What’s New on the Coast: Where to Eat, Drink & Explore on the Central Coast this Summer
If you’re looking to plan your post-COVID summer vacation, we’ve got you covered. Just over an hour north of Sydney, the Central Coast is not just an easy escape but also an idyllic fuss-free getaway. Only a short ferry ride or drive away, the beautiful Central Coast feels a million miles away. There are over 41 beaches and lakes to explore, as well as national parks and a constantly evolving foodie scene.
The Best New Things to do on the Central Coast: Eat
Say ahoy because the team behind Terrigal’s Mumbo Jumbo’s and Avoca’s Shady Palms have just opened up a third iconic venue. With views across Brisbane Waters and an enviable central location, this new spot is equal parts restaurant, bar and live music venue – a truly awesome equation!
12A Dane Drive, Gosford
If you can’t get to Mexico this summer, LA Taco is a worthy contender for a local getaway. At Ettalong Beach, LA Taco serves up authentic Mexican flavours with a Cali-cool twist. Developed by Cameron Cansdell and Hayley Hardcastle of the gorgeous Saddles at Mt White, this is one of the most exciting new openings on the Central Coast. Think fresh ceviche tostadas, grilled corn on the cob with queso, paprika, chilli salsa and lime, enchiladas and, of course, tacos packed with everything from Angus beef short rib, grilled fish of the day and roast pumpkin. The cocktails which are produced in collaboration with Bar Toto features five varieties of margaritas and a whole slew of tequila mixes.
Shop 33-34, 189 Ocean View Road, Ettalong Beach
Start your day right with The Cnr, a brand new café in Woy Woy. Slinging Mecca coffee and an epic range of toasties, this new Central Coast spot makes breakfast the most comforting meal of the day. Our favourite toastie? The big tex with house-smoked brisket, cheddar cheese, pickles and smokey Drunken Sailor relish.
63 Trafalgar Avenue, Woy Woy
This mod-Asian waterfront gem is serving up some rich, delicious flavour-packed dishes. Their weekend yum cha provides you the perfect opportunity to try their wide ranging menu. The Lucky Bee has recently introduced a casual takeaway dining menu which will help you have the ideal waterfront picnic on the Bay. Lobster rolls sitting on the sand? Yes, please!
60 Araluen Drive, Hardys Bay
The Best New Things to do on the Central Coast: Drink
We can’t wait to check out this brand new African-inspired bar and eatery opening in the heart of Gosford this summer. With a range of southern African meats – think biltong and boerewors – punchy cocktails and a wild interior, the bar and restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week! They’ve also got a great roster of weekly events to add to your experience!
37A Mann Street, Gosford
Established in 1926, Hotel Gosford might not be exactly new but the local institution has recently undergone a serious facelift. The remodel draws inspiration from the hotel’s rich history and the roaring twenties, incorporating rich dark timbers, touches of brass, and ambient lighting. At the heart of the hotel you’ll find Earl’s Kitchen where you can order up delicious pub classics and rotisserie meats. Order up a glass or two from their extensive wine list, pick up a summery spritz or check out their signature cocktails including the hot chocolate-inspired campfire classic complete with a toasted marshmallow.
Corner Mann & Erina Street, Gosford
Bar Hopping like the Locals
Make the most of that summer lifestyle and bar hop like a local on the Coast. Really embrace the summer at Tropicana Social Club, a Polynesian social club in Woy Woy which leans into everything from tropical drinks and Hawaiian pizzas. Start of in Terrigal at Joker and the Thief, a bar with a rich Art Deco aesthetic and amazing with views across the beach. Once you’ve enjoyed a drink or two and some Australian cuisine at Joker, head over to Mumbo Jumbo’s, an island-style rooftop bar with a Caribbean-influenced menu.
