S TAY, P L AY, E AT, D R I N K , E X P L O R E T H E C E N T R A L C O A S T PREVIEW EDITION SPRING 2018
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Welcome • COAST
COAST PUBLISHER Catharine Retter firstname.lastname@example.org ART DIRECTOR Jude Rowe, Agave Creative Group
PRINCIPAL WRITERS Christine Allen • Andrea Black • Brenda Christian Miriam DeLacy • Brooke Doherty • Susan Kurosawa Catharine Retter • Katie Stokes • Sarah Tolmie Paul Urquhart ILLUSTRATORS Maps: Guy Holt Lauren Merrick ADVERTISING Anissa Vineburg Jenna Nicholl email@example.com ADMINISTRATION firstname.lastname@example.org COAST is published by Coast Publishing ABN 11 145 976 049 PO Box 6407 Kincumber NSW 2251 For more ‘What’s On’ information contact Christine Allen at www.coastalchic.com.au For more ‘What’s On for Kids’ information contact Katie Stokes at www.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 www.coastpublishing.com.au We wish to acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, the Awaba Darkinjung peoples and their Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. ON THE COVER Patonga looking towards Lion Island Photographer RA Stanley
© CENTRAL COAST DRONES
PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHERS Reed Plummer, Central Coast Drones Brigid Arnott Photography Lisa Haymes Photography Jacs Powell Photography
he Central Coast means so many different things to so many different people. To some it purely means idyllic summer holidays along a stretch of some of the best beaches in NSW surrounded by a wealth of national parks with breathtaking views. To others it’s a short escape — a day trip or relaxed weekend — perhaps with a memorable, long lunch in beautiful surrounds. To yet others it’s become ‘home’ after a long-dreamt-of sea change, complete with a laidback lifestyle and an unlimited supply of peaceful waterways. It’s also commuter living for young families, or a haven for retirees, but did you know 80 percent of the Central Coast remains natural and undeveloped? So it’s not only beautiful beaches but also the freedom of mountains and valleys with forests and pasturelands, horse studs and farms. One of the great joys of living or holidaying on the Coast is that each area has its own distinct personality, and once you find yours you feel you have found ‘home’.
In this and future issues, we’d like to help you discover or even rediscover ‘your Coast’, revealing some of its best kept secrets, to discover the best the area has to offer and what makes it so special. We’ll bring you interesting stories about people passionate about their lives, their homes, their food and wine, or their craft. We’ll give you insider advice and need-to-know information on all the essentials: cafes and restaurants, accommodation, boating, the best beaches and bushwalks, shopping, festivals, family fun and much more. To all those working to bring something new to the Coast, whether along our foreshores or in the hinterland, whether in home-grown produce, foodie feasts, or outdoor, cultural and retail experiences — for your vision, your energy and your longterm commitment to our community, we applaud you and welcome you to our pages. To our readers, welcome to COAST, the magazine we think you’ve been waiting for. We invite you to stay, play, eat, drink and explore with us. The only risk is that you may never want to leave. c
Catharine Retter, Publisher 5
DISCOVER • Central Coast
BEACHES AND COASTAL VILLAGES IN SPITE OF ITS NAME, THE CENTRAL COAST IS NOT ALL COASTAL. OFFICIALLY, IT EXTENDS FROM THE HAWKESBURY RIVER AND BROKEN BAY IN THE SOUTH TO LAKE MACQUARIE IN THE NORTH, AND INLAND AS FAR AS DHARUG NATIONAL PARK WITH A VAST HINTERLAND OF IDYLLIC PASTURELANDS AND NATURAL BUSHLANDS, PEACEFUL VALLEYS AND SPECTACULAR MOUNTAIN SCENERY. BUT JUST WHEN YOU THINK YOU HAVE A HANDLE ON WHAT THE COAST REPRESENTS, IT SURPRISES YOU. IT’S PARTLY COMMUTER SUBURBS FOR YOUNG FAMILIES, PARTLY A HAVEN FOR RETIREES AND, INCREASINGLY, ARCHITECTDESIGNED CASUAL SUMMER HOLIDAY AND SEA-CHANGER BASES FOR ESCAPEES FROM THE CITIES. BUT IT ALSO HARBOURS A SECRET, WELL QUITE A FEW IN FACT: IT HAS SOME OF THE MOST PRISTINE EXPANSES OF BEACHES AND BREATHTAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL COASTAL WALKS THROUGH UNSPOILED NATIONAL PARKS IN THE STATE. IN FACT, IT HAS 41 BEACHES, 87 KM OF COASTLINE AND FIVE NATIONAL PARKS.
PATONGA BEACH (population 200) can only be reached by one road through the Brisbane Water National Park or by ferry from Palm Beach. Because of its location, it remains secluded and quiet, a favourite spot for pelican watching from the newly renovated, colonial-style Patonga Beach Hotel (where you can savour the local oysters). Patonga Creek is great for kayaking and fishing. The nearby camping area (81 sites) is popular year round with families and anglers. PEARL BEACH is a beautiful National Trust village, a weekend escape and beach that hugs Brisbane Water National Park and Broken Bay. The southern end of the beach is where you’ll find the quieter swimming area (the northern end is known as ‘the dumpers’). There’s a rock pool, a wetlands lagoon and stunning walks. Foodies and coffee lovers are well catered for at the Pearl Beach Café and general store, and at (the previously hatted) Pearls on the Beach restaurant. Pearl’s peninsula location restricts the area to about 400 residences set in leafy bushland (no high-rise buildings), where the streets are named after gemstones, and locals like to think of it as the ‘jewel of the Central Coast’. Architect-designed homes are the norm, and the highlight of Pearl’s cultural calendar is the Opera
in the Arboretum each autumn in the Crommelin Arboretum flora sanctuary. UMINA BEACH, in the area known locally as ‘the Peninsula’, it is a residential and holiday suburb with long, sandy beaches. Ocean Beach and Umina Beach are two of the most popular on the Central Coast with views across Broken Bay towards Lion Island. They are excellent family beaches for swimming, surfing and kite surfing, though choppy in southerly conditions. It’s the sort of area where the local kids still ride their bikes to school, and sandy feet are the summer norm in the supermarkets. The playgrounds in the Peninsula Recreation Precinct are rated ‘seriously good’. Behind Umina, the Mt Ettalong headland and Brisbane Water National Park offer panoramic views, as well as bushwalks including the popular Umina—Pearl Beach—Patonga hike. The NRMA-owned Ocean Beach Holiday Park by the beach offers cabins, safari tents, caravan and tent sites, as well as water slides, pool, spa and tennis courts. ETTALONG BEACH, once a quiet fishing and seaside holiday village, it is part of the Coast’s southern peninsula and now boasts more fine restaurants and cafes than almost anywhere else on the Central Coast. It has a great ferry trip from Palm Beach that winds
it way through the narrow channels off Ettalong. The dolphin-friendly sheltered waters make it perfect for family fun splashing about — the water is shallow and flat and is sheltered by the headland from the currents known as ‘the swirl’. At Ocean Beach, towards Umina, is a section where jet skiers can do their thing. It’s also a favourite spot for beach fishing and dog walking. The wellmaintained waterfront promenade passes the Ettalong Beach Resort (a dominant feature on Ettalong’s skyline and known locally as The Mantra) and the enticing, beachfront The Box Restaurant. There are gentle walkways along the waterfront with over 3 km of designated cycle paths, colourful outdoor gyms, playgrounds and barbecues. Cinema Paradiso is a quaintly exuberant Mediterranean-themed venue within the Ettalong Markets complex, complete with Italianate murals, statues and fountains. The markets run every weekend with over 80 undercover shops and stalls. TALLOW BEACH AND LITTLE TALLOW BEACH are reached along a steep 1.5 km track in the Bouddi National Park which keeps the beaches isolated and unspoilt. Tallow is a 400-metre ocean beach and has bush camping facilities. Neighbouring Little Tallow is a 50 metre stretch of sand wedged between rocky headwalls.
LOBSTER BEACH is a west-facing beach accessed from Wagstaffe at the eastern entrance to Brisbane Water in the Bouddi National Park. Its 320 metre stretch of sand is peaceful and quiet with views across Broken Bay to Pearl Beach and Ocean Beach. It can only be reached on foot over a 50 metre high ridge, or by boat. WAGSTAFFE AND PRETTY BEACH lie across the bay from Ettalong Beach on the peninsula that culminates in Box Head. If neighbouring Hardys Bay is a village, then surely Wagstaffe and Pretty Beach are hamlets, and delightful steps back into a world that is peaceful, where there’s a strong sense of community, where pelicans stroll along the beachside streets and dolphins can be seen among schools of fish in the bay. Some of Australia’s wealthiest families live or holiday in Wagstaffe– Pretty Beach–Hardys Bay, but you’d never know.
HARDYS BAY © CENTRAL COAST DRONES
KILLCARE © CENTRAL COAST DRONES
TALLOW BEACH © CENTRAL COAST DRONES
DISCOVER • Central Coast HARDYS BAY Bay has a vibrant and unspoilt village atmosphere with cafés, a good deli, an interesting homewares store and indigenous art gallery. It’s in close proximity to Putty Beach (oceanside) and Pretty Beach (bayside) so you can take your pick between idyllic waterfront living or bush havens that back onto Bouddi National Park. There are endless bushwalks as well as isolated beaches and a spectacular walk to Box Head that finishes overlooking Broken Bay across to Palm Beach. KILLCARE (and, yes, its name is apparently based on the notion of ‘kill care’) lies off the well-named Scenic Road, bordered by Bouddi National Park with views that stretch all the way to Sydney’s northern beaches. Its quiet, stress-free surrounds and architectdesigned homes discreetly give way to the hatted Bells at Killcare set in 3.5 hectares of luxury accommodation and landscaped gardens that have been witness to countless weekend lunches and photogenic weddings. On a more casual note, the kiosk at the Surf Lifesaving Club — the beach answers to the names of Main Beach and Killcare Beach and runs into Putty Beach — overlooks the sand, sea and a rock pool and, provided you’re in no hurry, offers good coffee and simple meals. Or, above the surf club is the more recently opened, Horizons Café.
PUTTY BEACH is part of the Bouddi National Park and while that means it is unspoilt and scenic, parking is $8. It’s not known as a surfing beach but at one end is what may be the Coast’s most popular and spectacular coastal walk to Maitland Bay (and the wreck of PS Maitland), or you can choose the longer, 8.5 km, walk to Macmasters Beach. MAITLAND BAY is reached along the Coastal Walk through Bouddi National Park from Putty Beach, or the shortest track begins at the Maitland Bay Information Centre. It’s well signposted and car parking is free. It’s a steep 900 metre paved walking track but children seem to manage it. National Parks suggests it takes 15-45 minutes but you’ll be rewarded with a 600 metre curved stretch of sand with no sign of urbanisation. The bay was named after PS Maitland which sank there in 1898 and you can just see its rusted remnants at the eastern end of the bay at low tide. LITTLE BEACH is, not surprisingly, a small beach that’s tucked into a deep, narrow valley and can only be reached on foot along a 600 metre forested track. The beach has rock pools, a picnic area and bush camping. It’s sheltered by rocks and reefs that are exposed at low tide. The track is suitable for children.
COPACABANA, or just plain ‘Copa’, is a popular surfing and swimming beach at the northern end of Allagai Bay between Avoca Beach and Macmasters. It’s out of the way and the locals like it that way. In winter, migrating humpback whales are often seen off First Point at the Captain Cook Lookout. The surf off the point is ideal for both experienced and less experienced surfers. Cockrone Lagoon between Copacabana and Macmasters is perfect for kayaking and snorkelling. You can also indulge in a spot of beach fishing for bream or whiting or catch a ride on a deep-sea fishing charter from Copa.
AVOCA BEACH AND NORTH AVOCA remain ‘laid-back and local’ — not over-developed. Avoca is a destination for Sydney’s discerning holidaymakers as well as having more and more architect-designed permanent residences that take advantage of the magnificent views. At Avoca Beach, the 2 km beach stretches between two rocky headlands with one of the finest surfing spots on the Central Coast and conditions to suit experienced surfers (in the north) and novices (elsewhere). Rips are frequent and a permanent rip runs out against the southern rocks. The ocean rock pool near the Surf Lifesaving Club is perfect for the littlies, and the southern headland offers slight protection and smaller waves in the southern corner. The wreck of HMAS Adelaide lies 1.8 km offshore and has become a popular dive site for experienced divers. There are beachside markets in Avoca on the fourth Sunday morning of each month and a good range of cafes for coffee-lovers and foodies. The Avoca Beach Picture Theatre is a step-back-in-time experience not to be missed. Separating Avoca and North Avoca are Bulbararing Lagoon and Avoca Lake where there are boundless still-water activities, pleasant walks, picnic areas and secluded spots to enjoy. North
Avoca is a 1.7 km beach and receives higher waves towards the north and centre where the bar is often cut by rips, including a permanent rip against the northern headland. Definitely swim between the flags.
NORTH AVOCA © CENTRAL COAST DRONES
MACMASTERS BEACH, known simply as ‘Mac’, curves between Copacabana (below Cockrone Lagoon) and Second Point in Bouddi National Park at the southern end of Allagai Bay. There’s an ocean pool for easy lap swimming as well as for toddlers. The Barefoot Café at the foot of the bushland and overlooking the ocean is an institution that lives up to its name. Mac is the official starting point for the annual 10 km, 5 Lands Walk from the surf club, north to Copacabana, Avoca Beach and North Avoca following the beaches, headlands, bush tracks and back-roads to the surf club at Terrigal. More than 15,000 people participate in June each year.
LITTLE BEACH © CENTRAL COAST DRONES
MACMASTERS © CENTRAL COAST DRONES
DISCOVER • Central Coast
Property Showcase For more info, search the property name on our website.
Holiday properties that are more than just a place to stay.
Discover your own kind of amazing in some of the Central Coastâ€™s most discerning properties.
Lighthouse - Avoca Beach
The Rise - Terrigal
Waterline - North Avoca
Osprey House - Avoca Beach
Two Points - Macmasters Beach
Pearl Beach Villa - Pearl Beach
Luxury By The Sea - Ettalong Beach
The Pearl Beach Pavilions - Pearl Beach
Luxury On Pearl - Pearl Beach
Jewel - Ettalong Beach
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A C C O M H O L I D AY S . C O M
DISCOVER • Central Coast TERRIGAL BEACH is the Central Coast’s equivalent of Sydney’s Manly or Bondi Beach. Lined by tall Norfolk Pines, it’s the most popular, one of the most scenic and the most urbanised beach on the Central Coast. There are numerous beachfront cafes and restaurants (and award-winning food), and resort accommodation including the 4.5 star Crowne Plaza Hotel and Star of the Sea apartments. Because of Terrigal’s popularity, beachside parking can be at a premium in summer. For surfers, the best waves are generally found north of ‘The Bend’. Terrigal also offers learn-tosurf lessons and has a rock pool for the kids. At the northern end is tree-lined Terrigal Lagoon.
SPOON BAY lies wholly within the Wamberal Lagoon Nature Reserve and backs onto densely vegetated sand dunes. It can only be reached on foot from Spoon Bay Road car park or along the beach from Wamberal. Its reefs produce good surfing breaks on low to moderate swells. There are three permanent rips caused by the reefs but, even so, swimming close to shore and away from the rocks has been rated as relatively safe by Beachsafe. FORRESTERS BEACH is a southeast facing sandy beach at the halfway point between Terrigal and The Entrance. It largely remains a residential area with exclusive architect-designed homes along the cliffs overlooking the ocean. The beach is the northern part of the long stretch of sand from Terrigal, Wamberal and up to the cliffs of the Bateau Bay Flora Reserve. You’ll find the highest coastal peak on the Central Coast at Wyrrabalong Lookout. Go there for the dramatic views, a spot of whale watching in season or just to breathe in the beauty of the coast. Forresters is a popular holiday destination with swimming, surfing, hang gliding, paragliding and fishing. Surfers fondly refer to the left breaking waves as ‘The Suck Up’, at its best in a big north-easterly swell. The Forresters Beach Resort offers resortstyle accommodation, golf, tennis, restaurants and conference facilities.
WAMBERAL BEACH is separated from Terrigal by Terrigal Lagoon and is always less crowded than its neighbour. Much of its beach also backs onto the Wamberal Lagoon and Nature Reserve — one of the best examples of coastal wetlands and sand dunes on the Central Coast. A walking track and boardwalk by the lagoon provides access to Spoon Bay. Powerboats are not permitted on the lagoon but it’s popular for swimming, canoeing, windsurfing and sailing. Wamberal extends inland to Matcham with coastal acreages and ridges of bushland that are legislated never to be developed so the area’s charm is set to be preserved.
WAMBERAL BEACH © CENTRAL COAST DRONES
TERRIGAL HAVEN © CENTRAL COAST DRONES
TERRIGAL HAVEN sits at the foot of Terrigal’s headland, known as the Skillion, a long grassy slope leading to a lookout over steep ocean cliffs. At its base, The Haven has sheltered swimming waters and a rock platform for exploring. It’s also the centre for fishing charters, scuba diving, snorkelling and stand-up paddle boarding. A paved walkway joins Terrigal Lagoon to the Haven along the beach. There’s a heavy right-hand pointbreak off The Haven, recommended for experienced board riders only. Or watch the activities from the renowned Reef Restaurant or The Cove kiosk.
BATEAU BAY is a sheltered 200-metre beach protected by two headlands, rocky platforms and reefs. It lies south of Tuggerah Lake and The Entrance, between Shelly Beach and Wamberal. It was called ‘Boat Harbour’ until a 1970s bid to gentrify the name. Although the beach is unpatrolled, it’s a popular family spot with swimming, fishing, snorkelling and rock pools as well as The Coast Walking Track. Walk from the beach along the 1.7 km bush track (though not at high tide) to Crackneck Point Lookout, a renowned whale watching spot with picnic areas and idyllic views. Just to the south, the 140-hectare Wyrrabalong National
HEADING • Subhead
SHELLY BEACH stretches for 1.5 km, just south of The Entrance and is guarded by unspoilt, tall sand dunes. It’s one of the Central Coast’s most popular surfing beaches with good waves at both the northern and southern ends, depending on the swell. It’s ideal for board riders, kids, body surfers and dog walkers (and golfers with Shelly Beach Golf Club overlooking much of the beach). Shelly is also a popular spot for hang-gliders off the point. Munchas Café at the Surf Lifesaving Club is open for coffee, breakfast and lunch. TOOWOON BAY is a sheltered, curved beach just south of The Entrance and is protected from the ocean by a reef that’s visible at low tide. The beach is patrolled in summer and there are barbecues, undercover picnic tables, grassy picnic areas, a boat ramp and kiosk. Kim’s Beachside Retreat on the beachfront has been established there since 1886 and for many years was better known than the beach itself. Toowoon Bay Holiday Park offers holiday cabins and caters to campers and caravaners. BLUE BAY was named for its calm and clean blue waters (because of the lack of breaking surf). The horseshoe 250 metre beach faces away from the bustle of The Entrance. There’s a low headland and rocky platform to the north, with a sandy spit to the south. The narrow entrance and reefs means any waves are usually less than .5 metres. Anglers also like the beach for its bream and whiting and, on the rocks, for luderick, blackfish and mulloway. LONG JETTY AND THE ENTRANCE, at the mouth of Tuggerah Lake, are changing, reflected in the prices of local real estate and the increasing number of restaurants and cafes. Shops and boutiques range from designer stores to discount outlets.
THE ENTRANCE © CENTRAL COAST DRONES
Park offers scenic walking trails with dramatic cliffs and remnant coastal rainforests.
Both leisurely and energetic walkers are well catered for, starting at The Waterfront shopping mall (with cafes and child-friendly fun fountains at Vera’s Watergarden), leading around the foreshore to the surf lifesaving club. Or try the informative two-hour Heritage Walk at Memorial Park and up the boardwalk to the beach. Or take a walk across the bridge to North Entrance, or around the lake’s edge to Picnic Point. There’s a 7.6 km Coast to Lake Walk with different sections catering to all abilities, prams, bicycles and dog walkers. There’s also a 12 km, mostly flat, off-road cycleway around Tuggerah Lake and south to Chittaway. Or go north across The Entrance Bridge to Magenta for around 4 km. There are popular scuba diving sites from The Entrance with shore dives, reef dives, wreck dives and swim-throughs. Around 300 pelicans call Tuggerah Lakes ‘home’ and a daily attraction is the hand feeding of some of the pelican population at 3.30 pm just east of The Entrance Bridge. The volunteers provide an informative commentary and check the pellies for fishing hook-and-line injuries while they’re there. TUGGERAH BEACH extends for 8.2 km from Pelican Point to Karagi Point on the north side of the entrance to Tuggerah Lake. The beach is very exposed and has 20 or more rips running, but the reefs at North Entrance beach in the south provide some
protection. The entire beach picks up most swells, resulting in an energetic surf zone averaging 1.6 m. The most popular fishing is north of Tuggerah Lake entrance. The patrolled area at North Entrance is best for swimming. The beach is accessed along two gravel roads through Wyrrabalong National Park. In the south, street access is provided at the North Entrance Surf Lifesaving Club, and the caravan park and park on Dunleith Point. MAGENTA is one of the Coast’s newest residential suburbs, first really developed in 1991. It nestles between the ocean and Wyrrabalong National Park backing onto Tuggerah Lake, just above North Entrance. It is best known for the Magenta Shores resort with its holiday accommodation, private housing development, golf course, conference and wedding facilities. It is the only private golf course on the Central Coast — a sand course — with the front nine holes designed for their magnificent ocean views, and the back nine running alongside the national park. PELICAN BEACH, affectionately known as ‘Pelos’, in Wyrrabalong National Park is near Magenta and north of The Entrance. It is partly sheltered by reefs off Pelican Point and is favoured by anglers and whale watchers, but it’s unpatrolled, and swimming is considered unsafe for children.
DISCOVER • Central Coast
SOLDIERS BEACH is a beautiful and unspoilt beach south of Norah Head in Wyrrabalong National Park. It’s protected from north-easterly winds and Beachwatch gives it a top rating for clear, clean water. The beach is patrolled in summer and is sought after by board riders and swimmers. The Sunset Bar and Anthony’s Kitchen at the Surf Life Saving Club offer spectacular views for summer meals, drinks and weddings. NORAH HEAD, near Toukley, is best known for its heritage-listed lighthouse, the last significant lighthouse built in NSW, in 1903. Visitors can stay in two of the restored lighthouse keepers’ cottages. Tours are conducted daily, and the Norah Head Lighthouse Reserve is also a favourite location for weddings — alcohol-free and confetti-free but the wedding photographs are spectacular. Away from the lighthouse, there are several lookout points and a walking trail. Norah Head is a rocky headland but there are four relatively sheltered beaches nearby.
NORAH HEAD © CENTRAL COAST DRONES
SOLDIERS BEACH BEACH © CENTRAL COAST DRONES
CABBAGE TREE HARBOUR, immediately north of Norah Head, is a sheltered north-east facing 300 metre curved bay. It’s popular with families, has an excellent tidal rock pool, and a long boat ramp for the Search and Rescue Station. CANTON BEACH is a lakeside beach just south of Toukley with picnic, barbecue and playgrounds, and is an ideal swimming spot for children. It was named after the 19th century Chinese fishermen who commercially fished the area and sent their cured catches to the goldfields and Queensland. TOUKLEY, is a popular residential and family holiday town that divides the interconnected 80 km Tuggerah and Budgewoi Lakes, with Lake Munmorah further to the north. Wallarah Point Bridge spans the first two lakes with Gorokan to the west and Toukley to the east. It’s thought that ‘toukley ouckley’ has an indigenous origin
referring to the two lakes and meaning, ‘rough on one side, smooth on the other’. A sand peninsula separates Toukley from Cabbage Tree Harbour, an attractive bay bounded by small rocky cliffs and few houses. Toukley offers parks, picnic areas, water skiing, canoeing, sailing and sailboarding. It’s also the perfect spot for anglers and, on summer nights, you can join fellow waders in the shallows with lamps and nets to scoop up the seasonal prawns. Five species of white seahorses also live in the shallows. BIRDIE BEACH, north of Budgewoi, is rated one of the top five nudist beaches and is officially designated by the local council as a ‘clothes optional’ beach. It looks across to Bird Island and is accessed via Birdie Beach Drive through the Munmorah State Conservation Reserve. Parking fees apply. There is a camping area with cooking and toilet facilities but no hot showers.
