If you’re after a coastal getaway where you can try new experiences and relax in a waterfront resort, you can’t go past the Central Coast.
After the last two years, it’s no secret that Australians are in desperate need of a holiday. But with the ridiculously high cost of overseas travel and flights constantly being cancelled, it begs the question of where can you go to have a relaxing holiday that doesn’t break the bank?
For many, the Central Coast might be an obvious summer holiday choice for its beautiful beaches, but it’s so much more than just sand and water.
Only a 90-minute drive up from Sydney, I recently got the opportunity to explore a few key highlights of the Central Coast myself.
The first item on the agenda was a visit to the Iris Lodge Alpacas Farm for a meet and greet with the resident alpacas. Located in Jilliby, the working grazing property offers guests the opportunity to get to know the animals.
This was definitely the experience I was most looking forward to and it by far exceeded my expectations. With over 70 alpacas on site, the farm allows you to get up close and personal with the animals and feed them directly from your hand. For families after a fun, new experience, a visit to the alpaca farm is a must-do.
After leaving the farm, we drove the short distance to the Wyong Milk Factory for lunch at the Wyong Milk Factory Tavern. Sitting down in the quirky outdoor beer garden, we ordered a selection of popular pub dishes and were immediately impressed with the large portions of food.
With a friendly atmosphere, it was easy to see why the tavern is so popular among locals.
While exploring the rest of the Wyong Milk Factory we discovered Luka Chocolates, an artisan chocolate company where you can watch chocolate be made right in front of your eyes and enjoy delicious sweets almost too beautiful to eat.
Another essential experience was cheese tasting at the award-winning Little Creek Cheese, which will leave even the most reluctant of cheese lovers salivating for more. With plenty of haloumi, feta, cheddar and blue cheese options, you can’t go wrong with Little Creek Cheese.
The afternoon was spent at the stunning coastal neighbourhood of Norah Head. Famous for its historic lighthouse and National Surfing Reserve, it’s the perfect location to soak up some sun while surrounded by beautiful beaches. If it’s a chilled day you’re after, Norah Head is guaranteed to put you into holiday mode.
After a busy day of experiencing the Central Coast it was time to check in to our hotel for the night, The Beachcomber Hotel & Resort. An iconic waterfront destination located in Toukley, the Beachcomber’s impressive Hamptons-inspired, boutique-style accommodation provided a luxurious space to sleep for the night.
With a balcony that looked over the beautiful pool and a huge bed so comfortable you never wanted to leave it, The Beachcomber was a definite highlight.
Dinner was also spent at the resort, and with multiple eateries and uninterrupted waterfront views, it was easy to see why it’s a popular venue for weddings and birthday celebrations. After enjoying a delicious meal at the bistro while the sun slowly set over the water, it was time to head back to the room and call it a night.
The next morning started off with a relaxing buffet breakfast at the Beachcomber’s Pelican’s Restaurant. Designed with a soothing neutral palette and floor-to-ceiling windows that looked out across the water, it was a great way to start a Sunday.
Next we headed to The Entrance and hired a Boomerang Bike for a leisurely morning bike ride around the stunning Tuggerah Lakes Cycleway. This was a fun, active way to take in the views and explore the local area.
On our journey we came across the beautiful 70s-esque facade of the Grant Molony + Rowsie Lane store. With an eye-catching display of artwork, flowers and unique pots, the store was just one of The Entrance’s many hidden treasures.
After wrapping up our bike ride, we headed to The Entrance Social Club, a recently refurbished hotel in the heart of The Entrance, for some much-needed lunch. We sat outside in the Mrs May Bistro and Bar area, a stunning courtyard where I enjoyed some mouth-watering fish and chips.
With lunch finished, I wasn’t quite ready to leave the Central Coast just yet. On our way out of The Entrance we decided to stop at the Long Jetty town centre to do some shopping. It was there we came across a range of colourful boutiques where you’ll be sure to pick up a one-of-a-kind Christmas present.
Whether you’re after a family-fun vacation or a relaxing trip away from the everyday hustle and bustle, the Central Coast is sure to have something for everyone to enjoy.
Find out more about the Central Coast at www.lovecentralcoast.com.
Ellie Busby is a news reporter for Western Sydney Publishing Group. A graduate of the University of Hertfordshire and Western Sydney University, she is a journalism Major. Ellie has worked with Universal Media, The Cova Project and for a range of other projects.