3 May 2024

Merimbula named as a finalist in Top Tourism Town Awards for NSW

| Albert McKnight
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Merimbula is a picturesque town that is popular among tourists.

Merimbula is a picturesque town that is popular among tourists. Photo: David Rogers Photography, courtesy of Sapphire Coast Destination Marketing.

Surrounded by beaches and a national park and boasting boutique shops as well as good food, the NSW South Coast town of Merimbula has been named as a finalist in statewide tourism awards.

The town has made the shortlist in the 2024 Top Tourism Town Awards in the Small Tourism Town category.

“It’s been a while since we put together a nomination and we’ve actually got through,” Hanna Marshall, the tourism manager of Merimbula Tourism, said.

“So it’s really exciting to see Merimbula have its name up in lights again!

“We are certainly biased, but we all know just how special our town is and now we can showcase that Merimbula magic to the rest of NSW.”

She was positive about the town’s chances of taking out the top spot in its category.

“We’ve seen a lot of new businesses coming to town and a lot of really good press coming out of Merimbula in the last few months as well, so hopefully that works in our favour!” she said.

“I think Merimbula has gone through a big change.”

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When asked why more new businesses were coming to town, Ms Marshall said she thought they were seeing an opportunity there, as some of the more traditional holiday locations were becoming overcrowded.

“We’ve got it all! From the beaches to the amazing food and drink scene, and lots of artists,” she said.

“I love how a lot of the shopping here is small businesses. We’ve also got the beautiful national park which also makes it really, really special.”

Tourism plays a vital role in the Merimbula economy as well as the wider Sapphire Coast region, Sapphire Coast Destination Marketing said.

Mitchies Jetty is one of the scenic spots in Merimbula.

Mitchies Jetty is one of the scenic spots in Merimbula. Photo: DeeGees Photography.

Increased visitation means more support for local businesses, leading to a thriving township and community.

The Top Tourism Town Awards, run by the Australian Tourism Awards, provides the chance for regions to claim the spotlight and showcase their communities and all they have to offer tourism.

“Winners can enjoy state recognition, increased visitation, free publicity and the pride of living in one of Australia’s best towns,” the awards say.

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Merimbula is listed in the Small Tourism Town category, which is for towns with a population between 1500 and 5000 people.

This year, it is up against Berry on the South Coast, Bulahdelah, Gloucester and Ulmarra on the North Coast, as well as Oberon in the Central West.

For more information on how to vote for Merimbula, head to the Business NSW website. To vote in the awards, you need to pick a town and explain why you are voting for it.

Public voting for the awards has opened and will continue until 13 May. The winners will be revealed at a celebratory function on 30 May.

The ‘gold winner’ in each category will then have the honour of representing NSW at the National Tourism Awards.

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