How paddle boarding can turn you into a fit and peaceful nature lover
No – I’m not talking about changing the world. But you might just find that paddle boarding will give YOU peace.
Picture this – paddling up the river where the aqua water is so clear you can see the bottom. The bush is sliding past with only a curious kangaroo to see you. Frightened fish wizz away while lazy stingrays slide silently under your board. I’ve seen the majestic eagle swoop down and scoop up his lunch not five metres away and we are reminded of the first inhabitants of this great land as we float past reminders of their presence.
You can stop any time you like and explore the bush. There is only you and nature.
Apart from paddling down rivers there are a variety of places on the Sapphire Coast that are suitable. If you are staying in Merimbula, the obvious choice is the lake. Top Lake is less inhabited and you can stop and have a coffee and a really good meal at Sunset Kiosk. https://www.facebook.com/toplakeboathiremerimbulaandsunsetskiosk/
Access to the lake is also found at Fishpen and Spencer Park. There are other access points but be careful of walking on mangrove shoots which are essential to keeping the waterway clean and for oyster production.
If you like the challenge of waves, Bar Beach (see picture above) is a favourite spot as well as Pambula river mouth. The river mouth near the Coraki Drive carpark has nice gentle waves to learn on.
The nice thing about paddle boarding is you can start at any age. Why not hire a board for a couple of hours from Mitchies Jetty in Merimbula, The Broken Oar at Pambula Beach, or Tathra Beach and Bike http://www.mountainbiking.com.au/stand-up-paddle-boarding.
Give paddle boarding a try – it’s a great way to discover the Sapphire Coast.
You don’t have to go far to find a relaxing spot on the Sapphire Coast.
The tourists have gone home and I have one of my favourite spots back.
Bar Beach at Merimbula is close to the town centre but unspoilt. Spectacular views can be seen from the upper car park and you can absorb the ambience of the tiny beach – a perfect spot to swim. When the waves are going off, board riders and paddleboarders take advantage of the long rolling waves which peter out over the bar.
I love the relaxed vibe of yesteryear especially when the shacklike café is open in the summer months. I’ve eaten the best chocolate chip muffin there and the coffee is good.
What I like most about this place are the views. You can see down to Mount Imlay, along the river, past Fishpen and to Lake Merimbula. Unspoilt views to Pambula river mouth ensure your peaceful break.
If you are lucky you will see dolphins cruising past and sometimes, the occasional seal. Even though it is close to town, birds can be seen hunting for dinner and I have observed an eagle circling above.
So where can you stay to take in this tiny place of sheer goodness? The caravan park at Short Point is a 10 minute walk away – https://www.big4.com.au/caravan-parks/nsw/south-coast/nrma-merimbula-beach-holiday-resort. The area surrounding Bar Beach is thick with tourist accommodation which can be found at https://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/south-coast/merimbula-and-sapphire-coast/accommodation.
If you do want to follow my suggestions, leave your hassles behind, respect the environment and enjoy the best of the Sapphire Coast.
How your surroundings can enrich your life
I never thought I had an artistic bone in my body. I’m sure the school art teacher had my name on a list titled, “Students never to be offered a place in elective art.” I bet the teacher had a big star beside my name to emphasise my lack of ability and candidature for the course.
But that has not stopped me from developing an appreciation for art.
Photographing the Sapphire Coast has been a wonderful journey into enjoying natural art which is seen in rock formations, textures of windblown trees, composition of landscapes and the amazing hues of colour seen in the sea.
I cannot drag my eyes away from the blues which change in intensity depending on what part of the coast you are located. The Pambula River has clean, green colour while the water off Short point is a deep sapphire blue.
The Sapphire coast has a thriving artistic community who love to show their work. Pambula’s Artessence gallery shows paintings, pottery, jewellery and photography. Twyford Hall in Merimbula hosts artists groups while the attached gallery is often booked out with exhibitions. Don’t miss out on the Bega Regional Gallery https://gallery.begavalley.nsw.gov.au/cp_themes/default/home.asp with its exhibitions. I couldn’t believe my good luck to find the Archibalds there – without the crowds. For something affordable and simple, Black Daisy in Pambula has, “The exquisite work of local artists and artisans plus a selection of divine homewares.” https://www.facebook.com/blackdaisytrading/
Whether it’s natural or man-made, the Sapphire Coast offers opportunities to satisfy every artistic adventure.
Start yours today!
Some of the best sights can be found by pulling over and watching the moods of the Sapphire Coast
I have finally learnt my lesson. I have a habit of living in my head. We all do it. Afternoons can be the worst. You’ve rushed from work, picked up the kids, dashed to the soccer fields. Made a quick trip to the supermarket. Home to put the chook in the oven. Fed the dog. Watered the one surviving indoor plant and all the while thinking of something else. What you have to do this evening, tomorrow or have finished by the end of the week.
And all the while you missed something important – like what is actually going on around you.
I have visited the Sapphire Coast since 1986 and I have never actually seen it. Always in a rush, or too exhausted to take in the scenery, I never noticed the beauty surrounding me.
Like how the waters of Lake Merimbula has many mood and colours and how clouds create atmosphere.
How restful it is to sit for ten minutes and observe the changing light, reflections and colour.
Some of the best sunsets can be seen from the many vantage points around Merimbula, whether you are strolling the boardwalk at Top Lake or sitting near the pelican sculptures at Fishpen.
So if you are a busy traveller or just flat out with the daily grind, allow yourself time to appreciate the scenery. And don’t forget – some of the best sights can be found by pulling over and watching the moods of the Sapphire Coast.