Planning your next road trip? Look no further than an escape to the coastal paradise of Ettalong Beach and surrounds.
If you've been following Slowwell, you'll likely know that we made the move from Sydney to Ettalong Beach at the outset of the COVID-19 lockdown in NSW. For us, pre-COVID, life was hectic with a capital'H'. Post initial lockdown and restrictions in NSW, life is a lot slower and we want to keep it that way, mostly.
That's one of the biggest reasons for the seachange to the Central Coast. We'd been travelling here on and off for the past few years, and thought it was about time we experienced a slower pace of life. But that doesn't mean boring. What we've found in moving here is the warm community, the banging coffee and toastie game, and the incredible outdoor spots where we've been enjoying our morning strolls.
So, if you're hanging out for fresh air, beautiful landscapes, great toasties, and a warm and welcoming community, look no further than Ettalong Beach on the NSW Central Coast.
Places to eat and drink:
1. Lord's of Pour ~ We've been coming to this specialty coffee spot since it was a hole-in-the-wall further down Ocean View Road. A little while ago, it moved to its current premises at 199a Ocean View Rd and since we moved to Ettalong Beach, we're there nearly every other day.
If you're on the coast and looking for a great breakfast/brunch spot with top-notch specialty coffee, then you're definitely going to want to pin this location.
2. Sasa Sicilian Artisan Bakery ~ A newer addition to the food landscape of Ettalong Beach, but what an addition it is! As big fans of solid sourdough and other baked goods - pastries, pies, cannolis, and quiches - we can't get enough of this place. And it seems we're not alone.
It's always packed at the bakery door come Thursday to Sunday when these guys open and share their amazing traditional sourdough with the masses. These guys say they "bake with love" and we believe them. It's bread for the soul.
3. Toto's Trattoria and Bar ~ When we have friends come up from Sydney to visit, we head here. Although trying to get a table on the weekend can be a challenge, especially in these COVID times. Great cocktails, an Inner West-vibe, and delicious small dishes to share.
Places to shop (apart from Slowwell!):
1. Kylie’s Kandles & Homewares ~ This is one of my favourite stores to buy beautiful coastal homewares. Located in the Italian-inspired Galleria, this little store curates great finds from Indonesia that are super on-trend. We've taken friends up from Sydney here, and they always walk away with bags of shopping.
2. Tiki La La Boutique ~ If it's vintage fashion, furniture and vinyl that you're into, then you're in luck. A couple doors down from Kylie's is Tiki, and this place is just cool. Created three years ago by couple April Xing and Heath Crawley, the store is a loving curation of the pair's taste in good aesthetics and style. We love it!
Places to explore:
1. Ettalong Lookout ~ We're super curious people, so when we drove past a small sign, we backtracked to see where it led. Hello, one of the best lookouts ever! The sign led to a small parking area next to a large water tank, from which you go on foot through a beautiful shaded walk to some of the most spectacular views out to Pearl Beach and over Umina Beach and Brisbane Water. A great little morning walk, or picnic spot to watch day turn to dusk. (Might need to leave shortly after as we're not sure how brightly lit it would be on the way back!).
2. Walk to Lobster Beach ~ COVID hit us hard in the fitness stakes. We started the lockdown consistently completing at-home workouts and then the wine took over, and we stopped. The lack of cardio made the walk to the secluded Lobster Beach a little more challenging than someone who may have taken COVID as a great chance to get fit. Anyway, the walk takes you up into the trees (a lot of stairs up) before descending through the trees to a slice of beach in the Bouddi National Park. Perfect spot to get away from the crowds and have a beach all to yourself.
3. The Ettalong and Umina foreshores ~ A visit to Ettalong Beach wouldn't be complete without a gentle stroll (or you can go fast) along the Ettalong Beach foreshore. A popular walkway for the local community, you can walk all the way from the Ettalong Beach ferry jetty to Umina Beach via Ocean Beach. See all the happy dogs, dip your toes in the calm waters, and enjoy the scenery of this magical landscape.
We're always up for exploring, so if you have any suggestions on where we should visit, please reach out. We'd love to hear from you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Dani.