Munn Tower House
A cornflour factory, the Maizena Company, was established in the town by Matthew Munn in 1865. Matthew Munn built a large stone cottage called 'Courunga' (known as the Munn Tower House) around 1870. It is now a prominent landmark. His son added extensions about ten years later including a remarkable two-storey timber tower with attic, and two single-storey timber structures with castellated parapets. The residence is privately owned. It can be found at 20 Monaro St.
The Museum and Historic Buildings
The Merimbula-Imlay Historical Society has a Museum which is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 2.30 p.m. - 5.00 p.m. It is located in Main Street. This stone building was the old Public School (1873-1874). It is thought to be one of only three surviving examples in New South Wales of a school containing both classrooms and teacher's residence. There is an oyster punt at the side of the museum which dates from about 1915.
The Steamer Wharf
A big steamer wharf was erected in the deep water beyond the sand bar at the turn of the century and was used by shipping until the steamer service ended in 1952. Though popular with fishermen it was deemed unsafe and destroyed in 1979. Local efforts saw the reconstruction of the wharf in 1983. The wharf storage sheds were classified by the National Trust and restored in 1987 for usage as an aquarium and restaurant. Open 10-5 daily a diver hand-feeds the fish during school holidays. To visit these sites follow Main St and then take the right branch into Lake St. The view from the wharf is outstanding.
Other popular spots around the town include Short Point, Spencer Park and Bar Beach. Fishing is popular at the wharf, from Middle Beach on the opposite side of the peninsula to Bar Beach and from a jetty which you can find by taking the right branch off the Princes Highway along Lakewood Drive on the northern outskirts of Merimbula.
Further afield is Tura Beach (with a golf course designed by Peter Thomson and luxurious club house), 9 km north via the Sapphire Coast Highway where surfing and both beach and rock fishing can be enjoyed. Further information: the Merimbula Big Game and Lakes Angling Clubs or from the tackle shop (02 6495 1681).
Magic Mountain Recreation Park
North of the town on the Tura Beach Rd is Magic Mountain Recreation Park with its two large water slides, mini golf course, pools and toboggan run, all situated amidst attractive parkland with native flora and fauna and bushwalking tracks.
Wallagoot Lagoon, 15 km north of Merimbula, is an appealing and unspoilt area ideal for canoeing, sailing, waterskiing, power boating, windsurfing, beach and rock fishing, prawning (in season), safe family swimming in the shallows and, on the southern side of the lake, picnicking at Hobart Beach and Scott's Bay. There is a boat club on the northern shore which charges a launching fee, and a boat ramp at Wallagoot Gap, just north of Turingal Head which offers fine views back across the lake and down the coast. It can be reached via a walking track that starts at the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club.
Bournda National Park
The Lake is situated in, and neatly divides the northern and southern sections of, Bournda National Park, a known fossil site which covers an impressive span of coastline consisting of steep cliffs and rugged rock masses in the upper half and excellent surfing and fishing beaches to the south.
The park stretches from Tathra down to an area just north of Merimbula and contains a wide variety of birdlife and other fauna, including grey kangaroos, swamp and red-necked wallabies which can be seen grazing on the shores in the mornings and evenings. Both sections of the park are noted for their numerous and excellent bushwalking tracks.
Phone the National Parks and Wildlife Service district office at Merimbula for further information, pamphlets and maps, tel: (02) 6495 5000.
Scuba diving, canoeing tours, lake cruises, bus tours to Bournda Island and Wallagoot Lake, joy flights, boating hire and other local information can be obtained from the Visitors' Information Centre.
Bicycles, surfskis, skates, body boards, fishing and prawning gear, friendly tips and advice are all available from Cycle 'n' Surf on Marine Parade who can also arrange bike tours, tel: (02) 6495 2171. Wandarrah Lodge, also on Marine Parade, will organise tours and activities relating to windsurfing, scuba diving, surfing, bushwalking, kayaking, canoeing and bike riding, tel: (02) 6495 3503.