Merimbula has long been a holiday haven, loved for its lakeside frontage, great dining and central location.

Life here is lived around the unspoilt lake, with its pristine beaches perfectly matched with eateries, galleries, boardwalk and oyster farms.

Remarkable close encounters define the annual whale migration along the Sapphire Coast of New South Wales and Merimbula is the perfect place to call home while you explore from sea and shore.

Whether you want to test your sea legs on a whale watching cruise, hike from headland to headland or settle in for a long lunch with panoramic ocean views – there are a lot of opportunities to look for these incredible creatures and their delightful companions – the dolphins, seals and birds.

Seafood is a specialty here, just ask Sammy the well fed New Zealand fur seal who lives on the lake’s edge. The Sapphire Coast’s boutique fishing fleet is one of the biggest suppliers to the Sydney Fish Market and you will find fresh local seafood on many menus as well as being available at the passionate wholesalers.

If you like to catch your own seafood, book in for an evening prawning session, or dive for abalone and lobster and cook it with your guide. Book a berth on one of the charter boats. (You can also hire water craft, and launch it from the boat ramp which has some of the best facilities on the coast).

You’ll see plenty of opportunity for adventure and tours, like surf, stand-up paddle board, kayaking and snorkel hire around the lake, horse riding or game fishing charters. If it’s the big game fish you are chasing, charter operators can take you to where the wild things are; if it’s something smaller and more accessible, then favourites such as flathead, whiting, bream and snapper are among the many species that cruise the Sapphire Coast.

Or travel a little slower and improve your swing on the a 27-hole golf course golf, enjoy a social round of bowls or browse the art galleries, where the artist are often inspired by coastal life.