COAST magazine Autumn 2021 issue

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AUTUMN 2021

THE COAST’S BABY PELICANS 13 MAGNIFICENT WATERFALLS A RIVERSIDE GARDEN IDYLL WHERE TO ENJOY YOUR COFFEE BEACHSIDE


© JIM PICOT


t The hidden gem of the Central Coas

PEARL FARM TOURS

PEARL MEAT & OYSTERS

PEARLS & JEWELLERY

www.pearlsofaustralia.com.au | 12 Kowan Road, Mooney Mooney | 0488 361 042


CONTENTS WELCOME 6 WIN an idyllic weekend escape on the Hawkesbury 7 DISCOVER THE CENTRAL COAST Map 8 The waterfalls of the Central Coast 9 SHOPPING GUIDE Experiences to make mum feel special 16 MY COAST Kristen Budd 20 PEOPLE OF THE COAST Patrick Brennan 22 CREATORS OF THE COAST Hidden fashion talents 28 HOME STYLE An old classic becomes a new classic: Chillamurra in Terrigal 34 PEOPLE OF THE COAST Philip Pells 42 FOOD & DINING The coffee lovers’ page 44 Coffee, beachside 45 COASTING ALONG with Libby Greig 54

GROWERS, MAKERS, ARTISAN PRODUCERS Map and guide HEALTH & WELLBEING Can happiness be linked to our hormones? LUXURY ESCAPES Beach retreat or country getaway? ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT HAPPENINGS ON THE COAST FEATURE Baby pelicans of the Central Coast CLASSES & COURSES DISCOVER THE CENTRAL COAST Map Waterfalls of the Central Coast (continued) GARDENS Riverside idyll, Wyong River DESTINATION WEDDINGS Paradise found: Sibel and Russell 36 HOURS IN … Maitland FUN FOR KIDS ON THE COAST EDUCATION Why is childhood play so important in early childhood education?

56 59 62 68 72 74 80 82 83 88 92 98 103

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COAST © ZONNY OF CATHERINE HILL BAY PHOTOGRAPHY

PUBLISHER Catharine Retter editorial@coastpublishing.com.au

Welcome I

t’s autumn already. Where has the year gone? It’s perhaps appropriate, as we’re flying through the first half of the year, that we feature a profile on the bird most often associated with the Central Coast: the Australian pelican. Or, in this case, baby pelicans because we’re lucky enough to have a breeding colony right here on a protected island within our waterways. Just a little more inland and we explore the seven beautiful waterfalls of the region, or 13 if you count the multiple falls in each area. They are probably one of the few really good reasons to go bushwalking in the rain, or immediately afterwards – when the falls are at their most spectacular. Have you ever wanted to get away for a weekend escape far from cars, in your own quiet bush setting (disturbed only by the sound of birdsong or perhaps the distant putt-putt of a passing boat)? In fact, it’s so secluded and far from road traffic that you’ll be taken to your accommodation by boat. Check out our autumn reader competition (on opposite page) to find this

COAST

ART DIRECTOR Jude Rowe, Agave Creative Group PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHERS Brigid Arnott • David Beckers • Brett Boardman • Lisa Haymes • Kevin Morgan • Merrillie Redden PRINCIPAL WRITERS Brooke Doherty • Jennifer Ennion • Libby Greig • Carla Grossetti • Suzy Jarratt • Kevin Morgan • Catharine Retter • Katie Stokes • Sarah Tolmie • Paul Urquhart ILLUSTRATORS Maps: Guy Holt • Lauren Merrick ADVERTISING Anissa Vineburg 0408 692 129 Amanda Atkinson 0466 524 037 advertising@coastpublishing.com.au DIGITAL Jenna Nicholl jenna@coastpublishing.com.au

dream location on the Hawkesbury River. It’s surely one of the best-kept weekendescape secrets around ... and you may just be the lucky winner of a romantic weekend for two. Put it in your diary: Sunday, May 9, Mother’s Day. This year, instead of bringing you shopping suggestions, we’re bringing you experiences your mum can enjoy, whichever type of mum she is: Earth mum, active mum, glam mum... Share an experience with your mum to make memories money can’t buy. Need to start (or finish) your day with a great coffee? How about a great location to go with it. We’ve sent out our dedicated, sandy-footed secret shoppers to the many cafes along our beaches and some of our waterways so that you can try a different cafe every week from now until next spring! Snap a selfie at your favourite cafe and tag our Instagram @coast_publishing, we love to see you supporting our local cafes. c

Catharine Retter, Publisher

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR ENTRIES IN COAST’S SUMMER READER OFFER. The winner of the Patonga Boathouse stay is Tara Shelton who has happy memories of finding her extended family in Patonga.

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SUB EDITOR Carla Grossetti

DISTRIBUTION Alex Tkachenko admin@coastpublishing.com.au ADMINISTRATION admin@coastpublishing.com.au COAST is published by Coast Publishing ABN 11 145 976 049 PO Box 6407 Kincumber NSW 2251 For more ‘What’s On for Kids’ information contact Katie Stokes at playinginpuddles.com.au COPYRIGHT AND WARRANTIES The editorial content, photographic content, design and graphic art (including design of any advertisements by Coast Publishing) are all subject to copyright and must not be reproduced in any form without written permission from Coast Publishing. While we strive to ensure information contained in this magazine is correct and current at the time of printing, details may be subject to change and we recommend contacting venues or event organisers before planning your visit. The information contained in this magazine has been provided by contributors, interviewees and advertisers and their sources. No warranty is given by Coast Publishing as to the accuracy of this information nor any liability arising from any reliance upon the information contained herein. FIND US ON Facebook Instagram @coast_publishing Receive COAST online, free, in your inbox each month by subscribing at coastmagazine.com.au We wish to acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, the Awabakal and Darkinjung peoples and their Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. ON THE COVER Autumn at Bensville by Jim Picot.


WIN

AN IDYLLIC WEEKEND ESCAPE ON THE HAWKESBURY with Berowra Waters Holidays INCLUDES UNIQUE BOAT-ONLY ACCESS 25 minutes from Gosford, 50 minutes from Sydney

STAY AT THE LOWER DECK, BEROWRA WATERS, HAWKESBURY RIVER Relax with weekend accommodation for two at The Lower Deck, on absolute river frontage. It’s the perfect setting for a romantic getaway with a gas log fire and large glass doors lead out to a spacious deck designed for outdoor living. A continental breakfast is included. Access is by boat only, with boat transfers on arrival and departure included.

DINE AT BEROWRA WATERS INN, BEROWRA CREEK Enjoy a six-course degustation dinner for two at Berowra Waters Inn (excludes alcohol). Long considered one of Australia’s best restaurants, it’s described by architect Glenn Murcutt as a “veranda by the water”, and was bought by executive chef, Brian Geraghty in 2012. Boat transfers to the restaurant are included.

CRUISE AWAY WITH HAWKESBURY RIVER CRUISES The ultimate in river tours, this professionally guided two-hour experience will cruise through spectacular river scenery rich with birdlife. Your professional guide, Chantal Herlihy, will elaborate on the area’s rich Indigenous history and pioneer tales. A bottle of sparkling wine and boat pick-up from and return to your accommodation are included to make the occasion even more special. (River tours are weather dependent.)

Just tell us why you’d like to win by entering at coastmagazine.com.au Please read the Terms & Conditions listed with the entry form on the COAST website. berowrawatersholidays.com.au

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THE WATERFALLS of the CENTRAL COAST

THE CENTRAL COAST IS, QUITE RIGHTLY, BEST KNOWN FOR ITS STUNNING COASTLINE AND ITS RELAXED BEACHSIDE SUBURBS. BUT THERE IS ANOTHER WORLD OF LESSER-KNOWN SCENIC AND RECREATIONAL ENJOYMENTS TO BE DISCOVERED IN THE REGION’S UNSPOILED HINTERLAND. AND THE JEWELS HIDDEN IN THE LANDSCAPE ARE UNDOUBTEDLY ITS WONDERFUL WATERFALLS.

WORDS & PHOTOS KEVIN MORGAN, MAGIC LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY


DISCOVER • Central Coast

SOMERSBY FALLS SOMERSBY FALLS IS, DESERVEDLY, THE BEST KNOWN AND MOST VISITED OF ALL THE CENTRAL COAST WATERFALLS. IT IS LOCATED ON FLOODS CREEK WITHIN THE BRISBANE WATER NATIONAL PARK AT SOMERSBY AND HAS A WELL-MAINTAINED PICNIC AREA, COMPLETE WITH TOILETS AND BARBECUES. WITH ITS CASCADING WATERS, LUSH RAINFOREST, COOL AND GREEN BOULDER-COVERED CREEK BED AND ABUNDANCE OF NATIVE BIRDLIFE, IT’S A DRAW FOR BOTH NATURE LOVERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS. SOMERSBY FALLS HAS A GREAT PICNIC AREA, AND IS JUST 15 MINUTES’ DRIVE FROM DOWNTOWN GOSFORD.

THE TOP FALLS The track to the bottom of the Top Falls (also known as the Main Falls) is well signposted and a short easy-to-moderate five-minute walk with a couple of optional detours on the way to lookouts. The falls are very picturesque and well worth visiting at any time, but really put on a show after heavy rain.

SIDE FALLS A short detour off to the left while on your way to the Top Falls will take you to what’s informally known as the Side Falls. Turn left soon after coming down the stairs towards the Top Falls from the picnic area and the pretty Side Falls are only a few metres along the left-hand track. These falls really only come into their own after heavy rain, but are still worth checking out as it’s such a quick and easy detour to get to them.

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DISCOVER • Central Coast

BOTTOM FALLS After spending some time at the Top Falls it’s worthwhile following the main track downstream to what’s known as Bottom Falls. The track is once again well signposted and maintained, and is only a further five-to-10 minutes’ easy-to-moderate walk from Top Falls. Once you get down the timber stairs, you’re almost there, but watch your step on the last few stone stairs as they can be quite slippery. These falls and the small cascades around them are quite captivating, and can look so different depending on the amount of water flowing. It is cool and shady at the base of the falls so it’s a really good spot to take a moment and relax on a hot day. Bottom Falls is named so because it is at the base of the main part of the track but, for the slightly more adventurous, the track does continue downstream to more waterfalls and pools. It’s not quite as well maintained and a bit more difficult, but well worth the extra walk.

LOWER FALLS This waterfall is my personal favourite at Somersby Falls. It flows over a large overhanging rock and, after climbing down the right-hand side of the falls (facing downstream), you can walk in behind the falls (stooping so you don’t bang your head) and come out on the other side. From here you can get some good photos of the falls from a different angle and you can also continue further downstream. Another fantastic perspective is from behind the falls looking out through the curtain of water. A two-tiered rock shelf in front of the falls also provides a great spot for photographing the falls and the reflections in the surrounding pools of water.

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DISCOVER • Central Coast

POOL OF SERENITY About another 10 minutes’ downstream from the Lower Falls is a serene and shady pool, fed by a small waterfall tumbling over a rock shelf. I don’t believe this pool has a formal name so I’ve called it the Pool of Serenity as it seems to describe it perfectly. The track to this spot is not as easy to follow and at times requires a bit more scrambling over the rocks and boulders of the creek bed, so it’s probably not recommended for the less agile.

SECOND FALLS It’s possible to detour off the main track about halfway back up the track from Bottom Falls to the Top Falls to check out what I’ll call Second Falls. It’s a smaller waterfall just downstream from the Top Falls where the creek tumbles over a rock shelf into a small pool. Without heavy rain it is not much more than a trickle, but it is completely transformed after rain.

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DISCOVER • Central Coast

GIRRAKOOL LOOP TRACK WATERFALLS GIRRAKOOL IS PROBABLY THE SECOND MOST POPULAR SPOT FOR WATERFALLS ON THE CENTRAL COAST. IT’S LOCATED IN THE BRISBANE WATER NATIONAL PARK AND, LIKE SOMERSBY FALLS, HAS A PICNIC AREA WITH TOILETS AND BARBECUES. NATIONAL PARK FEES APPLY. TO SEE THE BEST OF THE AREA’S WATERFALLS, FOLLOW THE GIRRAKOOL LOOP TRACK, A MODERATE TRACK ABOUT 2 KM IN LENGTH THAT TAKES ABOUT 30 TO 40 MINUTES TO COMPLETE (WITHOUT STOPS).

PILES CREEK CASCADES Start at the signposted entry to the track below the carpark and behind the old picnic shelter to do the loop in a clockwise direction, and just follow the track for about five to 10 minutes to reach the first waterfall. Here you will find Piles Creek Cascades, a small set of cascades running over a rock platform and ending in a small waterfall. There’s not much to see here if there hasn’t been recent rain.

PILES CREEK FALLS Head back to the track and continue until you see the signs for Broula Lookout and Bundilla Lookout, both of which have limited views of Piles Creek Falls, the largest of the waterfalls on this walk (Bundilla is the better of the two).

THE WATERFALLS OF THE CENTRAL COAST continue on page 83

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© ANNE POWELL


AUTUMN • Shopping Guide

EXPERIENCES

to make mums feel special

WORDS JENNIFER ENNION

AQUAFUN

AS THE SAYING GOES, THERE’S NOTHING LIKE A MOTHER’S LOVE, BUT DOES SHE KNOW HOW MUCH SHE MEANS TO YOU? THIS AUTUMN, DON’T SIMPLY TELL HER HOW SPECIAL SHE IS (ALTHOUGH THAT’S ALWAYS NICE), SHOW HER WITH A TAILOR-MADE LOCAL EXPERIENCE.

With boundless energy and a can-do attitude, active mums thrive on micro adventures, and the Central Coast is jam-packed with them. Join mum for a post-dawn hike through Bouddi National Park, home to one of the most beautiful trails – dare we say on the entire East Coast of Australia – from Putty Beach to Maitland Bay (three kilometres one way). Stopping midway to watch the sun rise over the ocean is the perfect excuse to admire the view (and catch your breath if mum’s outpacing you). Down in the bay, enjoy a swim and DIY breakfast picnic. Another top activity for active mums is a guided kayak eco-tour with Aquafun Avoca Lake, where you can get to know this popular lagoon beyond its shoreline. By the time lunch rolls around, you’ll be famished so cross the road to corner-store cafe Like Minds Avoca for a healthy(ish) feed.

SLOWWELL.CO

The Active Mum

Whether she’s a devout Take 3 for the Sea follower or is rocking original Levi overalls, “Earthy mum” is happiest when she’s chilled-out, in nature, and with a Masala chai in her reusable coffee cup. Start her day with a unique breakfast with an alpaca experience at Iris Lodge Alpacas, Jilliby. She’ll get to handfeed the alpacas before enjoying her own brekky in their company and she won’t forget that in a hurry. If mum’s craving chilled-out indoor time, pop into slowwell.co, a beautiful space in Ettalong that’s dedicated to filter coffee. While you wait for a cup, peruse the wellness-themed store, with its curated selection of books and homewares. They also run self-awareness workshops if mum’s on an inward journey or searching for fresh inspiration.

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IRIS LODGE ALPACAS

The Earth Mum


TERRIGAL BEACH HOUSE

AUTUMN • Shopping Guide

The Beach Mum

SHADY PALMS

BROKEN BAY PEARL FARM

paddleboard (she’ll likely own a board already). Lunch should be a casual affair and there’s no better place than the new and hip Shady Palms at Avoca. The laissez-faire vibe and unpretentious menu make it a winner. If mum loves heading out to sea, sign her up for an outing with Terrigal Ocean Tours. Keep an eye out for dolphins and seabirds on the tours from Hardys Bay or, in the coming months, for humpback whales on a whale-watching tour from Terrigal – just don’t forget your spray jackets. For night-time fun, mum will love the new Terrigal Beach House with its Adirondack chairs and seafood platters, as well as one of the Coast’s newest bars – the funky safari-themed Lyons Den, in Gosford. Ask for a Simba’s Wake Up Call cocktail with cocoainfused tequila, cold brew and chilli agave ($18).

TERRIGAL OCEAN TOURS

She goes to bed with salty hair and has a perpetual sun-kissed look – and “beach mum” wouldn’t have it any other way. When it comes to being spoilt, she’s pretty happy when a buddy can join her for a sea-and-sand sojourn. Start with an ocean swim (or laps in an ocean pool) before heading to surf shop/cafe Ocean Haus in Terrigal to buy a new wetsuit and enjoy an acai breakfast bowl. While you’re filling your bellies, check the surf report so you can whisk her to the best beach for a surf or stand-up

ROWSIE LANE

The Connoisseur Mum Whether she loves the arts, wine or food – or something different entirely – the best way to fill a connoisseur mum’s cup is to treat her to new experiences. One of our favourites, and still relatively undiscovered, is a visit to Broken Bay Pearl Farm at Mooney Mooney, where she’ll learn how pearls are grown and graded. If Mum prefers the creative over the culinary, take her to Exhale Art & Wellness Studio in Long Jetty. This lovely, light-filled space is all about embracing your inner Monet, with art classes, paint and sip (wine, that is) sessions, and exhibitions. The eclectic neighbourhood of Long Jetty is also home to Rowsie Lane, selfdescribed as a “floral fun house” with pretty posies and wreaths. Pick up something special for Mum to take home.

