Just over an hour north of Sydney, lies a world of golden beaches, sparkling blue water, surf, forest, lakes, fresh air… a relaxing escape! The Central Coast is home to 5 national parks and 19 beaches. Behind the beaches is an abundance of tranquil coastal lakes and waterways, fertile valleys, state forests and rolling hills of the hinterland.
The 4 main waterways are Hawkesbury River, Brisbane Water, Broken Bay and Tuggerah Lakes and as we’ll show you they provide a diverse range of water based activities. From patrolled beaches to lagoons, lakes and amazing waterfalls. Fishing, swimming, surfing, boating, cruises, sailing, water skiing… there’s something for everyone.
If you’re not so into the water side of things there is an array of culture, art, recreation and shopping, and of course, dining experiences to suit everyone. From award winning restaurants to Al fresco cafes, casual bistros and fresh fish and chips by the sea!
The pelican has been adopted as the symbol of the tourist industry on the Central Coast. The Pelican feeding is on every day at 3.30pm at Memorial Park, the Entrance (this is right on the waterfront).
Long Jetty Catamaran & Boat Hire
Long Jetty Catamaran and Boat Hire is an original boat shed that was built in late 1940's and is a local icon in the area. Barrie and Helen took over the business just over a year ago and cater for the wide spectrum of water sports; from the sedate to the exciting!
Not only is there the action you can get at the many surf beaches, but Tuggerah Lakes offers many still water activities… catamarans that are fun and easy to sail, even better when the breeze is up! Single and double kayaks, even pedal boats which is fun for the whole family. If you have the need for speed they offer water skiing as well as wake boarding and wind surfing! Even the keen and serious sailors out there can have sailing lessons and specific courses.
There busiest times are over the school holidays and the weekend traffic certainly keeps them on there toes! They mainly run the water skiing in the mornings, to get the best part of the day (no wind and flat water) and when the winds come up, concentrate on the various sailing apparatus.
Pearls on the Beach
Nestled on the edge of Pearl Beach, a national trust village, Pearls on the Beach is truly a hidden treasure making this restaurant an ideal spot for lunch, dinner or that special occasion. Scott, now the owner of 2 years was previously head chef for 4 years, but decided to take the reigns with his wife Melissa.
The modern Australian menu caters for everyone, making changes constantly utilising the season’s produce. Dining on the balcony on a balmy night, perched above the beach, you’re in arms reach of the lapping water.
Making it easy for everyone, all entrees are $18.50, the menu very diverse; for example, a mixed sushi plate or Moroccan spiced chicken spring rolls with almond & cinnamon dipping powder or cuttlefish, Balmain bug, capsicum, red onion, lemon & watercress salad on celeriac remoulade.
Mains are &28.50 with a board of daily seafood specials. The dishes sound delicious; beef fillet with sun-dried tomato mustard crust, homemade mega chips & béarnaise or the grilled ocean trout fillet with caper & soft herb mash and salsa verde and for the vegetarians; risotto of roasted tomato, basil, asparagus, pine nuts and goats cheese would certainly hit the spot!
The $12 desserts you can’t skip when you read something like this; violet crumble mascarpone cheesecake with bitter chocolate couli or Affogato al caffé: vanilla bean ice cream, espresso & Frangelico liqueur with white chocolate & hazelnut biscotti or my pick would be the roasted pear with five spice panna cotta & Iranian fairy floss! WOW!
Kim’s Beach Hideaway
Back in 1886 Captain Frans Charlson started the ‘camp’ here and built a slab-timbered kitchen-dining room with paths that lead to tents then later as timber cabins. At this time he planted about 100 Norfolk Pines which still stand 115 years later on!
In the late 20’s the McKimmin brothers took over, renaming it to “Kims Camp”. It was as rustic as ever, cabins furnished with an iron bed, a broom and a towel.
In 1944 Clive Loc Hughes-Hallett took over & shortened the name to “Kims”. Clive established Kims as a popular beach holiday destination & cleaned up the cabins & gardens. For 4 generations now, since the 50’s, the Stratchen family have been fully involved.
The arrival at Kims is indeed a feast for the senses as the mind, body and soul are given a new lease of life and the stresses and strains of daily life are left at the door. At Kims you’ll feel like you’re in your very own private beach oasis. With a magical view of the ocean whilst lying in bed and hearing the constant lapping of waves and the fresh breeze playing with the leaves above, heaven is where you’ll be at! You’ll have no worries relaxing in this peaceful environment, marvelling at the wildlife that surrounds you and the feeling of complete privacy from the towing Norfolk Pines and beautiful hibiscus trees.
You don’t even need to worry about food… all is taken care of and included in the price. A hearty 3 times daily, since 1886, the bell has sounded; signally a Kims meal is being served. They serve up some golden oldies such as steak and kidney pie, roast lamb and mint sauce with four fresh vegetables and legendary desserts like strawberry pavlova, bread and butter custard or fresh figs with cream cheese and praline. A huge selection of Australian and International cheese is also on offer as well as making there own jams and preservative-free
ice-cream using fresh milk and seasonal fruit.
In between a plunge in your own pool or a dip in the ocean indulge in a full body massage, there are 3 to choose from that will totally zone you right out!
As you enter any of the unique bungalows and spa villas you’ll be blown away with there luxurious appointments like spa baths, shower temples, Jacuzzis and some have there own salt water heated pools. Surrounded by rainforest and ocean you literally have the best of both worlds!
The cream of the crop is the ‘Deluxe beach spa villa’. With its very own salt water heated swimming pool, outdoor Jacuzzi, indoor spa and sauna, even a Balinese-style day bed, the best seat in the house, over looking the ocean nestled under huge Norfolk pines; this is beachside accommodation at its best. There are many variations of the above, catering for different size pockets, wants and desires. I mean there’s nothing wrong with the Garden bungalow with a Jacuzzi in my book!
More information & cost
Services operate all over Sydney
Transport Infoline 131500 between 6am and 10pm 7days a week or go to www.cityrail.info
Palm Beach Ferry Service
Departing Palm Beach Wharf, Ettalong Ferry Wharf & Wagstaff
One way to Ettalong or Wagstaff $8
All year round, check website for timetables: www.palmbeachferry.com.au
Long Jetty Catamaran & Boat Hire
Tuggerah Lakes, Long Jetty
Catamaran hire from $30, kayaks from $10, water skiing from $60, pedal boat from $12, windsurfing from $20.
September to late June, all weekends and school holidays. Bookings for group and corporate days can be made by arrangement.
Pearls on the Beach
1 Tourmaline Avenue, overlooking the peaceful and secluded Pearl Beach.
Entrée’s $18.50, mains $28.50, delicious desserts $12
Open Thurs to Sunday for lunch & dinner. Trading hours extended during holiday periods.
Kims Beach Hideaway
Charlton Street, Toowoon Bay, just over 1 hours drive from Sydney.
Tariffs are per person per day, including 3meals; full Australian breakfast, hot buffet lunch and superb buffet dinner served in the dining room and are based on 2 people in a bungalow.
Open year round