CABBAGE TREE HARBOUR Â© CENTRAL COAST DRONES
SHOPPING • Guide
SHOPPING GUIDE WORDS CHRISTINE ALLEN, MIRIAM DELACY
GET SET TO DIAL UP YOUR STYLE WITH OUR SPRING SHOPPING GUIDE AS THE WARMER WEATHER RETURNS. BRING A BREATH OF FRESH AIR TO INTERIORS, FIND THE PERFECT GIFT OR SHOW OFF SOME NEW THREADS — WHATEVER SHOPPING ITCH YOU WANT TO SCRATCH, WE’VE GOT IT COVERED, INCLUDING TOP DESTINATIONS PUTTING THE FUN INTO FASHION FOR OUR LITTLEST COASTIES.
Tiki La La Calling lovers of all things retro. Tiki La La has brought some stylish flair to Ettalong markets with its exquisite collection of cane furniture, second-hand clothing, handwoven hanging baskets, vintage vinyl and gorgeous trinkets. The store is a collaboration between local stylist April Cartwright and her muso partner Heath Crawley. With her love of fashion, April curates the clothes, and Heath is in charge of the rad record collection. The furniture is ’70s chic, the clothes racks are filled with rocking leather, old-school denim and white delights, and if you’re lucky, you might even find that one thing you’ve been looking for, like a rattan Tiki bar. It’s a beautiful collection of all the bits and bobs that can’t be found in just any old store. Shop 1/189 Ocean View Road Ettalong Beach 2257 Instagram @tiki.la.la
Blonde Onyx Homegrown homewares brand Blonde Onyx has brought some style and sass to Woy Woy with a sweet home-decor store opposite the train station on Railway Street. It’s only a small space with a few things, but as they say, less is more. The minimalist setup packs a big punch with the sort of striking signature items you’ll want in your house, like tousled throws, vintage ladders, statement cushions, classy kids’ clothes, hand-painted wall art and tribal treasures. You might recognise the name from the vintage caravan that used to park up at Coast 175 in Ettalong on summer weekends. Now it has a permanent bricks-and-mortar location, and Peninsula locals never have to go without haute homewares. 18b Railway Street Ettalong Beach 2257 Instagram @blonde_onyx
SHOPPING • Guide
Bohemian Traders Bohemian Traders was one of the first fashion labels to set up shop on the Coast to cater to the carefree, coastal style. The homegrown label was founded by mum-of-three Emily Berlach, a lover of stripes and of flowy frocks with delicate detailing and exquisite embroidery, boho style — the kind you see girls rocking effortlessly at beachfront bars and coastside cafés. ‘Bohemian Traders is fashion without pretention. It’s relaxed and effortless, just like our Coastie lifestyle,’ Emily says of her boho brand. Although stripes made the brand famous, it’s now very much about denim, with Emily launching a range of Bohemian Traders’ denim last year. It’s a collection that has been created to provide flattering, cool and comfy jeans for women of all shapes and sizes. A maternity collection has also moved in store, ensuring mumsto-be can still look chic even with a growing bump. The collection includes loose fitting, lacy numbers, dreamy dresses, beautiful blouses and tees, tops, shirts and skirts in the prerequisite Bohemian Traders stripes. This summer, the Bohemian Traders family will be fully complete with a new kids’ collection, offering mini sizes (6–11) in all your favourite boho pieces, as well as extending the label into menswear. Mr Bohemian will be for blokes who like classic European cuts: think quality linens, perfectly cut pants, tailored jackets and perhaps the odd pocket square. ‘We’ve been working diligently behind the scenes for more than a year to ensure that our new offerings are just what the Coast needs: classic styles, quality fabrics, size inclusive and now, bohemian fashion for the whole family,’ Emily says. Shop 2A, 490 Central Coast Hwy Erina Heights NSW 2260 https://bohemiantraders.com
La Boheme La Boheme is an epitome of sophistication and style. The beautiful bohemian brainchild of Terrigal hair guru Renee Marshall and her Aloe-loving gal pal Steph Davies, the boutique is the Coast’s newest luxe lifestyle destination. La Boheme has breathed new life into the old antique outpost on the Scenic Highway between Avoca and Terrigal with a fresh coat of white paint and some earthy touches like terracotta plants, exposed wooden beams and Moroccan tiles. Shelves and hangers have been filled with feminine frocks in must-have colours like chalk pink, and are dripping with lovely lace and tassel textures. It’s a bohemian immersion of the highest order. 271 Scenic Highway Terrigal NSW 2260 www.laboheme.shop
SHOPPING • Guide
Haven at Home Is there a lonely spot on your shelf, couch or wall just begging for something beautiful to make its home there? It’s for people like you that retailer Tracey Abrahams opened Haven at Home in a busy pocket of Erina Heights eight years ago and continues to fill her store with a quirky-meets-classic collection of homewares, fashion, gifts and jewellery. The vibe here is just the right side of rustic and coastal, with lots of natural materials, elegant neutrals and pops of vibrant colour. From block-printed cushions to handcrafted wall mandalas, it’s a store stocked with discoveries that are on cue for style and charm, but never clichéd. 490 The Entrance Road Erina Heights NSW 2260 www.havenathome.com.au
White Sass Interior A budding interior designer has unleashed her own unique style to create this fresh new store in the Daleys Point shopping precinct. Expect a clever combo of edgy monochrome and natural finishes, including spectacular oversized wreaths made by crafty owner Savannah Male. With the creamy gloss of handmade ceramics next to smooth hardwood chopping boards, it’s a rich collection of textures to calm the soul on the ground floor. In a spacious, light-filled loft upstairs you’ll find racks of colourful and classic clothing to put some spring fever in your wardrobe. Just four months young, White Sass is fast becoming a contemporary style mecca, with more homewares, gifts and fashion arriving for spring/summer. Shop 5, 30 Empire Bay Drive Daleys Point NSW 2257 Instagram @whitesassinterior.com
SHOPPING • Guide
Zarlak Kids Don’t even think of stepping inside this store unless you have a high threshold for cuteness in all of its most tasteful forms. Adorable clothing, toys and accessories for babies and kids are here in abundance but without a trace of anything mass produced or over-the top. Cute yet classy is the style owner Rebecca Yule follows and, with her healthy curiosity for all the latest in quirky and timeless Australian design for kids, she’s right on the money with everything in this range. Try not to clap eyes on jewellery, pouches, hair clips and temporary tattoos by Meri Meri when you visit if you had ever intended walking out empty-handed. 3/18 Church Street Terrigal, NSW 2260 www.zarlakkids.com.au
Bespoke style White Sass & Co was established in May 2018 by Savannah, a girl with a passion for cheese boards and candles. She dreamt of combining homewares with fashion, and bespoke styling. White Sass, at Daley’s Point, stocks a range of boutique-style women’s clothing, homewares , gifts and a children’s range. White Sass Styling offers personalised home styling and property staging throughout the Central Coast. Shop 5, 30 Empire Bay Drive Daleys Point 2257 Phone: 0418 433 668 Email: email@example.com Website: www.white-sass.com
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MY COAST • Julie Goodwin
JULIE GOODWIN, MUM, COOKING SCHOOL OWNER, MASTERCHEF WINNER, VERY EARLY RISER. JULIE IS A COASTIE CONVERT — THEY’RE OFTEN THE MOST PASSIONATE KIND. SHE GREW UP IN OUTER SYDNEY AND DID NOT REALLY DISCOVER THE CENTRAL COAST UNTIL SHE AND HUBBIE MICK, LIKE SO MANY OTHER YOUNG MARRIEDS, WANTED TO BUY A HOME AND SETTLE DOWN.
MY COAST • Julie Goodwin ‘We very quickly fell in love with the pace of life, the beautiful beaches,’ says Julie. ‘But the best thing about the Central Coast is the people: their generosity and the sense of community that we share. I have seen such incredible acts of selflessness, of charity and kindness. I’m just so glad we’ve been able to raise our three sons here and for them to regard this as normal.’ Julie’s enthusiasm is contagious. ‘It has been so exciting to see the area develop and become more diverse as the years have gone by. For me, of course, especially the food scene which has grown so much, with interesting new options opening up all the time.’ Julie has done her fair share in making this happen. ‘Our local produce is incredible and probably still not yet recognised enough. At my cooking school we host a 20-mile lunch where all the food comes from within 20 miles of the kitchen. The choice is staggering and the quality second to none.’
Julie’s favourite Coastie spots include: BEACH: ‘We’re so spoilt for beaches on the Central Coast. I do love the more quiet, secluded beaches like Maitland Bay but, if I want to get among the hustle and bustle, I love Terrigal Beach and The Haven.’ PICNIC SPOT: ‘Somersby Falls. It’s so pretty, secluded, it’s divine to be surrounded by the bush and running water.’
BUSHWALK: ‘So many amazing trails, but the bush combined with the expansive ocean views at Crackneck Point make this a very special trail for us.’ FESTIVAL: ‘Definitely Toast the Coast. A brilliant celebration of all the great produce and food that the Coast has to offer. It also spotlights our fantastic live entertainment and Coast culture.’ RESTAURANT: ‘Ohhhhh, it’s too hard to choose a favourite. I will say, that I love eating out on the Coast. There are so many beautiful places to go to when we eat out so it’s difficult to choose. I can’t list one and miss out on my other 20 favourites! From casual through to fine dining, there’s something for every taste and occasion. There is a lot of talent here, we are very lucky.’ RADIO STATION: ‘Star 104.5 of course! ;)’ COOKING SCHOOL: ‘Hmmm, that’s a difficult one. Well, okay, Julie’s Place! I opened the school four years ago and I just love welcoming people in to celebrate with all different kinds of classes, events and functions. Our classes range from cuisinedriven feast classes (think Italian, Spanish, Lebanese, French, and more), to artisan techniques and recipes, to kids’ classes.’ See more on Julie’s Place in Gosford at www.juliesplace.com.au Toast the Coast Festival — we’ll bring you more information closer to the next festival date!
SITTING PRETTY WITH DAVID BOYLE AND LEAH BENNETTS WORDS ANDREA BLACK PHOTOS BRIGID ARNOTT
High vaulted ceilings and an abundance of natural light give the home a feeling of calm and joy
HOME STYLE • Sitting Pretty MULTI AWARD-WINNING ARCHITECT DAVID BOYLE AND EMERGING ARTIST LEAH BENNETTS ARE TRYING TO WRANGLE THEIR FRISKY KITTEN WHO IS JUMPING ON THE SOFA AND ACROSS THE ARCHITRAVE IN THE SUNLIT LIVING ROOM OF THEIR PRETTY BEACH HOME.
Natural timber plays a leading role throughout the home
The couple live and work in this cleverly converted cottage, together with their two children Max and Eliza. There’s an immediate sense of calm, and joy, upon entering this light-filled sanctuary, where timber joinery, window frames and floors are paired with white walls, high vaulted ceilings underpinned by sustainable passive design principles. When they first moved into the original cottage in 2005, there was just one door to the outside (the front door), a small kitchen and two bedrooms. ‘When we bought it, it was very rundown,’ says David, whose architectural practice David Boyle Architect has an expanding portfolio of residential projects in Sydney and the surrounding coastal region. ’It actually needed a bulldozer,’ laughs Leah. Using David’s expertise together with Leah’s creative input, they stripped the cottage back to the hardwood frame, then in various stages began adding extra space. ‘The first stage was just making the original house workable for us, and we moved things around and re-clad,’ says David.
David Boyle and Leah Bennetts outside their converted Pretty Beach cottage
‘We’ve kept the old house, we kept the character, we liked it so it would be silly to ruin that and we’ve done a little addition to the side which is respectful to the original cottage.’ This sympathetic addition means that David can run his architectural practice from a self-contained office; with separate entry through the garden so it can operate independently from the home, and Leah can work on her creations in her printmaking studio across the hallway. It’s a good life in a community they love, with backyard space for vegie patches and fruit trees, a far cry from their days living on the main drag of Sydney’s Newtown (where they met) and then running a business from the dining room table of their former apartment in Clovelly. Leah grew up on the Central Coast so was familiar with the area. ‘Leah used to come here when she was little, so has fond memories of arriving in the back of the ute coming down the hill towards the water,’ says David.
HOME STYLE • Sitting Pretty A clever addition to the side is very respectful of the orginal cottage
David Boyle’s ceramics feature in the light-filled kitchen
’And one day we drove in here and both fell in love with it.’ Being just an hour and half from Sydney means David can easily meet clients and go on site inspections at any one of his projects in the works. Indeed David is producing some of the finest architectural work in Australia right now. Just up the road in Killcare, the award winning Burridge-Read Residence, a holiday house, is a perfect example of Boyle’s expertise in making the most of a site’s attributes and orientation as well as maximising the sense of space and connection to the landscape. ‘The house wasn’t well connected to the outside, the Sydney-based owners loved coming up here because of the environment but they didn’t like the house so we made it a lot more connected to the outside and the landscape,’ says David of the house which overlooks Brisbane Water. The design was inspired by the twisted branches and spectacular rocky outcrops of the adjacent Bouddi National Park. The Burridge-Read Residence also features what has become a recurring theme in David’s design, a concrete mould of a brush turkey set into the brickwork. ‘I made it specifically for them as a housewarming present because they mentioned the resident brush turkeys,’ smiles David. ‘Since then I had a friend who wanted to borrow the mould for her house, and we have one here too.’ David relishes being able to respond to the surrounding environment, whether in an urban, beach or bush setting — he currently has projects in Sydney’s Inner West, the Eastern Suburbs, the Northern Beaches and the Central Coast. ‘Each project is quite different from each other and has different constraints, plus clients are different; they’ve got different needs,’ he says. ‘In Sydney you might be responding a lot more to an urban landscape or you might be trying to get more light or connect a house to a garden, so you then develop a response to each individual site no matter where it is.’ He says that in a bushland setting, orientation makes a big difference to how the house is designed. ‘We’re interested in doing passive environmental design fundamentally within the planning strategy of the house,’ David says. As if on cue, a flock of King Parrots lands on the balcony off the kitchen in their Pretty Beach home. Inside, Leah is gathering together her recent works, all inspired by the local environment, for an art show, and Cleo the cat is still causing a ruckus. A graduate of NIDA and The National Art School, Leah began her career in fashion design then moved onto working in costume departments of Australia’s top
HOME STYLE • Sitting Pretty Pretty Beach lifestyle and time to follow their passion by creating new works. ‘For me it’s more about making sure I am producing good quality work that keeps me inspired and getting balance with Leah and the kids and other interests,’ says David. ’I have gotten to the point now with my architectural work that clients are happy to take the recommendations that I give them which is such a privilege, I feel really lucky to be in that position and I am hoping that journey will keep on going.’ c
David Boyle Architects http://www.davidboylearchitect.com.au To view Leah Bennetts works, visit www.instagram.com/ seantheprawn
Leah Bennett’s printmaking is influenced by the surrounding Bouddi Peninsula
Producing good quality work underpinned by passive design principles keeps David inspired
theatres, broadcasters and production companies from Bell Shakespeare and Belvoir St Theatre to the ABC. Upon moving to Pretty Beach, she began a children’s line of clothing called Sean the Prawn, via Etsy. ‘I had hats going to Germany, boleros going to Alaska,’ says Leah of the successful venture. But more recently it is printmaking she has fallen in love with. ‘I did some workshops at The Makers Studio in East Gosford and just fell in love with printmaking, I became obsessed,’ she says. Leah is currently doing an advanced diploma in Visual Arts through Hunter Art School. ‘I will keep pursuing this because I’m starting to get a little bit of attention — there’s more interest in my work all the time, which is exciting.’ At a recent art show opened by theatre great, and local, John Bell in Wagstaffe, Leah’s incredible prints, featuring banksias and views of her ‘happy place’ Putty Beach and banksias, were a highlight, and popular with the crowd, selling quickly. Meanwhile David has found a passion in ceramics. ‘I just felt I needed some other outlet and I think the thing I like about ceramics is because it’s got controls to it, you know if you’re throwing on a wheel you’ve got to learn a certain technique — I like that challenge, of learning a new skillset,’ he says. He’s recently shown his work to acclaim including vases, a bowl and a Japanese-inspired bottle and accompanying cup at the Central Coast Potters Society Exhibition at the Gosford Regional Gallery. For this creative couple, it’s all about balance, which includes quality family time with the kids, enjoying the
HAPPENINGS • Spring
HAPPENINGS ON THE COAST MR GOATY GELATO WORDS KATIE STOKES
f you’re a regular festival goer or market hopper, you’ll be familiar with Mr Goaty. He’s the curly-haired guy scooping and serving gelato from a vintage 1976 Bedford ice-cream van. Mr Goaty, less well known as Dan Hughes, is a regular of the Central Coast marketfestival and weddings scene. What makes the Mr Goaty gelatos so special starts with the fact that Dan is a Michelin-trained chef, who sources the majority of his ingredients from Distillery Botanica’s garden at Erina and produces his gelato in the Distillery’s kitchen.
‘There is so much growing in the garden, and the herbs and flowers are so fresh and potent that you don’t need much of anything’, says Dan. ‘A tray of our Honeycomb and Lavender Gelato has about 10 sprigs of lavender.’ Lemon geranium leaves are picked from the trees to make his Garden Chocolate Gelato and turmeric is pulled from the earth to become Turmeric and Orange Gelato. Even the cold brew coffee he stirs into one of the gelatos is roasted and made on-site at the Distillery. Mr Goaty creates a bespoke flavour for each wedding he attends. ‘Couples love that they can create their own flavour,’ he says, ‘and we get a buzz out of doing new and different stuff’. Sometimes it’s a challenge and he admits he’s had some interesting requests. ‘One couple wanted a flavour based on the colour of their dog’s coat,’ he says. A few of these bespoke flavours have since been so popular — and so damned tasty — they’ve made their way onto the regular menu. The Burnt Pineapple Margarita Gelato is one such flavour. Dan says the secret is in the salted pineapple caramel he creates by blending fresh pineapple juice, barbecued pineapple, a dash of tequila and organic lime oil. Over the past few months he’s also scooped at the Horses Birthday Festival at Glenworth Valley, at Copa during the 5 Lands Walk, at multiple Harvest Festival
HAPPENINGS • Spring
hubs, and at the monthly Avoca Beachside Markets. Basically, if there’s fun to be had, you’ll likely find him there. Following the birth of his daughter three years ago Dan decided he wanted to ‘start something different, to have the opportunity to be more creative’ and to avoid the long hours required of restaurants. He decided to ‘go goat’ as no-one else in Australia was making goat’s milk gelato, and he wanted to show people ‘how amazing goat’s milk is in terms of health benefits and sustainability, and how good it tastes’. His extended range now includes both goat and cow milk gelatos. Dan’s wife, Julia, came up with the name Mr Goaty as a play on Mr Whippy, but the product itself couldn’t be further from the soft serve ice-cream of yesteryear.
The name Mr Goaty might be the name of his brand, but it’s quickly become synonymous with Hughes himself, and he likes to have a little fun with it. ‘I sometimes tell kids I was raised by goats’, he says. ‘They look at me not quite knowing whether to believe me, or else as if to say, “shut up and give me the gelato, Goat Boy”.’ It’s not just discerning kids craving his gelato. Mr Goaty’s Banana and Cinnamon Caramel goat’s milk gelato was awarded Gold in this year’s Cheese and Dairy Competition at the Sydney Royal Show. For the past few months Mr Goaty has also sold ‘loaded’ donuts: traditional donuts topped with ingredients harvested from the Distillery Botanica Garden – be it a lemon myrtle chocolate sauce, a honeycomb and cinnamon crunch, or a strawberry rose petal topping. His favourite, though, is pretty classic. ‘I’m lucky,’ Dan says, ‘I get to eat them hot off the press and when you eat them fresh you can’t beat hot Belgian chocolate sauce.’ Next winter he plans on expanding his warm dessert offerings and adding crumbles to the list of treats. ‘Everyone loves crumble,’ adds Dan. Hand us a spoon: we’re lining up to try them all. You’ll find Mr Goaty at Avoca Beachside Markets (fourth Sunday each month, 9 am-2 pm; Heazlett Park, Avoca) and The Olive Tree Market (first Saturday each month, 9 am-3 pm; Civic Park, King St, Newcastle). His soft serve is available at Salt Pig Deli in Erina. https://mrgoatygelato.com.au
BRISBANE WATER OYSTER FESTIVAL The Brisbane Water Oyster Festival is in its 18th year, and the organisers are expecting it to be better than ever. This year, it’s housed in and around The Galleria at Ettalong Beach, just a shell’s throw from Brisbane Water. The day includes fine wine from our neighbours in the Hunter Valley, craft beer from the local Six String Brewery and food from around the world. There are also over 50 retail stalls to visit while listening to a full program of live, on-stage entertainment and, of course, indulging in the iconic Oyster Eating competition. 11 November 2018 9:30 am-4 pm The Galleria, cnr Ocean View Road and Schnapper Road, Ettalong Beach www.oysterfestival.com.au or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/brisbanewateroysterfestival/
HAPPENINGS • Spring
For plants and lovers CHEF PETER KURUVITA DINNER PLANT LOVERS FAIR, KARIONG TO CELEBRATE HIS NEW COOKBOOK Celebrity chef, Peter Kuruvita, is returning to Terrigal on November 10 after his travels in Bhutan and Pakistan. The Noosa Beach House restaurant owner is touching down at Crowne Plaza Terrigal for one night only to host a vegetarian feast in celebration of the release of his latest cookbook, Lands of the Curry Leaf. In collaboration with Seasalt Restaurant’s executive chef Simon Quick, Kuruvita will bring to the table the likes of Indian cheela (sprouted mung bean pancakes), Nepalese gundruk (spicy fermented vegetables) and Afghan yagut palau (pomegranate rice). In line with his new book, this will be an evening where grains, pulses and vegetables are the culinary stars and spices from the Indian subcontinent are prominent. ‘I have selected recipes that are both close to my heart and show the vegetable as king,’ Kuruvita says. We’re hopeful Pakistan’s kulfi cardamom ice-blocks or Sri Lanka’s palm treacle coconut pancakes make the dessert list. For bookings, phone 02 4384 9209. Peter Kuruvita’s next cookbook, Lands of the Curry Leaf, will be published by Murdoch Books in October 2018. Hardcover; $49.99.
The Plant Lovers Fair is the place to discover hard to find, rare and unusual plants not generally available in nurseries or garden centres. With over 40 exhibitors, the Plant Lovers Fair caters to keen gardeners, novices and collectors alike. Whether you are looking for fruit trees, succulents, perennials, natives, bamboos, camellias, roses, bulbs, herbs, or deciduous trees and much more, this is where they are. Costa Georgiadis, (seen above as the ‘living garden gnome’) host of ABC’s Gardening Australia, will be strolling around the fair speaking with growers and visitors alike as well as holding talks in the main marquee. The speakers program this year will feature expert growers — all exhibitors at the fair — providing specific, detailed knowledge and ‘trade secrets’ about the plants they grow and love. And the Workshop Demonstration Program is the best way to get the dirt on how to grow plants that may be completely new to you. The plant minding creche is ready to look after your plant treasures safely, leaving you free to browse further, listen to a talk or have a cuppa at one of the range of food and beverage stalls. Festival Drive, Kariong NSW 2250 Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd September 2018 Gates open 8 am on Saturday. Tickets $12 per person. www.plantloversfair.com.au
Window fashions as individual as you If you’re looking to make an individual style statement, it’s time to discover the inspiring range of blinds, shutters and awnings from Luxaflex® Window Fashions. For a tailor made solution to suit your lifestyle, visit the friendly and expert team at Luxaflex Shades in Gosford and discover a new standard in style and service.
Visit the Luxaflex Window Fashions Gallery at: Shades in Gosford Shop 2/202 The Entrance Road, Erina NSW 2250 T: (02) 4367 5603 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
13 58 92
HEADINGON WHAT’S ACCOMMODATION •• Subhead Spring• Pretty Beach House
DISCREET BOUDDI LUXURY WORDS CHRISTINE ALLEN, CATHARINE RETTER PHOTOS ANSON SMART
t would be difficult to find a more idyllic hilltop location for the aptly named Pretty Beach House, one of the nation’s most exclusive and luxurious hideaways. The house is cradled in seven acres of beautiful bushland on the Wagstaffe Peninsula, its boundaries blurred by the edges of Bouddi National Park. With a personal chef preparing exquisite modern Australian cuisine, impeccable design throughout the house, spectacular views and an enriching serve of indigenous culture, Pretty Beach House is where privacy-
seeking couples and families go to escape and reconnect, whether they’re an international muso and his entourage, discreet millionaires or just stylish people with deep pockets. After being burned in a bushfire, the house reopened in 2014, rising like the proverbial phoenix to offer a whole new level of luxury accommodation for visitors to the Coast. And with billionaire Bill Gates (to namedrop just one) recently choosing it for his family, it could even be considered the ultimate Australian hideaway.