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ALLURE THE SALON

AUTUMN • Shopping Guide

The Glamour Mum

BELLS DAY SPA

ANTIGUA COLLECTIVE

Always the belle of a dinner party, “glamour mums” have us “oohing” over their on-trend attire and latest holiday escapades. That’s why the best way to a glamour mum’s heart is through a little pampering – let’s face it, when doesn’t mum deserve to be pampered? A top spot to start is Bells Day Spa at Killcare, where you can book her in for a mud wrap, exfoliation or massage. Continue the theme at the freshly renovated Allure the Salon, Terrigal, where mum can enjoy a “hair facial”, including a scalp massage. Glamour mums also appreciate a spot of shopping, and you’ll find beautiful, feminine collections at La Boheme (Scenic Highway, Terrigal) and Antigua Collective (near Terrigal Surf Club). When she’s looking and feeling her best, arrange a meetup with her besties at Holgate’s Firescreek botanical winery for a chocolate and wine pairing – she won’t want to leave, and who can blame her? That is until you tell her she’ll be spending the night at one of the Coast’s newest (and trendiest) holiday properties, Waters Edge at Forresters. With views to impress, a stay at this beachfront locale will score you plenty of brownie points.

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MY COAST • Kristen Budd

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MY COAST • Kristen Budd

My Coast

KRISTEN BUDD: DYNAMIC, UPBEAT, AMBITIOUS AND MEDITATIVE. KRISTEN BUDD STRIKES YOU IMMEDIATELY AS SOMEONE WHO LISTENS, WHICH IS PROBABLY A GOOD ATTRIBUTE FOR THE GENERAL MANAGER OF THE SUPERCHARGED AND HYPER-LOCAL RADIO NETWORK, SCA CENTRAL COAST, WHICH TAKES IN HIT 101.3 AND TRIPLE M 101.7.

I

t was radio that first brought Kristen Budd to the Coast from Sydney to manage 50 full-time, talented staff, a role she quickly acknowledges as one of the highlights of her life … immediately after husband, Pascal, toddler Georgette, and baby Lorenzo (who came into her life just last year). For the 16 years ahead of moving to the Coast, Kristen had been an unstoppable force in the Sydney media scene, working on high-scale media solutions with MTV, Nickelodeon, Network TEN, Nine Entertainment, and National Geographic. It was with the last that she experienced, ‘The most notable, exhilarating adventure ever – hands down,’ she says, her face alive with the memory of riding in a hot-air balloon high above the Maasai Mara Desert with photographer, Jason Edwards. It takes a special focus to be able to multi-task a busy life like hers, something that Kristen puts down to practising meditation, which she started 10 years ago. ‘It changed my life for the better,’ she says. ‘I am a lot more grounded, less anxious and more focused.’ Meditation can be dismissed as a New Age or hippy practice, but Kristen says it provides clarity to her thinking amid a hectic and busy life, and provides her with a beautiful sense of calm. It’s a benefit she loves to share on her Instagram page, @kristenbuddmeditation, which aims to help others find a technique that resonates with them. Kristen firmly believes the world would be a gentler place if everyone spent a quiet 10 minutes a day in meditation and contemplation. It was while looking thoughtfully at her own family’s sea change to the Central Coast, that Kristen rated it as the best move they’d ever made. It lets them enjoy an outdoor lifestyle on Avoca Beach and, for Kristen, that also includes lunch-time swims at the Gosford Olympic Pool.

‘As well as all that, I’m working alongside a team of highly talented individuals. It’s a huge role in a buzzing market and I’ve been so grateful for the opportunity.’ After taking her local community into her heart, Kristen and the network knew they wanted to support their small-business community when Covid-19 hit. SCA ran a “Small Local, Big Love” campaign, providing more than $500,000 in advertising for 120 local businesses on air, online, and on the ground to make sure their messages continued to reach HIT and Triple M listeners. ‘I’m so proud SCA leant in and provided no-charge ad support, voiced by our on-air talent,’ she says. ‘I’m proud it helped no small number of local businesses stay afloat in such a difficult business environment.’ Kristen is also super proud of her little family. ‘Our family unit is such a delight to be a part of. Seeing them smile and hearing them laugh fills up my heart. My life is definitely full, and achieving a balance is an ongoing journey in itself.’

Some of Kristen’s favourite places: The Mousehole at Avoca Beach for beautiful, locally made pottery pieces. Bay Rd Brewing for Thursday night trivia with Jimi Love. All Malay at Avoca Beach for a Kapitan curry with king prawns. Swims at Avoca Beach and Gosford Olympic Pool.

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PEOPLE OF THE COAST • Patrick Brennan

PATRICK BRENNAN From boy soprano and bassoonist to conducting the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. WORDS CATHARINE RETTER

P

atrick Brennan is the artistic director of one of the largest, if not the largest regional conservatorium in Australia: the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music. It’s a role some may only associate with classical music and, for those who see Patrick conducting, he can be the man in the white tie and tails. But the real Patrick also loves to don shorts, a T-shirt and an old hat and put a boat into Brisbane Water to go fishing with his teenage kids, swimming in Waterfall Bay, or camping in the bush. In fact, it was working around the house during Covid-19 that led to a horrific accident in which Patrick badly injured his hand and underwent 11 hours of microsurgery. But after months of recovery and physiotherapy, Patrick is back at work and is keen to direct the talk to his great love: music.

‘My parent’s house was filled with music and singing,’ he says. ‘There was always music of one sort or another playing. My brother and I lived with my grandfather during the holidays for weeks at a time at Blue Bay when we were growing up. I loved the environment and the outdoor life as well as music.’ And then comes a surprising confession from this classically trained musician. ‘The two biggest musical influences in my young childhood were ABBA and Barry Manilow. I’d sit on the loungeroom floor and play their records over and over, singing along with them. I’d say that [American singer-songwriter] Barry Manilow was my biggest musical influence. I love the way he sings,’ Patrick says to my surprised laughter (sorry Barry). Patrick was in Year 2, at a concert band performance, when he heard a family friend play the flute. ‘I was so taken with it that I suggested to my parents that I would like to play. And, that Christmas, I unwrapped a long skinny parcel from under the Christmas tree, with a shiny flute inside. ‘It was a bit of a disaster, even though I played until the end of Year 6. I had lessons but, in hindsight, I was not taught how to practice and play, just to sit in a room and make sounds.’ It’s a lesson he has put to good use throughout his own teaching career. Instead of continuing with the flute, Patrick joined the school choir and soon found himself auditioning as a boy soprano for the 2MBS-FM Children’s Choir (which became the Sydney Children’s Choir and the Gondwana Children’s Choir) under the renowned director, Lyn Williams. Patrick was also fortunate to attend Forest High School in Sydney, in Year 9, where there was a well-established music program and a culture that recognised and nurtured his talent. He progressed to head chorister in the Sydney Children’s Choir, and also successfully auditioned and sang in the Australian Opera’s Children’s Chorus. With the onset of puberty, however, the boy soprano’s voice was in jeopardy. Would it hold out for the HSC or would it be, at that time, a mix of screechy soprano and croaky tenor? ‘In the midst of my dilemma, the music teacher at school said there was a bassoon in the cupboard and “It’s yours if you like” – I think they needed a bassoonist in the school band. So I took

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PEOPLE OF THE COAST • Patrick Brennan

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PEOPLE OF THE COAST • Patrick Brennan

that up and fell in love with it and knew that was what I wanted to play in my HSC music exams. ‘My singing background helped,’ he says. ‘We all hear a sound before we are able to produce it, so if you can vocalise it, it will enable you to produce it on an instrument in the way that you want to, without it only being mechanical. ‘My parents gave me an ultimatum in my HSC year: “Practise the bassoon or study”,’ he says ‘Perhaps I shouldn’t say this … so I practised the bassoon for hours on end every day! And after the HSC, that enabled me to get into the Sydney Conservatorium for both voice and bassoon.’ When Patrick finished his studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, he auditioned for the Australian Youth Orchestra,

month I walked back into Dad’s office and resigned. I knew that, somehow, music had to be my life.’ He went back to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music to study for his Master’s degree and, in order to earn some money, started conducting school bands. It was there that he discovered his even greater love for conducting. ‘Strangely, I get more out of teaching and conducting school students than I ever got playing on the stage of the Sydney Opera House,’ Patrick confesses. ‘It’s a powerful thing to engage with a whole lot of musicians and, through your movements, to get them to react and respond and feel the music.’ One summer, while surfing, he was dumped by a wave, injuring his neck.

was accepted, and this in turn led to him performing with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. ‘My first professional gig,’ says Patrick. ‘It’s one of the best orchestras in Australia, so it was quite intimidating but, as so often happens, you say “yes” then cross your fingers that you can do it.’ After that came casual work with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra but it was obvious that there was no permanent bassoon position anywhere on the horizon – there were no bassoonists who looked like retiring from any of the orchestras anytime soon. So Patrick left music behind to join his father in his financial planning business for 18 months, until one day the ACO called saying they had a month’s work for him. ‘Naturally I said “yes” and had to practise like crazy to get my playing back up to their high standard. I “survived” and after the

‘After that, playing the bassoon seemed to keep exacerbating the injury,’ he says. ‘So I couldn’t play at the level I wanted or was previously capable of. It was so mentally painful to stop playing suddenly that I haven’t gone back to it.’ Now, since the traumatic accident to his hand, it seems doubly fortunate that he has other loves beside playing the bassoon.’ Just over eight years ago, Patrick landed the job of artistic director at the Central Coast Conservatorium, then gained the dual role of CEO and artistic director, overseeing the teaching staff, and about 1400 students. Since Covid and the accident and, importantly, with the continued growth of the Conservatorium, the timing was right for a management restructure that now sees Patrick, as artistic director, concentrating on making the music programs of the Con the best they can possibly be. It’s not only management that has gone through a recent restructure at the Coast’s Con. The heritage building – built in

© DAVID BENSON PHOTOGRAPHY

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PEOPLE OF THE COAST • Patrick Brennan

Artist’s impression of the restored Central Coast Conservatorium of Music and the Robert Knox Hall.

1849 as a courthouse and police station, and the oldest building on the Central Coast – has just gone through a restoration, courtesy of a $2 million grant from the NSW State Government. In addition to replacing the roof and much-needed structural rehabilitation, a central courtyard has been weather-proofed to make it more useable, and the old police cells have been converted into small tutorial and practise rooms, perhaps useful in times of ‘lockdown’ and ‘self-isolation’! As a Tier 1 regional conservatorium, the Central Coast Conservatorium has been able to attract formidable teaching talent over the years, as well as producing any number of outstanding alumni who have gone on to achieve academic and performance excellence around the world. Its patron, Charmian Gadd, a highly regarded violinist, returned to the Central Coast after a 23-year international concert career, and is referred to fondly as the ‘classical music matriarch of the Coast’.

As a regional conservatorium, the Coast’s Con teaches students from one-year-olds to 90-year-olds, ranging from the grassroots to the elite level, in pop, jazz and classical music. Patrick believes the vast majority of its students are aiming to be exceptional. Patrick, too, never stops learning and in 2019 was one of only three conductors in NSW to gain admission to the prestigious Australian Conducting Academy. This program enabled Patrick to conduct the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra while learning with renowned conductor Johannes Fritzsch. ‘It was quite intimidating but also exhilarating because the musicians played with such a high level of skill that every gesture you gave was responded to immediately. Having been a musician on the receiving end of the baton, as well as teaching music, it was an immensely enriching learning experience. And it’s an experience I now bring back to the Central Coast Conservatorium and our community ensembles to bring the best out of our musicians.’

The Central Coast Conservatorium fosters a number of performing groups and ensembles within the Con, as well as others open to musicians in the community who are not necessarily alumni. Among them are: Central Coast Chamber Orchestra centralcoastconservatorium.com.au Central Coast Opera centralcoastconservatorium.com.au Central Coast Youth Orchestra centralcoastconservatorium.com.au Central Coast Philharmonia Choir ccphilharmonia.com.au Central Coast Concert Band cccb.com.au Concertante Ensemble (professional affiliate ensemble) concertante.com.au Crossroads Festival of Chamber Music centralcoastconservatorium.com.au

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for sale

NOONAWEENA

Five star, boutique retreat nestled in 53 acres Sophisticated luxury in idyllic natural surrounds

A hidden retreat overlooking the incredible Yengo National Park, and just an hour north of Sydney, ‘Noonaweena’ is the perfect location for weekend escapes, yoga retreats, weddings or corporate getaways. This award-winning boutique property lives up to the meaning of its name, ‘resting place in the bush’, and features multiple guest houses, self-contained cottages, pools and spas, private bush trails and more. Located among towering gums, the retreat has been designed with eco-friendly practices and sustainability in mind.

• Five star, award-winning facilities for 100 guests with accommodation for 32 guests • Retreat facilities include swimming pools, spas, alfresco BBQ areas, entertainment systems & day spa • Spacious living and dining areas, gourmet kitchens, gated driveway, full conference facilities, formal lounge, function room, staff utilities, reception car parking, storage • Easily accessible, and just one hour north of Sydney

$8,500,000

For a private inspection please call Scott Wall 0413 965 616 or Mark Eastham 0418 432 320


CREATORS OF THE COAST

ts en al T ion sh a F en d id H WORDS JENNIFER ENNION

WITH A BURGEONING BUNCH OF MAKERS AND CREATORS ON THE CENTRAL COAST, IT’S NO SURPRISE WE ALSO HAVE FASHION DESIGNERS AMONG OUR FLOCK. DESIGNING DRESSES, APRONS, BABYWEAR AND MORE, HERE IS A TRIO OF TALENTED WOMEN QUIETLY, BUT STEADFASTLY FOLLOWING THEIR PASSIONS – AND IMPRESSING FELLOW LOCALS WHILE THEY’RE AT IT.

Merrin Grace Honeysett House With its perfectly curated selection of lifestyle pieces, it’s hard to believe Honeysett House is less than a year old. Merrin Grace’s eye for design is testament to the brand’s growing popularity. After more than a decade working as a floral designer, during which time she ran her own business, Merrin expanded into fashion. But her latest move hasn’t been a huge departure from her roots. Merrin designs beautiful French linen and beeswax canvas aprons ideal for foraging in a suburban garden or for light home renovations. She also designs large totes for collecting anything from freshly cut lavender to croissants from a local market, and she is about to launch a range of linen overalls, created with artists in mind. ‘I always dreamt of using unique, character-filled, yet practical, products and supplies but often found it difficult to source exactly what I was after,’ Merrin tells COAST. ‘Since taking some time off from full-time floristry to be a mother, I have been enjoying working closely with some amazing artisans, both locally and abroad, designing and sourcing a range of products and essentials for makers and creators,’ she says. Honeysett House is an online source for like-minded creatives and anyone searching for long-lasting lifestyle pieces. ‘My hope for my industry, and others like it, is to produce less waste and focus on using quality products; repurposing and treasuring pieces for years to come.’ honeysetthouse.com

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CREATORS OF THE COAST

Rose Bruce Kiin Baby Born-and-bred local Rose Bruce was pregnant with her daughter when she decided to start her own infants’ product range that would not feature run-of-the-mill onesies. ‘I found myself browsing baby products and daydreaming about designing my own gender-neutral designs, taking inspiration from the natural world while having a minimal impact on it,’ says Rose. The Bateau Bay resident wanted to create special pieces that nurtured babies with fabrics such as organic cotton and bamboo. In 2019, two years after the idea sprouted, Kiin Baby was launched. ‘We are a small company, joining in on the slow, ethical movement, and focussing on quality over quantity – products made to love and last.’ The Kiin Baby range includes muslin swaddles and sheets, Rose’s favourite items to design. ‘It’s so fun going through all of the Pantone cotton swatches and then working on the patterns and designs,’ says Rose. ‘One of the swaddle collections I named the “Coastal Collection”, and the colours and patterns were inspired by our beaches and coastline.” kiinbaby.com

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CREATORS OF THE COAST

Natasha Prestidge KOUKLA ‘We’ve never made the same dress twice,’ says Natasha Prestidge, designer and owner of KOUKLA. For 13 years, Natasha has been creating bespoke bridal gowns as well as dresses for bridesmaids, flower girls, mothers of the bride and groom, and school formals – all locally. During that time, she’s solely relied on word of mouth from happy customers to keep the orders coming in – and they do. Natasha gets booked out more than 12 months in advance, largely thanks to her attention to detail and customised experience. The bridal gowns are made from scratch from fabrics such as silk, tulle and lace sourced from around the world. “It’s very personalised and [the women] are involved in every single decision,” Natasha says. Although Natasha has a reputation for making stunning bohemian-style wedding dresses, she says she has no set style because it’s all about the bride’s vision. ‘Sometimes it’s a heavy silk Duchess satin with a huge skirt and a split up the front, then I’ll be asked to create a flowy tulle and lace dress,’ she says. ‘I think that’s why it’s always rewarding and interesting and challenging at the same time, because we are literally starting from scratch every single time.’ kouklabride.com.au

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Your home is your haven Home, gifts and lifestyle store

490 Central Coast Hwy, Erina Heights NSW (02) 4365 4618

www.havenathome.com.au

Quality Timber, Oak and Laminate flooring

258 West St, Umina Beach. 4342 6666

YOUR PERSONAL HOME STYLIST

Complete design and ordering for blinds, curtains, soft furnishings, furniture, re-upholstery, wallpaper.