While you’re there make sure you visit some of our classic faves: The Savoy in Long Jetty and Motel Mezza in Wyong. The heritage-listed Savoy, once housed the Central Coast’s biggest movie theatre, but now has been converted into a mutli-purpose bar and restaurant and regular film screenings which pay tribute to the venues 1950s past. Heading back in time another 20 years with the Motel Mezza, is housed in a former 1930s bank. It’s now a speakeasy-style bar serving Middle Eastern-inspired cocktails like zaatar palomas, pineapple and saffron martinis and sumac margaritas!
The Best New Things to do on the Central Coast: Experience
Design Your Own Brewery Crawl: Central Coast Craft Brewers
For craft beer lovers, the Central Coast is an absolute Mecca. So, on your next trip, why not plan your own brewery trail starting with a local ale at Bay Road Brewing in Gosford with its complimentary food truck offering, or Six Strings Brewery at Erina who has only recently partnered with Moobi Valley for a classic beer and burger combo. Block ‘n Tackle at Kincumber is well-loved but, what we’re most excited about is, the new kid on the block, Hawkesbury Brewing Co. in Lisarow!
This summer, Firescreek Botanical Wines is collaborating with LoveShak, a local maker and creator, for a series of sensory workshops. Sip a selection of botanical fruit and flower wines, savour a perfectly paired tasting of locally handcrafted Luka Chocolates and create a luxurious, natural bath soak and sugar scrub infused with Firescreek wines. Check it out here.
192 Wattle Tree Road, Holgate
Who doesn’t love an alpaca? This fun, family-friendly experience takes place every weekend or - every day during school holidays at Iris Lodge Alpacas, a working farm in Jilliby. Expect to be greeted by a hungry alpaca, and meet and feed other animals before enjoying your own breakfast while watching the alpacas – don’t let them bully you into sharing.
33 Dunks Lane, Jilliby
The Best New Things to do on the Central Coast: Explore
Beautiful Gardens at Distillery Botanica + Bar Botanica
On your next trip to the Central Coast, make sure to visit the beautiful gardens of Distillery Botanica. As well as being the home of the award-winning Moore’s Gin and being one of the Central Coast’s must-visit spots, they’re also opening a new distillery tasting door in 2022. Whilst you’re there check out Bar Botanica one of the best brunch spots on the Central Coast.
25 Portsmouth Road, Erina
Spend the day taking in stunning vistas from Terrigal's new coastal boardwalk. Starting from the southern end of the beach, the boardwalk connects Terrigal's village to The Haven and the iconic and dramatic Skillion landmark.
Walkabout Wildlife Park in Calga has announced an exciting new experience that we can’t wait to check out this summer! Visitors will be able to book a personal encounter with the sanctuary’s newest (and smallest) residents – the meerkats! Pick from the 10 minute meerkat speed date or go all in with a full encounter. Another highlight is their ‘be a ranger for the day’ program which is a hit for any little animal lovers. If you’re looking for a holiday experience to remember, make a night of it and book one of the park’s onsite cabins or safari tents, plus an evening Spotlight Tour.
1 Darkinjung Road, Calga
The Best New Things to do on the Central Coast: Stay
Fresh off a major overhaul, The Quarters at Forresters Beach – formerly the Forresters Beach Resort – should be at the top of your list when booking your next Central Coast vacation. With spacious, Hamptons-style rooms and tropical outlooks, as well as new on-site destinations including The Pantry Café for your holiday brunching needs (don’t miss the Balmain Bug slider!) and The Guilded Anchor restaurant and bar, you’ll never want to leave.
960 Central Coast Highway, Forresters Beach
The Beachcomber Hotel and Resort, fondly referred to by the locals as ‘The Beachie’, revealed its multi-million-dollar overhaul earlier this year. With a classy Hamptons-inspired look that is straight out of a Nancy Meyers movie, the waterfront property now offers a variety of all-day dining, bar and lounging spaces. Things are only getting better as Pelican’s Restaurant – a former iconic seafood restaurant in the region - will return as the hotel’s fine-dining outpost.
200 Main Road, Toukley
As you can see, a lot has changed on the Central Coast since your last trip! If you’re planning a Central Coast getaway this summer, head straight to Love Central Coast for all the local travel inspo you’ll need.
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