ACCOMMODATION • HEADING Pretty Beach • Subhead House
It’s one of only three hotels in Australia to have received premier publishing house Condé Nast’s coveted inclusion in its 2018 travel Gold List. The property was also named Best Australian Boutique Lodge in Luxury Travel Magazine’s 2018 Gold List. Owned by millionaire John Singleton and run by Karina and Brian Barry (who own and run sister property Bells at Killcare), Pretty Beach House is completely immersed in nature. Kookaburras swoop between branches and ancient angophoras create a shady canopy all around. A knobbly trunk grows like Nature’s sculpture between the sandstone around the main pool. The main house offers breathtaking views over Pretty Beach below, and a picturesque plunge pool dominates the vista from the luxe lounge room, cocktail bar and dining room. The setting is perfect year-round with not only pools and spas, but open fires, and a heated floor underfoot. The house is built from handmade Bowral mud brick, locally quarried sandstone and has grand flourishes of recycled timber, mostly sourced from a decommissioned bridge in Queensland. The simple and stunning interior design is the handiwork of Michelle Leslie, who has become Singo’s stylish go-to designer across many of his residential and
commercial properties. The look is earthy and organic, fitting comfortably into its bushland setting. Once inside it’s like staying with friends who have impeccable taste. Pretty Beach House is the only place we’ve stayed where we haven’t been given a key. There’s simply no need. The property can accommodate eight adults, over four pavilions with ‘Bayview’ and ‘Hideaway’ separate to the house, while inside there is the two-storey ‘Retreat’ and the penthouse, known as ‘Treetops’. Each is named after its view and position.
HEADING • Subhead ACCOMMODATION • Pretty Beach House
‘After our spirit has been lifted and our soul fed with culture, it’s time to feast.’
Down a set of stairs, the magnificent dining room extends into a lounge room with a comfortable fur-draped Chesterfield perched in front of a fireplace. We sip champagne and devour freshly baked sourdough bread with truffle butter under the watchful eye of Sidney Nolan and John Olsen’s art, and a ringed light installation by Christopher Boots. Plush day beds offer a secluded spot to relax and, for music, there’s a record player and LPs or a choice of well stocked funky playlists. Each room is dominated by striking timber features, a bed draped in soft Italian artisan linens from Busatti, and unique design elements ranging from a copper bath to brass pendant lights. Adding to the already extreme comfort level, the beds also have massage and tilt controls. While the property proudly heroes the natural beauty of the Coast’s stunning Bouddi National Park, it also does a tremendous job bringing the local indigenous culture right to the door, literally. Not only are there rock carvings dating back several thousand years located within cooee of the house, but guests are welcomed into the home and onto the land with a smoking ceremony. An Aboriginal 32 COAST
man appears from the bush to welcome us, accompanied by the deep rhythmical whirring of a didgeridoo, and invites us to bathe in the smoke of stringy bark and let any negativity float away into the starry sky. The Bouddi Spa, under the main house, practises a beautiful routine called Li’Tya which has been devised by indigenous Elders and uses ingredients harvested by hand from the Australian bush including wattle seed, desert lime and wild rosella hibiscus. It begins with a footbath of lilly pilly and pepper berries and a smoking ceremony of gum leaves, paperbark and oak moss — held with the permission of Elders — then a massage set against a stirring soundtrack of didgeridoo and bush sounds. They say each ‘dreamtime’ treatment takes you on a spiritual journey. It’s certainly a welcome immersion into the local culture and a great way to feel even more connected to such a special place.
ACCOMMODATION • Pretty Beach House
After our spirit has been lifted and our soul fed with culture, it’s time to feast. Our private chef, Duncan Kemmis, prepares a fivecourse degustation meal with paired wines. Beautiful native flowers blossom from a tabletop vase as we settle into plush leather chairs and make our way through courses of burrata salad, wild mushroom ragu, swordfish with celeriac puree, truffle spatchcock and a flourless chocolate cake with mint ice cream. The tariff is all inclusive and you easily throw any guilt aside to help yourself to another slice of house-made pastries or perhaps another champagne. Our hostess for the evening treats everyone as though they are a VIP, ensuring the fire never wanes and our wine glasses are never empty. The next morning, we wake in an oasis of peace and tranquillity. Beyond the heavy linen curtains, luxe daybeds overlook a plunge pool, and the first rays of the day are illuminating Pretty Beach below. Duncan is back in the kitchen and a breakfast spread of crunchy croissants with fig jam, house-made granola with sheep’s milk yoghurt and stewed rhubarb, freshly baked bread with local honey, and silky scrambled eggs with herbs, pecorino and truffle shavings, is soon laid out. I think I’d like to stay forever. c www.prettybeachhouse.com
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CLASSES & COURSES • Spring
CLASSES AND COURSES WORDS BROOKE DOHERTY
JAPANESE SHIBORI AND INDIGO DYEING WORKSHOP Japanese textiles are known for their exquisite designs and Maureen Locke-MacLean is just the person to teach those skills: with over 30 years’ experience in her craft, and both national and international exhibitions under her belt, you won’t walk away disappointed. With only 10 places in the class, you can be assured of individual attention.
CRAFTING CLAY POTTERY Margaret Keane, who has a prestigious career as a commercial potter, will be running this two-day seminar for intermediate students about ‘throwing’ for speed and efficiency. So if clay is your thing and you’ve always wanted to replicate Demi Moore in that scene from Ghost and have loads of fun in the process, this is for you! October 27–28. Register at firstname.lastname@example.org
October13–14. Register at www.themakersstudio.org.au, Building 3/10 Russell Drysdale St, East Gosford
ETCHING WITH A MASTER
SAVVY SCREEN PRINTING If you’ve heard about screen printing but haven’t had the chance to try it, why not take the plunge in a friendly, non-judgemental environment? Kim Anderson will be running a course in creating multi-colour prints. You can’t go wrong! September 8. Register at www.themakersstudio.org.au
John Ralph workshops
Master Print Maker, Tom Goulder, (who’s the ‘go-to’ guy for Australian artists such as Euan McCloud, Stan Squire and Elisabeth Cummings) will be demonstrating how to create white ground on zinc plate prints. Check out some of his amazing work at Duck Print Fine Art Limited Editions and get ready to unleash your inner artist. October 29–30. Register at www.themakersstudio.org.au
ONE-ON-ONE PHOTOGRAPHY WITH JOHN RALPH If your workshop budget is more Marseille than Monte Carlo, then John Ralph is the man to see. His Camera House store in Fountain Plaza, Erina, is a great little place to source not only the latest equipment but also a variety of regular, practical workshops to boost your photography skills. Bring along your own camera and you’ll walk away looking at your SLR in a whole new light. John’s Basic Camera Workshop is a one-off, four-hour seminar that runs fortnightly and costs only $30. Like its counterpart, the Better Photography Workshop, it has room for just five people to guarantee one-on-one help. The latter seminar is run by John personally, so expect to travel to a local destination to put your new-found knowledge to practical use! By far the most popular course at Camera House is the Introduction to the Digital SLR. It’s a bigger group and again, very reasonably priced. You can choose either a Thursday night or Saturday morning to come to grips with composition, exposure, lenses, accessories and techniques. Bring a pen and notepad. A more specialist Better Landscape Photography course runs once a month and also delves into Astrophotography. John is planning an African Adventures Tour for August 2019 so contact the store to receive details of next year’s trip. Camera House, Erina (02) 4365 2656 or email email@example.com.
CLASSES & COURSES • Spring
KEN DUNCAN’S PERFECT PICTURES CLASSES AND TOURS
© KEN DUNCAN
With some of the world’s most beautiful coastlines and beaches, it’s no wonder that the Central Coast is home to one of Australia’s most awarded and prolific photographers, Ken Duncan. Ken Duncan’s Gallery, on The Entrance Road at Erina Heights, boasts a beautiful scenic café and in-house theatrette. Gallery entry is free so it’s a great opportunity to view some of Ken’s panographs before lazily lapping up the sunshine in the café. Half-Day Photography Workshops are on offer and vary in price according to group size and whether you want add-ons like a practical photography session with Ken or one of his specialist staff. The Coastal Exposure Workshop is highly popular and typically sells out by Christmas for classes in April 12–16 in 2019, so book early. Of note are his international tours which also warrant early bookings: the Puna de Atacama Argentina in November 2018; the Dunes, Jungles and Waterfalls of Brazil in June 2019 and Kamchatka, Russia in August next year. Check the website www.kenduncan.com for more information.
KADIRA JENNINGS ART CLASSES Are you a local, or perhaps you’re here on holiday and looking for something different to do? How about taking an art class? We all have the potential to be creative, so why not try it? Art classes are a great place to meet others with the same passion. Test the waters with a private lesson for an hour or two. It’s a perfect way to begin if you are worried about your lack of expertise, or to brush up on some extra skills if you already paint. You can get to know Kadira in a non-threatening atmosphere without others looking on. Check out the students’ gallery: https://www.kadirajenningsart.com/
Kadira Jennings Art Classes
student-gallery And for more information: https://artclasssescentralcoast.com
COASTING • Spring
SPRING ALWAYS SEEMS TO HOLD MORE PROMISE THAN OTHER SEASONS. BUDDING BLOSSOMS, NEW SHOOTS, A WELCOME WARMNESS TO THE AIR AFTER WINTER’S HEAVY CLOAK OF COLD AND, YES, A TIME TO GUSSY UP THE HOUSE AND FLING OPEN OUR DOORS TO FRESH AIR. AND SO IT IS ON THE CENTRAL COAST, WHERE SPRING MEANS WE HEAD BACK TO THE BEACH, IF NOT TO PLUNGE THEN AT LEAST TO PADDLE AND STRETCH OUR WINTER-STIFF MUSCLES. ‘GET IN SHAPE FOR SUMMER!’ ROAR THE ADS FROM MY LOCAL GYM. STORE WINDOWS SUDDENLY ARE FULL OF SWIMWEAR AND STRAW HATS. THE COUNTDOWN IS ON.
© LISA HAYMES
Frankie’s Rooftop Bar
ut let’s not go full-tilt to summer just yet. Spring, to me, means thawing out. No longer in need of cashmere wraps, woolly hats and boots, I begin coming out of hibernation like a creature emerging from its burrow. I start by taking coffee outdoors at favourite cafes instead of sitting snug inside. Friends of mine who spend the year in an eternal spring and summer between the south of France and the Central Coast, use terms such as Ettalong-sur-Mer and La Cote Centrale. Laugh, if you like, but they always know the best alfresco cafes and dining spots. You will find me, and them, anywhere with a view of the water and a decent macchiato. I often ask where they will settle in the end, when all this sun-chasing becomes too much. As they drool over a cone from Helado Gelato Bar, a block from Ettalong Beach, their answer never changes, and it is not Provence.
This spring, there’s extra reason to celebrate. ‘The wow is back in Woy Woy,’ laugh my New York-Aussie restaurateur friends Matty and Rupert who have taken over the stoves at Frankie’s Rooftop Bar at the Bayview Hotel on Blackwall Road, turning it into a Southeast Asian street food-inspired diner with long and lazy weekend brunches and jazzy cocktails. Up at Bells at Killcare, spring brides will be arriving in frothy white gusts as guests kick back with Aperol Sours at the retro caravan bar by the pool. And all across the coast, spring menus are coming into play, celebrating parish produce from ocean, waterways, market gardens and hinterland, best partnered with Hunter Valley light whites and rosés or a nip of Distillery Botanica’s award-winning gin infused with native botanicals grown on its Erina doorstep. Avoca Beachside Markets on the Heazlett Park foreshore hit their stride as the weather warms and the
COASTING • Spring
© LISA HAYMES
Garden Basket coterie of stalls brim with spanking fresh goodness from local providers such as the spicy relishes and chutneys, and sensational blood orange marmalade, from Chillicious Gourmet Foods. Florists the length of the coast will have windows and tables bursting with the best warm-weather blooms. My bush garden will, I hope, be welcoming the likes of wattle and flourishing native orchids as the lavender borders come into their own. Need new vases and bowls to display flouncy bunches of flannel flowers and the gorgeous orbs of waratahs? The Central Coast punches above its weight with fabulous homewares stores, from SWOON at Ettalong and Magnolia at East Gosford to BORN at Kincumber and Mooch Inside at Hardys Bay, and all stock creations by coast-dweller artists and makers, including original art, ceramics and textiles. Out and about on daily walks, other small but telling signs of this new season of content can easily be observed. At my local dog track, there’s more spring in everyone’s step, or paw, and a certain Westie terrier will shrug off his tartan coat and revel in the liberating scruffiness that spring days tacitly permit. His owner, he may wryly observe, is now in sandy thongs and her hair is tangled after daily dips at Putty Beach, instantly marking her as a local. It will be January, the clever little terrier might well know, before the tourists dare to take off their socks. Everyone I know will be at their favourite hardware barn pricing the latest barbecues, many of which are at least as big as hatchback cars. Boats on bays and inlets are being repainted and made ready for a season on the water. It feels perfectly OK again to eat fish and chips wrapped in paper and go barefoot in the parks, especially to yoga classes, which will have shifted to under a tree, sacred or otherwise. Real estate ads for holiday rentals skew the emphasis to decks for entertaining and approximate distance to the beach. Painting and decorating? The ladders are up and the window and pool cleaners are busier than ever. And have you noticed that there has developed a certain structural design look, especially on the Wagstaffe peninsula, that real estate agents love to call Hamptonsinspired? They refer, of course, to the typical vernacular of those ritzy hamlets at the east end of Long Island in New York State. Grey-painted timber, white trims, Adirondack chairs and broad shutters form the template but, hey, I reckon one day they’ll be advertising the exotic likes of Hardys Bay-inspired hideaways at Sag Harbor and those holidaying New Yorkers will be lining up for a touch of the exotic Antipodes.
© LISA HAYMES
Helado Gelato Bar
And so, as the clock ticks, we’ll make way for summer, the holiday crowds and the traffic tangles and double parking but, for now, it’s time to go slow, bask in the miracle of salty sunshine and hold close to our hearts this patch of paradise we call home. c
Susan Kurosawa is the travel editor of The Australian newspaper. She moved to Hardys Bay in 1997 and now lives at Killcare. Her 1999 book, Coasting: A Year by the Bay, has had several reprints.
SHOPPING • Guide
3 OF THE BEST FOR BLOOMS ON THE COAST WORDS MIRIAM DELACY NOTHING SAYS SPRINGTIME QUITE LIKE FLOWERS. TAKING A BUSHWALK TO BOX HEAD OR SOMERSBY FALLS WILL SHAKE OFF THAT WINTER LETHARGY AND GET YOU UP CLOSE TO SOME NATIVE FLORA. BUT IF YOU’RE AFTER A FLOWER FIX TO TAKE HOME TO CHEER YOUR MOOD OR ADD A BURST OF COLOUR TO YOUR LIFE, OR FOR A SPECIAL OCCASION — ROMANTIC OR OTHERWISE — THESE LOCAL EXPERTS OF FABLED FLORAL ARTISTRY HAVE IT COVERED.
Merrin Grace Floral Design
Founded on a shared talent for creating beautiful spaces, Piccolo Pear is an emporium of floral delights and unique gifts and homewares. A qualified designer, Nina Hufnus teamed up with Judy Kliendienst for their first pop-up store six years ago. Short on space and big on ideas, they soon needed a permanent home. ‘Looking back I don’t know how we managed,’ says Judy. ‘The space we’re in now is still cosy and compact, but with just enough room to showcase our blooms and work on arrangements.’ Native flowers feature strongly in their wild and sculptural bouquets. ‘We’re always looking to use varieties that are more unusual,’ she says. ‘All flowers and foliage offer beauty and character in their texture and colour, and that comes to life when you display them in the right context. This adventurous style is something our customers seek us out for — we even get orders to delivery locally from as far afield as Dubai and New York.’ A spirit of discovery is also something that’s behind the many rustic, vintage and industrial objects you’ll find at Piccolo Pear. A visit to the store might see you happily going home with jewellery, or a ceramic piece, handcrafted in Australia.
Working from her home studio in Long Jetty, Merrin Grace Moir is a flower devotee and busy mama, who hails from the Central Coast. After a childhood spent with artistic parents and two musician brothers, her busy-as-a-bee creative lifestyle suits her perfectly. ‘Dad is an artist and has his own gallery in Terrigal, Neale Joseph Fine Art,’ says Merrin. ‘Mum ran the very successful Two Birds Gallery Café in Toowoon Bay. They’re both very creative self-starters, so leaving school at 16 to study floristry at Ultimo College was a natural choice for me. I loved making flower crowns as a child, so working with flowers felt like my calling.’ Merrin describes her style as organic and whimsical. ‘Combining Australian natives and soft elegant blooms creates a beautiful contrast,’ she says. ‘I love to work with the natural form of flowers but I’m also a bit of a perfectionist, which serves me well for the weddings I do. My clients know I really pay attention to detail so they can trust me to get everything perfect for their big day.’ As well as supplying flowers to order for weddings and events, you’ll also find Merrin’s signature bouquets in Long Jetty store, Shadow Bang.
57 Victoria St, East Gosford, NSW 2250, www.piccolopear.com,
(02) 4324 6135
SHOPPING • Guide
Salmon & Co Leanne Salmon has called the Central Coast home for the last five years. Her journey before then was one of many twists and turns, with flowers, family and a thirst for learning as its central themes. ‘Growing up in Sydney, I followed Mum and Nan around our sprawling garden, learning Latin names of flowers,’ says Leanne. ‘Living in Europe gave me a whole new perspective on floral design. I made the most of it, bringing arrangements home and pulling them apart so I could discover how they’d been made.’ Seeing fresh design approaches everywhere she travels inspires Leanne to keep experimenting with her own arrangements. ‘My designs have definitely evolved in the 30 years since I started working with flowers in a busy Paddington store,’ she says. ‘Mine is a styled yet rustic approach, using quality, seasonal flowers. Whether creating native arrangements or wreaths, I include unusual elements like moss, seed pods or succulents. It’s all about creating harmony with colour and texture, then adding something unexpected without disrupting that balance.’ Foraging for natural treasures in her own garden brings Leanne many special features for her bouquets. Her home studio also comes in handy for containing the overflow from the shop, which is always packed to the rafters with carefully arranged curios and unique pieces from local and international artists. She is always on the lookout for something unusual for her inventory. ‘The Germans call a collection of special objects from around the world a “Wunderkammer” which means cupboard of wonders,’ Leanne says. ‘That’s how I like to think of my shop.’ 366 Ocean View Road, Ettalong, NSW 2257, www.salmonandco.com, 0400 489 955
FOOD & DINING • Chef profile
CHEF WITH THREE SUCCESSFUL RESTAURANTS UNDER THEIR BELTS, YOU COULD NEVER SAY SUCCESS IS JUST A FLASH IN THE PAN FOR CHEF CAMERON CANSDELL AND HIS WIFE HAYLEY. WORDS CHRISTINE ALLEN, CATHARINE RETTER PHOTOS JACS POWELL
CAMERON CANSDELL: BOMBINI, FISH DINING, SADDLES
ameron has always made considered choices, and perhaps the first was in convincing acclaimed Aussie-Italian chefs Stefano and Franco Manfredi to take him on as a young apprentice chef straight from school. There was always going to be a lot of buzz about what Cameron and Hayley did on the Coast. Before setting out on their own, Cameron was head chef at Bells at Killcare while Hayley managed the restaurant, so when they opened their first restaurant, bombini at Avoca, they knew exactly what style they wanted, the menu they wanted, and how the business side should be run. In 2016, Cameron was named Australia’s Young Restaurateur of the Year, hardly a surprise when you look at how he and Hayley are changing the face of Coastie cuisine. Fast forward to 2018, and the three restaurants they run range from their take on modern Australian seafood at fish dining on Gosford’s waterfront, to the equinethemed bakehouse Saddles at Mt White, and their beloved bombini, an elegant Italian restaurant. How do you get the lowdown on a busy chef?
Ask him! HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY? I always cooked from a young age at home, helping my mother who made every family meal from scratch. It inspired my love for food and cooking. On my 18th birthday, my family and I went to Bel Mondo in The Rocks and I remember expressing my interest in becoming a chef. Six months later, I completed my HSC and called Steve Manfredi and asked him for a job. At the time he wasn’t hiring apprentices, though thankfully he recognised my passion and gave me my first start. WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST CULINARY INFLUENCE? Definitely Steve Manfredi. He guided me in the traditional Italian principles and techniques for pasta and bread making in particular. Also the importance of sourcing the best ingredients. If you use second-rate, you can never end up with the best meal. I now try to give that same mentorship back on a day to day basis. We are very lucky and have a strong team and talent in our kitchens. I’m incredibly proud of Tobias Raley, my sous chef at fish dining. He went to London after winning the prestigious Brett Graham Scholarship for which he was awarded a stint working at his restaurant ‘The Ledbury’ in London.
FOOD & DINING • Chef profile
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COOKING STYLE? Simple, produce-driven, seasonal and elegant. Australia is very influenced by all the cultures that make up our population and that’s become the modern cuisine today. It’s about using those influences and not being afraid to make changes, to fuse flavours and ingredients. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT LIVING AND WORKING ON THE COAST? We live in a place that others dream to holiday in! There is such a strong community and great support on the Central Coast. We’ve learnt the importance of working with Aussie farmers — and supporting local producers — and building formative relationships to ensure we can source the highest quality produce. WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DINE ON THE COAST? Woy Woy’s Fishermen’s Wharf. We love getting a whole fish from the co-op and sitting by the water with a cold beer. WHEN YOU HAVE VISITORS IN TOWN, WHERE IS THE FIRST PLACE YOU TAKE THEM? Our restaurants … haha. Outside of our restaurants, we love our local Putty Beach. I love the surf, that it has that backdrop of the National Park, and there are so many walks leading off it. Coming home here feels like a haven. That first whiff of fresh ocean air and I already feel like I’m getting away and unwinding. WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO ON YOUR DAY OFF? Gardening. I love looking after my garden. We have a kitchen garden at bombini. It tends to look a little wild but it’s a regular source of fruit from the trees and even prickly pear in season that we use for the house-made gelato. At home, the garden’s like my laboratory to see what plants will grow in this climate. WHO WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO COOK FOR? Jay Z (I guess that means Beyonce would come too, right..?) WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE NEXT BIG RESTAURANT TREND? Australiana cuisine. It’s inevitable. By that I mean the simple foods we embraced in our childhoods but using premium ingredients and stepping it up a notch. We all remember a favourite bakery that was worth travelling to just to get that special something. At Saddles we have a dessert lamington made with chocolate from the Daintree with guava and cream. We have sausage rolls with pork and fennel, or house-made beef pies made with premium beef.
FEATURE â€¢ Broken Bay Pearls
HIDDEN TREASURE: PEARLS WORDS CATHARINE RETTER PHOTOS REED PLUMMER
The pristine waters around Woy Woy, where the pearl barge heads towards Broken Bay.
FEATURE • Broken Bay Pearls
SOME OF THE FINEST AKOYA PEARLS IN THE WORLD ARE INDIGENOUS TO THE PRISTINE WATERS AROUND BROKEN BAY AND WOY WOY.
here, that caught you by surprise. Why didn’t we all know about this? What makes them so special, and why the waters of the Central Coast? James Brown, a marine biologist, and CEO of Broken Bay Pearls, has flown from Broome where three generations of his family have run Cygnet Bay Pearls, farming the sought-after Australian South Sea Pearls. I couldn’t wait to ply him with questions about the little-known Broken Bay pearling farm that he has just bought into. The answer about what makes the Broken Bay Pearls so unique and so special is both complex and deceptively simple … once you know. The pearls in question are Australian Akoya Pearls grown deep inside creamy brown-grey Akoya oysters firmly bedded within their luminescent mother-of-pearl shells. Akoya Pearls have long been famous in Japan, Vietnam and China. But it seems they’re still largely undiscovered here, even though they’ve been formally identified by pearlers, marine scientists and the Australia Museum for up to 100 years. These wild pearl oysters were also thought to be important as food to the Awaba Darkinjung peoples around Broken Bay more than 200 years ago. The Akoya’s flesh looks more like a mussel than a Sydney Rock Oyster and I’m told they taste like a cross between a scallop, a mussel and, well, a rock oyster. ‘Their pearls are often more than ten times better than Akoya Pearls grown elsewhere,’ James says. ‘In Asia, it’s quite normal for Akoya Pearls to be artificially bleached and dyed in order to improve their colour and lustre. Here, there’s no need for that, and that’s what gives them their extraordinary value and status.’ Dr Wayne O’Connor is an internationally acclaimed Senior Principal Research Scientist in molluscs whose work has done much to help establish pearl farming on Australia’s east coast. He agrees the quality of Australian Akoya Pearls is unsurpassed.