Established 1995

www.proflooring.com.au

blinds/curtains /soft furnishings

9948 0200

curtainsup.com.au 31


Perfectionists in our craft OUR STORY

B

race is a Northern Sydney based company, servicing the Sydney region. Our Services include commercial refurbishment of hotels, restaurants, large public works projects, residential renovations, erection of timber framing, trusses, internal fit outs, decking, pergolas, cladding, staircases, timber floating floor systems and Custom Made Joinery. What sets Brace apart is our ability to problem solve and our approach to customer service. We pride ourselves on the fact that we are punctual,

OUR PARTNERS AND CLIENTS

honest, respectful, trustworthy and hard working and strive to deliver above client expectations. The company was established in early 2013, by its two directors Joel Bird and Matt Yabsley.

DESIGN & MANUFACTURE

W

e offer a complete joinery package starting with the design, manufacture, install to make the whole process as simple and as straightforward as possible. We help you realise your design intent with 3D

renders/shop drawings to ensure that what you conceive is what you are still enjoying years later. We take pride in our workmanship and ensure we use only the highest quality materials and hardware to maintain the life of our products. We have a combined joinery/ design experience of 20+ years and have worked on anything from residential, commercial, hospitality and educational projects which ensures we have a solid skill set and confidence to deliver your project on time.


OUR PROJECTS

OUR TEAM

T

he key to BRACE’s success and our biggest asset by far, is our team. It has taken a long time and literally hundreds applicants to gather together the team we have and we are very proud of it. We bring together a close knit, talented, knowledgeable group of guys with an exceptional work ethic, from all corners of the globe and headed up by our Operations Manager SamAnklew .

Call Sam on 0473 028 373 I Unit 38, 4-7 Villiers Pl, Cromer Bracejoinery.com.au I joinery@bracebuildingsolutions.com


WORDS CATHARINE RETTER PHOTOS BRETT BOARDMAN & BRIGID ARNOTT

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HOME STYLE • Chillamurra

AN OLD CLASSIC BECOMES A NEW CLASSIC Chillamurra in Terrigal

W

hen Jaimie and Aimee Woodcock bought Chillamurra, their 1918-built sandstone and timber beach bungalow in Terrigal they were no strangers to the joys and pitfalls of buying an old house – Jaimie is the co-owner of McGrath Central Coast real estate agencies. They loved the traditional features that were an integral part of the house, and that it came with a well-established garden. Many of the trees had been planted as an arboretum in the 1930s and ’40s, and the garden had featured in many local “open garden” days over the years. ‘The grounds were much larger originally,’ says Jaimie. ‘So we’re happily surrounded by neighbouring gardens that still have some of the original trees.’ As soon as they bought the house, the first person they brought in, was not an architect to design the renovations, but landscape designer Michael Cooke to review the garden and to ensure that as many of the old plantings were kept as possible. It was important, too, that the garden remained visually and physically connected to the house. Michael loved the garden and was quick to single out a Telanthophora grandifolia shrub as a magnificent and unusual specimen from Mexico, with giant leaves and yellow flowers. ‘We don’t like it all that much,’ confesses Jaimie with a guilty smile. ‘But Michael was horrified when we wanted to pull it out. So how could we?’ Michael was also able to save a small, flame-flowered Alberta magna tree which is native to forests in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Because it’s such a well-established garden, many of the new plantings were brought in as mature trees and shrubs so they would look as though they had always been part of the garden. The house’s understory was built from sandstone carted from Gosford Quarries. It had been hand-cut in the early 1900s, so Cornerstone Landscaping sourced old sandstone blocks for new garden steps at the side of the house as well as for a beautiful, aged-sandstone garden wall. ‘We found an advertisement for an old house that was being demolished in Leichhardt that not only had old sandstone blocks as footings, but convict-carved stone,’ says Jaimie. ‘So Cornerstone was there with a truck and crane as the house was

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HOME STYLE • Chillamurra

demolished, and then up the freeway they came to Terrigal with a heavy load of old stone.’ ‘We had lots of ideas for what we wanted to do with the house itself,’ says Aimee. ‘And our architects, White + Dickson, incorporated some of those ideas but then had many more that we would never have thought of.’ ‘The architects added wonderful touches, such as the custommade light fittings, brass handles to the kitchen drawers, and the ash-grey, herringboned brick tiles in the kitchen,’ added Jaimie. ‘The tiles were not something I would have thought of,’ says Aimee. ‘And they’re not cold underfoot, so they’re perfect in every way.’ The understorey of the house that had previously been a poorly utilised space was opened up into a sunroom and a welcomingly cool space on hot summer days. The space also links to two bedrooms (one converted into a study during Covid). Upstairs, the long veranda has been re-established and remains open to northerly breezes and extensive views. A ventilation and privacy screen of timber casement allows control and direction of breezes deep into the balcony and into the home. A long wooden table creates a casual dining hub that catches the sun in winter. The stunning panorama takes in Wamberal Beach and lagoon, with a vista as far north as Norah Head Lighthouse. It’s easy to see why it’s a much-frequented room in the house. ‘Typical of houses from that era, there were lots of doors leading into hallways,’ says Aimee. ‘We opened up the upstairs area and I love that it is now so light-filled, with sight-lines from

»

36 COAST


Curves in all the right places Marley Curved Vanity Available in 4 sizes

loughlinfurniture.com.au


HOME STYLE • Chillamurra

the kitchen, through the living areas and to the beautiful tones of the brass mesh that shields the entry foyer.’ Architects, Ben White and Andrew Dickson extended the classic weatherboard-clad footprint of the house with a black-stained, timber shingles-clad extension that accommodates an open kitchen with Fior di Bosco marble countertops, a scullery and breakfast area, as well as a master bedroom suite. ‘Cantilevered steel was used for the extension to avoid the need for columns, so there is just glass, ocean and trees,’ says Andrew Dickson. ‘By seeing through and into adjoining spaces and to the beaches and the headlands beyond, those visual connections throughout the house make it feel larger and more expansive.’ A low, pitched timber pergola-style ceiling harmoniously connects the old and new parts of the home where white walls offer a dramatic contrast with a black feature wall and black wrought-iron staircase balustrade. In the kitchen, the cabinets, window frames and some of the light fittings continue the relaxed yet dramatic colour theme. The use of brass detailing fits comfortably with the era of the house. It also weathers well, and adds a mellow patina, slowly ageing with use and time. Sash-less casement windows in the new extension continue the traditional window treatment throughout the house. The addition of an entry vestibule and porch welcomes visitors through a generous space with glass, black door frame and brass features. Chillamurra is a stunning example of a Coast weekender that has truly been reborn as a new classic for relaxed and stylish living.

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YOUR VISION

our passion

Architecture

Interiors

Project & Construction Management

Unit 301 - 12 Pioneer Avenue, Tuggerah | (02) 4326 7530 | rzkgroup.com.au

WE TAKE LANDSCAPING TO THE NEXT LEVEL

CALL DANIEL TODAY

0412 503 2 33 9/8 Gibbens Road, West Gosford NSW 2250

www.constructcen tra lcoa st.co m .au

PHONE MARK 0434 378 118 EMAIL mark@nextlevellandscapes.com.au


Architects

White + Dickson Architects

Landscape architect

Michael Cooke Garden Design

Garden design implementation

Cornerstone Landscaping

Builder

Hall Constructions

Engineer

Northrop Engineers

Windows and doors

Windoor; Town and Country Conservatories

Lighting design

The Lighting Guild

Appliances, fixtures and fittings

Harvey Norman Commercial (Central Coast)

Tiles

Robertson’s Building Products (brick slips in ash grey)

Carpets

Kelly’s Carpets; Godfrey Hirst

Brass mesh screens

Locker Group

Timber shingles

Cedar Sales

Hardware supplies

Mitre 10, Kincumber

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WORLD CLASS HEALTHCARE RIGHT HERE ON THE COAST

Surgical | Mental Health | Rehabilitation | Maternity


PEOPLE OF THE COAST • Philip Pells

PHILIP PELLS A MacMasters Beach resident who loves looking at ideas and the world as interesting problems to solve and opportunities to explore.

I

t’s little wonder that, in his career as a rock engineer, Philip Pells took on innovative projects such as the Sydney Harbour Tunnel and the Perisher Ski Tube. He was also part of the design-andbuild team for the double-helix-shaped Sydney Opera House underground carpark. Its geometry explains why traffic going down the helix never meets traffic coming the other way. It also has benefits, such as the last car to find a car spot would not be on the lowest floor but instead almost back to the top (almost without noticing). It meant the car park’s ventilation was so much better, and the smaller footprint lessened the risk of disrupting any of the Botanical Garden tree roots directly above the carpark (just one rare white fig above the car park was insured for a mere $.5 million). Normally, the focus of Philip’s attention runs to issues such as the geophysics of tunnelling, groundwater, fracking, and catastrophic ground subsidences caused by old, early 1900s’ mines. But ‘lock him up’ during Covid, wearing a mask and using hand sanitiser, and his mind went to things closer at hand (literally and figuratively speaking). While so many of us didn’t have to spare a thought about the prolonged use of hand sanitisers – Philip and his business associate, MacMasters’ nutritionist Madeline Stevens of Nu-Trition, heard from frequent users – the frontline nurses, doctors, care workers and people with a tendency to dry skin – that their hands were suffering from so much contact with the alcohol in the sanitisers. Coincidentally, a group of friends at MacMasters had been working on DIY natural moisturisers, so Philip looked at ways to build on this knowledge to invent a new and better hand sanitiser. It didn’t matter that this was not an engineering problem; it was still based on technical issues. The process to add a moisturiser to an anti-viral sanitiser meant using two double boilers, keeping the temperatures constant in

42 COAST

each, and mixing moisturising oils with ethanol alcohol – two traditionally un-mixable ingredients. After some initial attempts, he succeeded by using two kitchen Thermomixes in place of the boilers, and combining macadamia and coconut oils with ethanol alcohol. The next challenge was to get his innovation approved as an anti-viral hand sanitiser. But there were no official testing facilities in Australia for such a product, and the World Health Organisation regulations only listed ingredients for a non- moisturised version. Philip is not one to be daunted and was eventually able to tunnel through the obstacles and gain the necessary approvals for his product. His business partner, Madeleine Stevens, provided the marketing and distribution knowhow, and VIRAbalm Anti-Viral Hand Moisturiser was launched. Spurred on by the success of the moisturising hand sanitiser, and inspired by a little group of beekeepers at MacMasters, Philip is now on the way to marketing Honey Hydrogel, a treatment for burns. As Philip says, “For a place famous for nothing happening, the geriatrics at Macs are ‘Breaking Bad’!”

Philip (pictured with his wife, Helen) constructed a ­ rotating double helix hanging garden in his lakeside home, a structure whose life expectancy hangs on the branch of a 100-year-old Melaleuca.


PEOPLE OF THE COAST • Philip Pells

43


FOOD & DINING • Autumn Guide

THE COFFEE LOVERS’ PAGE

In association with Caffeine Australia, the award-winning magazine for coffee lovers.

W

e love our coffee. And it’s no surprise to coffee aficionados that the best coffee in far-flung places such as New York and London is said to be made by Aussie baristas, whether it’s a macchiato, latte, cappuccino or a flat white with full, skim, almond, rice or soy milk. The choices don’t stop there. There’s fair-trade coffee, organic coffee, wood-roasted beans, beans from the shady side of the hill, high-altitude coffee, and micro-lot coffee. Do you choose Australian-grown or imported coffee from Brazil (the world’s largest producer) or Vietnam (the second largest), or anywhere in between? There’s a lot to be said for buying locally roasted beans to support Aussie producers, and just one benefit is in lowering your carbon footprint. While we’re on the subject of the environment, organic coffee grown with organic fertilisers has lower greenhouse gas emissions. And of course, re-useable cups also lower your carbon footprint by (we’re told) a couple of per cent. What you may not want to know is that coffee roasted in its country of origin (where the best coffee is usually kept for export) is packed in nitrogen or argon; as is much of the coffee that requires a longer shelf life, such as the coffee you buy in the supermarket. Sounds very chemical and is not the preferred way to retain the more delicate flavours, but we’re assured the coffee tastes remarkably fresh, even after shipping. The big benefit to those local farmers, who rely solely on coffee growing for their meagre income, is that they get a greater share of the coffee income. There’s a whole different tale at the farm level. Does the farmer grow the best flavoured beans or the beans that are most disease resistant? And at what stage of ripeness were the coffee cherries picked? To help pickers choose the perfect beans, we heard one

44 COAST

story of pickers encouraged to paint their nails to match the colour of coffee cherries that are at perfect ripeness for picking. As with wine, terroir is important to coffee connoisseurs, as is the side of the hill it’s grown on, and how ripe the coffee cherries are at picking. The end flavours echo descriptions seen in wine tasting notes, too. You’ll find delicious notes of fig and vanilla alongside apricot. Or blackcurrants and toffee with subtle rhubarb and rosewater notes. And there’s the perfect winter coffee with notes of spice, fig and plum … and a creamy mouthfeel. Or for beans grown in mountainous regions, you may find hints of dark chocolate and red plum. What about the taste of decaffeinated coffee? Decaf drinkers, long classified by baristas as the YB or “why bother” brigade, are at last being recognised. After all, decaf drinkers can never be accused of drinking for the caffeine buzz. What else is left then, but to drink entirely for the taste. And the taste is different because decaffeinating coffee removes the acidity and bitterness. The method for decaffeinating beans in the 1800s, was to use a benzene solvent, now luckily outlawed. One of the newest methods is to use a fermented cane sugar derivative to steam the green coffee under pressure. Another alternative for anyone wanting to drink less caffeine is to seek out coffee grown from plants that are naturally lower in caffeine (much like you can do with teas). It’s more expensive because the caffeine in plants evolved to deter insects, so the low-caffeine plant is more expensive to grow successfully. All we can say is, go forth, find your favourite coffee blend, and then enjoy it in the comfort of your home, in your favourite cafe, in your favourite location ... caffeinemagazine.com.au


FOOD & DINING • Autumn Guide

COFFEE, BEACHSIDE “I’ll have sand with that.”

THE CENTRAL COAST IS BLESSED WITH 87 KM OF COASTLINE AS WELL AS QUIET WATERWAYS, AND ALONG THOSE SHORELINES, WE LOVE TO SIT AND HAVE A COFFEE AND CHAT, OR DINE OVERLOOKING THE OCEAN. HERE’S A RUNDOWN ON WHERE YOU CAN FIND THOSE SPECIAL SPOTS UP AND DOWN OUR SANDY SHORES.

PATONGA Patonga Boathouse Hotel Breakfast, lunch, dinner, takeaway fish+chip shop. Licensed. Specialty coffee by Single Origin, Paradox Blend. What the locals say: Great ambience, great location. Come by boat, come by road but don’t come late because

(Note: Opening hours shown may vary in autumn and winter months.)

PATONGA BOATHOUSE

it’s super popular. Hotel: 11am to 8pm. Fish+Chip Shop 7am to 3pm, 7 days. 6-8 Patonga Dr., Patonga.

PEARL BEACH Pearl Bay General Store and Cafe Breakfast, lunch and takeaway. Coffee by BlendCo Coast in Lisarow. What the locals say: Great coffee. In a quiet corner of Pearl Beach, away from the crowds. 8am to 2pm, 7 days. 1 Pearl Pde.

UMINA BEACH The Beach Kiosk Takeaway food and coffee. What the locals say: Great if you’re holidaying at Ocean Beach. 7am to 3pm, 7 days NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort, 90 Sydney Ave.

Umina Beach Cafe Cakes, coffee, drinks, ice creams. What the locals say: Great location, excellent for families. Coffee is good, view is amazing. 6am to 3.30pm, daily. Under the Umina Beach Surf Lifesaving Club, 509 Ocean Beach Rd.

