When deciding whether to purchase real estate in the towns of Merimbula, Tura Beach, Eden or Bega in the area known variously as the Sapphire Coast, Bega Valley or Far South Coast the moniker shouldn’t really matter, it does however bring up visions of the region. The Sapphire Coast invokes images of sparkling blue waters, lakes, ocean, estuaries and all that goes with a coastal life such as swimming, fishing, boating, surfing, kite surfing and paddle boarding. The Bega Valley invites images of rolling green hills, dairy country, contented cows and delicious cheeses and other produce. The Far South Coast makes one think of coastal life once again, lazy summer days, warmer climes and a relaxed lifestyle. All of these images are within close proximity of one another – the coastal towns of Merimbula, Tura Beach and Eden are surrounded by rolling green hills, forests, farmland and great beauty whilst the town of Bega is the centre of the region, frequented by Farmers and country folk yet so close to the coastal towns that a dip in the ocean is a short drive away.
The lifestyle t throughout the region is simply great. The other deciding factors when purchasig property are the economy, availability of work, affordability and investment opportunity. The Bega Valley Shire Council report that the major industries in the area are farming, forestry, fishing and tourism. Bega Cheese is headquartered in the Shire and is the area’s largest employer with annual revenues of $931 million in 2011.
There are other agriculture and primary sector producers proudly Bega-based. On average, Bega Valley Shire receives over 820,000 visitors annually, more than half of whom are domestic overnight visitors, spending around $255 million each year.
The Shire has almost fifty tourist accommodation establishments. Local accommodation establishments received 145,288 guest arrivals in the year to December 2009, which is up 4.0 percent on the previous year. These arrivals accounted for 301,572 guest nights and 152,564 room nights, which also equate to increases of 1.5 percent and 3.0 percent respectively over this same period. Fisk & Nagle First Choice Real Estate have a good stock of investment properties suitable for holiday accommodation in Merimbula, Eden and Tura Beach.
By the end of the 2006/07 financial year there were 2,682 registered businesses in the Bega Valley Shire. Just over half were non-employing businesses (53.6 percent), while most (96.6 percent) businesses in the area had less than 20 employees. One in five local businesses sat within the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery industry (19.8 percent). Construction (16.7 percent) and Property and Business Services (15.7 percent) also featured prominently in the area. There were numerous businesses in services sectors such as Retail (13.3 percent), Accommodation, Cafés and Restaurants (7.0 percent) and Health and Community Services (4.4 percent). Manufacturing comprised 5.6 percent of businesses.