AAA grade Australian Akoya Pearls can be grown by Broken Bay Pearls in colours that echo their donor shells.
James Brown, a marine biologist and third generation pearler from Broome, is CEO of Broken Bay Pearls.
‘Around Broken Bay, away from the more tropical waters, the oyster’s metabolism is slower,’ he explains. ‘The summers here are milder and the winters are usually not too cool. And that means the oyster has time to lay down a fine natural nacre or outer skin that gives them such a rich lustre and colour.’ The pearls’ natural colour range is also spectacular: from traditional pure white, to a subtle pink-hued white, to silver-pink, even gold, as well as a rainbow of shades in between. The colours come from the dominant colour in the donor mother-of-pearl graft tissue inserted into the host oysters that allow the pearl sacs to grow. Ian and Rose Crisp are two of the founding partners of Broken Bay Pearls. When they were oyster farming in the 1990s they came across young wild oysters among their crop that definitely weren’t Sydney Rock Oysters. NSW Fisheries identified them as Australian 43
Heading to the oyster beds beyond the waterways shared with pelicans and black swans.
Akoya Pearl Oysters, so the two then began growing stock for a Japanese company before establishing Broken Bay Pearls. ‘To avoid in-breeding the oysters, we source new breeders from wild stock,’ says Rose. After having bred oysters since the 1990s, Rose and Ian know where the best wild stock is found up and down the coast. ‘We dive just using snorkels to find them,’ says Ian. ‘Unfortunately, they tend to grow where the bull sharks also like to be!’ Ian is the pearl farmer who reads the tides and the water quality like an inland farmer reads the soil and the seasons of the land. Rose is an unusually skilled pearl technician by both Australian and world standards. That she is one of only a small number of women in this role makes her even more special. At first meeting you sense her down-to-earth nature and an unmistakable pioneering spirit, but to watch her is to observe a micro-surgeon at work. ‘I might seed 300 oysters in a day,’ she says. ‘It’s painstakingly fine work and I need to be in the zone to be able to concentrate.’ There is little if any talking and background noise is muted as Rose prises open a shell, only wide enough to insert a round-bladed scalpel and hooked probe. Then she makes a small incision deep in the mollusc’s gonad (which, to the untrained eye, looks like any other part of the oyster). Here the oyster is ‘germinated’ with graft tissue and one or even two small round shell nuclei are inserted by means of a tiny cupped probe. The nascent pearl is left to grow for 18 months into a beautifully round shape 4 to 8 mm in size, although baroque pearls are also found. Before producing their pearls, it will have taken around two years for the oysters to grow from larvae into juveniles, called spat — that look like tiny, scruffy grey shells you wouldn’t give a second glance to — and then into oysters that are big enough to thrive in open waters. After that, Mother Nature plays a major part in the success of these Central Coast pearls. The oysters are grown fully submerged on long lines not easily found or accessible to anglers or would-be oyster thieves in the many miles of waterways. 44 COAST
‘The main threat is from barnacles which will love the oysters to death if left unchecked,’ says Ian. This means he and his team regularly need to pressure-clean the shells. ‘It’s also the favourite food of octopuses, and turtles are also quite partial to them.’ So skilled is Rose and her team in seeding the oysters that, this year, Broken Bay Pearls harvested up to 5,000 single and doubleseeded oysters, most of which resulted in AA and AAA grade quality pearls, the highest standard attainable. And, as James Brown comments, ‘Compared to pearling off Broome, there are no cyclones, no 12-metre tides and you have the beautiful sheltered waters around Broken Bay in which to grow them.’ The abundance of National Parks and natural bushlands that surround these waterways anchor the soil, preventing it from flowing into the estuaries. The familiar mangroves and the prolific seagrass beds — regarded as the ‘forests of the sea’ — act as lungs for the waterways, producing oxygen and trapping any fine sediment. And, because Akoya Pearls are saltwater pearls, the salinity level of the water is all important, so the free flow of the tides and the lack of rivers flooded with industrial run-off is crucial. If this sounds like organic farming, you’d be right, and a pearl oyster needs to thrive, not merely survive, to be able to make its coveted, lustrous pearl. And yet, such is the embedded nature of the pearl market around the world, that the prices gained by Australia’s fledgling Akoya Pearl industry have not yet caught up to their true value. But be forewarned, there’s a slow, perhaps grudging, recognition emerging, and a sense in the air that the tide is about to change. c
Australian Akoya Pearls can be found on the Central Coast at AngelRock Jewellers in the Gosford Regional Art Gallery store at East Gosford; NV Jewellery in Victoria Street, East Gosford; Seaspray in West Street, Umina, and in Sydney at the master jewellers, Percy Marks.
FEATURE • Broken Bay Pearls
“Compared to pearling off Broome, there are no cyclones, no 12-metre tides and you have the beautiful sheltered waters around Broken Bay in which to grow them.”
The mangroves and seagrass beds act as the lungs for these pristine waterways.
© CENTRAL COAST DRONES
FEATURE • Broken Bay Pearls
AngelRock Jewellers Treasures handmade on the Central Coast Featuring locally grown Broken Bay Pearls
FREE READER GIFT Handmade Broken Bay Pearls earrings from AngelRock Jewellers at the Gosford Art Gallery shop
â€˜Lucent Earringsâ€™ handmade by AngelRock Jewellers. 9ct white gold, silver diamonds & Broken Bay Pearls in natural white-pink colour. Designer and jeweller, Celeste, invites you to fall in love with Broken Bay Pearls, as she did the first time she visited the Pearl Farm 5 years ago. After helping at oyster seeding and pearl harvest, Celeste then trained in seeding Akoya oysters to grow its world famous pearls with the Broken Bay Pearls team. Now, you can buy her designs inspired by our beautiful Central Coast, a journey from the genesis to the finished piece of jewellery.
AngelRock has donated these stunning Broken Bay Pearl earrings as a gift to a reader of the first issue of COAST who submits the best photo of our Central Coast.
Celeste also welcomes you to collaborate with AngelRock Jewellers to create a bespoke treasure, and offers design consultations across the Central Coast.
The Soiree Earrings, hand-made by AngelRock Jewellers, are 9 ct yellow gold and set with 6 mm Broken Bay Pearls in natural white/pink colour. They are valued at a RRP $340.
ANGELROCK JEWELLERS established 2003 Please contact us at www.angelrockjewellers.com.au for a consultation or small group showing. Find our jewellery in the retail shop of Gosford Regional Art Gallery, East Gosford
from Genesis to Jewel
Please send your entry as a high resolution jpeg photo (300 dpi) to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winning photograph will be published in the next issue of COAST. Relatives and employees of AngelRock Jewellery, Broken Bay Pearls and COAST Publishing are ineligible to enter. Entries close at 5pm, October 15, 2018. Entries will be judged by two members of COAST Publishing management team. The prize cannot be exchanged or redeemed for cash. By entering, you agree that COAST Publishing may use your photograph in the magazine and in any promotional material for the magazine without incurring any fees. You undertake that you are the copyright holder of the photograph and that there is no impediment to COAST publishing the photograph and that the publishers will not be held liable for any breach of these terms and conditions. Prize value is up to $340 based on the recommended retail price as at September 1, 2018. The winner will be notified by email.
Walk straight in off Terrigal lakefront, enjoy lunch with a view, soak up on the sun on our outdoor deck or order to go. LOCAL’S NIGHTS Every Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm, it’s Local’s Night at Maccoa Restaurant with BYO wine! The menu, created by group executive chef Melissa Dixon, changes weekly and features local seasonal produce.
CO MP With LIM eve EN ry g TA rou RY p bo BO oki TT ng, LE rec OF eive BU a BB *Te rm LE s& Co ndi S ti
GROUP BOOKINGS Food, friends, fun ... get everyone together and enjoy a group dining experience with us. Whether it be a casual lunch or a milestone birthday, we offer bespoke menus and work with you to ensure you and your party have the most wonderful time. 1 Ocean View Drive, Terrigal, NSW, 2260 p: 02 4385 3855 e: email@example.com w: www.maccoa.com.au
FREE READER OFFER Dinner for Two for a 5-course degustation meal of Peter Kuruvita’s personal favourites Crowne Plaza has donated a dinner for two, to a reader of COAST who submits the best or most worthy reason for sharing in Peter Kuruvita’s celebration dinner on November 10. The dinner, at Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific at 6.30 pm, celebrates the launch of Peter’s ‘Lands of the Curry Leaf’ — a flavour-filled vegetarian journey through the subcontinent and beyond, from Bhutan, Nepal and Afghanistan to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Experience a degustation of Peter’s favourites, spiced with the flavours of his life and travels that reflect the diversity of the regions. Please send your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winner will be published in the next issue of COAST.
© IAN WALDIE
ons app ly
Relatives and employees of Crowne Plaza, Salt Restaurant and COAST Publishing are ineligible to enter. Entries close at 5pm, October 15, 2018. Entries will be judged by two members of COAST Publishing management team. The prize cannot be exchanged or redeemed for cash. By entering, you agree that COAST Publishing may use your entry in the magazine and in any promotional material for the magazine without incurring any fees. You undertake that the words are yours and that there is no impediment to COAST publishing the words and that the publishers will not be held liable for any breach of these terms and conditions. Prize value is up to $109 per 5-course degustation meal. The winner will be notified by email.
FOOD & DINING • Restaurants
7 OF THE BEST WATERFRONT RESTAURANTS ON THE COAST WORDS CHRISTINE ALLEN
Avoca Surf House at Avoca Beach With its floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking beautiful Avoca Beach, it would be hard to beat the Avoca Surf House just on its view alone, but the décor and owner Emily Caska’s unique sense of community have combined to make this one of the hottest tickets in town since it opened last summer. The stylish bar and restaurant-cum-community centre — perhaps the world’s most chic community centre — is the place to be for a sunset spritz on the deck, a seafood lunch in the light and bright restaurant or a sunrise yoga session followed by a hearty brunch. From the fish tacos to the colourful grazing platters, the menu is fresh and modern. This waterfront bar and restaurant has an ecoconscience as well as community at its heart with monthly beach cleans and a kids’ club as part of its regular roster, and eco goods for sale at its mini bazaar. www.avocasurfhouse.com.au
Pearls on the Beach at Pearl Beach The only hatted restaurant on the Central Coast, Pearls on the Beach is the gem in the region’s culinary crown. The restaurant is located in a light-filled beach house a stone’s throw from the stunning shores of Pearl Beach, offering diners a meal with a million-dollar view across Broken Bay to Box Head and Bouddi National Park. Head chef, Scott Fox, delights in surprising you with unexpected and utterly delicious fresh food combinations, and the concept of sharing small plates with a plethora of brilliant flavours — think mushroom paté with truffle grilled ciabatta, cuttlefish with grapefruit salad and chicken terrine with pistachio biscotti — always makes for a memorable meal. It’s not only the food that comes together seamlessly, the restaurant has a stellar wine list (which has, unsurprisingly, received the odd accolade); knowledgeable and efficient staff; and an elegant simplicity that lets the stunning view speak for itself. Proving it’s a formula that can stand the test of time, owners Scott and Melissa Fox have been offering their delicious, seasonal fare to locals and holidaymakers for more than 16 years and retained their coveted ‘hat’ in this year’s Good Food Guide. www.pearlsonthebeach.com.au
FOOD & DINING • Restaurants
Reef at Terrigal Located at The Haven, Reef has one of the best ever-changing views on the Coast across to tree-lined Terrigal Beach in all her glory. From the second-storey restaurant, diners can watch surfers tackling frothy barrels, paddleboarders leisurely stroking their way out to sea, pelicans gliding in behind fishermen’s dinghies and, occasionally, a dolphin or a whale, which is where the binoculars that are laid out on the table come in. The menu offers a treasure trove of modern Australian cuisine from delicate Huon salmon on a bed of avocado puree to snapper with saffron butter. For the ultimate seaside feast, try the seafood platter or indulge in the six-course degustation menu — just make sure you start with a healthy appetite. www.reefrestaurant.com.au
The Dart & Feather at Davistown The opening of The Dart and Feather, on Davistown’s picturesque waterfront, sent the suburb’s culinary standing sky high. Set less than a stone’s throw from placid Brisbane Water, the stylish inside-outside bar sets the tone that this is a restaurant with a difference, whether for a cocktail at the bar, a leisurely weekend breakfast, lunches or dinners. The Dart and Feather is a stylish restaurant with an exquisite culinary offering. The menu features some of the best value and freshest oysters around as well as top notch antipasto, from Serrano jamon to truffle-infused ricotta. The glamorous restaurant offers a world of flavours including Japanese-style black sesame crusted tuna with soba noodles, sous vide Angus striploin with a bordelaise jus and proper Italian pizza. Not to be missed are the house made ice creams — it might be a zesty and refreshing tequila and lime sorbet or a sweet scoop of Baileys gelato — the perfect end to a meal. The restaurant management changed in June with a few inevitable changes. The lines between inside and outside dining have been cleverly blurred so that the feel of alfresco dining can be enjoyed year round. Two large TV screens have been added to the bar area, and it’s fingers crossed that this haven for fine dining doesn’t change its character too much, after all, as the owners say, ‘this is not a pub’. www.thedartandfeather.com.au
FOOD & DINING • Restaurants
Seasalt at Terrigal Located on level one of the Crowne Plaza Terrigal, with large glass windows offering expansive — day and evening — views through the Norfolk Pines over Terrigal Beach, Seasalt restaurant occupies prime waterfront real estate. From the professional fleet of wait staff in crisp white shirts to the white-clothed tables, a meal at Seasalt is a seamless and elegant dining affair. Chefs Simon Quick and Dana Chantler love the challenge of creating a brand spanking new menu every season with inventive meat and seafood dishes, herbs from the kitchen garden, and desserts such as smashed pav, a delicious twist on the Australian classic. Look out for special events with the likes of popular Sri Lankan/ Australian chef Peter Kuruvita who often calls into Seasalt for themed dinners. Just because Seasalt is located inside one of the Coast’s biggest hotels, it doesn’t mean this restaurant is just for tourists. Validated parking is free in the building, a welcome convenience in busy Terrigal. https://terrigalpacific.crowneplaza.com
The Box on the Water at Ettalong Beach The Box opened around the same time as Ettalong’s waterfront was being revitalised, heralding a new look and a new era for the pretty seaside suburb. As the name suggests, the restaurant has a stylish box shape, with floor-to-ceiling glass doors fully opening to the sea breezes on summery days and offering a stunning panoramic view of its namesake, Box Head, across the bay and beyond. Inside the restaurant, diners relax in wishbone chairs under a lush hanging garden to enjoy a brunch of pancakes or bacon and eggs, a sumptuous seafood lunch, or a delicious dinner. A kiosk out the back offers a more casual beach dining option with takeaway guests often seen enjoying the sun in the chairs that line the waterfront – if the seats aren’t already taken by diners enjoying their morning coffee with a view, or a sunset sip with a side of freshly shucked oysters. www.theboxonthewater.com.au
FOOD & DINING • Restaurants
© IAN WALDIE
FREE READER GIFT Peter Kuruvita’s new cookbook, ‘Lands of the Curry Leaf’ to 2 COAST readers
Ocean at Blue Bay The location of this restaurant alone would rate it a 5-star place on this list. Ocean is aptly named, right on the waterfront with large windows that provide diners with expansive views over the blue waves (it’s not named ‘Blue Bay’ for nothing), obligingly playful whales (in season) and pelicans gliding on the uplifts. Inside, the décor is plain: black walls, black carpet and white tablecloths. The meals are unpretentious and there’s a choice of à la Carte or a Set Price Menu for two and three-courses and a glass of house wine ($50 and $60). The Pacific Oysters (from Pittwater) were delicious — and huge. The tempura fish and chips was rated the best tempura my friend had tasted outside a Japanese restaurant.
Peter Kuruvita, acclaimed chef, author and TV presenter shares over 100 vegetarian and vegan recipes in the ‘Lands of the Curry Leaf’ is a flavour-filled journey through the subcontinent and beyond, from Bhutan, Nepal and Afghanistan to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. To celebrate the launch of COAST magazine and Peter Kuruvita’s new cookbook, a copy of Peter’s book is offered to two readers who can name Peter’s TV show on SBS and tell us why you like it. Please email your entry to email@example.com. The winner will be published in the next issue of COAST.
Relatives and employees of Murdoch Books and COAST Publishing are ineligible to enter. Entries close at 5 pm, October 15, 2018. Entries will be judged by two members of COAST Publishing management team. The prizes cannot be exchanged or redeemed for cash. Prize value is up to $50 each. The winner will be notified by email.
Welcome Home to Vista SMS ‘Vista’ to 0488 826 806 for information pack. Display Suite: 206 The Entrance Road, Erina.
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FOOD & DINING • Restaurants
SADDLES RESTAURANT MT WHITE WORDS KATIE STOKES PHOTOS JACS POWELL, KATIE STOKES
addles fits comfortably into its quiet rural setting and, conveniently, not far off the M1 motorway at Mt White. Its Ironbark walls, panelling and bannisters have been acid-washed to give this purposebuilt, 2018 building the appearance of having stood there much longer. The timber, combined with ample use of local sandstone and the wrap-around veranda overlooking the dam, tell you instantly that this is a restaurant that invites you to stay and while away the day. The sort of place worth the drive from Sydney for lunch, or from the Hunter or Newcastle. Young magnolias, camellias and tibouchinas line the dam, and a path invites end-of-lunch wanderings along the tree-lined foreshore. The trees are still young, with
something of a sparse, newly planted look, but as they mature they’ll be quite a feature. Saddles is owned by John Singleton, past owner of other sought-after eating places: Bondi Icebergs and Bells at Killcare. The former advertising magnate, now Gosford property developer and enthusiastic advocate for the Central Coast, owns a horse stud just up the road. He had long wanted to open a restaurant in Mt White, somewhere he could take his guests. ‘As a local,’ Singleton says, ‘I wanted somewhere I could enjoy an unpretentious meal that didn’t scrimp on quality.’ He bought the 10-hectare Princeton Nurseries site in July 2016. It’s still operating as a nursery and its kitchen garden supplies some of the fresh produce for the restaurant. Cameron and Hayley Cansdell — of bombini at Avoca and fish dining on the Gosford waterfront — are the chef and host in charge of delivering that quality Singo sought, and they’re succeeding. The floor staff, dressed in black with nutmeg brown aprons, are knowledgeable and friendly, the menu homely, the setting serene. Quirky western music plays quietly in the background. There is comfortable seating around a large open, double-sided fireplace, and children and dogs look at ease on the outdoor veranda. The large indoor potted trees drop leaves onto the floor, adding to the bush ambiance. There are no airs and graces here: no deconstructed desserts, foam vegetables or delicate micro flowers scattered across the plate. The grass-fed rump cap and Little Hill Farm roast chicken comfortably share the menu with a house-made pork and fennel sausage roll and beef and mushroom pie. A friend raves that Saddles’ roast Murray cod is the best fish they’ve eaten. Ever! We feel compelled to try it. The fish is topped with a fennel, almond and sourdough crumb and sits on a bed of sugar snap peas, pea tendrils, eschalots and sea urchin. It’s light and delicious. The pie for us, though, takes the gong. The meat is pull-apart goodness, the flavour is rich, the pastry flakes and crumbles but holds its filling intact. It’s served with wilted spinach and a spoon of mashed potato. It’s homely, the kind of meal you could eat again and again. Dessert also points to Cansdell’s deft skills as a baker. The lamingtons exceed expectations with their raspberry cream, Valrhona chocolate and shavings of coconut, and the vanilla and yuzu slice is delicate, flaky, tangy and delicious. We visit a second time to try the breakfast. It, too, is a winning option for those with a sweet penchant. Spiced French toast arrives drizzled with honey, scattered with strawberries and raspberries and served with a dollop of crème fraîche, while the porridge is dressed in banana, coconut and panella sugar. You can, of course, opt for the healthy breakfast: sourdough with a salad of bunya nut, avocado, sunflower shoots, raw mushroom and
FOOD & DINING • Restaurants
Fashioned from hand-tooled leather and hand-engraved sterling silver, each saddle took six weeks to make.
poached eggs. And, of course, there’s coffee: a house blend roasted by local Lisarow coffee roasters Evolution Specialty. The bespoke bar-stool saddles are also local – they were designed by Heath Harris of Hawkesbury River Saddlery. The saddle closest to the coffee bar was tooled and engraved by Harris himself, an artisan saddler of 50+ years. The longer you sit in the lounge the more of Harris’s equine pieces you spy. His craftsmanship is in the double-jointed brass bridle bits that tie back the linen curtains, the leather belt that hugs the couch, the brass stirrups that adorn the mantlepiece, and the Schutz spurs, bridles and breast plates that reside behind the piano bar. Just as you can see Heath Harris’s hand, so too can you see landlord John Singleton’s. The horseshoe that hangs above the entry is from his Mt White Strawberry Hill Stud and the longhorn chairs came from his house. But perhaps the most stunning piece is the transparent piano. Singo bought the instrument from a friend, and Michelle Leslie (of Michelle Leslie Design) added perspex and an LED to ‘show the inner workings,’ she says. Leslie also designed the beautiful brass pendant lights that hang from the eight-metre-high ceiling, and she hand-picked each vintage urn, which was then imported from Turkey. This isn’t the first time Leslie and Singo have worked together: they’re also behind the multi award-winning Pretty Beach House on the Wagstaffe Peninsula. The restaurant not only shares the site with a plant nursery but there’s a bakehouse too. It sells restaurantmade pies, sausage rolls, pastries and sourdough, making
it an ideal M1 stop for a quick bite on the go. The bakehouse is also stocked with handmade La Paloma tableware (the same that they use in the restaurant), cheese, local honey, charcuterie and site-made compotes, pickles and jams. Throw in some Laguiole knives and you have a cheese platter ready to go. The restaurant’s charcuterie board gives you a taste of some of these. House-made rye sourdough, pickled beetroot, shavings of Pyengana cloth-bound aged cheddar and a moreish house-made fig and quince preserve sit prettily next to smallgoods, the stars of the board. The pork and fennel salami is made by the Saddles team at Pinos Dolce Vita (a seventh-generation, family-run butcher in Kogarah) while the duck terrine is made on site with bunya nuts picked from a local property. Everything about Saddles – from it’s locally sourced sandstone to its brass-scalloped bar — feels meticulously planned. Even the bathrooms are worth mentioning! It’s rare to mention a bathroom, but the one at Saddles compels us to do so. It’s so SADDLES beautiful, so ‘Instagramable’ 20 Ashbrookes Road, Mount White. that it’s bound to get its own t: 02 4370 1152 hashtag. We covet the polished Open: Saturday to Thursday 8 am to 5 pm; Friday 8 am to 8 pm brass luggage racks, the fiddle https://saddlesmtwhite.com.au leaf-potted urn, the Cole & Disabled access: Yes. Son palm-jungle wallpaper Menu Prices: breakfast $6-$22; lunch and dinner small plates $20-$24; and the cast iron sinks with large plates $21-$36; desserts $6 or stainless steel rims. It all speaks four for $20. of someone who knows what Kids’ Menu: breakfast $10; lunch and dinner $15. they’re doing, someone who’s done it all before. c
FOOD & DINING • Chef Profile
SHAKTI GRACE — food alchemist
and gut-friendly private chef
WORDS CHRISTINE ALLEN, CATHARINE RETTER PHOTOS CORINA SCHURMANN, LISA HAYMES
acmasters Beach resident, Shakti Grace, is part alchemist and part holistic chef who likes to work with wholesome, gut-friendly ingredients. She caters to clients interested in food as nourishment, as much as an enjoyment of taste, texture and colours. She honed her cooking skills at culinary shool, but it was her sister who first taught her the basic skills along with the enjoyment of good food. Shakti combined her lust for travel with her love of creating nourishing food and became a private chef on luxury yachts all over the world. ‘I found the crews much more fussy than the millionaire yacht owners,’ Shakti confides, without dropping names of the rich and famous she cooked for. ‘There doesn’t have to be a difference between nutrition and good tasting food,’ she says. ‘I use wholefood sweeteners instead of white sugar and I love working with ingredients that can transform
a traditional dish into something easy on the body’s system. So many people have food intolerances but optimally prepared ingredients like activated buckwheat and brown rice instead of white flour give you full flavour and good nutrition.’ Shakti’s menus include lush salads, colourful food bowls, exquisite desserts, and her holistic grazing boards replace the Jatz and French onion dip of the ’90s with mouth-watering morsels including ‘living’ turmeric carrot crackers, fermented sundried tomato thyme kamut loaves, house-made herbed preserved lemon labneh, activated buckwheat tabbouleh, goat cheese black sesame logs, green herbed falafels and exciting dips such as pumpkin miso and chipotle hummus. Not only are her dishes cleverly crafted to be as nutritious as possible, they’re so tasty that you’ll want to lick the bowl, no matter how much your mother may have once frowned on this.