ETTALONG BEACH PEARL BAY GENERAL STORE AND CAFE

The Box Beach on the Water, and The Box Kiosk The kiosk is adjacent to the stylish restaurant, The Box on the Water. Kiosk is open for breakfast, lunch, snacks. Specialty coffee by Fat Poppy Roasters. What the locals say: The kiosk offers great casual meals and snacks; bench tables undercover, and chairs and tables by the sea wall where you can put your feet up and enjoy the view and the coffee. 7am to 4pm, 7 days. Ettalong Beach Waterfront Reserve, The Esplanade.

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FOOD & DINING • Autumn Guide

KILLCARE Killcare Beach Kiosk Breakfast, lunch, snacks. What the locals say: Best spot after a beach walk or surf. At the southern end of the beach where you can spread out on the grass, or choose a table. 9am to 2.30pm, daily. Below the Killcare Surf Lifesaving Club, 81 Beach Dr.

Spinnakers Killcare SPINNAKERS

Lunch and dinner. Specialty coffee by NorthSouth Espresso in Lisarow. What the locals say: Upstairs, the view is unbeatable.

ARTIE’S PLACE

Thursday to Sunday noon to 3.30pm and 6pm to 9.30pm. Above the Killcare Surf Lifesaving Club, 81 Beach Dr.

MACMASTERS BEACH Barefoot Cafe The food has an Aussie and Asian influence. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks. Coffee by Caffe Mondo. What the locals say: Under the Norfolk pines, with views across the beach. Good food, and no passing traffic between you and the beach. 8am to 4.30pm most days, and 8am to 9pm Friday, Sunday. 100 Marine Pde.

COPACABANA Cabana Cafe and Bar Spacious outdoor seating. What the locals say: Nice bar servery under the big Norfolk pine. Dog friendly. 7am to 2pm daily. 202 Del Monte Pl.

Copaccino’s Breakfast, lunch, pizza, pasta. Coffee by Grinders. From 7am, 7 days. BAREFOOT CAFE

216 Del Monte Pl.

Burnt Honey Bakery

BURNT HONEY BAKERY

To go: Pastries, bread, cakes. Coffee by Little Italy. What the locals say: Unsurpassed pastries, lovely owners, good coffee. 7am to 2pm Wednesday to Saturday, 8am to noon Sunday. 224 Del Monte Pl.

Artie’s Place at Copa Kiosk under the awning of the Surf Lifesaving Club is under new management in 2021. What the locals say: Low-key, perfect spot to come to for a coffee in wet cossies. Thursday to Monday 6.30am to 5pm. Copacabana Surf Lifesaving Club, Del Monte Pl.

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Wamberal locals Roy, Jo and their Three Donkeys, Sienna, Hunter and Elijah are very proud to own and operate Three Donkeys Wholefood Café & Three Donkeys Home. Offering a lifestyle of eating well, living well and feeling well.

Wholefood Café

Home threedonkeys.com.au

Our menu caters to dietary requirements, specialising in gluten, dairy and refined sugar free options, as well as being Vegan friendly. Enjoy a Specialty coffee or one of our many caffeine free drinks, with your choice of locally made raw desserts.

The Home shop offers a unique range of décor, fashion, furniture and flowers. Jo and her team will also help you with any styling advice you may need, and if you haven’t got time to pop in, go to our website and shop online.

WHOLEFOOD C A F É Open 7 days. 7am-2pm 6 Ghersi Ave Wamberal NSW 2260 I 02 4339 8052

H O ME Open Mon-Sat. 10am-4pm 2 Ghersi Ave Wamberal NSW 2260 I 02 4309 5440

Changing tides and endless good times. Located in the heart of Terrigal, Terrigal Beach House is a vibrant meeting place for endless good times with stunning beach views and fresh ocean breezes. Enjoy icy cold drinks on the beach terrace or indulge your taste buds with our locally sourced seasonal menu available from 11:30am daily. Open Hours Monday – Saturday: 10:00am – 3:00am Sunday: 10:00am – 10:00pm Kitchen Open Sunday – Thursday: 11:30am – 9:00pm Friday – Saturday: 11:30am – 10:00pm T ERRIGALB H.COM. AU


BELLYFISH

FOOD & DINING • Autumn Guide

NORTH AVOCA The Boy and the Rose Breakfast, lunch, drinks, cakes. Coffee by Glee Coffee Roasters. What the locals say: The cool place in North Avo. 6am to 2pm, 7 days

THE BOY AND THE ROSE

21 North Avoca Pde.

TERRIGAL Bellyfish A landmark in Terrigal, at the northern end of the esplanade. Breakfast, all-day brunch menu, licensed. Specialty coffee by Single O Roasters. What the locals say: Lovely atmosphere, feels like its own little community at the Wamberal end of Terrigal. 5am to 2pm, 7 days. Takeaways 10am to noon.

MACCOA

112 Terrigal Esplanade.

Sixty The Esplanade Breakfast, lunch, pasta, cakes. Wood-roasted coffee by Wood Roasters in Marrickville. What the locals say: Family-friendly and dog-friendly café. Go there for the coffee and the view. 6am to 3pm, 7 days. 60 Terrigal Esplanade.

Island Time Espresso Bar Island-style breakfast, brunch, lunch, poke. Coffee by Espressology in Sydney. 7am to 3pm, Monday to Saturday. 104 Terrigal Esplanade.

DAVISTOWN Dart & Feather A mix of fine dining, cocktail bar and more casual lounge with windows that open to create an al fresco feel. No outdoor area, so no dogs allowed. What the locals say: Very stylish restaurant without it feeling too formal. Great sunsets. Wednesday, Thursday 11.30am to 3pm and 5pm to 9pm. Friday to Sunday 8am to 9pm. 1 Restella Ave.

Surf Cafe Terrigal Breakfast, brunch, surf burgers, seafood, and more. What the locals say: Great location. Go there because it’s right on the beach without having to cross the road. Huge menu with something for everyone. 6am to 3pm, weekdays. 6am to 4pm, weekends. Under the Terrigal Surf Lifesaving Club, 1 Terrigal Esplanade

Maccoa @ The Clan

Breakfast, lunch, drinks. Coffee by Schibelloco. What the locals say: A favourite spot, interesting food and always a good buzz. The perfect place to watch the surf and the surfers, and to catch the sea breezes.

Located just over the bridge, by Terrigal Lagoon, with views over the water and beach, and up to the Skillion. Breakfast, lunch, takeaways with seasonal menu sourced from local suppliers wherever possible. Specialty coffee by The Little Marionette. What the locals say: Delightful veranda area with old-fashioned louvred windows give it a cottage feel. The older kids can amuse themselves nearby on the sand.

7am to 4pm, 7 days.

7am to noon, weekdays. 7am to 3pm weekends.

Under the Surf Lifesaving Club, 10 Vine St.

1 Ocean View Dr, Terrigal.

AVOCA BEACH Point Cafe

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HERBIE’S INTERNATIONAL SPICERY Now open on the Central Coast

Ian “Herbie” Hemphil, one of Australia’s foremost herb and spice authorities, has now opened his wholesale spicery to the public. Visit the spicery for the widest possible range of signature herbs, spices and blends. 4/25 Arizona Rd, Charmhaven Open Mon to Fri 9am to 4pm. Sat 9:30am to 2pm.

Telephone 1800 437 243 Shop online herbies.com.au

your destination... Open for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 7 days a week

51-52 The Esplanade Ettalong Beach (02) 4343 0140 www.ettalongdiggers.com


FOOD & DINING • Autumn Guide

TERRIGAL BEACH HOUSE OCEAN-FRONT AT TERRIGAL CROWNE PLAZA

Surfside bar, alfresco terrace, indoor dining, and live acoustic music The cool place to unwind, kick back, and shake off the salt and sand from the beach is the newly revamped Terrigal Beach House. Pop in after a dip in the ocean, or gather a group of friends for a long leisurely lunch. We think you’ll love the beach views, the friendly buzz, and the warm welcoming atmosphere for families, friends and even pooches. The interior gurus at Design Madgwick have mixed soft sandy tones and textural timbers with a sophisticated colour palette. A huge marble-topped bar runs the length of the outdoor terrace and there are leather banquettes and easy rattan seating, coupled with solid oak tables for larger groups. Terrazzo flooring extends through the space while timber boards recreate a coastal boardwalk. The culinary team and group executive chef, Jamie Gannon (who led the food direction for Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel, Woolwich Pier Hotel and The Terminus at Pyrmont) have created a fresh menu underpinned by seasonal, locally sourced produce. “Expect elevated twists on the classics, and food that is fresh and incorporates a variety of flavours and complementary textures,” says Gannon. What’s better after a day at the beach than grilled prawn tostadas, fish tacos, a charcuterie board or perhaps one of the many gourmet pizzas on offer. Sip on a cocktail or craft beer.

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The Beach House Classics menu offers refined burgers, and star a shroom vegetarian burger. On the Fresh Menu there’s a range of mouth-watering salads including a haloumi and charred pumpkin salad with avocado, pomegranate, lemon, macadamia and quinoa crumb. Kids are catered for with a selection of classics served with complementary ice cream. For a more intimate dining experience, settle into the light-filled indoor restaurant and enjoy a spectacular seafood platter of salt and pepper squid, battered flathead, king salmon, Sydney rock oysters, spiced salmon crudo and smoked mackerel paté served with charred flatbread. Throughout the warmer months, Terrigal Beach House will have live acoustic music most days. Sitting under the cabanas with a spritz in hand as live music fills the terrace, is the perfect way to end your day. We strongly suggest you put it on your radar. Terrigal Beach House is located at 40 Terrigal Esplanade, Terrigal NSW 2260 terrigalbh.com.au Open: Monday to Saturday: 10am to 3am. Sunday: 10am to 10pm Kitchen hours: Sunday to Thursday: 11.30am to 9pm. Friday, Saturday: 11.30am to 10pm


RELAX, UNWIND & ENJOY THIS HIDDEN GEM IN TERRIGAL This fabulous resort with its modern beautifully appointed Studio’s, 1 bedroom 2 storey Loft’s and 2-bedroom apartments is such a peaceful property. The rooms are well equipped with kitchenettes giving you the option to cook or BBQ on their newly finished rooftop area. A perfect space for meetings and chilling. There is also a romance suite attached to it for couples wanting a special weekend or even honeymoon night.

Email admin@terrigalpacific.net.au or phone 02 4385 1555 direct

FOR 10% DISCOUNT


FOOD & DINING • Autumn Guide

TERRIGAL HAVEN

TOOWOON BAY

The Cove Cafe

Toowoon Bay Surf Lifesaving Club

Breakfast, lunch, takeaway. Licensed. Organic Arabica coffee by BlendCo Central in Lisarow. What the locals say: Always buzzing. Upstairs on the long narrow balcony, overlooks The Haven beach, the seagulls and swimmers.

Breakfast, lunch, drinks. Coffee by Grinders. What the locals say: Best hot chips! Menu specials are always good. 7am to 2pm, 7 days (weather permitting). 160 Bay Rd.

Sunday to Thursday 7am to 3pm, Friday to Saturday 7am to 5pm. Beachside, The Haven.

THE ENTRANCE The Entrance Lake House

WAMBERAL Wamberal Ocean View Cafe Breakfast, lunch, coffee. What the locals say: Big windows, big view across the dunes to the beach and surf. Good place for small and large gatherings. They do weddings too. 8am to 3pm, 7 days.

Opposite the water at Tuggerah Lake, west of the bridge. What the locals say: Go there for date-night dinners, great for weekend breakfast or brunch, and high teas too. Saturday, Sunday: Breakfast 8am to 11 am, takeaway noon to 6pm. High tea takeaway, Saturday 11 am. 27 The Entrance Rd.

Waters Edge Seafood Restaurant

Wamberal Surf Lifesaving Club, 1 Dover Rd.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Coffee by Coast Caffe. 7am to 9pm, 7 days.

SHELLY BEACH

12 The Entrance Rd.

Munchas Cafe and Catering Breakfast, lunch, takeaway. Dairy milk from Little Big Dairy Co., Dubbo. Coffee by Crave. What the locals say: Perfect location. Love the coffee. Great food, and caters to vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free meals. 6am to 4pm, 7 days.

THE COVE CAFE

Downstairs, Shelly Beach Surf Club, Shelly Beach Rd.

NORAH HEAD/SOLDIERS BEACH Surfside Snax Kiosk open for breakfast, brunch, sandwiches. Takeaway, delivery. Coffee by Marrichio. What the locals say: Busy place, great excuse to stop and rest after a walk or cycle. 8am to 3.30pm, weekdays, and from 7am weekends, weather permitting. Ted Rafferty Cycleway, Norah Head.

Dunes by Dish Mostly a bar and restaurant (try their delicious tapas). Specialises in enticing cocktails. What the locals say: Try the coffee cocktail! Dinner, takeaway. Coffee by Buondi Beans. Friday to Sunday noon to late. Wednesday, Thursday 4pm till late.

MUNCHAS

THE ENTRANCE LAKE HOUSE

Upstairs, Soldiers Beach Surf Lifesaving Club, 101 Soldiers Pt. Dr, Norah Head.

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Ettalong Beach Waterfront Reserve

Restaurant. Bar. Beach kiosk. Fresh. Modern. Australian. e bookings@theboxonthewater.com p 4339 3369 www.theboxonthewater.com

61 Masons Parade Point Frederick Gosford Waterfront

Bringing the best cocktails, South American wines and a Latin American inspired menu to Gosford Waterfront e reserva@holafredericos.com p 4339 4067 www.holafredericos.com


COASTING ALONG • Autumn

Coasting along with

LIBBY GREIG

The icing, a trifle, a slice, a tiny morsel … some crumbs from the great high tea of life.

2020 WAS THE YEAR OF HOME BAKING AND NOW,

based confections outside France, but now whole sugar empires

LOOKING BACK WITH NOSTALGIA ON MY OVERSEAS

are built upon them.

TRAVELS, I THOUGHT I’D COMBINE TWO OF MY FAVOURITE

In its attempt at world domination, the macaron must be

SUBJECTS. SO I BRING YOU SOME EXCERPTS FROM MY

stopped. In Japan, sadly, it is too late; the rot has set in. Green-tea

TRAVEL DIARY.

macarons are all the rage in Tokyo and can be found stacked high

The UK: home of the celestial cream slice, heavenly scones, and the Victoria sponge Today (reads my diary), I am on a pilgrimage to Betty’s Tearoom in Harrogate in Yorkshire. Home of the celestial cream slice. These rate so highly I am worried they won’t live up to the hype, with thick white custard cream between light puff pastry, raspberry jam and a light dusting of icing sugar. Oh golly. A sort of northern mille-feuille, but so thick you can’t put it straight into your mouth. I do hope these haven’t been Brexited yet. On the way here we dropped into the Duke of Portland at Welbeck Abbey, the ‘Cavendish-Bentincks’ to you and, rather than have the great unwashed trail through their home ruining the carpets, they have designed the most beautiful galleries filled with exquisite and eclectic treasures. The collection includes the family silver, miniatures and portraits, fascinating royal keepsakes and, most importantly, cake. Seriously fluffy scones that are light and utterly delicious. Coconut cakes, lime and courgette cupcakes and a huge Bakewell tart. The uprising of the Victoria sponge. You heard it here first. Yes, the Victoria sponge is making a comeback, seen in all the best tea rooms around Scotland. Forget the oatcake and the Dundee cake; the winner is the Victoria sponge.

in glorious patisseries in Hiroshima. In India they can be found, too, in Delhi and Mumbai. But who actually eats them? Can you remember when you last ate one? I thought they may have gone the way of the dreaded cupcake, but no. The French should recall macarons in the interests of cultural misappropriation or protect its name like they did with Champagne. Macarons are smothering good old-fashioned cake. Quite frankly, if the French like them so much then, MarieAntoinette should have said, ‘Let them eat macarons.’

Goa: oh for a Portuguese tart, or perhaps a divine surprise Continuing my research into ‘The Influence of Cake on PostColonial India’ (the breath-taking series will soon feature on the SBS cooking channel). Episode 1: the Portuguese. We have been staying in Panjim the hot, dusty heart of Goa, in the small area filled with lovely houses, though most of them need restoration by the National Trust. There are small streets with terrace houses, and Baroque churches that look like white wedding cakes – all laying claim to some fingernail of a saint, or some relic from their very own inquisition. Think a cross between Paddington and New Orleans with martyrs. I imagined the place would be full of tiny patisseries all selling

India: plain cake from The Raj, and macaron madness I hate to break this to you but my research into the influence of cake in post-modern Asia has found the macaron is king. Twelve years ago you would never find one of these little meringue-

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Portugal’s major cultural export, the Portuguese tart. Well, I am sad to report there are no Portuguese tarts in central Goa. And furthermore they have never even heard of them! Silly me. What they have instead is bebinca, which is layer upon layer of coconut, jaggery and egg yolks cooked separately over a day to makes a sort of ribboned layer cake cut finely. Pretty


COASTING ALONG • Autumn

yummy. There is a pudding called divine surprise, too, which is frozen – I thought I could taste condensed milk – in a little pot with a thick dusting of coconut sugar and ground Marie biscuit. Heaven. There are small pastries of coconut and jiggery, a sort of sweet samosa. In fact the coconut could be Goa’s national emblem. When it isn’t falling from on high and killing people it can be found in fish curries, drinks, puddings and the odd cake. There are only a few bakeries. Instead, your daily bread arrives with a boy on a bike who honks under your window at six in the morning until you are forced to get up and go and buy half a dozen fresh tiny crusty rolls.

