Merimbula’s new Visitor Information Centre is expected to be open within the next few weeks in a move that has been described as game-changing by the local industry.
This holiday season is the 37th for the service and while the funny shaped building on the foreshore of Merimbula Lake is somewhat of a local icon, “it’s time for a new home,” says Merimbula Tourism Manager, Chris Nicholls.
The new home for tourist information will be in the new look the Centrepoint Arcade, opposite McDonalds, and will allow buses from Eden’s steady stream of cruise ships to pull up alongside.
“Plans for the move have been in motion ever since the organisation was advised a little over two years ago, of the
Bega Valley Shire Council’s intentions to redevelop the current location on Beach Street, as a part of the Merimbula Redevelopment Plan,” Mr Nicholls says.
“In an unprecedented show of support for the future of tourism in Merimbula, local businesses have literally come
out of the woodwork to ensure the success of this important and necessary move, subscribing to the shared vision of
a better resourced and more secure home for the new Visitor Information Centre.
“Merimbula Tourism is a predominantly volunteer-run organisation with a membership of over 180 local tourism
businesses, this new space is game-changing for our local community.”
Region Media was given a sneak peek of the new centre in amongest the small amount of carpentry work that remains.
Stepping in from the adjoining outdoor cafe space, locals and visitors will be struck by the 3D wooden sculpture of the coastline this centre cheers for – Tura Beach, Merimbula, Pambula.
The designer of space is Mark Watson of MAW Design, “who has been working tirelessly to support the project and
has provided guidance for the contemporary fit out,” Mr Nicholls says.
“North Eden Timber has provided highly subsidised, beautiful recycled Australian hardwood that features extensively throughout. Trubuilt supplied highly discounted cabinetry while bringing it all together is Collin Terry who has risen to the occasion with his gun team of builders.
“Building owner, Robert Green has been instrumental in helping the Visitor Information Centre find its new home,
guiding the fit-out process and very generously allowing occupation for a yearly rate of $1.”
Financial support for the project has come from the Merimbula Tourism membership base, local clubs
including Club Sapphire and the RSL, Bega Valley Shire Council, as well as State and Federal Governments.
Merimbula Tourism Coordinator, Maryanne Palmer says the band of volunteers who staff the centre can’t wait.
“The new centre is very exciting it’s looking fabulous, it will move us forward and allow us to be more in keeping with what people expect,” she says.
“I hope everyone will come in and have a look when we open – we’re are not just a resource for visitors, but for locals too.
“We love helping people make the most of their holiday and this beautiful area and showing them where all the good places are.
“Personally, I love all the beautiful bushwalks you can do here – we’ve got small relatively easy walks through to ones that are a bit challenging. I’d love to do the Light to Light, that’s a goal of mine.”
The new Merimbula Visitor Information Centre will be officially opened next month, in time for the very busy
summer season ahead.
What will happen to the old centre, which has stood in the middle of town since 1981? That’s up to Bega Valley Shire Council as they progress beautification plans for the Merimbula CBD.
Date for the diary…
The Board of Merimbula Tourism extends a warm welcome to all who wish to attend the 2019 Annual General Meeting – Tuesday, October 15, 5:30 pm, Merimbula RSL.
The invitation also extends to non-members but those who are not financial members will be ineligible to vote.
• Sean Haylan, General Manager, Destination Southern NSW
• Anthony Osborne, CEO, Sapphire Coast Destination Marketing
• Natalie Godward, Cruise Development Manager, Port Authority of NSW