FOOD & DINING • Chef Profile
Blueberry Lavender Globes
Shakti’s passion for food alchemy also led her to develop her own range of health food products and superfood blends. Superfoods and all their exotic ingredients often find themselves in the too-hard basket so Shakti’s aim is to harness her knowledge and skills to make healthy and holistic food easily accessible to more people. ‘High Frequency Food helps people to feel uplifted, recharged and renewed,’ says Shakti. ‘This is the holistic approach, bridging nutrition and mindfulness and gratitude.’ In addition to her revitalising supplements, which are shipped from her leafy oasis in Macmasters Beach, Shakti runs holistic retreats, food alchemy workshops — with nourishing ferments, nurturing broths, superfoods and herbal alchemy — and she can be hired as a private chef on the Coast to anyone looking for a healthy bespoke catering option. FAVOURITE PUMPKINS: Mangrove Mountain and Palmdale local roadside farms. I am always on the lookout but my absolute fave is my local Tudabaring Farm on the Scenic Road at Macmasters.
Cacao Elixir Buckwheat Tart with Caramel Lavender filling
FAVOURITE GREENGROCER: Fresko Foods on Avoca Drive at Kincumber offer a great selection of Coastgrown local farm ingredients, as does Georges’ on the Scenic Highway. Both also stock pantry items that might be easy to get in Sydney but a little harder to find on the Coast. FAVOURITE PIES: The Fat Goose in Hardys Bay makes the best pies, chunky, with gorgeous pastry. FAVOURITE ORGANIC FOOD SUPPLIES: The Nurtured Earth Organics has a wonderful produce delivery service. FAVOURITE CRAFTSPEOPLE: Individually made pottery is back in vogue and there is a gorgeous little store at Avoca called the Mousehole with local Coast potters and is just adorable. It supports locals so is a double win for gifts or using as serving-ware.
Moroccan Chickpea Tagine
Find Shakti at www.nourishedandnurtured.org
GREAT OUTDOORS • Best Coastal Walks
BEST COAST WALKS
WORDS CATHARINE RETTER IT SEEMS EVERYONE HAS A FAVOURITE COASTAL WALK THEY SWEAR IS THE BEST ON THE CENTRAL COAST, OR IN NEW SOUTH WALES, OR EVEN IN ALL OF AUSTRALIA. WE’VE TAKEN THE EASY WAY OUT BY LETTING AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC CHOOSE ONE WHICH THEY HAVE AWARDED AS ONE OF THE BEST-EVER DAY WALKS IN AUSTRALIA. IT’S THE BOUDDI COASTAL WALK. MOST OF THEIR OTHERS ARE MUCH BETTER KNOWN: WINEGLASS BAY IN TASSIE, MT GOWER ON LORD HOWE, KATA TJUTA IN THE NT, THE GRAND CANYON IN THE BLUE MOUNTAINS, SO BOUDDI IS IN ILLUSTRIOUS COMPANY. AND WHO ARE WE TO ARGUE WITH SUCH DISCERNING JUDGES.
Bouddi’s Liesegang Rings
Putty Beach to Maitland Bay (3 km) It starts with a short beach walk from the carpark at the end of Putty Beach Road. (A parking fee of $8 per day applies, so bring cash or credit card. There’s also overnight camping here.) You can also start at the other end of the track of course, so if that’s what you’d like to do, just read this article backwards. It depends on whether you want the slightly more strenuous bit of the track at the beginning or end. The walk is graded ‘medium’ by National Parks and Wildlife but it’s an easier walk if you choose to avoid the steep bits down to the beaches. In fact, we found the hardest part of the walk was © SUDESH PINGAMAGE
The Bouddi Coastal Walk
Bouddi National Park, originally home to the Awaba Darkinjung peoples, lies towards the southern end of the Central Coast, where bush meets beach in a kaleidoscope of expansive ocean views, remnant rainforest, wildflowers, birdsong, sea breezes and endless beaches. The Bouddi Coastal Walk hugs the coastline from Killy to Mac (that’s Killcare to Macmasters if you’re not a local) for 8 km, or there’s a shorter, less strenuous version from Killcare’s Putty Beach to Maitland Bay (3 km) and back.
GREAT OUTDOORS • Best Coastal Walks
© CENTRAL COAST DRONES
get great views of Maitland Bay and is a good spot to watch migrating whales in winter. From there, it’s an undulating woodland and heath walk where the summer cicadas join in a loud chorus to welcome you. Rocky paths and little wooden bridges take you past twisted banksias and flurries of white flannel flowers to Maitland Bay Beach, a 600-metre crescent of beach snuggled against a backdrop of pristine rainforest known as the Bouddi Grand Deep. Here, the national park also extends into a 287-hectare marine park, one of the first in Australia. If it’s low tide, you’ll see the last rusted remains of the shipwreck of the paddle steamer, PS Maitland, which came to grief there in 1898. High winds and fierce seas ripped off one of Maitland’s paddle housings, leaving a gaping hole in its hull. The stricken ship crashed into a rock shelf at Bouddi Point, with the bow quickly disappearing forever beneath the sea. Several crewmen and a passenger tried to swim ashore with a lifeline but all the would-be rescuers, except that one brave passenger, were lost in the attempt. As remaining passengers and crew were then slowly helped ashore along the lifeline, the captain dutifully stayed on board to care for a one-year-old baby, Daisy Hammond. Luckily, she was able to be rescued the following day and, 70 years later, Daisy returned to the spot and was so taken by the scene and the sight of the remaining wreckage, that she asked for her ashes to be scattered there one day. And they were, in 1988. She had lived to 90 years of age.
Maitland Bay to Little Beach (3.5 km) not being waylaid at one of the beaches or picnic spots for the rest of the day. You’ve no sooner started off than you begin to say things like, ‘Now I remember why I love the Coast so much!’ The coastline is rugged and rewarding with enticingly unfolding vistas of headlands receding into a hazy blue distance beyond Broken Bay and Palm Beach’s Barrenjoey Lighthouse. It’s a well maintained walk with gentle steps cut into the hillsides, little timber bridges across the gullies, and long stretches of boardwalk. Newly weathered and sculptured sandstone rock formations beckon you ever onwards. Beside the boardwalk the Hawkesbury sandstone has been sculpted and honeycombed into curvaceous swirls, rusty streaks and even coloured ring formations, a geological phenomenon known as Liesegang Rings. Elsewhere, nature’s stonemasons have geometrically etched flat tessellated pavements, a result of centuries of pressure, salt crystallisation and sand erosion. A camera can, of course, capture the spectacular scenery but not the fresh sea air on your face or the sensation of being a small ant in this vast land and seascape. The walk crosses Bullimah Beach, then climbs up a natural stairway of tree roots to Gerrin Point Lookout where you’ll
The biggest climb is between clifftops and bays from Maitland Bay to Little Beach, but it’s the views that take your breath away! The walk climbs up behind Bouddi Point, up onto the sand dunes of Bombi Moore and continues to Little Beach. The Bombi Moor Trail is woodchipped (part of National Park & Wildlife’s management plan to increase its resilience against the track being loved to death). You’ll cross Caves Gully where a thin stream flows into Caves Bay. Inland, there are deeper tracts of rainforest and tall red gums that shed their bark like beautiful discarded corsets. To the north, then east, is Little Beach, a rocky beach with a campsite, toilets and barbecue facilities (but no fresh water, so bring plenty of your own). Look for the soaring white bellied sea eagles.
Little Beach to Macmasters Beach (1.7 km) From Little Beach the last section scrambles up the spur to the Mourawaring Moors fire trail which leads through narrow uneven terrain, with only glimpses of ocean here and there. The trail leaves the national park at Beachview Esplanade, but 300 metres further along it continues through the park down to Macmasters Beach Surf Club. The Barefoot Café is a welcome respite at the southern end of the beach. c
Â© CENTRAL COAST DRONES
GREAT OUTDOORS • Country Drives and Stays
Venture inland on
CENTRAL COAST COUNTRY OFTEN OVERLOOKED IN FAVOUR OF ITS BEACHES AND BEAUTIFUL COASTLINE, THE CENTRAL COAST’S INLAND AREAS — ITS HINTERLAND — PROVIDES A GREEN PATCHWORK QUILT OF NATIONAL PARKS, STATE FORESTS, BUSHLANDS, NATURE RESERVES, AS WELL AS HOBBY FARMS, WORKING FARMS AND HORSE STUDS. IN FACT, SIGNIFICANTLY MORE THAN HALF OF ALL THE CENTRAL COAST IS MADE UP OF NATURAL LANDSCAPES, AND THERE’S NO SHORTAGE OF INTERESTING WALKS AND THINGS TO DO AND SEE, IN THE LAND FIRST OCCUPIED BY THE INDIGENOUS INLAND DARKINJUNG PEOPLES.
WYONG About 100 km north of Sydney, Wyong owes its beginnings to colonial Sydney’s insatiable demand for timber, and the general area still boasts a number of state forests known collectively as ‘The Watagans’. Today, Wyong is a great starting point to explore the Central Coast hinterland. East of Wyong, on Kooindah Boulevarde, is the award-winning, 4.5 star Kooindah Waters Golf and Spa Resort where guests can chill out or get active to their heart’s content. On the western outskirts of Wyong, at 1 Cape Road (just off Alison Road), is Alison Homestead, built in the 1870s. The property is home to the Wyong District Museum, with displays reflecting life in the early 19th century. The museum is open to the public from Sunday to Thursday from 10 am to 2 pm. Across from the homestead is the 1906-built Wyong Milk Factory on the banks of the Wyong River. The factory is open every day and has been transformed though keeping much of its industrial heritage. The shared area houses the popular Wyong Milk Factory Café, BBQ area, Little Creek artisan cheesemaker, Luka Chocolates, Central Coast Woodturners’ Cooperative, Wyong Milk Factory Tavern, Oliver’s Real Food and The Rusty Udder Family Tavern with live entertainment (open Wednesday to Sunday). For more active visitors, there are kayaks and
rowboats to rent, a kids’ playground and a 24-hour gym. Just north of the township on the old Pacific Highway, adjacent to the Wyong Racecourse, is the Wyong Golf Club. In the other direction, 10 km south of the town, on the Wyong Road at Tumbi Umbi, is Mingara Recreation Club, an extensive complex of swimming pools, gym and athletic centre, and beauty salon, as well as a number of dining and bar options.
WYONG CREEK Not far inland from the Wyong Milk Factory, on Yarramalong Road, you’ll find Amazement Farm and Fun Park with mazes, petting animals, pony rides, a bird sanctuary, a mini bike track, picnic areas and kids’ playground — but get there before 1.30 pm. It also has a café and unpretentious farmstay accommodation for up to 20 guests. Where Yarramalong Road meets the Ourimbah State Forest at the intersection of Red Hill Road is one of the Coast’s popular attractions, TreeTops, an adventure park to challenge any age group with ziplines and treetop adventure challenges. For horse-riders, just past Red Hill Road on the Yarramalong Road, is the Marena Stud and Riding Academy with riding and equine care classes for all levels. At No. 1282 is the beautiful homewares store, Imprint House
(open Fridays from 10 am to 2 pm) which was founded by designer, stylist and author, Natalie Walton, as an online shop two years ago. A little further along is Fernbank Farm, a delightful wedding and accommodation venue on Yarramalong Road, with its own Santosa Clydesdales and Landau carriage as well as a 6-seater upholstered wagonette. Now owned by the Central Coast Council, heritage listed Wyong Creek Hall on Yarramalong Road, is hired out for weddings, functions and theatrical performances at a cost that won’t break the bank. Right across the road is Yarramalong Valley Farmstay set on 50 acres. The architect-designed house accommodates up to 15 guests. It’s where the kids can collect their own eggs for breakfast, feed the ponies, alpacas and sheep or go yabbying. The property is also popular for weddings and receptions.
YARRAMALONG Follow the Yarramalong Road as it winds its way west along the Wyong River for a leisurely drive past welltended farms, white-fenced horse studs and agistment properties. Once you pass the distinctive mob of (metal) kangaroos in the front paddock of Alison Homestead the hinterland reveals the charm of pasturelands where wild ducks
GREAT OUTDOORS • Country Drives and Stays
DRIVES AND STAYS bushrangers hiding out in the dense forest while they planned raids on nearby towns and farms. Coynes Leap is named after a ‘super-steed’ feat by the bushranger, John Coyne to evade capture, setting his horse over a fallen turpentine tree 2.75 metres in diameter. The less ‘super’ police horses were unable to follow.
KULNURA As Bumble Hill Road becomes Greta Road at the crest of the hill, the forest opens up once again to become farmland. A sign announces The Paintball Place (open 8.00 am to 9.30 pm daily) on the corner of Springs Road. It’s best suited to groups and is popular for bucks’ parties and birthdays. A couple of kilometres further along Greta Road is Kulnura, famous for its orange groves. Kulnura is home to a park, café, general store and petrol station, and at an elevation of 345 metres, the air is fresh, with a slight ‘nip’ on cooler days. On George Downes Drive is Grace Springs Farm which you can visit (by appointment) for two-hour tours which get the kids involved in feeding (and cuddling or patting) the chooks, ducks and cows. They’ll learn about farm life and why the way your food is farmed is so important. Tours are also available for school groups. Noonaweena, also on George Downes Drive, a 100-acre property that provides a peaceful bushland retreat blended with and nature overlooking Yengo National Park. Four lodges accommodate up to 32 guests, with Biram Lodge at the summit of the property looking across at Mt Yengo, perhaps Australia’s second most sacred indigenous site.
MANGROVE MOUNTAIN Heading back towards the coast on George Downes Drive, the first township you come to is Central Mangrove, where there is an 18-hole golf course and a restaurant with great views, part of the Mangrove Mountain Memorial Club. Wisemans Ferry Road leads from Central Mangrove to Mangrove Mountain, and ultimately joins the convict-built Great North Road to Wisemans Ferry on the Hawkesbury River. The 240 km Great North Road was built to connect Sydney and Newcastle and some of it remains visible. Mangrove Mountains is also home for the Central Coast Soaring Club where, on weekends, you can watch gliders or even taste the thrill yourself. It’s best to check availability. For Dharug National Park take Peats Ridge Road off the M1 and then Wisemans Ferry Road from Central Mangrove to the Mill Creek campground and picnic area.
PEATS RIDGE By staying on Peats Ridge Road (Tourist Road 33) from Central Mangrove, you’ll soon come across the township of Peats Ridge. Just before reaching the town is The Springs (popular for weddings as well as golf) and a small shopping strip that includes a café and a saddlery to cater for the many horse properties in the area. Adjacent to the shops is The Barn Mountain Growers’ Market, offering fresh local produce, as well as curios and a small selection of prepared food and beverages. On the last Sunday of each month, the nearby Mangrove Mountain Country Market sells vegetables, baked goods, arts and crafts, and has activities for children.
swim in dams, bees buzz around hives, and horses, cattle, sheep and alpacas graze. At No. 1376, you’ll find The Hillview Farmstead, a 112 year-old heritage homestead on 117 acres that was originally owned by the Stinson family, early pioneers in the valley. It’s now a picturesque wedding and events venue. As Yarramalong Road continues beyond the farmlands into rainforest bushland, you drive across narrow wooden bridges and past signs warning of wombats crossing. At the outskirts of the town of Yarramalong is Springfield Trails Horse Riding, where escorted rides of up to three hours can give you a country experience without the need for lessons (although lessons are available). The small village of Yarramalong, site of the area’s first sawmill, nestles in the valley with a backdrop of forested hills. There’s a pub, Angel Sussurri restaurant (open Saturday and Sunday from 11.30 am), café (open every day), florist, general store and petrol station. From here, Yarramalong Road narrows but it’s worth taking it just a few hundred metres over the quaint Stephensons Bridge to see the 1885-built timber St Barnabas Church and its historyladen cemetery. St Barnabas is the oldest church building in the Wyong region and is available as a romantic wedding venue. From Yarramalong village, leave the Wyong River that has accompanied the road so far, and head up into the forest via Bumble Hill Road. The road is narrow and climbs quickly but is well marked and maintained. Surrounded by tall, majestic trees, with little sign of habitation, it’s easy to imagine
GREAT OUTDOORS • Country Drives and Stays
DRIVES AND STAYS continued 20 km from Peats Ridge is Popran National Park. From Peats Ridge Road, take George Downes Drive, then left into Wisemans Ferry Road and, after a further 8 km, turn left into Ironbark Road.
GLENWORTH VALLEY As Tourist Road 33 descends to meet the Old Pacific Highway, a side-trip down Cooks Road leads to the award-winning 1,200-hectare Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures complex (open 10 am to 5 pm daily), where there is a large variety of activities, including horse riding, quad-biking, kayaking, abseiling, camping and a laser skirmish. Or take a quiet walk in the pristine valley surrounding the Popran Creek where you may encounter a variety of native wildlife. On-site accommodation is available in cabins and there are also glamping and bush camping areas.
CALGA Three kilometres or so past Cooks Road is Darkinjung Road, Calga, where you’ll find the entrance to the Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park (open 9 am to 5 pm, 7 days). Adjacent to the Popran National Park, this wildlife sanctuary offers immersive ranger-led daytime activities, including a visit to an Aboriginal site with hand stencils believed to be over 4,000 years old. Animals wander freely and the ‘rent a ranger’ option provides a behindthe-scenes experience and oneon-one interaction with a variety of wildlife. There is even a ‘Wild Evening Out’, with spotlighting and marshmallow toasting on a campfire and, if you decide to stay overnight, there are eco-cabins and tents.
MT WHITE Mt White, home to farms and horse studs, is still off the beaten track, despite the opening of Saddles Restaurant at 20 Ashbrookes Road, popular with Sydney and Central Coast visitors. Weekend bookings are recommended. Less formal is the Old Road Café at 170 Pacific Highway where touring motorcyclists flock for coffee or lunch. Greenmans on the Hawkesbury, at 233 Morgans Road Mt White, offers self-contained accommodation for groups of up to 14 in ‘The House’ as well as caravans and camping sites, some on the river side. There is a swimming pool, a wharf for fishing, and access to a launching ramp if you BYO boat.
SOMERSBY AND KARIONG At Somersby is the ever-popular Australian Reptile Park (open daily 9 am to 5 pm). Despite its name, herpetophobiacs need not fear. The park is also home to wombats, dingoes, koalas and many cute little furry mammals. Established in 1948, the award-winning park serves the general community with their venom milking program and is active in conservation work. The park has a children’s playground, café and picnic area with barbecues. For a more peaceful experience, the Mt Penang Gardens and Parklands at Kariong are accessed via the Central Coast Highway, then turn into The Avenue, west of Gosford. The gardens are open from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm daily (closed on some public holidays) and are made up of 10 distinct areas, including the Aquatic, Misty Mountains and Bottle Tree gardens. Enter by crossing the bridge over the Pond Garden and wander wherever your mood takes you.
For art lovers, take in the Wondabyne Sculptures, featuring work by local and international sculptors using local sandstone. Also in Somersby, on Strickland Road, is the Strickland State Forest, the site of the first State Government nursery. Remnants of native and exotic tree plantings established during that time are now among the oldest in Australia and can be seen on the Arboretum Track. Strickland has extensive walking tracks through varying forest types, past waterfalls, under cabbage tree palms and along creeks, and has won numerous Tourism Awards.
OURIMBAH Nine kilometres north of Gosford, on the Old Pacific Highway, is Ourimbah, where there are examples of ancient indigenous occupation, including cave art. In the mid-19th century, Ourimbah was a centre of timbermilling, with native hardwood trees in great demand but, as the forests were cleared, the remaining land was given over to farming though the Ourimbah State Forest endures. Ourimbah now hosts the Central Coast campuses of the University of Newcastle and TAFE NSW. The Australian Rainforest Sanctuary’s ‘Forest of Tranquility’ (open September to June) offers a variety of creative and educational programs with walks, talks and tours. The sanctuary’s facilities include five kilometres of natural walking trails, covered picnic areas, function centre, education centre, natural lighting areas, children’s play equipment, gas token barbecues, light refreshments, and more. Entry fees apply and bookings are required for groups or weekday visitors.
GREAT OUTDOORS â€¢ Country Drives and Stays
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UMINA Â© CENTRAL COAST DRONES
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Four Luxury apartments Each Sleeping 8 guests Heated Pool, Rooftop terrace 200m Wamberal Beach Short walk to Terrigal Beach Located 1 hour north of Sydney CBD Mention COAST magazine when you book to receive a free, welcome hamper.
HEADING GARDENS •• Subhead Glenning Valley
A living tapestry of TEXTURES AND COLOURS WORDS PAUL URQUHART PHOTOS RAY HENDERSON
WALKING INTO RAY HENDERSON’S GARDEN IS LIKE LANDING ON A PLANET OF PERSIAN CARPETS — BRIGHT, BRILLIANT AND DAUBED WITH COLOUR. THIS IS A GARDEN OF SEEMING HORTICULTURAL EXCESS BUT, ON CLOSER OBSERVATION, ONE THAT HAS BEEN SO SKILFULLY ARRANGED THAT EACH PLANT SETS OFF ITS NEIGHBOURS WITH AMAZING PANACHE.
ay Henderson is a man with a mission. His garden, in the Glenning Valley on the Central Coast is, in his own words, a paradox. His is a garden that goes against the norm; a garden of intense colour, of texture and shapes, of rare and unusual plants. Twelve years ago, this garden was a paddock used for grazing cows and horses. As a result, the soil was heavily compacted, a less than ideal medium for growing most traditional garden plants. After moving soil aside for a driveway, Ray saw that the resulting mounds formed the basis for a new form of planting. The addition of tonnes of mulch improved the drainage for the heavy soil on the property. This soil type had advantages — good water retention and plenty of organic matter — ideal for growing a wide range of plants but not necessarily the ones that attracted Ray: the bromeliads and succulents. Ray has spent his working life in nurseries and realised early on that many retail nursery staff had no idea how to grow his favourite plants. Most didn’t fit into the public’s perception of what a garden could be so Ray had to re-invent the wheel and so Paradox Horticulture was born. Now it is his showcase and passion. The garden evolved through Ray mastering his conditions and altering them to suit his choice of unusual plants. ‘The textbooks tells us you can’t grow bromeliads in heavy soil or with frost, but I like to push the limits. Once the driveway soil was mounded up, I added plenty of mulch to open up the soil and improve the drainage. Then, I experimented with different types of bromeliads to find those that best adapted to the conditions and the sunny aspect.’ The garden has slowly evolved. ‘It’s been a gradual process of colonising the slope at the front of the garden. This is north facing, very sunny and difficult to mow. So it was ideal for shaping it to create the right conditions for succulents and bromeliads. I kept the row of liquidambars on the boundary to provide some dappled shade rather than build shade structures for nursery plants. In the lower part of the garden, the liquidambars protect the nursery plants. Though to get more light and sun in, I raised the canopy by pruning the lower branches.’
Bold foliage and subtle tonings are highlighted by seasonal bromeliad flowers.
The bluish foliage of chalk sticks and the orange firesticks contrast with the large and bold alcantareas.
