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The main Merimbula-Pambula Beach (NSW 671) is one of the longest on the far south coast. The beach begins at the low sandy Merimbula inlet then sweeps in a broad east-facing arc (Fig. 4.424 & 4.25)) for 5.9 km to the shaly rocks at Pambula. It is backed by a low regressive sand barrier that formed following the rise in sea level 6500 years ago and has built seaward 300-400 m as a series of low densely vegetated foredune ridges. In the north these are now covered by residential development, with access and parking to Main (Merimbula) beach, while the Merrimbula Airport occupies the centre. A surf club existed at Merimbula Beach for some years, however it is now defunct and the beach is patrolled in summer by lifeguards. Most of the central beach is undeveloped, with two vehicle tracks leading to the beach. The southern end is accessed via Pambula and leads to Pambula Beach settlement with its beachfront caravan park and Pambula SLSC (founded 1930) (Fig. 4.26). The beach consists of fine to medium sand, which combined with the waves averaging 1.5 m, maintains a low gradient beach and double bar system. The inner bar runs the length of the beach and is usually cut by rips every 200-300 m, resulting in up to 30 rips along the beach (Fig. 4.425). A longshore trough separates it from the outer bar, which is cut by more widely spaced rips. At Merimbula the beach runs into the lake mouth with its strong tidal currents and deep channel and forms extensive tidal shoals and channels extending 400 m off the inlet. At Pambula a strong rip often runs out against the southern rocks.
Beach Length: 3km
General Hazard Rating: 5/10

Patrolled Beach Flag Patrols

There are currently no services provided by Surf Life Saving Australia for this beach. Please take the time to browse the Surf Safety section of this website to learn more about staying safe when swimming at Australian beaches. Click here to visit general surf education information.


Formal parking area
Artificial shade
Toilets Block M/F
Mobile Phone Coverage
Toilets Block Disabled
Change Rooms
Caravan park
Public phone
Skate park
Natural shade


Bicycles Allowed
No Littering
No Cats or Dogs
Camping Prohibited
No Dogs Allowed
Dog Litter Must be Picked Up
Dogs Allowed off Leash
No Glass
Fires Prohibited
No Alcohol


High surf
Large unexpected waves
Travelling rips
Shallow Water
Shallow Sandbars
Water Temp
Long beach
Slippery rocks
Slippery surface


SLSA provides this information as a guide only. Surf conditions are variable and therefore this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for observation of local conditions and an understanding of your abilities in the surf. SLSA reminds you to always swim between the red and yellow flags and never swim at unpatrolled beaches. SLSA takes all care and responsibility for any translation but it cannot guarantee that all translations will be accurate.