Aussie summers are made for seaside road trips! Pack the car up, we’re heading to the Central Coast.
An Australian summer lends itself only too perfectly to a weekend getaway. With so many beautiful destinations at our disposal, deciding where to go is often the hardest part. For the times when you want to get away, but don’t want to spent copious hours driving (listening to your passengers dodgy Spotify playlist), consider the Central Coast. A mere 1.5 hours from Sydney, the Central Coast offers a relaxed beachside oasis with plenty of awesome spots to eat, drink and play. We recently put the region to the test with a girls weekend road trip. Planning a getaway? Here are our top picks.
WHERE TO EAT
Tucked away down an inconspicuous alleyway in East Gosford is Ooomph. This cool warehouse café sits in complete contrast to the weathered buildings surrounding it. Opening in 2005, Ooomph has been drawing in locals and tourists with their coffees, homemade cakes and breakfast and lunch options. The vibrant wall murals, lush suspending plants and wooden furnishings all feed into the hipster café ideology you’ve seen all too often in Sydney. The difference here though is an relaxed and friendly feel. Read the paper, indulge in a coffee and homemade tart and leave the noisiness of the Sydney cityscape behind you.
26a Adelaide Street, East Gosford
Open 7 days 7:00am to 4:00pm
Fish Dining, Point Fredrick
Fish Dining may only be fairly new to the scene, opening in August 2017, but they’ve already left a strong first impression. Here, it’s all about the seafood. Owners Cameron and Hayley Cansdell are committed to sourcing some of the finest seafood Australia has to offer, upholding a strong sustainability focus. Simple but delicious are the rock oysters served with an eschalot and aged red wine vinegar. For a dish that packs a flavoursome punch, try the Moreton bay bug tail with mango, macadamia, holy basil and nam jim ($32). From the mains, we recommend the daily grilled seafood, served with a punchy herb dressing and indulgent aioli sauce. Teamed with a chilled Chardonnay or aromatic Chablis, you’ll slip into holiday mode in no time.
61 Masons Parade, Point Frederick
Open Tuesday – Saturday 12 noon until late
Seasalt Restaurant, Crowne Plaza Terrigal
If you’re looking for meal with a view, look no further than Seasalt Restaurant in Terrigal. Situated on Level 1 of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, this modern restaurant is completely full when we arrive on a warm Saturday night. We recommend making a reservation and requesting one of the oceanside tables. With the waves lapping in the background, indulge in one of their delicious mains, order a bottle of wine and take a moment to soak up baby pink hues encasing the sky as the sun sets on a balmy summer’s night.
Bombini, Avoca Beach
Just a short 15 minute drive from Terrigal is vibrant Avoca beach. This popular holiday destination amongst surfers and families has in more recent times attracted foodies, with its stream of dining gems. One such is Bombini. Situated on a leafy two acres, owners Cameron and Hayley Cansdell (who also own fish.dining) have captured the essence of modern Italian cuisine, with a focus on fresh produce from Australia and Italy. There are several interesting facets to Bombini, including a large garden complete with a veggie patch and chook farm! Highlights from the starter menu include the grilled southern calamari stuffed with king prawns, Sardinian fregola, tomato, chilli and basil salsa. For mains, can you really say no to handmade pasta or gnocchi? Those who love a little spice in their spaghetti must try the Fabbri spaghetti with Queensland spanner crab, hot chilli, zucchini flowers, parsley and garlic. It is divine.
Bombini Restaurant & Bar
366 Avoca Dr, Kincumber NSW 2251
Tel: (02) 43 811 436
WHERE TO STAY
The Central Coast offers many accommodation options, including a range of affordable Airbnb beach houses and apartments. If your plan is to check out Terrigal though, we recommend a stay at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Situated in the heart of this coastal suburb, the Crowne Plaza offers the perfect balance of high-end resort and relaxed beachside accommodation. Nab a room with an ocean view and while away the hours on your balcony in the sunshine with a bottle of bubbles, or head to the hotel pool for a dip. Feeling thirsty? Check out The Lord Ashley Bar overlooking Terrigal Beach and sip on one of their signature cocktails. What makes a trip to the Crowne Plaza so enjoyable though is the friendly and competent service. The staff at Crowne Plaza are only too willing to help with everything from restaurant recommendations to advice on where to swim and what nooks to explore on the Central Coast.
Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific
Pinetree Lane, Terrigal, NSW, 2260
WHERE TO DRINK
A day exploring the coast is bound to work up a thirst. Thankfully, Rhonda’s is a stone’s throw from Terrigal beach. This art-deco chic bar comes complete with booths, a monochrome wall mural and plenty of cool tunes playing throughout. Grab a stool at the bar or settle in for the night in a booth and dive head first into the cocktail list. Here you’ll find a combination of light and refreshing concoctions plus bold and adventurous beverages. Team your drink with any one of their small plates, such as the blue eyed cod tacos, or if you’re feeling hungry, opt for the wood smoked lamb ribs with native Australian bush salt and lightly battered fries ($30). If you’re a self confessed sweet tooth like ourselves, order the churros cup. It comes with praline gelato, blueberry honeycomb and chocolate fudge sauce. Yum.
Rhonda’s at Terrigal
3-5 Kurrawyba Avenue, Terrigal
T: 02 4385 3100
Distillery Botanica, Erina
Gin lovers are strongly encouraged to check out Distillery Botanica. Here, trained horticulturist and herbalist Philip Moore prides himself on growing and handpicking the botanicals. It’s what gives his gin its distinctive character. Try a tipple of this award-winning gin and wander through the fragrant garden. It’s open from 10am to 5pm.
25 Portsmouth Road, Erina NSW
T: 02 4365 3968
Six Strings Brewing, Erina
Six Strings Brewing is the Central Coast’s first home grown craft brewery plus tasting room in Erina. Opening in 2012 by Chris Benson, Six Strings Brewing is committed to producing full bodied, flavoursome brews whilst also continually developing new and exciting products. In the tasting room, learn all about the brewing process, whilst watching the brewery in action!
Six Strings Brewing
4/330 The Entrance Rd Erina
Open Weds – Saturday 12:00PM – 10:00PM, Sunday 11:00AM – 5:00PM, Closed Monday and Tuesday
WHERE TO PLAY
Beaches, beaches, beaches
A visit to the Central Coast is not complete without a swim in one of the many beaches on offer. Surfers and swimmers are encouraged to head to Avoca Beach to make the most of the expansive stretch of sand. If you’re staying in Terrigal and are looking for a convenient , Terrigal beach offers a great spot to cool down and work on that summer tan. For more information on beaches to check out on your visit, click here.
Boutique shops, Terrigal Village
Terrigal village is home to several boutique shops, selling everything from imported Italian summer staples to hats, jewellery, shoes and more. Be warned, it’s easy to spend big with so many enticing goods on offer.
Special thanks to Scout PR for helping us arrange this itinerary.