GARDENS • Glenning Valley What has evolved is a jewel box of colourful foliage interspersed with a seasonal floral extravaganza that surprisingly is most brilliant in the cooler winter months. This is where the paradox comes in. Most of us plan for a colour explosion in spring or in summer, but bromeliads and succulents give us their all in winter. That’s not to say that Ray doesn’t welcome colour in other seasons. For summer, there are brugmansias, frangipani. In spring, the cliveas and tropical plants start their show, a show that continues right through to the end of autumn. ‘I started with the bromeliads, particularly alcantareas and aechmeas, but found that the succulents such as crassulas and the firesticks were great partners to the broms. They extended the foliage contrast and filled in gaps especially at soil level.’ What we see is a tapestry of texture and colour. Crassulas contrast with the broad, upright leaves of the bromeliads by forming neat, rounded buns often in colours not seen in alcantareas and aechmaeas. The latter tend to come in plum, silver or in warm shades of orange or apricot. Crassulas can be plain green but some are flushed with chalky blue tones or green and white variegations, some with a reddish picotee margins to
the leaf. Firesticks are a type of euphorbia (Euphorbia tirucalli) with a shrub-like habit, like flaming sticks shooting to the skies. The garden constantly evolves as Ray experiments with plants that suit his particular conditions. To say the overarching style is ‘architectural’ is an understatement. Wherever you look, upright plants meld with rounded shapes and one of the standouts is the Abyssinian banana, one of the more recent additions to Ray’s nursery lines. These and brugmansias or angel’s trumpet are the tallest plants in the main garden with trees tending to be relegated to the perimeters of the garden. Lillypillies provide screening along with red cedar and a magnificent flowering dombeya. Aloes are another range of plants that have not, until now, been properly recognised. Ray has several and they add spectacular autumn and winter colour. ‘Why aloes are not grown more, baffles me,’ he says. ‘They have everything we look for: easy to grow, outstanding winter flowers and brilliant foliage when not in flower. They deserve a stronger place in our gardens.’ Ray opens the garden to the public occasionally and the best way to find dates is to subscribe to his Facebook page, Paradox Horticulture. It’s well worth a visit. c
Tall tree aloes add a striking contrast to the foreground bromeliads and complement the dragon’s blood tree (Dracaena draco) in the background.
GARDENS • Glenning Valley
SEASONAL HIGHLIGHTS RAY EXPLAINED HOW HE MANAGES THE COLOUR IN HIS GARDEN BY PLANNING FOR FOUR MONTHS OF HIGHLIGHTS.
SPRING ‘I grow a lot of hybrid alcantareas by one of the best breeders, Peter Tristram. These are distributed around the garden and in spring they are still looking good. In addition, other neoregelias another bromeliad and cliveas are highlights of spring.’
SUMMER ‘I grew a lot of porteas and Aechmea blanchetiana for spring colour but the frangipanis start to bloom in late spring and carry through the whole summer and the dombeyas are summer flowering.’
AUTUMN ‘Most of the summer colours carry on through autumn. Autumn is recovery time. I do most of my maintenance in autumn: removing leaves scorched by high summer temperatures and general tidying up. The foliage is probably the most significant feature at this time.
WINTER This is the best time for the bromeliads such as alcantareas but it is also ideal for aloes, firesticks and crassulas particularly the bluish ones such as the cultivars ‘Bluebird’ and ‘Blue Waves’. Colour is accentuated in winter and everything is brighter, more brilliant during winter.’
ONCE UPON A TIME • Woy Woy
ONCE UPON A TIME IN WOY WOY WOY WOY’S MOST FAMOUS SON, SPIKE MILLIGAN, ONCE FAMOUSLY SAID, ‘WOY WOY MEANS ‘DEEP WATER’ BUT WHICH WOY MEANS “DEEP” AND WHICH MEANS “WATER”, I WILL NEVER KNOW.’ PERHAPS IT’S JUST AS WELL THAT HE MISSED THE CHANCE TO FOREVER BRAND THE TOWN BY ITS OLD NAME OF ‘WHY WHY’!
© CENTRAL COAST DRONES
‘Why Why’ or ‘Wy Wy’ is a corruption of the Aboriginal clan name which referred to the water at the Rip and is said to mean, ‘Much water’… yes, yes, but which means ‘much’ and which means ‘water’, we have no idea. The earliest inhabitants, the Awaba Darkinjung peoples, have left no explanation but they did leave interesting engravings of their lives at Bulgandry, ten minutes off Woy Woy Road where an ancestral man with a headdress is etched into the rock along with a whale, fishes and possibly a kangaroo whose tail is being ‘nibbled’ by an octopus. The Woy Woy area and Brisbane Water were explored by Governor Arthur Phillip in his quest to find good agriculture land just weeks after arriving Sydney in 1788. At The Rip, where The Rip Bridge now looks down on the swirling currents, Phillip and his party could not outrun the currents and stayed overnight in Booker Bay or Fisherman’s Bay. Next morning they sailed with the tide instead of against it and entered Brisbane Water. James Webb, a soldier in the NSW Corps became one of the district’s earliest European settlers in 1824, and one of its most notorious in his treatment of Aboriginal women and girls. He was given a grant of 100 acres
of land on the western side of The Rip. By 1828, the Census recorded his ownership of 540 acres, 11 horses and 120 cattle. He was living with Sophy Webb, an Awaba woman, and in that same year they had a daughter who was given the yet-to-be-famous name of Charlotte Webb. Brisbane Water was blessed with an abundance of cockle shells which, as well as food for the indigenous peoples, were burnt by the early settlers to produce lime used in making mortar for buildings in the new colony. It was dirty work. Digging for shells meant standing waist deep in mud and water and being paid little for the privilege. The shells were piled high, covered in seaweed and sods, and left to burn for three days. But by 1870, the demand for lime had fortunately diminished. Today, it may partly account for the plentiful remains of shell middens along the foreshores and hidden beneath many a waterfront residence. Oyster farming was also a popular occupation around Woy Woy and one family, the Rileys, innovated by standing flat stone slabs upright in the shallows and letting the oysters attach themselves naturally to the stone. The stone beds are still there according to a Riley family member.
ONCE UPON A TIME • Woy Woy
COURTESY OF BRISBANE WATER HISTORICAL SOCIETY COLLECTION
In 1829, Robert Cox and family had arrived from London and were promised a land grant of some 1,280 acres at Brisbane Water. Robert started a timber business (Brisbane Water was the cradle of early boat building with over 500 vessels constructed when the industry was at its peak). He became friends with James Webb and, when Webb died in 1848, he left his farm near The Rip and at Why Why Creek to Cox’s family. Robert Cox opened various shops, cottages and the Woy Woy Hotel which he leased at Why Why Creek where Woy Woy now thrives. The coming of the railway changed Woy Woy. Causeways had to be built across bays, bridges built and the mile long Woy Woy Tunnel excavated and lined. There’s a story that refuses to lie down and behave, that the Woy Woy Hotel was built with ‘leftover’ bricks from the railway tunnel. The hotel was also notorious for a different reason. In 1928, a huge fire destroyed four adjoining shops and the hotel was in grave danger of a similar demise. However, more than a hundred men from all parts of the district quickly rallied to save their favourite drinking hole, and the hotel — and its patrons — were saved from an unthinkable loss. City entertainment and sophistication came to Woy Woy in 1922 with the opening of a new picture theatre with seating for 1,100 people. Before ‘talkies’ a threepiece orchestra played by candlelight to accompany the silent films. The owner’s pet boxing kangaroo provided half-time entertainment.
COURTESY DESMOND MILLIGAN COLLECTION
Spike Milligan fishing at Woy Woy, 1962
During the Depression, a Council chambers was built Woy Woy Hotel together with a motor garage. The building is now the Woy Woy Library and the garage became known as the ‘Spike Milligan Room’. A new Milligan room has recently been opened to house a changing, interactive exhibition on Spike’s life, including a short film, The Millgans of Woy Woy. Woy Woy was a creative inspiration for Spike. He wrote much of Puckoon there in the late 1950s, as well as Goon Fishing. And in spite of lampooning Woy Woy whenever he could, Spike was active in helping to preserve a number of natural sites in the district. Among them is said to be the Aboriginal rock art site at Daleys Point, and Rileys Island, now an important nature reserve. He also helped save historic Henry Kendall Cottage in West Gosford and was an active supporter of the Gosford City Orchestra and the Woy Woy Little Theatre. Today, Woy Woy is undergoing a sea-change of its own with interesting restaurants and cafés opening wherever you turn. Among them is the pasta bar, Young Barons, with chef Dannielle Mills who trained with Stefano Manfredi at Bells at Killcare, and bartender Bryce Gleeson, also from Bells at Killcare. Frankie’s Rooftop, the Coast’s first rooftop bar has opened above the Bayview Hotel with enticing cocktails, tapas and more. The long-established Fishermen’s Wharf is now newly renovated with an over-the-water restaurant and bar, and offers some of the best sustainable seafood in the region. The leafy waterside walks and long cycleways, the ferry rides, the pelicans and black swans who call the area home, and the burgeoning restaurant scene make it worth a visit to Woy Woy. c
Emma and Jonny Adams The Forest Chapel, Terrigal and afterwards at Gracelands, Forresters Beach
BELLBIRDS RANG WORDS SARAH TOLMIE
for this wedding
mma and Jonny are lovers of nature and bushwalking, and The Forest Chapel in the woodlands of Terrigal, only minutes from postcard picture-perfect beaches, is a forest of blue gums and large turpentine trees. The natural amphitheatre, with pews made from the cut trees on site, shared the landscape and light with the sound of bellbirds that punctuated the silence and stillness. It was a perfect choice for the wedding ceremony. Emma wore a Maggie Sottero-designed, long-sleeved wedding dress with a lovely low dip at the back. The sheer light veil, with her hair in a loose up-do, showed off the beautiful pure white of the dress with its gorgeous trim of ’50s lace detail, including on the fishtail train and sleeves. ‘Emma has a beautiful heart that reminds me of my Mum,’ says Jonny. ‘I love that she is always positive and encourages everyone around her with word and thoughtful action. I love that she is passionate about what she believes and won’t let her circumstances dictate to her. She is just beautiful in every kind
of way possible.’ And they brought faith too, including faith in the weather. And faith in each other and God. As lifelong Christians, Emma and Jonny had met at their church in Gosford and had been friends for ten years before a romance blossomed. Their day was filled with more than 100 friends and family, a close knit congregation with deep bonds and connection. ‘I’m not sure how to tell you what I love about Jonny, without writing an essay. I love that he is a man of integrity and true to his word. He is deliberate and intentional with his words and actions and everything he does is well thought,’ says Emma. ‘He is incredibly patient and full of grace. And he’s the most handsome, so that’s a bonus!’ The celebration continued at one of the Coast’s established ‘It’ places to be. The youthful team at Gracelands in Forresters Beach
have created a modern and bespoke event space — revamped from an old wedding venue — now a contemporary industrialstyled indoor and outdoor space that caters for unique occasions with an equal focus on great food, music and hospitality. Emma and Jonny’s guests enjoyed the deluxe canapes and Jonny’s band played a few songs, sharing the stage with their musicians, and there was even a surprise performance by Mrs Adams too. Ceremony: The Forest Chapel, Terrigal Reception: Gracelands. Forresters Beach Photographer: White Lane Studios Celebrant/officiant: Pastor Kim Jones Dress: Maggie Sottero Hair: Beautiful You by Lex and Amanda Pol (bridesmaid) Makeup: Karen Dyer Hair and Makeup Jeweller: Jarrett Fine Jewellery Florist: Jane Franklin Floral Cake: The Good Bits Co
WEDDINGS • Profile
Wedding rings warmed by the guests WORDS SARAH TOLMIE
Emma and Rod Andersen-More Bells at Killcare
or Emma and Rod, one of the most important elements of their wedding was making choices based on the things that created meaning, keeping the focus on special relationships to make things sustainable, simple and stress-free. ‘We wanted it to be an intimate day that everyone would remember with warmth and laughter,’ says Emma. A perfect expression of this wish was that each guest warmed the wedding rings and delivered heartfelt dedications to Emma and Rod, affirming how their relationship had shaped and gifted them with so much love. ‘We tried to balance a sense of occasion and ceremony with avoiding the traps of a typical wedding and spending money unnecessarily,’ says Emma. ‘Hence no cake, minimal flowers, no cars.’
The wedding day was a special gathering of only 11 family and friends – Rod’s three kids, Emma’s best friend and niece, their business partner, and guests’ partners. A video recording of the ceremony was made for Emma’s dear stepfather in the UK. Not being a typical wedding, it took some persuading from Rod to convince Emma to wear a wedding dress instead of just ‘a nice frock’. She was persuaded after finding local dressmaker, Kira Pizzingrilli, who adapted The Bridal Outlet dress for a flattering, figure hugging kimono design enriched by Emma’s love of colour — to match Rod’s plum linen jacket — and her eclectic style with boho jewels and a lace train. Emma and Rod live only five minutes from one of the Central Coast’s most exclusive boutique hotels, Bells of Killcare. With a Michelin-experienced chef, a 5-course degustation menu, and a wine list named ‘Best Regional Wine List’, it made Bells an easy choice of venue for this pair of quirky, comfort-seeking, fine-food loving locals. Emma and Rod’s special day was a dedication to all things local,
WEDDINGS • Profile luxe, and love-filled in a private part of Bells’ garden, framed by autumn trees and a pond. It was a bespoke service full of laughs, love and tears, and journeyed through the couple’s love story over its first ten years from creation to commitment and consolidation, and a celebration of all that has been achieved in their first decade together. Emma and Rod are business partners as well as life and love partners, and it was a recent coaching client — an ethical wedding business called Less Stuff More Meaning (LSMM) — that influenced their plans and helped keep foremost the sense of meaning and legacy in Emma and Rod’s hearts and wove each person present into the ceremony. ‘Not getting sucked into the wedding machine, particularly given our involvement with LSMM, was important to us,’ says Emma. ‘It’s hard, even when you’re determined, but we really wanted to keep the costs down — we have better things to spend money on with a house and three kids in the picture — we just wanted the things that mattered most to us.’ This was articulated right down to the rings, a combination of diamonds and gold, from rings that once belonged to Emma’s mother and grandmothers. Emma’s beloved stepfather played an important role, in spite of his physical distance on the other side of the world. ‘My lovely stepfather offered to pay for the rings to be remade into a wedding ring for me as a wedding present,’ says Emma twisting the ring on her finger, letting it catch the light. ‘I took them to Jules Collins in Sydney and we came up with the design for my wedding ring and a matching ring for Rod.’ And Rod’s late mother was also lovingly remembered. ‘We also found a small ring of Rod’s mother’s recently, which I wore on my right hand. It means so much to have this piece of our family history and a way to have our mums present on the day.’
For self-confessed non-romantics, ‘being real, making sure the ceremony is “us”, honouring our quirks and personality and feels comfortable’ and yet still creating a sense of occasion, reverence and sacredness was the brief for their celebrant, Sarah Tolmie. In a special and meaningful footnote to the day, Emma and Rod have adopted a new and combined name. In a profound demonstration of their love and relationship evolving into marriage, and honouring the significance of Emma’s stepdad, they have added onto Rod’s surname — Andersen — the surname of Emma’s stepfather — More — with Emma Marshall and Rod Andersen, transforming into a sacred union with the name Mr and Mrs Andersen-More. At the heart of their marriage now is More love and More meaning. Venue: Bells at Killcare Celebrant: Sarah Tolmie, Life & Love Photographer: White Lane Studios Flowers: Raw Botanic Dress/Kimono: The Bridal Outlet, Somersby and Kira Pizzingrilli/ Bohemian Traders, Erina Ceremony Styling: Neon Garage, Kincumber Hair and make-up: Hair Apparent, Hardys Bay Rings: Jules Collins, Sydney
PHOTO COURTESY OF NICOLETTE HAMLIN AND SIMON KREJCIK
Information has been sourced from the venues and public sites including the venuesâ€™ websites. Please check with them to confirm details.
CHARLOTTE CHAPEL AND KANTARA HOUSE 431 Avoca Drive, Green Point NSW 2251 www.kantarahouse.net.au A romantic chapel set among the trees and now lovingly restored. Adjacent to Kantara House for receptions.
CROWNE PLAZA TERRIGAL PACIFIC Pine Tree Lane, Terrigal NSW 2260 https://terrigalpacific.crowneplaza. com/wedding Opposite beach with picturesque views, 4.5 star accommodation and cuisine, and a range of venues.
DISTILLERY BOTANICA (previously known as FRAGRANT GARDENS) 25 Portsmouth Road,
Erina NSW 2250 https://distillerybotanica.com Set in three acres of gardens where the herbs for the distillery are grown. The gardens remain natural rather than highly manicured and are complemented by the mudbrick buildings. Garden weddings or marquee.
FERNBANK FARM 756 Yarramalong Rd, Wyong Creek, NSW 2259 www.fernbankfarmstay.com Fernbank Farm was settled in 1904 and over the past 110 years has developed into a unique heritage location. It is also the home of the Santosa Clydesdales and 4-6 seater Landau wedding carriage.
GRACELANDS 25 Forresters Beach Rd, Forresters Beach NSW 2260 http://goingtogracelands.com/ 700 metres from the beach, function room, bar, large garden. Industrial style chic.
HARDYS BAY CLUB 14 Heath Rd, Hardys Bay NSW 2257 www.hardysbayclub.com.au With a background of a natural waterfall and Bouddi National Park, surrounded by birdlife, the club is a beautiful, old building with a long deck and outdoor pergola.
THE FOREST CHAPEL
1st Floor of the Killcare Surf Club, 81 Beach Parade, Killcare NSW 2261 www.lattitudethirtythree.com.au/ killcarefunctions
Wycombe Rd, Terrigal NSW 2260 www.theforestchapel.com
On the shores of Killcare Beach with sweeping ocean views. Function room, bar and balcony.
LINTON GARDENS 611 Wisemans Ferry Road, Somersby NSW 2250 www.lintongardens.com.au Set in five acres of heritage gardens and housing a quaint historic chapel.
A natural, relaxed outdoor leafy bushland wedding site with good photo locations.
THE HILLVIEW 1376 Yarramalong Road, Yarramalong NSW 2259 www.thehillview.com.au The heritage listed homestead sits on a picturesque 117 acres with landscaped surrounds, flagstone terraced area, hidden gardens.
THE SPRINGS MERCURE KOOINDAH WATERS RESORT 40 Kooindah Blvd, Wyong NSW 2259 www.mercurekooindahwaters. com.au/weddings/ A 4.5 star luxury golf and spa resort catering to outdoor and indoor weddings and receptions. Hotel and apartment accommodation.
NOONAWEENA 1442 George Downes Drive, Kulnura NSW 2250 www.noonaweena.com.au An air of solitude and the natural beauty of manicured grounds. Four elegant lodges and extensive guest facilities. Disabled access and accommodation.
PULLMAN MAGENTA SHORES RESORT 1 Magenta Drive, Magenta NSW 2261 www.pullmanmagentashores.com. au/en/weddings/ 5-star resort offering water views, golf course views, lakeside lawn ceremony. Large reception areas. Accommodation.
SOMERSBY GARDENS Somersby Falls Rd, Somersby NSW 2250 www.somersbygardens.com.au The 50-acre estate offers several wedding ceremony and reception locations in the beautiful gardens, horseshoe bridge, the pavilion and outdoor amphitheatre.
1080 Peats Ridge Rd, Peats Ridge NSW 2250 www.the-springs.com.au Resident ducks, bushland, water features and rural landscape with an outside ceremony or indoors on the deck overlooking the bushlands. Small weddings, marquee weddings and large formal weddings. Your pets are welcome guests. Versatile, chef-designed menus.
WAGSTAFFE HALL 55 Wagstaffe Ave, Wagstaffe NSW 2257 www.wagstaffetokillcare.org.au/ info.php?id=4 A charming waterfront hall for your BYO styling and decorations. At one end of the hall is a stage and, on the waterfront side, two sets of double glass doors which open onto a large veranda.
WYONG CREEK HALL 791 Yarramalong Road, Wyong Creek NSW 2259 www.wyongcreekhall.com.au A charming heritage listed hall built in 1914 and fully restored.
YARRAMALONG VALLEY FARMSTAY 798 Yarramalong Rd, Wyong Creek NSW 2259 www.yarramalongvalleyfarmstay. com.au Set on 50 acres, with an architect designed rural home that accommodates up to 15 people. Outdoor or marquee weddings and receptions.
COAST • Attractions
CINEMA QUIRKY: THE AVOCA BEACH PICTURE THEATRE • succeed • •
laugh • celebrate create • heal • learn • grow
0418 640 901
The inclusion of ‘Picture Theatre’ in the name is a hint that this is no ordinary cinema, no multiscreen mega-complex that showcases only the latest blockbuster movies. Rather, it’s a nostalgic and quirky step back into a charming, bygone theatre experience. The Avoca Beach Picture Theatre began life as an outdoor cinema in 1948 in the front garden of brothers Merv and Norm Hunter’s house to raise funds to build the Avoca Beach rock pool just across the park. Today, the sandstone-style building is festooned with fairy lights welcoming evening patrons. Outside, and spilling into the garden, are café tables and chairs. If you look carefully, you’ll find Avoca’s own Walk of Fame along the footpath, complete with the eternal handprints of famous visitors. Step inside and you are greeted not by a homogenised, red-carpeted foyer dispensing popcorn, Choc-tops and tickets, but a quirky boutique crowded with colourful, flowing garments on racks, a range of fluffy slippers or seasonal hats on stands, and scented candles and knick-knacks on the shelves. There are comfy, carved lounge chairs in the soft glow of leadlight lamps, as well as Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart and Sophia Loren posters, and a ticket counter that sells coffee and wines. You’re welcome to take your glass of wine or coffee into the theatre where you’ll be offered a comfy cushion and, in winter, a cosy knee rug (not that it’s cold inside) to make yourself at home. The theatre offers carefully chosen mainstream, art-house and foreign films and documentaries as well as staging live performances. The owners have plans underway to develop the site with three additional cinemas and five, three-bedroom apartments. We just hope they don’t lose the quirky appeal of this unique Central Coast gem. Avoca Beach Picture Theatre, 68 Avoca Drive, Avoca Beach 2251. www.avocabeachpicturetheatre.com.au
Sarah Tolmie is a life & love coach, therapist, consultant and holistic celebrant assisting individuals, couples and families to celebrate, navigate, heal and grow through all their life & love transitions, changes, challenges and losses. Her practice focuses on love, marriage & family relationships; success, health & wellness; grief and loss, including illness, dying, end-of-life and after death care.
COAST • Attractions
XTREME TREETOP THRILLS WORDS CHRISTINE ALLEN
f you enjoy nature, as well as rollercoasters, birds’ eye views, and a touch of adventure then read on. I’m about to test drive the Central Coast’s extreme tourist attraction: the Treetop Crazy Rider rollercoaster zip line, hanging in a harness high above the ground. I can’t wipe the smile off my face. At 18 metres high and one kilometre long, it’s the world’s longest, and possibly most audacious, rollercoaster zip line adventure. The Crazy Rider affectionately refers to itself as ‘the funfilled love child of a rollercoaster and a flying fox’. After hearing the squeals of delight and shrieks of terror from those who have gone before me, I can’t wait to fly. It all begins with a short safety briefing in a clearing in the Ourimbah State Forest, near Wyong. Together with a small group of fellow thrill-seekers, we buckle on orange helmets, thread our arms and legs through harnesses and sling a triangular pulley over our shoulders before setting out on a short bush walk. There’s already a sense of adventure in the air and we’re still on the ground. Another group is heading off to try the shorter 330-metre-long Pioneer ride but we’re heading straight to the top to try Xtreme Treetop Crazy Rider. As we walk through the forest, an information board tells us about yellow-faced whip snakes. An involuntary shiver shudders down my spine. A whip snake feels scarier than a flying-fox, even though the instructor tells us she’s never seen one. Everyone relaxes. And then she relays the story of a giant python that briefly closed the course while it hung around in nearby branches. Okay, pythons are okay … at a distance. Other signs point to Xanthorrhoea bottlebrush and Peron’s tree frogs. It’s an authentic Australian bush experience from the car park to the launch platform and beyond. Finally, at the top, I’m slouched in my harness, ankles crossed, with my arms casually resting in a Harley handlebar stance, as the instructor awaits the all-clear to let me go.
Within moments I’m whooshing past gum leaves and curling around vertiginous tree trunks that are shedding their bark skin, occasionally swinging out wildly after a sharp corner before getting back on track and racing away down the ride — and loving every second. It’s got to be the most fun you can have sitting down. As I gleefully glide and curl around the course I understand why these ‘crazy riders’ have got the world’s attention with their innovative twists and turns. There’s even one 540-degree loop. What a rush! After coming to a surprisingly graceful halt at the end of the line, I instantly want to go again. While there are steeper and faster zip lines, none offer the thrill of a panoramic 360-degree loop around a gumtree or the delight of experiencing native bushland from this unique perspective. People have travelled from all over the world to try the Xtreme zip line including a couple who flew from the United States’ Central Coast to our Central Coast to be among the first to try it. A kilometre goes by very quickly when you’re flying through the trees like a sugar glider, but I like that the course offers a balance between wild and woolly corners, speedy slaloms and a few sedate stretches so you can sit back and enjoy the ride. Anyone who weights 40 to 120 kg can ride the Xtreme zip line. For the kids’ version, parents walk the course on the ground to reassure their child up above if needed. And the staff are fantastic in their handling nervous or overexcited parents (or children). Wheelchair users need not miss out either! What will I try next? Rope ladders, wobbly bridges, cargo nets, Tarzan swings, suspended rafts … TreeTops, 1 Red Hill Road (cnr Yarramalong Road), Wyong Creek 2259 http://www.treetops.com.au
MARKET GUIDE • Spring
MARKET GUIDE WORDS CHRISTINE ALLEN
FROM THE SHORE OF AVOCA’S LAKE TO TERRIGAL’S ESPLANADE AND LAGOONSIDE AT THE ENTRANCE, EVERY WEEKEND, SOMEWHERE ON THE COAST, THERE IS A BUSTLING LOCAL MARKET OFFERING A PLETHORA OF COASTAL TREASURES. THE COAST’S MARKETS ARE AS MUCH ABOUT FARM FRESH PRODUCE FROM SURROUNDING AREAS AS CREATING A REGULAR OUTLET FOR CRAFTY COASTIES TO GET ENTREPRENEURIAL IN THEIR OWN BACKYARD.