Japan: oozing sugar dumplings, and waffle sandwiches How can I not mention Japanese cake? It is a national obsession. The Japanese never stop snacking and the people are slim and healthy just like the French used to be. It’s all here, from tiny cafés with excellent coffee, to sublime restaurants, and street food. There are French patisseries with windows full of the most magic confections. Sugar dumplings oozing with cream and fruit. The stuff of dreams, or nightmares, depending which side of the sugar debate you are on. I followed a tiny woman into a donut shop (please don’t even ask what I was doing there). I watched with wonder as she filled her tray with at least seven different varieties. Then she added a chocolate one for luck as they were all popped into a cute bag for later.

Passengers travelling on the fast trains unpack little packets of yummy things just like a story by French author Guy de Maupassant about a peasant women unpacking a wonderful picnic she has thoughtfully bought with her. Of course, it doesn’t end well, but what story of his does. On a ferry, three very pretty giggling girls (from school) offered us the local speciality: waffle sandwiches filled with thick sugary red bean paste – highly nutritious of course. Department stores also have huge floors of delicious things just in case you feel peckish while buying socks. The latest rage in Japan is based on a German cake called a baumkuchen, baked on a rotisserie and with a big hole in the middle. It’s a sort of super donut but is not fried. People queue for hours to buy these latest cake sensations. Don’t come home without one. They are just the latest thing. Our English friend who lives in Japan doesn’t understand it. He says it is a dry old cake with a hole in the middle. Ahhh well, one person’s baumkuchen is another’s donut.

55


Growers, Artisan Makers & Producers

Wollombi

10

Laguna

1

8

Dooralong

9

2 6

5

Kulnura

Yarramalong

Charmhaven

3

7

Jilliby

1 9

4

Wyong Creek

19 12 Wyong

11 14 12

Peats Ridge

13

17 Somersby

18 Ourimbah

15 16

Holgate

9

5

10

6

Gosford

2 4 Kincumber

7 8 11 Mooney Mooney

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Matcham

Erina Heights

3


Farm-fresh Growers DOORALONG 1. Dooralong Farm Biodynamic meats, eggs, vegs facebook.com/dooralongfarm JAN-DEC

6. East Coast Beverages Orange orchard & juices eastcoastbeverages.com.au JAN-DEC

2. Central Coast Honey Co. Honey honeycompany.com.au JAN-DEC

7. Grace Springs Farm Regenerative pasture produce and farm tours gracespringsfarm.net/farmtour JAN-DEC

JILLIBY

LAGUNA

3. Valleys End Farm Permaculture valleysendfarm.net JUNE

8. Little Valley Farm Christmas trees littlevalleyfarm.com.au NOV-DEC

4. Full Circle Farm Regenerative agriculture fullcirclefarm.com.au

9. Little Valley Farm Alpaca fleece littlevalleyfarm.com.au JAN-DEC

KULNURA 5. Wyuna Farms Oranges facebook.com/wyunafarm MAY-JAN

MATCHAM 10. Matcham Honey Italian or Russian varieties, honeycomb and seasonal creamed honey. Stuart Johnston 0425255197 JAN-DEC

MOONEY MOONEY

SOMERSBY

11. Hawkesbury River Oyster Shed Oysters, prawns, smoked fish hawkesburyriveroystershed.com JAN-DEC

15. Sustainable Natives Plants sustainablenatives.com.au JAN-DEC

PEATS RIDGE 12. Royale Orchids Orchid nursery royaleorchids.com.au JAN-DEC 13. S&P Dominbello Flower Growers Cut flowers spdominello.com.au JAN-DEC 14. S&P Dominbello Flower Growers Christmas trees spdominello.com.au NOV-DEC

16. Coachwood Nursery Plants coachwoodnursery.com JAN-DEC 17. The Pecan Lady Pecans pecanlady.com.au JUNE-DEC 18. S&S Peruch Avocado Farm Avocados, citrus facebook.com/s-s-peruch OCT-JAN WYONG CREEK 19. The Food Farm Regenerative pasture-grown meats, eggs, vegs thefoodfarm.com.au JAN-DEC

Artisan Makers & Producers CHARMHAVEN 1. Herbies Spices Herbs and spices herbies.com.au JAN-DEC ERINA HEIGHTS 2. Six String Brewing Company Boutique beers sixstringbrewing.com.au JAN-DEC 3. Distillery Botanica Gin, coffee liqueur distillerybotanica.com JAN-DEC

4. Mr Goaty Gelato Artisan gelato & café mrgoatygelato.com.au JAN-DEC GOSFORD 5. Bay Rd Brewing Boutique beers bayrdbrewing.com.au JAN-DEC HOLGATE 6. Firescreek Winery Botanical winery & tastings firescreek.com.au JAN-DEC

KINCUMBER

WOLLOMBI

7. Block n Tackle Brewery Boutique beers blockntackle.beer JAN-DEC

10. Noyce Brothers Wine Wines noycebros.com.au JAN-DEC

MOONEY MOONEY

WYONG

8. Broken Bay Pearl Farm Pearling and pearl farm tours brokenbaypearls.com.au JAN-DEC

11. Little Creek Handmade cheeses littlecreekcheese.com.au JAN-DEC

WEST GOSFORD

12. Luka Chocolates Handmade chocolates lukachocolates.com.au JAN-DEC

9. Nougat & Chocolate Factory Chocolates, nougat & café chocolatefactorygosford.com.au JAN-DEC

*Farmgate producers do not keep regular retail hours and produce may be subject to seasonal factors, so please check before visiting.

57


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HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Can happiness be linked to our hormones? WORDS DR MICHELLE REISS, LIFESTYLE MEDICINE PHYSICIAN

Is happiness something we all have to work at continuously, or can we expect it to just happen? Charlie Chaplin, the silent film comedian who made the world laugh, knew the secret. He was also a gifted composer and wrote the music behind the words, “Light up your face with gladness/Hide every trace of sadness … You’ll find that life is worthwhile/If you just smile.” Those words, it turns out, are still true today. In a recent study by psychologists*, three groups of volunteers kept weekly journals focused on a single topic. Group 1 wrote about the daily irritations or things that had displeased them; Group 2 wrote about events that had affected them (whether positive or negative); and Group 3 wrote about things they were grateful for that occurred during the week. After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. They also exercised more, felt more motivated, and had fewer physical symptoms such as fatigue and headaches with fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of irritation. So, if actively practising gratitude can improve a sense of emotional and physical wellbeing, how much control can we have on things that give our lives meaning? When it comes to happiness, love, positivity and contentment, there are effectively four major neurotransmitter/hormones that play very important roles in regulating these emotions: dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. If you say “hormones”, most people think puberty and menopause. However, there are many hormones that control most bodily functions. We also have neurotransmitters, little chemicals that travel between our nerves. Some chemicals, such as oxytocin, are both a hormone and a neurotransmitter. And the best news is we are able to exercise control over their concentration levels and therefore our own feelings of wellbeing.

»

59


HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Happiness hormones and how to activate them

DOPAMINE (“reward” chemical) • Sense of achievement and pride • Celebrating the small wins • Completing tasks • Self-care activities • Food and addictions (not always positive)

OXYTOCIN (“love and contentment” hormone) • Hugging someone • Playing with the dog or cat • Volunteering • Connection to nature • Holding hands

SEROTONIN (“mood” stabiliser chemical) • Healthy gut • Exercise • Sun exposure • Meditation • Nature walk

Try it for yourself: Taking a nature walk will increase oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin. Participants in a study who went on a regular 90-minute walk through a natural environment reported lower levels of negativity and showed reduced neural activity in an area of the brain linked to risk for mental illness. Volunteering also increases oxytocin and dopamine. One of the main ways you can care for yourself is to care for others! There are many studies and papers that highlight the benefits of volunteering such as reduced depression, increased sense of purpose, reduced stress and increased longevity. Of course, you’ll need to approach your volunteering with a smile and a good attitude. Smiling will increase oxytocin and serotonin. One study examined a group of city bus drivers and found that employees who put on a fake smile for the job were in a worse mood by the end of the day compared to those drivers who genuinely smiled as a result of positive thoughts. So, when you smile, make sure to smile like you mean it. Working out will increase all four hormones. Exercise is proven to increase feel-good chemicals in the brain, reduce stress hormones, and relieve depression and anxiety. Mastering a skill will fuel dopamine and oxytocin. Working to improve a skill or learning a new one such as learning to drive or taking up pottery, may cause some stress in the short term, but makes people feel happy and more content with their lives in the long run. My hope with this article is that I can bring the medical evidence together with subjectivity to encourage active participation in activities that add meaning, value and happiness in our lives. As so many musicians have sung, “When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you.” *University of California, Davis and cited in Harvard Health Publishing

References

ENDORPHINS (“euphoria and painkiller” chemicals) • Higher-intensity exercise • Laughter, tickling • Chilli • Dark chocolate • Watching comedies

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www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/in-praise-of-gratitude Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation Volunteering may be good for body and mind; JUNE 26, 2013, Harvard Health Publishing. Mayo Clinic Health Systems Volunteering and health benefits in general adults: cumulative effects and forms. Jerf W. K. Yeung, 2017 Positive psychology interventions: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies


Experience dentistry like never before. Shop 2, Erina Plaza, 210 Centr al Coast Highway

Erina, NSW 2250 (02) 4367 - 6222

www.newleafdentists.com.au

It’s time to get back what COVID took away

Each time you use a regular hand sanitiser, alcohol strips the natural barriers from your skin. So while it may be working well at virus protection, it can have some unpleasant side-effects – dry and irritated skin. VIRAbalm does what most sanitisers fail to do: it moisturises and nourishes your skin at the same time as its 70% alcohol protects against viruses. The part you’ll love, though, is the soothing blend of macadamia and coconut oils, emulsifiers derived from plants, plus lashings of beautiful, organic Australian bees wax. Now you can get back what all that Covid sanitising has been taking away: beautiful, soft, virus-protected hands.

virabalm.com.au STOCKISTS: Mitre10, Kincumber NSW IGA Express, Kincumber NSW SPAR, Terrigal NSW Mini-Market, Avoca Beach NSW

The Anti Viral Hand Moisturiser.

Blooming Flower Shed, Erina Heights NSW Terrigal Pharmacy, Terrigal NSW Trouve, Erina NSW Kincumber Optometrist, Kincumber NSW Moochinside, Hardys Bay NSW

Killcare Cellars, Hardys Bay NSW Avoca Pilates, Avoca NSW IGA Allambie, Allambie Heights NSW Avenue Lux, St Ives NSW Compounding Pharmacy, Orange NSW

Warehouse Coffee Shop, Kincumber NSW The Shack Coffee Shop, MacMasters Beach NSW Outlook Riding Academy, Terrigal NSW Shadow Bang Apothecary & Supply, Long Jetty NSW


LUXURY ESCAPES

Beach Retreat

OR COUNTRY GETAWAY?

Waters Edge, beautiful beachfront luxury at Forresters Beach Principal architect and founder of Architexture Darren Tye took the original Australian beach cottage and, together with the team of builders from Central Coast Construct, redesigned ‘Waters Edge’ into one of the area’s most sought-after beach houses. With its floor-to-ceiling glass and sweeping 180-degree views from the clifftops of Wyrrabalong National Park and across the ocean, Waters Edge at Forresters screams understated luxury. The luxury oceanfront getaway is made for entertaining, with modern, contemporary lines, set amid landscaped gardens with a private, sandstone paved walkway to the beach. Upstairs, an airy lounge and dining area opens onto a large, covered deck and barbecue area. Downstairs are three coastalinspired bedrooms, each with ocean views, and a fourth bedroom with garden views. A large al fresco space with glass bi-folds completely opens up onto the grassy beachside garden. Facilities include air conditioning and gas fireplace, coffee machine, linen, laundry, and stylish kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances. The four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms accommodate up to eight guests. Forresters’ cafes are close by, and Terrigal’s cafes, restaurants and shops are just seven minutes away. watersedgeatforresters.com.au/

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Find your perfect place! HOL I D AY S + SA LES + R EN TA LS From our start in premiere holiday accommodation over 25 years ago, Accom Property offers unique & exlusive opportunities to buy, rent & stay at some of the Central Coast’s best properties.

Terrigal office: 02 4385 9564 • Avoca Beach office: 02 4385 3860 Ettalong Beach office: 02 4344 6152 Follow us on instagram & facebook: @accomholidays

A C C O M H O L I D AY S . C O M • A C C O M P R O P E RT Y. C O M


LUXURY ESCAPES

Escala Luxury Suites at Wyong Creek. Bespoke country luxury tailored for the most discerning guest As soon as you enter Escala’s long, curved driveway lined with tall murraya hedges you instantly feel you’ve left the outside world and its cares behind. Escala Luxury Suites is certainly one of the most prestigious private getaways on the Central Coast, designed to the owners’ own exacting standards. The two self-contained suites more than live up to their ‘Luxury’ tag, furnished with the style and personal touches you’ll wish you were accustomed to. Each features a king-sized bed with fine French linen, en suite bathroom (of course), flat-screen TV, kitchenette and dining area. The kitchenette is stocked with all the essentials, a coffee machine, Royal Doulton crystal glasses, Noritake dinnerware and silverware for fine dining. Guests have access to the entire property with its eight hectares of lush, rolling countryside to explore and each suite also has private access to an outdoor swimming pool, heated spa, sun loungers, as well as an alfresco dining area, Weber barbecue and fire pit. So private is the property, that only one suite is booked at a time, unless of course you want to book both for yourself and friends or family (discreetly separated by the length of the swimming pool). Relaxing, rejuvenating and calming though your stay may be, the most difficult thing will no doubt be having to leave it all behind. escalaluxurysuites.com.au

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Central Coast Holiday Escapes

Your Beach, Bay & Bush accommodation specialists KILLCARE PENINSULA

Properties to suit all your holiday needs from budget to luxury accommodation

02 4360 2222

centralcoastholidayescapes.com.au raywhitekillcare.com

Central Coast Holiday Escapes beach bay bush


LUXURY ESCAPES

Little Valley Guest House, MacMasters Beach, where beach meets bush Can’t decide between a beach holiday and somewhere surrounded by trees and nature? And by nature, we mean the sound of bellbirds, deer on their daily visit to the garden, or a shy wallaby or two. Little Valley Guest House provides the perfect answer. This small boutique accommodation is located on a four-hectare property bordering Bouddi National Park in the beautiful coastal suburb of MacMasters Beach. You can walk or drive to the beach or enjoy any number of beautiful bushwalks in the national park. Little Valley has a barn loft-style farm-stay feel mixed with an unmistakable beach house vibe. It’s been thoughtfully styled throughout with a spacious, modern interior and all the luxury inclusions you’d wish for. It’s ideal for couples (there’s one bedroom, with an additional two floor mattresses). Outside, you’ll find a leafy courtyard with barbecue, seating, a fire pit and lots of places to chill out and relax. (The property’s creek and unfenced dam make the guest house unsuitable for children under 12 years.) Facilities include air conditioning, kitchenette with microwave, coffee pod machine, as well as the all-important Internet, wi-fi and Netflix. Popular local cafe LooLoo’s is at the end of the street and there are restaurants and cafes within a short drive, for fine dining or takeaway. Tudibaring Farm roadside stall is a short walk from LooLoo’s and is usually well-stocked with homemade preserves, fresh eggs and local honey. Although the owners live in the homestead on the property, you have full and private access to the guesthouse and grounds of the property if you wish to explore. instagram.com/littlevalleyguesthouse

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT • Autumn

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT BROOKE DOHERTY TAKES A LOOK AT WHAT’S GOING ON THIS AUTUMN.

