A six-hour drive from Sydney and seven from Melbourne, the Sapphire Coast is home to the rolling hills of dairy country (Bega is famous for Bega, after all), as well as secluded beaches with sparkling blue waters (hence the name). And while Bermagui, Tathra and Eden might draw crowds for their adventurous and historical attractions, it’s Pambula that has our heart.

A perfect blend of country-meets-coastal charm, Pambula offers sandy days that start slow and stretch into candy-coloured sunsets backdropped by Beowa National Park’s natural beauty.

The town, which has a recorded population of under a thousand, is small but mighty. Wild Rye’s Baking Co has you covered for carbs and coffee. The Oyster Barn, perched on the waters of Merimbula Lake, offers freshly shucked shellfish and a casual atmosphere. Bianchini Gelati takes local flavours and turns them into creamy afternoon delights.

The taps at Longstocking Brewery also highlight tastes from the area, including an espresso porter in collaboration with Wild Rye’s roastery and an alcoholic ginger beer with plenty of punch. Banksia brings fine dining to the mix with its changing set menu. And there are antiques to be foraged and local artisans to be celebrated in the shops that line the main street.

The area is home to the Pinnacles – a deep eroded gully of vivid orange and white rock face – and other dramatic coastal features that can be explored on gentle bush walks. The Pambula River mouth is a great setting for swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and generally enjoying crystal-clear waters.

As for accommodation, Lotte’s Hjem – a weatherboard cottage almost entirely encased by lush gardens – has stood on Ives Street for more than 150 years. In a celebration of domestic pleasures, the well-equipped kitchen (complete with a large awning window that opens onto an outdoor breakfast bar) is the heart of the home. There are complimentary bikes for rolling down to the beach and a restored zinc soaking tub, which is rumoured to have once belonged to French royalty. It’s the kind of place that makes you want to stay a while and consider making a sea change.

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