© LISA HAYMES
Avoca Beachside Markets
MARKET GUIDE • Spring
AVOCA BEACHSIDE MARKETS Lining the shores of Avoca’s pretty-as-a-picture lake, the Avoca Beachside Markets are a main event on the Coast. The brainchild of creative couple Brad and Bianca Cardis, the markets have somewhat of a cult status with traffic often coming to a standstill in and out of the small beachside suburb when ‘ABM’ rolls into town. From 9 am to 2 pm on the fourth Sunday of the month, more than 120 stalls pop up in Heazlett Park offering all manner of up-cycled, recycled, pre-loved, vintage and bespoke one-of-a-kind treasures. A live stage acts as a launch pad for the Coast’s emerging musical talent. It’s where The Voice winner Ellie Drennan and grandfinalist Nathan Hawes started out. Under colourful flags, the chillout zone offers a perch to sit and enjoy a gluten-free donut, goat’s milk gelato or ginger beer. From pram-toting, baby-carrying mums to weekender couples and tribes of market-chic mates, it’s a great day out for all.
TERRIGAL BEACH MARKETS The stallholders at Terrigal Beach Markets have one hell of an office from 9 am to 3 pm on the first Saturday of the month. Their view is nothing but blue, out over beautiful Terrigal beach. Stalls along the picturesque Esplanade are laden with clothing, lovely homewares, pretty jewels and gorgeous blooms. It’s hard to find a better place to potter about on a sunny Saturday, while also supporting local artists, designers and musicians.
ORGANIC FOOD MARKET
SHELLY BEACH MARKETS
Swap the fluorescent lights of the supermarket for some fresh air and sunshine at the Organic Food Market at Memorial Park, The Entrance, from 9 am to 2 pm every Saturday. From food to fashion, marketgoers can nab some seasonal produce, sweets, artisanal bread or maybe a new outfit as they follow in the footsteps of the suburb’s resident pelicans along the edge of The Entrance’s milky-blue lagoon.
The biggest undercover markets on the Coast, Shelly Beach Markets, are as cool and quirky as the fuchsia flamingos they have become synonymous with. Boasting everything from fudge to fairy floss and flavoured popcorn, bespoke bibs to boho bassinets and cupcakes, candles and cushions galore, there’s so much diversity, creativity and originality on display, it can take hours to wander around every stall. Just as they have been for the past five years, the markets are held from 9 am to 2 pm on the last Saturday of the month at Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College (the old Entrance High School).
GOSFORD FARMERS’ MARKET The weekly Gosford Farmer’s Market is held at the Entertainment Grounds every Sunday from 8 am to 1 pm (except when another event is on). From paddock to plate, stallholders offer everything from freshly picked lemons to lemon myrtle scones. With gluten-free brownies, hearty beef pies, colourful paella, dim sum, super foods and gozleme also available, it’s a foodie’s delight.
UMINA BEACH MARKETS A truly community event, the Umina Beach Markets lure locals to the Peninsula Recreation Precinct at Umina Beach from 9 am to 2 pm on the third Sunday of the month. Stalls fill the grassy areas from the surf club to the skate park offering everything from candles to cupcakes, doughnuts to dog treats, and jam to jerky. Run by vegan local, Ricky Simoes, the markets have a unique edge — they’re vegan-friendly. Plantbased products include small-batch soaps, lavender vegan scrubs and even the latest drink trend to sweep Instagram: reishi mushroom lattes.
THE MARKET TERRIGAL On the second Sunday of the month, The Market Terrigal is held at Terrigal Scout Hall from 9 am to 2 pm. Curated by and for chic Coasties, stalls offer everything from soap to second-hand clothes, and baskets to blooms.
FRENCH COUNTRY MARKET Spring sees the return of the biannual French Country Market with the red, blue and white bunting set to be strung at Chertsey Primary School, Springfield, on Saturday November 10. With baguettes in baskets, French fries in cardboard cones, vintage Champagne ice buckets, soap from Marseille and general bric-a-brac, they are the markets du jour for local Francophiles.
VINTAGE FAIR COLLECTIVE At Vintage Fair Collective, turning something old into something new means so much more than just recycling and upcycling. It’s about giving everyone a fair go. The Point Clare collective is an initiative of Fairhaven Services, which provides support, service and employment to people with a disability on the Coast. Scour the weekly car boot market for a bargain, while putting some dollars back into the Fairhaven coffers to help locals with disabilities. The market is held from 9 am to 2 pm on the second Saturday of each month. Mark December 8 in your calendar – that’s their big annual Christmas fair.
HEADING • Subhead
NATALIE WALTON OF IMPRINT HOUSE WORDS KATIE STOKES
NATALIE WALTON’S APPRECIATION OF TIMELESS AND CONSIDERED DESIGN AND STYLE IS EVIDENT THE INSTANT YOU ENTER HER BEAUTIFULLY CURATED YARRAMALONG VALLEY STORE, IMPRINT HOUSE. A DELICATE STEM OF COTTON SITS ATOP A PILE OF LINEN TABLECLOTHS. A DRIED GUMNUT BRANCH ADORNS THE BRETON-STRIPED TEA TOWELS. WOODEN DISH BRUSHES ARE DISPLAYED IN WIRE BASKETS FRONTED WITH HANDWRITTEN PAPER PRICE TAGS AND BEECHWOOD EGG CUPS NESTLE IN NATURAL JUTE BASKETS HANDWOVEN IN BANGLADESH. NATALIE BEST DESCRIBES THE SPACE AS ‘AN EMPORIUM OF BEAUTIFUL EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS.’
PEOPLE OF THE COAST • Natalie Walton
that sometimes you’re not even aware of the daily onslaught.’ Ultimately, though, Walton’s Thank you in This is Home perhaps rings truest of all: ‘To my children,’ she writes, ‘home is where you are’.
he wooden store, built by Natalie’s husband, Daniel, is set on the 26-acre property they share with their four children. The exterior is raw and rustic in contrast to the white-walled interior where you find Walton’s carefully and ethically sourced homewares. It was only two years ago that Walton launched Imprint House as an online shop and pop up store but she’s long been a flag-bearer for good design. As a writer and stylist for leading interiors magazines, Walton’s work has appeared on the pages of Elle Decoration, Harper’s Bazaar, Australian House & Garden, Country Style, Inside Out and more. She was deputy editor of Real Living for five years and founder of the much-lauded design and arts journal Daily Imprint, which she launched more than ten years ago. ‘Everything we sell has inherent beauty,’ Natalie says. ‘It is not trying to create a look or be something. It just is. And it’s also useful or helps to enhance our lives in some way.’ Clearly many people agree. She has four Instagram accounts, each with an impressive number of followers: her impeccable curation of @imprint_house has garnered 21,000 fans; her own personal account @nataliewalton has 13,600; her new book @Thisishomebook has 1,558 fans; and her family’s account of daily musings theindigocrew has a further 10,700! In April this year she also released her first book, This is Home. Walton, along with photographer Chris Warnes, was invited into more than 20 homes across seven countries to complete the beautifully compiled coffee table book, which discusses what makes a home. She’s already working through ideas for a second manuscript. To say she’s busy is an understatement, so it’s no wonder that Walton and her family moved from Sydney three years ago to a cedar cabin in Yarramalong Valley in search of a simpler life. Has she found it? ‘Absolutely,’ she says. ‘One of the things we love about living on the property is that we aren’t distracted by so many things that aren’t relevant to our lives: roadworks, building developments, advertising. There are so many elements that come with city living
What are three favourite items you sell at Imprint House? ‘I love the African baskets that we get from Zimbabwe. I have been there, and when we open the box I can smell the grasses of Africa! The upcoming Pocket Purse, as it’s something that I have wanted to have for a long time and so I decided to design it. And the botanical soaps — they are completely natural, smell amazing, and don’t contribute any plastic to the environment.’ Imprint House’s motto is ‘Living simply, Living better’. How do you live by that saying? ‘There is a great quote by Dieter Rams and his design process, “Less but better”. It’s an approach that goes through my mind with so many aspects of life, especially at home. Do we really need to buy a stool specifically for the children? Or can we use something else that won’t become redundant as they age?’ Do you have a favourite public space on the Central Coast? We enjoy visiting the bike track that goes through Woy Woy. Patonga is one of our favourite beaches in the summer, especially near the lagoon. Other than your own, what local boutique do you love visiting? If I’m ever near Gosford, I have to visit Piccolo Pear, one of my first discoveries on the Central Coast and still a favourite. What are your local go-to restaurants? We love Bombini in Avoca for pizza and the Fishermen’s Wharf in Woy Woy. Imprint House is open Fridays 10 am-2 pm at 1282 Yarramalong Rd, Wyong Creek https://www.imprinthouse.net This is Home Hardie Grant Books, $55 hardcover.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT • Spring
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT ON THE COAST BROOKE DOHERTY TAKES A LOOK AT WHAT’S GOING ON THIS SPRING.
The Woman in Black – D & S Media Productions If you are intrigued by things that go bump in the night and want a theatre experience that will stay with you long after the show is over, then this is the play for you. Susan Hill, who wrote the sequel to Daphne Du Maurier’s classic 1938 thriller, Rebecca, penned the novel on which Stephen Mallatratt based his script. Like Du Maurier’s famous work, The Woman in Black focuses on a dead woman whose influence has devastating consequences on the living. What makes this play exceptional (besides the plot twists) are its sensory dimension and inventive staging: the clever use of props, sounds, lighting effects and fog to ensnare and misdirect the audience. Only two performers characterise a range of people, their transformations made visible, and cunningly focusing your attention on the story being told. Paul Russell, who formerly worked for The Sydney Shakespeare Company plays ‘The Actor.’ Look out also for the talented young man playing ‘Mr Kipps,’ Declan Dowling, who is already a stage veteran and has a presence far beyond his years. It’s touted as ‘the most terrifying theatre experience in the world.’ Think you can handle it? September 1, The Art House, Wyong. www. thearthousewyong.com.au
Julius Caesar – Bell Shakespeare Company What with the current level of back-stabbing and character assassination in Australian and American politics, you might well see uncomfortable parallels to the machinations of these ancient Romans and their egotistical motivations. This production, directed by James Evans, presents us with a dystopian society much like Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, imbued with fear and manipulative propaganda. Julius Caesar features Kenneth Ransom, Ivan Donato and some of Shakespeare’s most iconic lines, so ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears’. October 8-9, Laycock Street Community Theatre, North Gosford. www.gosford.nsw.gov.au/theatres
© PIERRE TOUSSAINT
Madame Butterfly – Melbourne City Ballet
It’s fitting that Central Coast Council is bringing this production of Madame Butterfly to Laycock Street Theatre as Gosford is the sister city to Edogawa (a satellite of Tokyo, Japan). Artistic Director, Michael Pappalardo, has taken great care to recreate an authentic Japanese experience, incorporating beautiful kimonos and Shoji screens to evoke a bygone era of elegance and simplicity. The ballet is choreographed to Puccini’s magnificent score with Yuiko Masukawa performing the principal role of Cho Cho who tragically falls in love with an American Naval Officer, Pinkerton. What adds an extra dimension to this production, however, is the inclusion of MCB’s Community Program: local ballet dancers
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT • Spring
aged between 8 and 18 years can participate in an audition workshop for a role in the performances at that venue. Now there’s a career opportunity! September 21-22, Laycock Street Community Theatre, North Gosford www.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/theatres Audition workshop: September 21, 3.30pm at Laycock Community Theatre ($10 fee).
ART ARTEXPRESS – Gosford Regional Gallery
CHILDREN’S The Gruffalo. The Gruffalo’s Child In a world inundated with children’s stories, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child are famous. But why? When Julia Donaldson wrote her little tale about a mouse that goes for a stroll in the woods back in 1999, little did she know that it would define her and the illustrator. Over 13.5 million copies and 39 translations later, the proverbial ‘beast’ is still growing: publishers have reported a 14 percent increase in sales in the past two years alone and ticket sales for their theatrical spin-offs are booming. It’s a simple plot: a happy-go-lucky little mouse happens upon an unfortunate array of predators including a fox and an owl. What ensues is a story of survival.
If you think succeeding in your career is difficult, spare a thought for the HSC students who made the cut for ARTEXPRESS: those exhibited in the Main Gallery represent about 0.5 percent of the state’s candidature for Visual Arts. The students not only reflect Australia’s diverse multicultural backgrounds and educational institutions, but also a broad range of styles including textile and fibre, sculpture and photomedia. What makes this exhibition especially attractive is its representation of local talent and, there are many of them. Sometimes dark and brooding like Shoot, Scroll, Repeat, or the humorous Thou shalt Not Peeve, to the
aesthetically beautiful Equus, you’ll be sure to find something that will resonate. It’s well worth the look. July 21-September 2, Gosford Regional Gallery, East Gosford www.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/galleries
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT • Spring Previous tours have sold out and, given the very reasonable ticket prices, are likely to do so again. September 14-15 The Gruffalo Laycock Street Community Theatre, North Gosford www.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/theatres October 29-30 The Gruffalo’s Child The Art House, Wyong www.thearthousewyong.com.au
MUSIC Jamie MacDowell and Tom Thum
No, they aren’t small but they are formidable. Long before Sam Perry wowed Australia with his Beat-Boxing to win The Voice 2018, Tom Thum (aka Tom Horn) was touring the UK, America and Australia and fronting symphony orchestras. Both Audi and Disney approached him for major campaigns, especially after his legendary 2013 performance at The Sydney Opera House that garnered 84 million views and became the most watched TEDx talk of all time. Amazingly, Horn can replicate sounds from trumpets to saxophones, to didgeridoos to percussion instruments (just to name a few) AND layer the sounds while varying the beat. Oh, and did I mention that he can sing? Here he doesn’t need to as he’s teamed up with Jamie MacDowell who, armed with a guitar and a smooth voice, can melodically transport you to an exotic island getaway or just make you want to dance in the aisle. He’s like a singing Ryan Gosling teamed-up with a human synthesizer. You’ll be in for a creative treat. September 20, Laycock Street Community Theatre, North Gosford www.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/theatres
PLEASE NOTE: SESSION TIMES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. PLEASE CHECK WITH VENUE.
© CHELONE WOLF
Now that in itself wouldn’t cook a ‘classic’— that’s more like a NIGHTMARE. What does make Donaldson’s work unique is the humour and poetic form of both texts. They use very simple language and rhyme so that children aged 3 to 8 can easily remember the couplets. And why would they bother? Because this mouse is a seriously cool guy. As he faces each small climactic crisis, he completely dispels fear through his self-confidence and wit. He’s a triumphant role model for what we all want and increasingly need our children to be: resilient. The sequel cleverly makes links to the characters and action of the original story, but also works independently. Where The Gruffalo focuses upon the ‘street-smarts’ of the mouse, the sequel’s protagonist is the child-beast. The plot parallels indigenous stories of yowies and bunyips to accessibly teach the theme of child protection to innocent and curious young minds tempted to stray from their parent’s care. Both stage adaptions use a rollicking mix of song, dance, physical theatre and puppetry to entertain during the 55-minute performance with an added pantomime element, given the audience’s familiarity with the texts. The costumes and sets are delightful. Even if you’ve seen The Gruffalo before, you’ll find that the aesthetics of this production have been improved thanks to input from a recent West End theatre residency program.
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© CHRIS ELFES
WINE • Hunter Valley
WINE • Hunter Valley
WONDER WOMAN, ’GATOR GIRL AND A BLACK SWAN BALLERINA WORDS BRENDA CHRISTIAN
WHAT DO THEY HAVE IN COMMON? THEY’RE ALL OUTFITS HUNTER VALLEY WINEMAKER GWYN OLSEN HAS WORN TO WORK. YES, SERIOUSLY!
he 35-year-old head winemaker at Pepper Tree Wines and Briar Ridge Vineyard has had seriously impressive wine show success and won a swag of awards, including dux of the Australian Wine Research Institute in 2012, Gourmet Traveller WINE’s Young Winemaker Medal in 2014 and Hunter Valley Rising Star in 2015. So is she boastful and highbrow about the wine biz? Not a bit. Instead she’s passionate about making wine less intimidating and more fun. And that’s the thing about Gwyn, she doesn’t take herself — or wine — too seriously.
‘I started Fancy Dress Friday during vintage and it’s a lot of fun,’ she says. ‘You work all hours of the day during harvest and as staff we spend more time with each other than we do with our families, so it’s really about not taking it all too seriously. I think it also makes you more approachable as a senior staff member as well to take the mickey out of yourself,’ she laughs, leaning down to pick up the soggy tennis ball that Spencer, her silver-grey schnauzer, has dropped at her feet. Spence is Gwyn’s constant shadow, trotting alongside her to the winery and vineyard each day, and greeting customers at Pepper 93
© CHRIS ELFES
WINE • Hunter Valley
Tree Wines’ quaint cellar door. ‘When I talk to people about wine, I’m talking about wines I enjoy drinking in my tracksuit pants on the couch because that’s what most of us do … and it’s a lot more relatable than talking about drinking a $300 bottle of Champagne in a fancy restaurant. That’s not achievable for most people and a bit elitist. ‘That said, Champagne and hot chips are one of my favourite food and wine pairings,’ she says with that laugh bubbling to the surface again. ‘I have a deep love of deep-fried food: Dagwood dogs, Chiko rolls … anything that is deep-fried I will eat.’ No surprise then, that in her mission to make wine less snobbish she has organised events matching favourite takeaway dishes like fish ’n chips, burgers and Dagwood dogs with Briar Ridge wines. Born in Cairns, Gwyn grew up in Tembagapura, West Papua, where her dad was a mining surveyor for a copper and gold mine and her mum a teacher at the local school. ‘I’m not one of those winemakers who had a wine 94 COAST
epiphany. I just thought it would be fun. I was studying biochemistry at the University of Otago and got into wine because of the whole fermentation kinetics and enzymes. That’s what I really like about winemaking: the science. It’s practical, applicable and you can really use it, which I find quite fascinating. ‘I think the thing that really helped growing up in the tropics is that I have a really good vocabulary for tropical fruit and spice descriptors when talking about aromas and flavours in wines. ‘Dad was a lot more adventurous cook than Mum and we used to go fishing on the weekends. We’d go down to the native village and they’d take us out in their dugout canoes and we’d catch whole barramundi and mangrove jacks, and Dad used to do a lot of experimental fish dishes with mango and other tropical fruits and different spices. It wasn’t pretty a lot of the time and some of it was inedible,’ she says, her face screwing up in fond memory. Her partner, Adam Walls is also in the wine scene as a wine buyer and educator at Wine Selectors. ‘The great thing about having a partner like Adam is his consumer palate perception is so good. I often take home wine samples before bottling and give him a taste to see what he thinks. ‘There was a particular wine, and sometimes when you make wine there’s one thing you just don’t like. It’s probably because you know them too intimately. So I took this wine home to Adam and he had a taste and said it was pretty damn good. I said, “Nope, I just can’t get the tannins right”. It went on to get the trophy at the NSW Wine Awards. Adam was like, “see I told you!” ’ ‘That’s a running joke between us now. If I take a wine home and say I don’t like something about it he just says, “aha, so it will be an award winner then”.’ You want to know the wine? Of course you do. It was the 2016 Briar Ridge Limited Release Hilltops Hunter Tempranillo. Gwyn and Adam are due to have their first baby in September and there’s a new arrival to the Briar Ridge family as well: Gwyn’s first preservative-free, veganfriendly wine (and the first of the 2018 wines to hit the market), the Briar Ridge Orange Shiraz Verduzzo ($23). But like all parents, Gwyn doesn’t have any favourites … or does she? ‘The 2014 Briar Ridge Single Vineyard Dairy Hill Semillon is the wine I’m most proud of,’ she says. ‘It was the first wine in my career where I made all the decisions in the entire winemaking process … the picking date for the grapes, pressing, fermenting, fining, racking … I think I even filtered that one myself. So that is the first most satisfying wine I have made so far. ‘And I think the 2015 Pepper Tree Single Vineyard Block 21A Wrattonbully Cabernet is a cracking wine. I love it with hanger steak charred over hot coals. It’s fabulous.’
WINE • Hunter Valley
So any other secret confessions? When my boyfriend’s not at home I sleep with my dog,’ she whispers. ‘Okay, I will confess that while I do own some wine glasses I tend to drink out of Falconware (stainless steel enamel-coated cups). I don’t have a dishwasher so I have to wash everything by hand, and when you’re a bit clumsy enamelware is such a safer option. ‘I have drunk Krug out of them… in a car park… and it tastes just as good. Of course, if Riedel want to send me some free glasses I’d change my ways,’ she hoots with laughter again. Splat. Nudge, nudge. It’s time to throw the ball again and buy a bottle of Pepper Tree Shiraz. To drink in my trackie-daks of course. c
Briar Ridge Vineyard, 593 Mount View Road, Mount View www.briarridge.com.au Pepper Tree Wines, 68 Halls Road, Pokolbin www.peppertreewines.com.au
Pepper Tree Winery
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DeCapel Wines decapelwines.com.au Call us on 0409 975 073 Enjoy wine in moderation Liquor Lic. LIQW880014594
PEOPLE OF THE COAST • Amelia Wasiliev
on creativity, culture, art and community in Long Jetty WORDS KATIE STOKES
melia Wasiliev is one of those people you wish you had in your community. She’s personable, crazy busy, yet always the first to put her hand up to try something new or offer her time. She’s one of the main organisers of the Long Jetty Street Festival, she’s part of a collective who curated the markets for Mount Penang’s Mountain Sounds Festival, and she owns Plain Janes – a fashion boutique in Long Jetty. Add recipe styling, book writing and four children to the mix and you start to wonder what on earth you do with your own time. Amelia is warm and welcoming to every person who walks into her boutique – from the new postman who’s on his first run, to shoppers browsing the shelves, coffee in hand. When a family arrives with a toddler in tow, she brings out a bunch of toys. ‘We try to be in the store,’ Amelia says. ‘It could run all on its own, but we want to be present and a part of it – seeing customers and having that connection’. Amelia and her sister April Mills opened Plain Janes in February 2015 on a bit of a whim. ‘I felt that this shop was missing,’ she says. ‘Long Jetty was a little bit
up-and-coming, but there was really only vintage or trash and treasure-style shops then.’ Plain Janes sells homewares, gifts and women’s fashion. It’s the type of fashion that’s equally at home at the beach or bar: Faithful The Brand linen skirts, Assembly Label Breton-striped Tees and Nobody Denim jeans. It’s so very coastal, so very us. Their children’s range includes teeny-tiny Superga shoes, Polly & Mae bows and Djeco stacking blocks and puzzles. They stock a range of beautiful handmade ceramics, which has grown from Amelia’s love of buying props as a food stylist. ‘People really like the ceramics,’ she says, ‘as it’s an easy treat you can buy for yourself’. Amelia spent her younger years on the Central Coast, but moved to the Northern Territory with her parents and three sisters in Year Nine. She studied Med-Science at Sydney University – a degree she admits, laughing, that she’s never used – got married, had kids and then moved to London for seven years where she worked for French publisher Hachette – authoring recipe books and styling food shoots. She moved back to the Central Coast in 2012 – to
popular, with some 15,000 people attending last year. It worked because, ‘the business owners here all had that common thread of a bit of creative, a bit of culture, a bit of art, a bit of community,’ Amelia says. ‘They really wanted to draw all of that together.’ Although the festival won’t be running this spring, the organisers are working with Council to determine how it can best continue, and they hope to revitalise it in 2019. Amelia says, ‘Kath and I worked on it for three or four months, full time, and it’s just impossible to put that time and energy into it again and again. Our businesses were suffering as we were spending so much time on the festival. It’s gut-wrenching as everyone loves it and we want it to happen, but at the same time there’s a line.’ Instead, they’ve partnered with Central Coast Council’s The Lakes Festival to bring an event to Long Jetty on November 18, the day the festival would have been. ‘It’ll be a picnic in the park or something along the foreshore,’ Amelia says. ‘We will incorporate some of the local vendors and businesses from previous festivals so that it’ll have the same feel, but it’ll be on a much smaller level.’ So what’s next? ‘I like to be busy,’ Amelia says. ‘I’ve always just done things that fit in or pop up and work well, and every now and then I’ll stop and think, ‘Well, what do I really want to do?’. We can’t wait to see. What do you like about Long Jetty? There’s something about The Jetty. I’ve always loved that there’s only six blocks between the lake and the beach, and for such a beautiful area it’s still evolving.
be near family. Home became Forresters Beach, but for work she always liked the idea of the Jetty. ‘Long Jetty was different to anywhere else on the Coast. There were new coffee shops popping up and it felt like a good spot to be. New businesses kept opening and that potential for change excited us. It seemed like somewhere that would continue to evolve.’ And evolve it has. Cafés such as The Glass Onion Society, Common Ground, and Green Tangerine – and, perhaps equally, their coveted Instagram feeds — have put this burb on the map. But perhaps the biggest change came about with the birth of the area’s own festival, the Long Jetty Street Festival in 2015. ‘It was Kath’s dream,’ Amelia says of the festival. Kath Devaney and her husband, Aaron, are Long Jetty locals and are the former owners of Green Tangerine. In 2015, Kath organised the first Long Jetty Street Festival with the help of Woy Woy’s Tropicana Pizza owner, Tim Stock. In 2016 and 2017, a committee of local businesses ran the festival themselves, and it proved
What are some of your favourite places on the Coast? The ocean baths at The Entrance. Fishermen’s Wharf at Woy Woy is great to take the kids as they can play outside. I really like The Box at Ettalong – it has a slightly European feel being by the beach. I also love Remy & Co at Erina. Other than the Long Jetty Fest, what are some other local events you love attending? Mountain Sounds is a big one and it’s growing every year. They’re bringing some really good acts to the Coast. I haven’t managed to get to Harvest Festival over the past two years – the timing’s just not been right each year — but I love the concept of it. Tropicana Pizza is doing lots of little boutique events behind the campaign ‘Make Woy Woy Great Again’, which I really like. Where are we likely to find you on a Sunday morning? In bed. It’s the one day I don’t have to rush out. But after that I would be out having coffee and brunch somewhere. Usually somewhere near the beach – Green Tangerine at Long Jetty or Flour & Co at Toowoon Bay. I like to get to new places all the time too.