ON THE COAST CHILDREN’S THEATRE The 91-Storey Treehouse

THE 91-STOREY TREEHOUSE

What child (or adult) wouldn’t want a fantastical treehouse complete with the world’s most powerful whirlpool, a desert island, and a submarine sandwich to scoot about in? And just what will happen if you press that mysterious big, red button? Full of excitement and danger, The 91-Storey Treehouse is an adventure-filled play that follows Andy and Terry’s hilarious escapades, which kids aged six to 12 will find very cool. The Art House, 19–21 Margaret St, Wyong. 6 pm Monday, March 8; 10 am and noon, Tuesday, March 9. Adults $25; Children $20; Family $75. Bookings: thearthousewyong.com.au

The Gruffalo’s Child This endearing adaptation of the award-winning picture book by Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler returns to the Central Coast in a delightful production of the little Gruffalo who ignores his father’s warning and pads off to explore the wilds of the deep, dark woods. Featuring inventive costuming, physical theatre, puppetry and audience interaction, The Gruffalo’s Child is a sure treat for children aged three and up. Laycock Street Community Theatre, 5 Laycock St, North Gosford. noon March 28; 10 am Monday, March 29. Adults $25; Children $20. Bookings: centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/theatres

Magic Beach

MAGIC BEACH

Alison Lester’s beautiful tale of childish wonder and imagination is evoked by a beach environment. It comes alive in this production of Magic Beach as an inventive, delightful and colourful play that also explores the quandary of growing up. It’s a joyous production suitable for primary-school-aged children and will bring a smile to your face.

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The Art House, 19–21 Margaret St, Wyong. 6 pm, Monday, May 10; 10 am and noon, Tuesday, May 11. Adults $25; Children $20; Family $75. Bookings: thearthousewyong.com.au


TIM FREEDMAN

MIRUSIA

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT • Autumn

THEATRE Mono: A Three-Person One-Man Show Three great performers of the Australian stage and comedy scene – John Wood, Max Gillies and Jean Kittson – deliver outrageously funny monologues that will have you in stiches. The nine monologues in Mono: A Three-Person One-Man Show feature the likes of: a ‘mindfulness’ teacher who has lost her own mind, a puzzled policeman giving evidence in the dock, and an orchestra conductor somewhat challenged with waving his baton. If you need a laugh, this is the one to see. The Art House, 19–21 Margaret St, Wyong. 2 pm and 7.30 pm, Saturday March 20. Adults $69; Concession $65. Bookings: thearthousewyong.com.au

MUSIC Tim Freedman – Hot Autumn Nights 2021 Singer Tim Freedman entertains audiences with his unpretentious talent and wry humour while showcasing piano arrangements of favourite songs by Randy Newman, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, Three original songs from The Whitlams’ forthcoming album will also be featured. Laycock Street Community Theatre, 5 Laycock St, North Gosford. 7.30 pm Friday, March 12. Adults $53.95. Bookings: centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/theatres

Mirusia: A Salute to the Seekers and the Classics The delightful Mirusia, who rose to fame as André Rieu’s featured soprano, will be performing such hits as Georgy Girl, I’ll Never Find Another You, and The Carnival is Over during this special performance. The Australian-born singer will also sing some of her beloved classical numbers from her tours with the famous Dutch violinist, together with some original compositions. The Art House, 19–21 Margaret St, Wyong. 8 pm, Friday, April 9. Adults $69.95; Concession $64.95. Bookings: thearthousewyong.com.au

Dusty the Concert Monique Montez (who was part of the hugely successful Dusty: The Original Pop Diva tour) leads the Springfield band in recounting the diva’s tumultuous life story and musical achievements through iconic hits such as, Son of a Preacher Man, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, and Wishin’ And Hopin’. The Art House, 19–21 Margaret St, Wyong. 8 pm, Friday, April 30, 8 pm. Adults $59.95; Concession $54.95. Bookings: thearthousewyong.com.au

Running in the Shadows – The Australian Fleetwood Mac Show 2021

Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

You know the band. You know the songs. Here, all the iconic Fleetwood Mac ballads, blues and rock anthems are covered in one entertaining night. Be prepared for a blast.

In this energetic tribute show, Thomas Crane and his band, Bohemian Rhapsody, make good on the legendary stage persona of Freddy Mercury and the back-catalogue of music from Queen.

Laycock Street Community Theatre, 5 Laycock St, North Gosford. 8 pm, Saturday April 24. Adult $65; Concession $55. Bookings: centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/theatres

Laycock Street Community Theatre, 5 Laycock St, North Gosford. 8 pm, Friday, May 7. Adult $60; Concession $55. Bookings: centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/theatres

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT • Autumn

Melinda Schneider: A Farewell to Doris Doris Day’s story continues to resonate both musically and personally with acclaimed Australian singer, Melinda Schneider. So it’s only fitting that one of the last really ‘Great’ Ladies of Hollywood, the late Doris Day, be honoured and celebrated by Schneider. Schneider created a show about the late Doris Day’s life back in 2011 called, Doris: So Much More Than The Girl Next Door. In Melinda Schneider: A Farewell to Doris, Schneider pays tribute to her idol, singing all of Day’s hit songs and providing the audience with the option of a VIP experience.

MAGGIE FERGUSON

Laycock Street Community Theatre, 5 Laycock St, North Gosford. 7.30 pm, Saturday, May 15. VIPs $120; Adults $59.90. Bookings: centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/theatres

Leaving Jackson: The Johnny Cash and June Carter Show Jeff Carter and Brooke McMullen recreate the energy and rapport of musical sweethearts Johnny Cash and June Carter with classics such as Ring of Fire, Walk The Line, and Folsom Prison Blues. Based on a true story, the production captures the essence of country music and the America’s South. The Art House, 19–21 Margaret St, Wyong. Friday 28 May, 7.30pm. Adults $59; Concession $54. Bookings: thearthousewyong.com.au

CONCERTS Knife in the Boot – Phoenix Collective

DANCE A Taste of Ireland – The Irish Music and Dance Sensation Exploring Ireland’s history through the mediums of song, dance and world-famous humour, this production encapsulates the resilient spirit and hope of the Irish people in an inspiring and formidable display of raw talent. If you haven’t seen Irish dancing before, this will leave you in awe. Laycock Street Community Theatre, 5 Laycock St, North Gosford. 7.30pm, Tuesday, April 13. Adults $74.90; Concession $69.90. Bookings: centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/theatres

A TASTE OF IRELAND

The Phoenix Collective’s first concert of the year adds a lot of spice and soul into exploring the origins of tango music. Performing some works of Astor Piazzolla, the celebrated father of ‘Nuevo Tango,’ Maggie Ferguson, Edward Neeman, Isabella Brown and Dan Russell will showcase Piazzolla as well as earlier styles of the tradition. Olé! For more information, visit phoenixcollective.com.au

Greenway Chapel, 460 Avoca Dr, Green Point. 2.30 pm and 4 pm, Sunday, March 7. Adults $40. Bookings: pcmusic.net

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT • Autumn

EXHIBITIONS Ken Knight: Antarctica It’s no little feat to cart more than 90 kg of equipment to one of the remotest regions on Earth, and then paint in sub-zero conditions. To his credit, artist Ken Knight pulled that off. His 2020 plein-air works of the Antarctic landscape forge a stylistic balance between naturalism and abstraction and are supported by a suite of studio paintings inspired by those experiences. Gosford Regional Gallery, Webb St, East Gosford February 6 to March 31. centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/galleries

JOHN WILLIAMSON

KEN KNIGHT

‘WINDING BACK’ – CELEBRATING 50+ TRUE BLUE YEARS

On Country: Cheryl McCoy and Donella Waters Printmaker Cheryl McCoy, and painter Donella Waters share an Indigenous heritage and feel a deep spiritual and historical connection to their land. This exhibition celebrates their symbiotic relationship to country through linocuts, acrylic painting and mixed media work. Gosford Regional Gallery, Webb Street, East Gosford. March 27 to May 16. centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/galleries

Weaving Up A Storm Interested in the environment? This intriguing offering is the brainchild of five local artists who have presented their sculptural response to contemporary environmental issues. As colourful as they are beautiful, the works utilise non-traditional materials. It’s worth a peek. Gosford Regional Gallery, Webb St, East Gosford. April 10 to May 12. centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/galleries Editor’s note: While information was correct at the time of going to print, please check with each venue to ensure performances have not been affected by coronavirus restrictions.

Australian music icon, John Williamson, is about to celebrate his 52nd anniversary in the entertainment industry and will be taking his Winding Back tour on the road. ‘Winding Back means I’m looking forward to spending more time in the garden and less time away from home,’ says John. Back in 1970, when he wandered into Melbourne’s GTV9 studios with a guitar under his arm, little did the Mallee farmer realise he’d make a 50+-year career out of singing and performing, not to mention selling over 5 million albums and performing in thousands of concerts. His Channel Nine New Faces’ performance of Old Man Emu, marked the appearance of our unofficial custodian of Australian stories in song. It was the first song he’d ever written, and became a No. 1 single. In all, his 52 albums, including 20 original studio albums, have traversed Australia like a dust-covered road train, deftly moving between larrikin humour and touching pathos. In March, the only concerts he’ll be performing will be on the Central Coast at The Art House in Wyong. John holds fond memories of the Central Coast. ‘I used to have a little holiday house at Pearl Beach. It’s such an untouched and peaceful place; no curb and guttering and no high rise. The residents there are so protective of its original atmosphere. Next door, at Patonga, is also a lovely place worth protecting from over commercialism.’ Perhaps John’s greatest legacy is making Australians proud of their country and of who they are. So, don’t miss him, True Blue himself, for what could be the final time. The Art House, 19–21 Margaret St, Wyong. Wednesday 17 March, 8pm. Thursday 18 March (sold out). Adults $64, Concessions $59. Children $35. See thearthousewyong.com.au

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HAPPENINGS • Autumn

HAPPENINGS ON THE COAST A VERY SPECIAL, PAGE-TURNING OCCASION

New writers’ festival set to make waves on the Coast The Central Coast is set to host Words on the Waves, an exciting new writers’ festival this winter over the long weekend of June 12–13. And, whether you’re a reader, a writer, or just contemplating getting creative, Words on the Waves already has a stellar line-up of authors to inspire and enthral. As a preface to the inaugural winter event, The Bouddi Society will be hosting a very special one-day event in support of the festival on Saturday, March 27 at the Wagstaffe Hall.

TOM KENEALLY, award-winning author of much-loved Meg and Tom Keneally

novels, such as Schindler’s Ark, will be in conversation with his daughter, novelist MEG KENEALLY, author of Fled and The Wreck.

JUDY NUNN, well-known actor and author of Khaki Town plus many others, will also be interviewed by leading publisher

JANE PALFREYMAN. VICKI HASTRICH, author of two novels and the luminous and remarkable memoir, Night Fishing, will be interviewed by Stella Prize-winning author CHARLOTTE WOOD.

ANDREW KWONG, whose memoir One Bright Moon

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Judy Nunn

Jane Palfreyman

Vicki Hastrich

Charlotte Wood

shows childhood during the Great Leap Forward in China, will be interviewed by Walkley Award-winning journalist CHRIS MASTERS.

Andrew Kwong

Chris Masters


HAPPENINGS • Autumn

MC for this exciting day’s program of four writerly conversations is the Central Coast’s own GRAEME BLUNDELL, actor, director, producer and writer. If this is just the warm-up event, imagine what the June Words of the Waves Writers’ Festival will offer with two full days of storytelling, author talks and panels. On June 11, prior to the main Festival on the long weekend, Words on the Waves will also inspire and connect with primaryschool children in partnership with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in a program themed, “Youth as Warriors of Change”. The line-up of speakers for schools includes Children’s Laureate in 2020 and 2021 and award-winning author Ursula Dubosarsky, The full adult’s program will be released in April on wordsonthewaves.com.au and on coastmagazine.com.au

WORDS AT WAGSTAFFE: A ONE-DAY HOSTED SOLFESTIVAL D O T BY THE BOUDDI U SOCIETY IN SUPPORT OF WORDS ON THE WAVES WRITERS FESTIVAL WHEN: Saturday March 27, 2021 10am to 5pm WHERE: Wagstaffe Hall, cnr Mulhall St and Wagstaffe Ave, Wagstaffe NSW 2257 COST: Tickets are $89 + booking fee for the full day, and will be available via wordsonthewaves.com.au Please note this will be a COVID-compliant event; masks, QR check-in and temperature checks are required for entry. Refunds will be available if the event needs to be cancelled due to Coviod-19 restrictions.

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FEATURE • Baby Pelicans

BABY PELICANS of the Central Coast WORDS CATHARINE RETTER

world, can fly for up to 24 hours by identifying thermal currents that will help them soar hundreds of kilometres with barely a flap of their 2.4-metre wings. Without thermal currents, pelicans are not really capable of sustained flapping flight. After the flooding of Lake Eyre, in 1974–75, when the chicks of that season grew into young adults they were known to have flown as far as Indonesia, Palau in the western Pacific Ocean, Fiji and New Zealand, well beyond their normal range. Brisbane Water’s colony on the Central Coast is thought to have started in the 1980s, the result of that same pelican population explosion on Lake Eyre. The local colony is now considered to be quite large with about 350 nests. But you still can’t count on seeing pelican chicks before they’re adult size. Pelicans breed on islands and permanent sandbars away from predators such as dogs. The bills and pouches of pelicans that are © DOUG BECKERS

We’ve often heard it asked, “Why don’t you ever see baby pelicans?” And the answer invariably seems to be, “Because they fly great distances to remote breeding grounds”. But here on the Central Coast, that may not be strictly true. Australian pelicans (Pelecanus conspicillatus) are widespread around coastal and inland Australia with permanent colonies more common in coastal regions. The transient breeding colonies inland depend upon flooding rains, with the best known of these on the island waterways of Lake Eyre. When it floods in Lake Eyre, it can attract more than 100,000 visiting pelicans, and some distant urban pelican populations can be suddenly and strangely absent from their usual environments. Those 100,000 pelicans are estimated to breed more than 30,000 chicks in one season. We know that pelicans, despite their average body weight of 5.5 kg, and hefting around the largest bill of any bird in the

74


ready to breed change colour quite dramatically, with the top and base of the bill becoming cobalt blue, the pouch bright pink, and the throat turning a chrome yellow. A mating pair will remain true for the season after a courting ritual that consists of a lot of bill clapping and pouch rippling. After choosing her mate, the female leads him to what will be their nesting spot, and scrapes the ground to form a shallow depression for the eggs she will lay. Pelicans can breed at any time of the year, and not all females lay their eggs at the same time. This means there are various sub-colonies, a little like creches, on the pelican islands. One may have parents incubating two eggs for about 32 days, using their webbed feet to keep the

© CHRISTINA PORTER

FEATURE • Baby Pelicans

© CHRISTINA PORTER

eggs warm, and taking turns to sit on the nest or go fishing for prawns, yabbies, fish and insects, as well as the odd reptile or pesky seagull. Another “creche” may predominantly have new hatchlings, still bare of feathers (the gangly, ungainly age when “only a mother could love it”). The parents concentrate on regulating their nude offspring’s temperature between too hot or too cold, either of which can be fatal. At 10 days’ old, the chicks have grown fluffy grey down and can begin to regulate their own temperature. They venture from mum and dad’s feet and “bum-shuffle” (that’s a technical term) around to visit the nearest neighbours.

»

TOP Mating ritual with pelicans showing their bright breeding colours. MIDDLE Bill clapping and pouch rippling is part of the mating ritual. BELOW A sea eagle keeps an eye out for youngsters straying too far from their nests.

© DOUG BECKERS

LEFT Two chicks are the norm for Australian pelicans, three for European pelicans.

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© CHRISTINA PORTER

© MERRILLIE REDDEN

FEATURE • Baby Pelicans

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© DOUG BECKERS

FEATURE • Baby Pelicans

© DOUG BECKERS

© DOUG BECKERS

From six to eight weeks of age, they are more adventurous and start to explore a little further afield, even as far as the end of their island. The chicks begin to form their own creches, up to 100-strong, testing their independence and dividing themselves into groups that are learning to walk, testing the water for a bit of a duck paddle, or flapping their wings to build up their flight muscles. When they fledge at 10 to 12 weeks, having grown their flight feathers, the chicks are already adult size (which is why you don’t think you ever see a baby pelican), but they can be identified by their brown-and-white feathers, instead of the black-and-white feathers of their parents. “As one- to two-year-olds, the young pelicans are at their most adventurous,” says Greg Johnston Australian pelican expert and adjunct associate professor at Flinders University. “One banded youngster from the breeding colony at Coorong (Storm Boy territory) in South Australia was identified in New Guinea, a distance of 3,300 km away. Another turned up in Western Australia (about the same distance away as New Guinea). And because most pelicans are thought to return to their natal colony, both these youngsters could well have flown all the way back again.” In the wild, pelicans live to about 20 years of age. But there are reports of much older ones. “There’s a one-winged pellie on Tuggerah Lake whose wing was amputated almost 30 years ago,” says Cathy Gilmore from Australian Seabird Rescue Central Coast. “That would make him about 35 years, and still going strong.” Sadly, the pelican’s main predator is mankind, with the biggest threat from fishing line entanglements, hooks in gullets, and suffocation from plastic bags. Enthusiastic sightseers near breeding colonies also pose a major risk, scaring the pelicans into abandoning their eggs or exposing the chicks to sunburn, heatstroke and predators. At certain stages of the breeding cycle, pelicans will even abandon a colony entirely if they are disturbed. Keeping a distance of at least 150 metres from breeding colonies is strongly recommended. We hope that with a greater appreciation of this lovable, gracious bird, people will respect the breeding colonies, and take greater care with fishing tackle and rubbish disposal. Our wild pellies deserve to live as long as their captive counterparts: to a ripe old age of 45 years.

