attractive seaside town just over 3hrs drive southeast of Canberra. We often travel across Australia to be with family at Christmas, but this year we aimed for something much quieter and perhaps more relaxing. So we decided to stay for a few days over the Christmas period, including Christmas day.
2010 is the first time we have ever booked into a restaurant for a Christmas Day lunch. The RSL Club was the cheapest at $80 per head, although we arrived late on Christmas eve and it was fully booked out. After calling three or four restaurants we finally managed to get a booking at ‘Pier One’ on Merimbula’s main street and overlooking the water.
This wasn’t your traditional Christmas lunch, with ham, turkey etc. The Pier One advertised the lunch as a Massive Seafood Buffet and it wasn’t wrong. The seafood spread was fantastic with every imaginable sea dish cooked to perfection. The buffet included oysters, prawns, full crabs, grilled baby octopus on bamboo skewers, smoked salmon, char grilled salmon, baked king fish, fried soft-shelled crabs, grilled scallops and prosciutto, fried white bait, side salads, plus much more.
By the time the Crockenbush, plum pudding with brandy sauce, strawberries and cream, chocolate mud cake, and cheese slice arrived I was almost too full to even taste! The bill total with drinks was a tad under $300, not the cheapest lunch we have had, but certainly 2 hours of delightful food.
Things To Do
The Merimbula Aquarium is located in the historic cargo sheds of the Merimbula Wharf. It has extensive exhibits of fish and invertebrates, which live on or visit the south coast. There are tropical fish, bottom dwellers, venomous fish and tide pools. There is also a 70,000 litre tank display of ocean shoal fish.
Not something we did, but Merimbula’s Magic Mountain is a Theme Park, with roller coasters, waterslides, putt-putt golf, mirror room and a number of other rides and activities. If you wanted to make a meal of it, the park also has BBQ and picnic areas.
The Merimbula Marina also offers a range of fishing charters, cruises of the bay, Dolphin Cruises and Whale Watching expeditions.
We stayed at the four and half star Sorrento Luxury Apartments which are almost in the heart of town. Our apartment was on the third floor overlooking the Bay, with OK view and very relaxing. Mind you if you don’t like stairs, stay on the ground floor without a view. From the balcony we could see some of the yachts from the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, heading south to Hobart.
All apartments have a spa bath in the main bathroom and an ensuite in the main bedroom. The kitchen is equipped with a dishwasher and microwave, table and chairs in the dining area (dryer and washing machine in laundry).
Rooms have direct dial phones, good sized lounge with TV and a couple of movie channels. A small private balcony and outdoor setting completes the deal.
If you plan to stay over the Christmas period get in early as although there seems to be a lot of accommodation places they are booked out quickly.