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GREAT OUTDOORS • Golf Courses
FAIRWAYS TO HEAVEN
YOUR GUIDE TO GOLF COURSES ON THE CENTRAL COAST BREAKERS COUNTRY CLUB 9 holes, par 33 64 Dover Road, Wamberal 2260 Open: 7 days Bookings: yes Professionals: Nicky and Chas Henderson Cost to play: $24 for 9 holes, $27 for 18 holes Lessons: $50 for 40 minutes Dress: tailored shorts with ankle socks. No football attire, boardshorts or sleeveless shirts. Hardest hole: 5th Toughest green: 2nd Additional facilities: pull buggies Pro shop (02) 4384 5691 www.breakerscc.com
EVERGLADES COUNTRY CLUB
KOOINDAH WATERS © GARY LISBON
18 holes, par 67 men, par 70 women Dunban Road, Woy Woy 2256 Open: 7 days Bookings: yes, phone and online Professional: Darren Chivas Cost to play: $20–$29 Lessons: $50 outdoors; $80 indoors Dress: standard golf attire (smart casual) Hardest hole: 14th Toughest green: 2nd Additional facilities: carts, bowling green Lunch and dinner at the Altro Bristro, and coffee and cake from the Coffee Shop. Function rooms: ‘Weddings on the golf course’. Phone: (02) 4341 1866 Pro Shop (02) 4341 3399 www.everglades.net.au
GOSFORD GOLF CLUB 18 holes, par 71 men, par 73 women 22 Racecourse Rd, Gosford Open: 7 days Bookings: yes Professional: Kieran Moran Cost to play: visitors $26 for 9 holes $36 for 18 holes Lessons: $50–60 per half hour, $90 per hour Dress: smart casual Hardest hole: 11th Toughest green: 9th Additional facilities: putting green, practice fairway, buggies, electric carts. Full clubhouse facilities. Office: (02) 4337 3300 Pro shop: (02) 4337 3333 www.gosfordgolfclub.com.au
MANGROVE MOUNTAIN MEMORIAL CLUB AND GOLF COURSE 18 holes: 9 greens and 18 tees. Front 9, par 34. Back 9, par 35 Hallards Road, Central Mangrove 2250 Bookings: yes Professional: David Corbett Cost to play: Mon–Fri package $32 incl cart; $5.50–$24 plus cart Lessons: $25 half hour Dress: standard golf attire Hardest hole: 2nd (par 4, 380 metres) Toughest green: 16th Additional facilities: Foot Golf (the only one on the Central Coast). Full clubhouse facilities Club and bookings: (02) 4373 1129 Pro shop: (02) 4373 1075 email@example.com www.mmmclub.com.au
KOOINDAH WATERS GOLF CLUB 18 holes, par 72 Kooindah Boulevarde, Wyong 2259 Designed by Ross Watson and champion Australian golfer Craig Parry and called the ‘thinking golfer’s course’. Built on natural wetlands in a tranquil bushland setting, Kooindah Waters boasts amazing wildlife. Open: 7 days Bookings: phone and online Professional: Mark Churcher Cost to play: $25–$85 Lessons: $50–$300 Dress: standard golfing attire Hardest hole: 18th Toughest green: 8th Additional facilities: putting green, chipping green, practice bunker area, practice nets, cart hire, wedge play area Full resort and spa facilities (02) 4351 0700 firstname.lastname@example.org www.kooindahwatersgolf.com.au
MAGENTA SHORES GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB 1 Magenta Drive (off Wilfred Barrett Drive), Magenta 2261 18 holes, par 72 men, 73 women Designed by golf course architect, Ross Watson, it is the only private members golf course on the Central Coast and has magnificent ocean views from the front 9 holes; with the back 9 holes adjacent to the rainforest and National Park. Open to members and their guests, corporate groups and hotel guests of Pullman Magenta Shores Resort. Open: 7 days Bookings: essential
GREAT OUTDOORS • Golf Courses
Professional: Greg Lewis Cost to play: part of accommodation package, or $80 for 18 holes, $50 for 9 holes Lessons: $30–$140 Dress for men: collared polo preferred; shorts (not running, bike, or football shorts); dress denim trousers (but not torn denim) Women: collared polo shirts or golfing singlets preferred; shorts (not running, bike or football shorts); trousers, skirts, shorts, or leggings, dress denim (but not torn denim) Hardest hole: 9th Toughest green: 9th Additional facilities: carts, practice fairway, chipping areas, putting greens, resort, pool, tennis courts, gymnasium, steam room Dining: Barretts Restaurant Pro shop: (02) 4336 0100 www.magentagolf.com.au
SHELLY BEACH GOLF CLUB 18 holes, par 71 men, 75 women Shelly Beach Rd, Shelly Beach 2261 Regarded as one of the premier golf courses on the Central Coast, with beautiful ocean views. Open: 7 days Bookings: yes Professionals: Jason Hart and Peter Cliff Cost to play: $45 for 18 holes Lessons: $50–$250 Dress: smart casual, appropriate golf attire Hardest hole: 2nd Toughest green: 9th Additional facilities: full clubhouse facilities open for lunch and dinner 7 days.
Club house (02) 4332 3400 Golf shop (02) 4332 1103 www.shellybeachgolfclub.com.au
THE SPRINGS 18 holes, par 72 1080 Peats Ridge Rd, Peats Ridge 2250 Designed by Al Howard and Graham Papworth. Open: 6.30 am–5 pm weekdays, 6.00 am–5 pm weekends. Twilight golf 3pm–6pm Fri, Sat in summer Bookings: yes. Social and corporate groups welcome. Professional: Phillip Arthur Cost to play: 9 holes $25–$30. 18 holes $40–$50 Lessons: $50–$150 Dress: standard golf attire Hardest hole: 3rd Toughest green: 4th Additional facilities: club hire, buggy and cart hire with GPS course guide. Dining: Enjoy a craft beer or bush cocktail at the bar, or let Chef Dan Capper create a meal with local farm produce. Sitting Duck bistro Wed-Sun. (02) 4373 1522 email@example.com www.the-springs.com.au
TOUKLEY GOLF CLUB 18 holes, par 72 men, 74 women Key Street, Toukley 2263 The front nine fairways are flanked by trees, while the back nine are open in a links-style course. Open: 7 days Bookings: required Sundays only Professionals: John Lewis, Trent Wieland Cost to play: $22 for 9 holes
(visitors). After 3 pm $18 Lessons: $50 for half hour Dress: men – shirts with collars. Footwear – soft-spiked shoes only or rubber sole shoes. Thongs, scuffs, and leather sole shoes are not acceptable on the course. In the clubhouse: dress shoes, sandshoes/joggers, sandals. Hardest hole: For men 9th, women 15th Toughest green: 9th Additional facilities: buggies, electric carts, putting green, 2 nets, chipping green and bunker, 200 m practice fairway www.toukleygolfclub.com.au Office: 4396 5811 Pro Shop: 4397 2309 Dining: 4396 1500 firstname.lastname@example.org
WYONG GOLF CLUB 18 holes, par 71 319 Pacific Highway, Wyong 2259 Open: 7 days Bookings: yes Professional: Mitch Pryor Cost to play: 9 holes $22. 18 holes $33 Lessons: $20-$130 Dress: Smart casual – tailored trousers, shorts or skirt/short. Neat denim and cargo style pants/shorts. Collared shirts or polo shirts. Shoes must be worn at all times for safety reasons. Hardest hole: 12th Toughest green: 9th Additional facilities: carts, buggies Dining: Club restaurant 7 days, lunch and dinner Office: (02) 4352 1361 Bookings: (02) 4352 1361 Dining: (02) 4352 1999 www.wyonggolfclub.com.au
24 HOURS IN… • Ettalong
24 hours in…
WORDS CHRISTINE ALLEN, CATHARINE RETTER
DOLPHINS UNDULATE THROUGH THE WATER, TWO KITE SURFERS BOUNCE OVER WAVES THEN SOAR ON THE COASTAL BREEZE, A SAIL FLAPS WETLY AS A SAILBOAT CHANGES TACK, AND TODDLERS SPLASH THROUGH THE SHALLOWS OUT TO A SANDBANK. ETTALONG BEACH HAS ALWAYS BEEN A DRAWCARD FOR FAMILY HOLIDAYS BUT ITS (MAINLY) STYLISH REVITALISATION HAS CHANGED IT FROM A QUIET FISHING VILLAGE INTO A STRETCH OF THE SOUTHERN PENINSULAR THAT NOW BOASTS MORE ENTICING RESTAURANTS AND CAFES THAN ALMOST ANYWHERE ELSE ON THE CENTRAL COAST. IT’S A GREAT SPOT FOR SUNDAY BRUNCHES AND GOOD COFFEES, A STROLL ALONG THE WATERFRONT WALKWAY, OR AN EASY CYCLE RIDE ALONG 3 KM OF DESIGNATED PATHS.
Lords of Pour
Wherever you are in Ettalong, the ocean won’t be far away. Whether you’re staying at the unmissable white hotel, known to most as the Mantra (you can see it from the other side of Pittwater), a holiday home or airbnb, head towards the waterfront. You’ll find yourself saying ‘g’day’ to other early-ish risers and the occasional dog walking its owner along the coastal path from the ferry wharf to neighbouring Umina Beach. Regulars flex on the outdoor gym stations before lining up for a coffee fix at The Box kiosk.
9 am Where once upon a time it was hard to find a good cuppa on the Peninsula, these days coffee connoisseurs are spoiled for choice. On Ocean View Road, the barista at Lords of Pour, near the ferry wharf, really knows his beans. Here, the edgy décor contrasts sharply with the luscious cakes and, proving brunch is so much more than just smashed avo, Lords’ menu is as worldly as its coffee. Try culinary delights such as mac-n-kimcheese, a twist on the cheesy classic with Kim Chi tempura. Or a charcoal bun filled with shiitake ‘bacon’, pickled red onion, lettuce, avo and a fried egg, instead of a traditional bacon and egg roll — although the café has those too. If Campos coffee is more to your liking, head for the white-washed, sunflower-striped, Coast 175 on the corner of Ocean View and Schnapper Roads. With a focus on fresh food, brunch here includes coconut quinoa porridge, smoky homemade baked beans or
a fetta and asparagus omelette topped with a lashing of watercress and sweet homemade tomato chutney — that’s if you can resist the cabinet full of decadent sweets and treats. Just down the road, feast your eyes while you’re waiting on the best scrambled eggs in town or for a serve of freshly baked pastries at the Re:Publik Café and Art. The walls are an art gallery with a changing exhibition curated by Vanessa Ashcroft. They’ll also do hamper boxes for your picnic lunch.
10 am Under the watchful eye of Box Head across the water, and wedged between Umina’s long beach and the calm tributaries of Brisbane Water, Ettalong is home to a pristine, sheltered curve of beach that is perfect for a paddle, fish, swim or splash. BYO or hire a paddleboard from Bombora and make the most of the calm waters for a leisurely paddle or take one of Bombora’s classes — they even do SUP pilates. Anderson’s Boatshed hires out barbecue barges and boats for anyone who wants to see Ettalong by sea.
© COURTESY OF CENTRAL COAST COUNCIL
24 HOURS IN… • Ettalong
The Box on the Water
12.30 pm In recent years, Ettalong has become a chic place for Coasties to live, and part of the appeal of the nouveau Ettalong is the emergence of fabulous eateries. The Box on the Water breathed new life into fine dining on the Peninsula when it opened right by the water a few years ago. The stylish box-like structure blends beautifully with its seaside location, using floor-to-ceiling glass doors to offer a stunning panoramic view of the water. Order a bottle of wine, a dozen local oysters and perhaps some crispy-skinned barramundi or flaky John Dory, to make the most of the seaside setting. There are plenty of places to perch along the waterfront.
2 pm For some pleasant window shopping, stroll along Ocean View Road from Memorial Ave until you reach Goddess by the Sea, a gorgeous one-stop-shop for coastal homewares, accessories and gifts. Walk down a couple of blocks to Swoon, which offers a lovely mix of modern and vintage homewares with a distinctly French flavour. Behind the glass French-style doors at neighbouring Jachavela, you’ll find an eclectic mix of clothing and homewares that combines beach vibes with sophisticated, contemporary design. Across the road, Salmon and Co is a small, boutique florist offering everything from pretty posies to divine trinkets for your home or garden. Located on the corner of the
Re:Publik Café and Art
24 HOURS IN… • Ettalong Galleria, Tiki La La is home to vintage goodies and hard-to-find pieces, from handwoven hessian hanging baskets to chic threads, old records and cool, cane furniture.
Galleria Ettalong Beach
© ETTALONG BEACH TOURIST RESORT
For a special afternoon tea, Hatters Tea House on Ocean View Road (behind the Ettalong Reach Resort, aka the Mantra) is a wonderland of vintage trinkets, teas and treats. Sip on a specialty tea and nibble on a slice of jabberwocky cake — a chocolate mud cake that’s padded out with peanut butter mousse and covered in a crunchy chocolate coating — as you disappear down a delightful Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole. Around the corner, Helado, which is Spanish for gelato, serves Pablo & Rusty coffee in a cone, or for something more traditional, savour a sundae or grab a scoop of ice cream and walk the extra few steps to the water to enjoy it with a view.
© COURTESY OF CENTRAL COAST COUNCIL
6 pm Ensuring Ettalong lives up to its name — apparently ‘Ettalong’ is an indigenous word for ‘drinking place’ — Bar Toto is the suburb’s take on a small bar. It’s home to premium spirits mixed with skill, and the place to be for an aperitivo. It’s a bit retro, in keeping with the Italianate art deco cinema of neighbour, Cinema Paradiso.
A few doors down from the bar, you’ll find Sardinia. As the name suggests, it’s like an Italian trattoria serving up Sardinian style seafood, but with a modern Australian twist. Signature dishes include pan-seared sardines with orange and kale, and octopus with potatoes. While the fish is sourced locally and is most likely to be local flathead, whiting or black fish, a few special ingredients are sourced from Sydney’s Little Italy — Five Dock — or shipped all the way from Italy proper. Another fine dining option in the Galleria complex is Safran restaurant specialising in Turkish share plates. In the warmer months, it’s all about al fresco dining in the palm-fringed courtyard, dining out on a menu which includes exotic ingredients like pine nuts and pomegranate.
© LISA HAYES
Let your food settle on the short seaside stroll back home, or your home-away-from-home accommodation, and fall asleep listening to the waves lapping at the shore.
24 HOURS IN… • Ettalong
© LISA HAYES
Re:Publik Café and Art
WHAT’S ON • For Kids
FUN FOR KIDS
ON THE COAST
© SAMANTHA LEE FROM ‘JOY AND SPARROW’
© BEC CAREY OF RAW & UNEARTHED
© BEC CAREY OF RAW & UNEARTHED
Raw & Unearthed
A place where children are encouraged to climb trees, leap from rocks, use flints to light campfires and cook damper on sticks is what Bec Carey’s Raw & Unearthed play sessions are all about. Bec’s enthusiasm for the outdoors — no matter the weather or season — is highly infectious, and it’s one of the reasons her Raw & Unearthed children’s play sessions are so popular. It’s simple, unstructured play, and local families can’t get enough of it. Bec Carey, an early childhood teacher, began running two weekly Raw & Unearthed sessions in 2016 and today, just two years on, she runs five weekly sessions that sell out every term. Held at Kincumba Mountain and Kariong Eco Garden, the two-hour weekly play sessions are largely unstructured and provide families with time to ‘slow down and spend time “just being”,’ says Carey. Stone & Sprocket is another bush playgroup providing families the opportunity to reconnect with nature. Launched by Rebecca Thompson in January this year, Stone & Sprocket runs two weekly bush playgroups (for children aged 18 months to six years) at Somersby’s Strickland State Forest. In both Stone & Sprocket’s and Raw & Unearthed’s sessions, tools are provided to encourage exploration. Hammers, hand-drills,
pocket knives, magnifying glasses and binoculars are available, but the children are given time and space to choose their own adventure. Some kids head straight to the puddles for a splash, while others gravitate toward the tools and start drawing with charcoal, whittling sticks or setting up rope swings. The benefits are numerous. ‘Children are afforded time, space and trust to move their bodies to climb, run, walk, swing and even roll down grassy hills,’ says Carey. ‘We encourage children to persist through challenges, to see a task through to the end and to unearth their imaginations. In unlocking these dispositions during play, children are becoming resilient, independent and confident.’ Thompson says, ‘We’ve found the greatest impact of bush playgroup to be on the adults. The families view their children differently and have less fear about children getting dirty or taking on a challenge’. During the October school holidays, both businesses will run sessions for primary- and infantsschool children. Stone & Sprocket will host a drop-and-leave ‘Bush Club’ at the Banksia Picnic Area in Strickland State Forest. The children will be ‘immersed in nature whilst enjoying some awesome team challenges and cooking their own food on the fires,’ says Thompson.
Raw & Unearthed
Stone & Sprocket
WHAT’S ON • For Kids
CIRCUS JAM Tempted to run away with the circus? Central Coast Circus Jam is a free fortnightly event where you can learn how to juggle, unicycle, slackline, hula hoop and more in the sunshine at The Entrance’s Picnic Point and Gosford waterfront. This cool initiative — open to all ages and all abilities — is run by community circus group Roundabout Circus and sponsored by Central Coast Council. There’s no need to book. 3 pm-6 pm; 1st Sunday of the month at Picnic Point, The Entrance 3rd Sunday of the month at Gosford waterfront (near Eat Street Café). https://www.facebook.com/roundaboutcircus
CHALK THE WALK Central Coast Council’s inaugural Chalk the Walk art festival will transform The Entrance’s Waterfront Plaza into a community masterpiece these October school holidays. Kids — and adults, too — are invited to contribute to the artwork, to be created over four days. Also at The Entrance these holidays will be stage characters, Hoot and Hootabelle, the stars of ABC Kids’ program Giggle and Hoot. They’ll be singing and dancing on the Memorial Park stage, and inviting little hooties to bop along.
HAVE YOUR CAKE AND THEATRE TOO The Art House at Wyong opened a new on-site café in June and they’ll be extending their hours this Spring. Lemon tarts, caramel kisses, Nutella brownies and macarons from Avoca Beach’s Ludo’s Patisserie are a tempting post-show treat, and the café’s grassed courtyard provides ample space for excited kids. Check our Arts and Entertainment on the Coast pages in this magazine for details of the live performance of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved children’s tale, The Gruffalo’s Child, hitting the stage in October. There’s no better time to visit. The Art House Café is open Monday-Friday
10 am to 5 pm; from October the café will also be open Saturdays.
© SUMANT TANNA PHOTOGRAPHY
Raw & Unearthed’s October holiday session will be held at Kincumba Mountain Reserve in Kincumber. ‘There are puddles to jump in, rocks to climb and vines to swing on,’ says Carey. ‘There is also a cave that we explore.’ To secure a space in either a school holiday session or weekly playgroup, check their websites for dates and availability:
KICKING GOALS AT FOOTGOLF We only recently discovered FootGolf, and we’re guessing it’ll be news to many of you too. It’s a game that combines the fun of soccer with golf to kick a soccer ball into nine specially designed holes in as few kicks as possible. It’s an outdoor activity in which the whole family can participate, and the mild weather and longer days of Spring are an ideal time to play. Mangrove Mountain Memorial Club and Golf Course is the first and only place on the Central Coast with a FootGolf Australia-accredited course. The great view of the Central Coast hinterland is an added bonus. FootGolf daily from 3 pm. $11 for adults, $6 for children under 16, and $5 for ball hire (you can bring your own soccer ball if you like). 02 437 31129 www.mmmclub.com.au
Hoot and Hootabelle on stage October10-12. www.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/events
© PIC CREDIT
Chalk the Walk, October 4-7.
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Islands of the Central Coast
St Peter’s Catholic College OPEN AFTERNOON
Discover the best of the Central Coast for kids on Playing in Puddles Visit playinginpuddles.com.au CHILD-FRIENDLY CAFES PARKS WITH COFFEE KIDS ACTIVITIES FOLLOW US
NOW ENROLLING FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL 2020 LIMITED POSITIONS AVAILABLE FOR 2019
MONDAY 11 MARCH 2019, 4PM - 6PM For commencement of Year 7 in 2020. Tours showcasing our first class facilities and beautiful campus run every 30 minutes, no booking required. At St Peter’s learning is rich and exciting; it is the heart of what we do. We are creating an exciting centre of excellence in contemporary and innovative learning.
Challenge through Excellence Contact the Enrolment Registrar on
CATHOLIC COLLEGE A lap swimmer at the Woy Woy pool
TUGGERAH LAKES NSW
84 Gavenlock Rd, Tuggerah www.stpetersdbb.catholic.edu.au
EMERGENCY INFORMATION • Coast
CENTRAL COAST EMERGENCY HELP EMERGENCY
NRMA Roadside assistance
Police Fire Ambulance Deaf or speech impaired, phone 106 from a mobile
Hospital Emergency Departments Gosford Hospital Wyong Hospital
Holden Street, Gosford 2250 Pacific Highway, Hamlyn Terrace 2263
13 11 22
13 11 14 (24 hours)
1300 22 4636
For disabled access points and services around the Central Coast, please contact the All Abilities Foundation website at www.allabilities.foundation
Bushfire information 1800 679 737 www.rfs.nsw.gov.au A handy app: ‘Fires near me NSW’
Police stations Wyong Gosford Terrigal The Entrance Toukley Woy Woy
(02) (02) (02) (02) (02) (02)
4356 4323 4384 4333 4390 4379
6099 5599 4822 2999 1299 7399
State Emergency Services
13 25 00
Electricity Energy Australia 13 13 88 AUSGRID power lines 13 13 88 or www.ausgrid.com.au
Gas emergency Energy Australia AGL
13 19 09 13 34 46 13 12 45
Animal Emergencies WIRES 1300 094 737 Marine Rescue (02) 4325 7929
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A free tourism and lifestyle magazine - a fresh look at the best of the Central Coast NSW that takes you to secluded unspoilt beaches and po...