TOP An ibis builds a more elaborate nest than her neighbours. MIDDLE Fluffy grey down means the chicks can begin to regulate their own body temperature. LEFT Feeding time.

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CLASSES AND COURSES • Autumn

CLASSES AND COURSES WORDS BROOKE DOHERTY

OPEN-WATER SCUBA DIVING COURSE: 2 WEEKENDS Do you want to experience our Blue Planet up close and personal? Pro Dive at Killarney Vale will be running dive courses throughout autumn to let beginners experience an open-water dive across varied coastal locations. Highly experienced master instructor Bob Diaz will guide you through the process, which starts on day one with training in a heated pool facility and oneon-one tuition. By day two, you will be exploring the underwater delights of the local bay. The second weekend aims to reinforce your skills and culminates in a dive off the coast. Pro Dive, 163 Wyong Road, Killarney Vale. $395pp. March 20 and 27; April 3 and 10; May 1 and 8. Bookings: 4389 3483.

TWILIGHT SAILING FOR NOVICES Gosford Sailing Club offers a Wednesday Twilight Sailing Experience for adults that is a truly lovely and affordable way to try sailing (or just hanging out with like-minded people). You’ll get to register and participate in a race around Brisbane Water in a 25ft sailboat, giving you a hands-on opportunity to learn more about the sport. It’s a great way to learn new skills, interact with the environment and enjoy the sunset! Gosford Sailing Club, 28 Masons Parade, Gosford; gosfordsailingclub.com. $25pp members; $30 non-members. Available until April 7, 2021. Arrive between 4 pm and 4.15 pm for registration. Session ends at 8 pm. Bookings: 4325 7216. Office open Mon-Fri, 9 am to 5 pm.

CERAMICS If you have ever hankered to use a pottery wheel, try your hand at sculpture or simply create something unique to you, such as a bespoke mug or pet-food bowl, the team at Centered Ceramics can help. Centred Ceramics run Beginner’s Wheel Throwing classes on Saturday mornings (complete with morning tea) and Friday Night Wine & Clay sessions throughout autumn. Centred Ceramics also operates its own cafe so you won’t starve in the process. Check out the website for more details. Centered Ceramics, 246 West Street, Umina Beach; centeredceramics.com.au. Classes: from $55pp. Bookings: 4346 4459 or email hello@centeredceramics.com.au

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DISCOVER • Central Coast

THE WATERFALLS of the CENTRAL COAST

continued from page 14

GIRRAKOOL LOOP TRACK WATERFALLS UN-NAMED WATERFALL Continue on for another five to 10 minutes until you can hear (and possibly catch a glimpse of) a small waterfall off to the left of the track. To get to the falls you need to venture off the track and clamber down to the side of the creek. It’s not hard to climb down, but is easy to miss. This small un-named waterfall tumbling over a rock shelf is very picturesque with a sweeping branch of a gum tree reaching across the creek and lush green ferns to the right of the falls.

LEASK CREEK FALLS (ALSO KNOW AS ANDAMIRA WATERFALL) Return to the track to continue on to Andamira Lookout, where you will get a filtered view of Leask Creek Falls. The falls are really beautiful after rain when they will be the undisputed highlight of the walk. But they do tend to dry up pretty quickly, in which case they will present as a mere trickle. It’s a lovely shaded spot and always worth a stop on this walk, with the hum of distant traffic from the M1 motorway the only thing spoiling the serenity. Once again, you need to climb down from the track to the side of the creek to get close up to these falls and see them at their best, which is in front and centre. After enjoying Leask Creek Falls it’s back to the track for a relatively short walk back to the picnic area and carpark.

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DISCOVER • Central Coast

KARIONG BROOK FALLS KARIONG BROOK FALLS IS LOCATED IN THE BRISBANE WATER NATIONAL PARK IS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND INVITING OF THE CENTRAL COAST WATERFALLS. SURROUNDED BY ROCK LEDGES AND LUSH RAINFOREST, WITH A DELIGHTFUL SWIMMING HOLE AT THE BASE OF THE FALLS, YOU’LL FEEL LIKE YOU’VE DISCOVERED A PEACEFUL OASIS (ESPECIALLY IF YOU VISIT ON A QUIET DAY, WHICH, FORTUNATELY, IS MOST DAYS OUTSIDE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS). The rock ledges make great picnic/rest spots and the pool at the bottom of the falls is big and deep enough for a proper swim and kept cool and refreshing thanks to shade from the trees. There are a few scenic walks through the park that access the falls, but the shortest and most direct is from Woy Woy Rd in Kariong. The start of the track is about 300 metres’ south (in the direction of Woy Woy) of Staples Lookout, and is the best place to park. Once again, these falls are most impressive after heavy rain, although it’s a lovely spot to visit at any time. If you’re so inclined, there may even be a rope swing hanging over the pool (use at your own risk).

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DISCOVER • Central Coast

THE WALK The walk to and from Kariong Brook Falls is about a 6-km round trip. While most of the walk is on wide fire trails with a slight slope, the last few hundred metres is a relatively steep clamber on a narrow trail over rocks from the plateau down into the secluded, rainforest gully. Although it’s challenging, it’s my favourite part of the walk in (I’m not quite so keen on it when climbing back up). To be safe, allow 90 minutes to two hours for the return walk, plus some time to enjoy the falls and pool once you arrive. Starting at Staples Lookout, head south (towards Woy Woy) walking along the edge of Woy Woy Rd. Take care as the cars travel past pretty quickly at this

part of the road (there’s a bit more room on the verge, on the same side as Staples Lookout). Keep an eye out on the other side of the road for a locked fire trail gate and a sign to The Great North Walk about 300 metres along from the lookout where you can cross the road to the start of the trail. (Note: There is no signage at this point regarding Kariong Brook Falls.) Stay on Tommos Loop Trail for about 2 km until you reach an intersection with the Hawkesbury Track. Turn right onto the Hawkesbury Track, which will then take you all the way down to the falls. (Just before this turn-off there is a sign saying this track goes to Girrakool. There is no mention of Kariong Brook Falls.)

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DISCOVER • Central Coast

STRICKLAND FALLS STRICKLAND FALLS IS LOCATED IN THE STRICKLAND STATE FOREST WITH THE ENTRANCE ON STRICKLAND ROAD (OFF MANGROVE ROAD) IN SOMERSBY. THIS FOREST IS THE ECOTOURISM GEM OF THE CENTRAL COAST AND FOR A SMALL FOREST – IT’S ONLY 5 SQ. KM – IT HAS AN AMAZING DIVERSITY OF FAUNA AND FLORA. According to the NSW State Forestry Corporation’s website, its impressive variety of flora and fauna species, includes about 350 plants – wildflowers, heath woodland, tall eucalypts and lush rainforest – 98 birds, 29 reptiles, 27 mammals, 20 amphibians and four fish species. Strickland State Forest was inducted into the Hunter Central Coast Tourism Awards Hall of Fame after winning the Gold Award for Ecotourism three years in a row (in 2011, 2012 and 2013). It was also awarded Silver Award for Ecotourism at the NSW Tourism Awards in both 2013 and 2014.

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STRICKLAND FALLS WALK The Strickland Falls walk is one of a number of bushwalks in Strickland State Forest and is a 1.6-kilometre circuit of moderate difficulty, starting from the Banksia carpark. The falls are about halfway along the circuit and, of all the Central Coast’s waterfalls, they are the most dependent on heavy rains. You really need to visit very soon after heavy rain (or during) to see the falls flowing freely as most times there is barely a trickle of water flowing over the falls. Don’t let this dissuade you from visiting the forest and enjoying this and the other walks, as they are among the most lush and beautiful in the region. The forest has excellent picnic facilities including a shelter, picnic tables and toilets and access is free.


DISCOVER • Central Coast

IRONBARK FALLS IRONBARK FALLS AT MANGROVE MOUNTAIN IS A HIDDEN AND RELATIVELY UNKNOWN GEM AMONG THE CENTRAL COAST’S WATERFALLS. THE SIGNAGE INDICATES IT IS A CENTRAL COAST COUNCIL RESERVE, BUT IT ISN’T LISTED IN THE RESERVES ON THE COUNCIL’S WEBSITE AND THERE IS VERY LITTLE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FALLS ONLINE. Once you arrive at the start of the walk on Ironbark Road it’s a very short and accessible walk to the falls where you’ll be greeted with a surprisingly impressive and very picturesque waterfall tumbling into a lush and serene little hideaway. As with most waterfalls, Ironbark Falls is at its best after heavy rains. The track to the falls is pretty neglected and, although we spotted a wooden picnic table with benches off to the side of the track, it was heavily overgrown and a bit of a rough-and-ready spot for a picnic. Don’t let this deter you from a visit as there are spots in front of the falls to rest and have a picnic with the beautiful backdrop of the falls and its serene surroundings.

GETTING THERE To get to Ironbark Falls Reserve just put Ironbark Road, Mangrove Mountain into your GPS (or Maps in your phone) and track about 1 km down Ironbark Road from the turnoff from Wisemans Ferry Road. Look for the old Council sign for ‘Ironbark Falls Reserve’ on your right and you will see a small area off the road on this side to park. It’s less than a 10-minute walk from here to the falls, but look out for the overgrown information sign on your left a short way down the track and take the left branch of the track. Going straight ahead will take you to a man-made weir instead of the falls.

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GARDENS • Wyong River

RIVERSIDE IDYLL WORDS PAUL URQUHART

88 COAST

PHOTOS LISA HAYMES


GARDENS • Wyong River

The Central Coast sports some spectacular secret gardens, and the garden surrounding the home of Bill and Carolyn Burton is a standout. Sitting on the riverbank of Wyong River, it is a blend of perfectly manicured lawns and a palm-filled oasis marked by quirky additions and superb attention to detail. Overall, the garden has a tropical rainforest feel with boardwalks, towering palms and massed ferns and foliage plants on the forest floor, with Bill’s flights of fantasy adding a quirky touch. Bill is a retired builder with a passion for all things Disneyland and has visited most of the Disney parks around the world. While he initially incorporated some of his favourite fantastical features into the overall garden for the enjoyment of his grandchildren, one suspects these flights of fancy may be more personally inspired. His wife, Carolyn, is responsible for different sections of the garden – particularly the area that fronts the river – and has given this a relaxed and restrained planting of massed clivias and native Brachyscome daisies.

A slow reveal Bill regularly enters the Wyong division of the Central Coast Council garden competition and opens the garden in September for others to enjoy. The first thing you see from the street is a perfect lawn, backed by a forest of Bangalow palms and a driveway edged by native shrubs such as lemon-scented tea tree (Leptospermum petersonii) and heath myrtle (Babingtonia virgata), which share some similarities. While both shrubs have small white flowers, the tea tree is a spring bloomer and the heath myrtle has summer flowers. Both shrubs also have graceful, weeping branches that trail toward the ground so comparisons with the Wind in the Willows are not so far off. There is also a dwarf form of the latter that forms tight mounds of green foliage and needs no fancy pruning. These common native shrubs have a charming weeping foliage without the problems associated with willows. In garden beds on either side, seasonal flowers add massed colour within a framework of established shrubs. All of this is amplified as you progress through the garden.

The river is a key element in the garden providing a restful backdrop. Colourful pots of impatiens and other seasonal flowers give a wow factor to the owners’ private jetty.

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GARDENS • Wyong River

ABOVE: The planting is simple – massed native daisies and clivias and orchids for the spring show give the decked area a pared-down feel. LEFT: Colourful ornamental birdhouses give some interest to the palm trunks often decried as garden telegraph poles but are regarded here as a feature.

A garden for living As a builder, Bill is adept at creating decks, boardwalks and structures within the garden. Decking demarcates clear spaces for sitting, relaxing and socialising with family and friends. Bill’s allweather barbecue sits hidden behind a bank of succulent cactus and euphorbias that have been there for around 20 years and form a dense architectural feature. Bill’s family-focused lifestyle is celebrated in the numerous structures and sculptures, all made by him to amuse his grandchildren. The keen gardener uses annual and biennial plants that have a habit of self-seeding and germinating. For instance, in spring his display of foxgloves brightens the front garden while in summer, the same bed is occupied by coneflowers or echinacea in bold mixed colours.

Palm grove One of the most appealing parts of the garden is a grove of palms traversed by a meandering, raised-timber pathway. It skirts in and around a semi-circular stone water feature while shafts of light sparkle through the canopy and dance upon the waters made dark by the tannins in the falling leaves of many trees. Some people go to great lengths to artificially blacken the water

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GARDENS • Wyong River

in smaller ponds but here it is a natural occurrence. The darker water is a great foil for water lilies and reflects the surrounding foliage. Palms have lost favour in recent years mainly because they shed fronds, but this self-cleaning focus means that about the only maintenance required is to collect them when they fall. This can be a nuisance but, because they are so tightly planted, it too is a natural occurrence and much less of a nuisance. Trees give another dimension to any garden and so often we forget to look up while we are so focused on the ground plane. Looking up here, the glimpses of sky and fronds adds a very dramatic experience.

Waterscapes The garden on the riverside is small in comparison and dominated by decking that makes admiring and enjoying the river ambience a real delight. Carolyn’s predilection for pretty flowers comes to the fore here with a massed edging of blue Brachyscome daisies and bright-orange Belgian hybrid clivias. The effect when the clivias are in flower is stunning, albeit brief. But the daisies are a long-term feature. In spring, too, the large tubs of cymbidium orchids are always filled with tall spikes of bloom. As they fade though, big pots of New Guinea impatiens take over to spark up the decking. Through summer and autumn, though, the real star is the river. This is a great spot to sit and watch the world go by, whether it’s water birds or the water-borne version of MAMILs*, as many kayak enthusiasts make this river their playground. [*Middle-aged men in Lycra]

TOP: The coneflowers make a vibrant show in the front where it is most sunny. MIDDLE: Coral or firecracker plant (Russelia) is a cracking bloomer for the warmer months and loved by spinebills. BOTTOM: The lushness of the palm walk is in sharp contrast to the simplicity of the river garden. Here, exuberant foliage, spot colour and a predominantly green palate creates calm and serenity.

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DESTINATION WEDDING • Profile

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DESTINATION WEDDING • Profile

Paradise found

Sibel and Russell at Paradise Botanical Gardens in Kulnura

SIBEL AND RUSSELL’S PLANS FOR A DESTINATION WEDDING IN TURKEY REQUIRED A DRASTIC ‘PANDEMIC PIVOT’ AND ALL THE UNPRECEDENTED DISRUPTION CALLED FOR CREATIVITY, CALM AND AN OPEN MIND … AND JUST A LITTLE BIT OF ‘LOVERS’ LUCK’.

W

hile the end result was a radical departure from their original dream, it was an equally perfect celebration in Paradise – Paradise Botanical Gardens at Kulnura, to be exact – and a lot closer to home. ‘Looking back now, we cannot believe just how lucky we were in that sweet bubble of freedom to have our celebration virtually unimpeded after weeks of lockdown,’ said Sibel. Sibel and Russell are used to seeking the road less travelled and like to balance high-intensity careers by keeping their home life simple and spontaneous, and sharing many travels and adventures. They made sure the challenge to reimagine their wedding day was just another adventure on the journey to getting married. Central to all of it was finding their perfect venue. And, as a Central Coast local, having attended a lot of friends’ local weddings, and feeling right at home in its landscape of bush and coast, Russell didn’t think he could be surprised by a new venue. However, thanks to Sibel’s timely Internet search, they found a new offering in the hinterland. Paradise Botanical Gardens proved to be a complete surprise and delight – the perfect Plan B – and Sibel and Russell became the very first wedding on the property. Hidden behind a commercial nursery, the gardens’ delights are only revealed once you venture down the long driveway and through a stone archway, where an avenue opens up into an unexpectedly large, lush, flower-filled and creatively inspired botanical wonderland. ‘When we visited Paradise Botanical Gardens, we were blown away to find a hidden oasis and we knew immediately we could host an unforgettable wedding. We fell in love with the gardens, its vistas, and its sometimes quirky landscape architecture. We knew it would offer an equally unique and memorable experience for our family and friends,’ said Sibel.

