FROM the “pretty fishing port” of Bermagui to the “rather unappealing” Merimbula town centre, the Sapphire Coast is highlighted in all its “mostly unblemished” glory in Lonely Planet’s latest publication, East Coast Australia.
The latest must-have tourist guide from the popular publisher covers everything from the Daintree rainforest in Far North Queensland to the Great Ocean Road in coastal Victoria.
Along that trip the four researchers for the guide stop in at Bermagui, Tathra, Merimbula and Eden to sample the pleasures this region offers.
A touch further north at Narooma, Montague Island is listed among the Lonely Planet’s top 20 East Coast attractions alongside the Great Barrier Reef, Whitsunday Islands and the Hunter Valley.
Montague is described as “one of wild Australia’s most underrated destinations”.
The haven for nesting sea-birds, seals and the occasional passing whale, as well as “an unusual granite lighthouse” and eco-tours “set Montague apart from the mainland by more than the 9km boat ride it takes to get there”.
Meanwhile, Bermagui’s humming centre is pointed out for its “eclectic mix of fisherfolk, surfers, alternative lifestylers and Indigenous Australians”.
Sights and activities described for tourists in possession of Lonely Planet’s newest addition include walks and surfing around Camel Rock and Haywards Beach, as well as the “dramatic” Blue Pool and “whiz-bang” Fishermen’s Wharf.
Heading south, Lonely Planet briefly explores Mimosa Rocks National Park, the clothing-optional Armands Bay and Bournda National Park.
Tathra also gets a look-in as a “sweet little beach town” with the historic wharf a popular fishing spot.
Merimbula’s entry might taste a little sweet and sour for locals.
The “long golden beach and appealing inlet” is contrasted with its “rather unappealing town centre” in a town “in thrall to holiday-makers and retirees”.
Meanwhile, Eden’s love affair with migrating whales and “stirring” wilderness areas are standouts of its entry.
Multiple eateries, accommodation options and activities are also listed within each entry as per Lonely Planet’s many worldly guide books.
There are also multiple maps of the regions covered, possible itineraries, a month by month event guide, and info on “things that bite and sting”!
Lonely Planet East Coast Australia (5th edition) is out now - RRP: $41.99.