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DESTINATION WEDDING • Profile

The 50-year-old gardens are home to majestic Australian and exotic trees, as well as rare and unusual plant specimens gathered from around the world. Its meandering pathways, stone bridges and waterways led Sibel and Russell’s guests by stone sculptures, between Roman columns, past exquisite stone walls, manicured lawns, and through jacaranda arbours and rose gardens. ‘We wanted our wedding to be a relaxed affair where everyone feels like part our family. We envisaged an afternoon of sunshine, cocktails and lawn games and a low-key festival vibe.’ Most of the choices Sibel and Russell made for the wedding experience were to highlight the natural beauty of the property and its botanical roots. All the flowers used in the wedding were sourced from the gardens. Sibel and her bridesmaids stayed on the property’s residence the night before the wedding day, waking up early on the morning to collect fresh roses from the gardens for the table vases, bridal bouquets and boutonnieres for the groomsmen and fathers. Family friends pulled the petals from hundreds of miniature pink roses from the back of the property for guests to confetti the bridal couple with as they walked back down the aisle. For the wedding favours, the team at Paradise Plants Nursery grew lavender plants fittingly known as ‘Lavender Loveheart’. They were made into beautiful table decorations for the guests to take home. On the wedding day, the couple’s ‘lovers luck’ continued with sunny weather and a crescendo of cicadas that serenaded Sibel and her father down the aisle. Sibel wore the original white beaded dress she had planned to wear in Turkey, and later changed into a second dress, a flowing white silk slip so she could dance and dine with freedom. Everyone was able to enjoy a fully outdoor experience – from the ceremony under a tree, to a cocktail caravan that provided drinks and canapes. Guests also enjoyed an open marquee and dance floor before retiring to sleep in the onsite glamping tents by the lily pond. ‘There are so many moments we reminisce on. We both loved the ceremony and hearing each other’s personalised vows. We loved watching our friends and family play lawn games afterwards, listening to live music, and sipping on cocktails. After such a strange year of separation and isolation, it was so special and wonderful to watch everyone together – the people we love in one place in a perfect blissful moment,’ said Sibel. ‘And we both loved performing our first dance, a salsa, for which we’d taken lessons and spent hours at home practising. It’s hard to dance and look good, or at the least, dance not looking at our feet, and for Russ not dropping me on the dips. We were both still smiling at the end. I think we nailed it,’ she laughed.

»

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ELEGANT – LUXURIOUS – RUSTIC – ROMANTIC

SPRINGS WEDDINGS P E AT S R I D G E Escape to the ultimate wedding experience at The Springs in the hinterland of The Central Coast. The 125 acre bushland property provides the perfect backdrop for your ceremony and wedding photos. From intimate to extravagant weddings, the luxury, designer venue with a capacity to hold up to 350 guests and an Executive Chef to cater to any dietary and religious requirements, The Springs is the ideal choice to celebrate any cultural wedding or religious wedding. Surrounded by many local farms, Chef Dan has access to fresh and fabulous produce to inspire his creative wedding menus, creating anything from vegetarian Indian Feasts to amazing Kosher weddings.

F O L L OW U S

thespringspeatsridge thespringsweddings

From the farm to plate travelling bites, sit down dinners, grazing stations and rustic share plates, The Springs delivers the ultimate wedding food experience. We offer perfectly paired beverage packages to match the organic menus, with boutique, organic local wines and a selection of craft beers. Our mixologist can create the perfect farm to glass signature cocktail just for you. With our very own Wedding stylist and in-house wedding team, The Springs offers you a personal service from the beginning to the very end. Make your day even more memorable by arriving in style by helicopter. Indulge yourself. Springs Weddings in the hinterland at Peats Ridge

(02) 43731522 (Ext.3) 1 0 8 0 P E AT S R I D G E R O A D W W W. T H E - S P R I N G S . C O M . A U


DESTINATION WEDDING • Profile

Ceremony and reception location Paradise Botanical Gardens, Kulnura Photographer Jennifer Burch Photography Celebrant/officiant Married by Seyda Musicians Duan & Only, Jasmine Strings Videographer Sandy Feet Films Hair and make-up Lavish Hair Designs by Bree Jeweller Grew & Co; Jacque Fine Jewellery Flowers Paradise Botanical Gardens DJ and MC Vocal Events Cake Food Thrills Drinks caravan Memory Lane Weddings Catering H&H Catering Decor Hire The Party Hire Company; Premier Event Trailers Glamping Simple Pleasures Camping Co.

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36 HOURS IN… • Maitland

36 hours in... Maitland THE POURHOUSE

MAITLAND IS THE LITTLEST HUNTER VALLEY WINE REGION THAT COULD. IT HAS POCKETS OF CHARM, HISTORY AND A NEW GENERATION OF CREATIVE, ARTY TYPES HELPING TO MAKE MAITLAND A DESTINATION. AND FOR FOOD AND WINE LOVERS? A VIBRANT SCENE AWAITS. HERE’S HOW TO SPEND 36 HOURS IN AND AROUND MAITLAND.

WORDS CARLA GROSSETTI

4.30 pm Pre-dinner drink at The Pourhouse

Visit The Pourhouse on a Friday night and you will likely find tables of tradies glued to bar stools in the quirky front bar, couples congregating on comfy couches in the dimly lit back room and families sitting in the courtyard listening to live music. Established as The Exchange Hotel in 1866, the historic building also housed a cafe and antique shop before premium beer nerd Benn Giles wrested it back to its roots. 327 High St, Maitland; thepourhouse.com.au

COQUUN

6 pm Aperitifs at Coquun

Coquun is emblematic of all the good stuff happening in Maitland. Run by Daniel O’Leary (ex-dive bar, The Dock, in Redfern) Coquun – which means ‘fresh water’ in the language of the local Wonnarua people – is located on the banks of the Hunter River and draws extensively from the native food bowl. Book A Moving Feast Maitland tour and kick off your progressive dinner and drinks at Coquun. 396 High St, Maitland; coquun.com.au

7 pm Dinner at The Rigby

The Rigby is most often packed to the rafters with smug locals who have colonised every corner of this all-day eatery. To be properly seduced by Maitland, which was founded as a settlement for convicts in 1818, you must factor in some time at The Rigby, which is housed in a 19th-century heritage building on the High Street that was once a fancy retailer. The Rigby is run by father-and-son team Howard and Nick Bourne and is more Melbourne than Maitland. It’s open all day as a cafe, restaurant and cocktail bar.

THE RIGBY

307 High St, Maitland; therigby.com.au

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36 HOURS IN… • Maitland

9 pm Check in to the SAO Studio at William Arnott Hotel

Good things come in small packages. Like SAO biscuits, which were launched in Australia in 1904 by Arnott’s, and the newly renovated SAO studio the salted cracker is named after. The street-level studio, which dates back to the 1850s, was once the bake house’s proving rooms. Plump for a few nights in the Monte Carlo Penthouse if you plan to spend more time swanning about in your suite. 148 Swan St, Morpeth; historicarnottbakehouse.com.au

WILLIAM ARNOTT HOTEL

Meander down the main street of Morpeth on a Saturday morning and you will meet locals who have been out for their morning walk and are heading back to Common Grounds, their unofficial headquarters. Sit on the sun-splashed verandah and enjoy avocado on sourdough under a blizzard of goat’s feta and reconsider that tree change. 4/142 Swan St, Morpeth; facebook.com/cafemorpeth

ICKY STICKY PATISSERIE

9 am Breakfast at Common Grounds

11 am Elevenses at the Icky Sticky Patisserie

It’s mid-morning in Maitland and a family is huddled around the display cabinet at the Icky Sticky Patisserie, debating whether or not to order the chocolate tart or orange and almond cake. They finally settle on 12 petit fours, featuring the two flavours. Phew. Crisis averted. 2/27 Belmore Rd, Lorn, Maitland; ickystickypatisserie.com

Midday Lunch at Muse Kitchen, Lorn Award-winning restaurateur Megan Rhoades-Brown has helped put Maitland on the map for foodies with the launch of Muse Kitchen in the lovely village of Lorn. The European-style bistro (sister restaurant to Muse Kitchen in Pokolbin) has an avowedly French twang and is smart and slick like its owner. Do as the waiter suggests and order the heirloom tomato and goat’s curd tart, hazelnut and roquette salad.

»

MUSE KITCHEN

1/27 Belmore Rd, Lorn; musekitchen.com.au

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MORPETH © KAT STANLEY


36 HOURS IN… • Maitland

2 pm Wine tasting at Tranquil Vale

Tranquil Vale presents like a pencil sketch of a working winery, with pretty vines threaded around the 10-hectare vineyard located on a bend of the Hunter River in Luskintyre around which the trees thicken. The estate specialises in estate-grown semillon, chardonnay and shiraz and if you knock on the cellar door you will be rewarded with a winemaker-led tasting by a member of the Griffiths family.

TRANQUIL VALE

325 Pywells Rd, Luskintyre; tranquilvale.com.au

3 pm Stock up on sweet treats

Nostalgia is alive and well at Miss Lily’s Lollies (2 Green St, Morpeth; facebook.com/MissLilysLollies), Morpeth Ginger Beer Factory (5 Green St, Morpeth; campbellsstoremorpeth.com.au)

MORPETH GINGER BEER FACTORY

where you can fill your bags with artisan treats. Join the dots to Donarch Fine Chocolate in Tenambit (49 Maize St, Tenambit; donarchfinechocolate.com.au) to sample a few of the signature raspberry hearts. A few squares of the salted caramel will also slap you around the chops with flavour.

6 pm Dinner at Boydell’s

»

2 Green St, Morpeth; boydells.com.au

BOYDELL’S

DONARCH FINE CHOCOLATES

MISS LILY’S LOLLIES

Of all the Hunter Valley cellar doors slinging food and wine at visitors, Boydell’s might just be its Most-Valued Player (MVP). The rustic low-ceilinged cellar door and restaurant shares a wall from the original 1820s’-built shed and is a nod to the legacy of the area’s early pioneers. As the small-scale wine producers behind Boydell’s, Daniel and Jane Maroulis invite guests to share their signature varietals in the restaurant which are paired with local produce put together by talented head chef Paula Rengger. A visit to Boydell’s is an absolute must in Maitland.

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36 HOURS IN… • Maitland

9 pm Check into the Bronte Boutique Hotel

Head straight to the antique French armchairs in the Superior King Room in the Bronte Boutique Hotel to enjoy a glass of Tranquil Vale shiraz. Outfitted with antique French furniture, claw-foot tubs, and period pieces that demand attention, the Heritage-listed hotel retains much of the original building’s glory. 145-147 Swan St, Morpeth; thebronte.com.au

7am Discover Maitland’s heritage

THE BRONTE

Download the Maitland Walks app and pinball around 25 sites of interest along the Morpeth Heritage Walk, which traces the history of our early Australians. You should also have a wander along the Riverwalk, which snakes through the town and is dotted with cafes with enviable views. walklocally.com/tag/maitland-river/

10 am See the Sights

MAITLAND CBD OVERLOOKING THE HUNTER RIVER

MAITLAND REGIONAL GALLERY

230 High St, Maitland; Mrag.org.au

MORPETH HERITAGE WALK

Checking out the local Maitland Regional Gallery makes for an enjoyable morning. Here, you can see a range of art styles and mediums, from sculpture to paintings and photography. The MRAG site itself – which was built about 1830 – has a fascinating history and the Old Meets New architectural features are worth a visit on their own. Art lovers will also appreciate The New One, a mural by local artist Patricia Van Lubeck.

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WHAT’S ON • For Kids

FUN FOR KIDS

ON THE COAST

WORDS KATIE STOKES

Messy fun Love creative play but dislike the clean up? A new space has opened up on the Central Coast that encourages little ones to create, paint, splash and play. Messy Little Munchkins opened its brand-new headquarters at Niagara Park in December, and is inviting tots aged four months to five years to experience tons of sensory fun. Kids are encouraged to move between stations of craft, play dough, paint and messy play. They can sit in a tub of paint, ‘bake’ cakes, splash in the water zone and enjoy playing with sensory stations featuring corn, dried peas, broccoli florets and vermicelli! Messy Little Munchkins run term-long classes for under-fives, school-holiday workshops for primary-school children, and host kids’ parties, too. Messy Little Munchkins Messy HQ, Shop 25, 16 Washington Ave, Niagara Park; messylittlemunchkins.com.au Mini Munchkins casual passes $14. Bookings: 0432 800 070 or email info@messylittlemunchkins.com.au.

A-MAZE-ing Shh, we’ll let you in on a local secret! There’s a fabulous and lesser-known animal attraction In Wyong Creek that offers oldschool family fun to kids of all ages! Amazement Farm & Fun Park has been on the Central Coast for 13 years and with new owners taking over in 2020, it’s now bigger and better than ever. In addition to its three hedge mazes, large outdoor games arenas, and playground, you’ll now find a new Ferris wheel and bright blue train that chugs excitable children around the property. Amazement Farm also introduced a heap of new critters these past 12 months, so it now has more than 50 species on display. Meet Revenge, the saltwater crocodile; Cadbury, the miniature donkey; Spike, the central bearded dragon; Rex, the cassowary; and a red deer fawn named Dasher. Families are invited to pet many of the animals and to help bottle-feed the newly arrived babies. 170 Yarramalong Rd, Wyong Creek. Bookings: amazement.com.au

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WHAT’S ON • For Kids

Run away with the circus Have a few tricks up your sleeve? Whether it’s juggling, tumbling, drumming or flipping, you’re encouraged to show off and finesse your skill set this year at the Central Coast’s new free outdoor SPIRAL days. Run by Roundabout Circus, and sponsored by the Central Coast Council, SPIRAL Coast is a new initiative that stands for Spin, Play, Inclusion, Rhythm, Art and Life. Special guest teachers will be available at these fortnightly events to help you develop your skills in art, music or movement. No experience is needed and a variety of props – think unicycles, juggling balls, hula hoops and more – will be provided for you to explore circus arts and movement. And if you do have a skillset you’d like to further develop or share with the community, you’re welcome to bring your own props, instruments or creative projects along, too. SPIRAL Coast is held from 3 pm to 6 pm at Picnic Point, The Entrance, on the first Sunday of the month and Kibble Park, Gosford, on the third Sunday of the month. facebook.com/events/1002445190248613/

Tidal splash The Central Coast Leagues Club Field has seen an enormous transformation these past 12 months and, as we go to print, it’s on track to open as summer turns to autumn. The pièce de résistance of this new regional play space is its innovative tidal pool, which is dotted with Aboriginal art poles and sandstone animal islands, which will be revealed and hidden with the falling and rising tides. As well as barbecues, picnic tables, a shared pathway, exercise equipment and amenities, the area includes a unique, natureinspired children’s play area. There’s a large fishing net that children can crawl through and two tall pods that resemble rockets. A long slippery dip at the top of the highest pod will shoot children through an underground tunnel before launching them into the sunshine again!

CC LEAGUES CLUB FIELD UNDER CONSTRUCTION (DECEMBER 2020)

Central Coast Leagues Club Field, 1 Dane Drive, Gosford.

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»


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WHAT’S ON • For Kids

Get your skates on Whether you view it as retro, ‘old skool’ or very cool, roller skating has made a comeback in recent times, and Rollerfit junior classes are now open to kids at Niagara Park. Designed for children aged three to 14 years, the classes use games, activities and drills to teach skate skills and increase fitness in an environment that’s focused on fun rather than competition. You can do a one-off drop-in class or purchase a multi-class pass at a discounted rate. Skates are available for hire or you can BYO. Niagara Park Stadium, 18 Washington Ave, Niagara Park. Bookings: rollerfit.com.au/niagara-park/

TOGETHER WE GROW Green Point Christian College is a K-12 school with an excellent reputation for supporting families. In doing so, we know together we can help form students who are equipped for life. Online enrolments open now. Visit us online to book a tour or calculate tuition fees.

gpcc.nsw.edu.au


TWO YEARS OF SERVICE TO OUR COMMUNITY COAST • Education

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Wait list open TWO YEARS OF SERVICE TO OUR COMMUNITY call us on on happiness, education Celebrating and belonging. 4384 9000 Wait list open TWO YEARS OF SERVICE Wait list open TO OUR COMMUNITY A community focused to book a tour on happiness, educationcall us on Why is play so important in and belonging. call us on 4384YEARS 9000OF SERVICE TWO early childhood education? Wait list open TO OUR to bookCOMMUNITY a tour 4384 9000A place to shine call us on to book a tour Celebrating 4384YEARS 9000A TWO OF place SERVICEto shine Wait list open TWO YEARS OF SERVICE A community focused TO OUR COMMUNITY

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WORDS OLIVIA BALBI

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on happiness, educationcall us on and belonging. 4384 9000

WHEN CHILDREN PLAY, THEY ARE PROBLEM SOLVING, INVESTIGATING, LEARNING PERSEVERANCE, BECOMING DIVERGENT THINKERS; THEY ARE LEARNING HOW TO LEARN, NOT WHAT TO LEARN.

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