Things to do in Marcoola

A laid-back beach holiday is a rite of passage for any Aussie and if you’re keen to explore somewhere new, may we kindly suggest checking out Marcoola?

Marcoola is a charming seaside village located on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, just north of the Maroochy River and perhaps the area’s best-kept secret. And while it might not be on your radar just yet, it soon will be! This hidden gem offers a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere without any overwhelming crowds, making it the ultimate destination for your next escape.

The main attraction in Marcoola is undoubtedly its stunning beach. This unspoiled, uncrowded beach is one of the most beautiful on the Sunshine Coast. If you can peel yourself away from the ocean, Marcoola also has a small but vibrant town centre that has a range of cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops. Keep scrolling as we round up all the best things to do in Marcoola and just try and stop yourself from booking a holiday here after reading this!

Things to do in Marcoola: explore

Whatever you’re in the mood for – be it lazy days at the beach, more ambitious day trips, or perusing the local shops and markets, Marcoola may be small but there is so much to explore! 

Beach hop

Marcoola is known for its beautiful beaches, with crystal clear waters and pristine sand galore, you can spend hours everyday beach hopping from one breathtaking beach to the next! A few of our top picks include Marcoola Beach and nearby Coolum Beach and Mudjimba Beach (pro tip: you can go snorkelling with turtles here).

Explore the local shopping scene

Marcoola has a number of amazing local markets that offer a range of fresh produce, arts, and crafts. The Marcoola Twilight Markets are held every Friday from 4pm til 8pm where you can chow down on everything from dumplings, doughnuts, German hotdogs, and tacos right by the beach. Meanwhile, on Saturdays between 8am to 12pm, stock up on the area’s best and freshest produce at the Farmer’s Markets. 

In the main drag of town, you’ll find a great offering of stores including gift shops, surf shops and cute boutiques. Happy shopping!

Image credit: Paradise Seaplanes
Take it all in from above

For the more adventurous traveller, why not book an aerial tour through Paradise Seaplanes? Take in all the stunning sights of the Sunshine Coast, from the beautiful national parks, nearby Noosa to Double Island Point to the north, the Glass House Mountains and Pumicestone Passage at Bribie Island in the south.

From $125
Riverside, 142 Bradman Avenue, Maroochydore

Plan a day trip

One of the best things about Marcoola is just how close it is to so many exciting tourist attractions. For animal lovers, Australia Zoo is just a 30-minute drive away, while Sealife is only 20 minutes. Meanwhile, you could also pop into many of the other lush nearby towns like Noosa, Mount Coolum or Maroochydore

Things to do in Marcoola: eat & drink

Photo credit: Sole Restaurant
Sole Restaurant

It’s not a beach holiday until there’s fish and chips and for the best offering in town, Sole has got it sorted. Dine in and work your way through their extensive menu featuring taramasalata, freshly shucked oysters, salt and pepper squid and of course the fish and chips. Or if you’d prefer, you can get takeaway and enjoy it proper beach holiday style on the sand as you watch the waves crash and swell in front of you. 

Off Tap Tapas

For good vibes and even better tapas, this is your joint! Menu standouts include patatas bravas, chorizo al vino, grilled prawns, and Spanish meatballs. Another win? There are loads of vegan and veg options too. 

914 David Low Way, Marcoola

Cuba St. Roasters

For the best coffee in town, look no further than Cuba St. Roasters. These guys take their coffee very seriously and roast their own blend in-house. Grab your mug of Joe and a fresh pastry, muffin, cake or bacon and egg roll while you’re at it. 


Surfair Beach Hotel

If you’re wondering where the best pub in Marcoola is look no further than the Surfair Beach Hotel. Situated right in front of the Pacific Ocean, you can kick back by the open-air cocktail by poolside as you soak up the sun and salty sea breeze. 

923 David Low Way, Marcoola

Bulli 

What goes perfectly with a beach holiday? A big slice of delicious pizza of course – and local joint Bulli has been dubbed the best pizza on the Sunshine Coast. They’re also open for breakfast, serving up pesto scrambled eggs, Spanish tortillas and toasted muesli. 

1 Lorraine Avenue, Marcoola

For more destination guides and local travel inspiration, head to Sitchu.

Things to do in Coolum Beach

Born in the shadows of a magnificent volcanic dome (the second largest rock in the world), Coolum Beach is a sleepy surfer’s paradise that’s just begging to be discovered. Known for its laid-back village vibe and spectacular natural landscapes, this bustling beachside town checks all the boxes for a relaxing coastal getaway.

Drive just over an hour north of Brisbane and you’ll find yourself surrounded by pristine beaches of white sand and turquoise water, secluded bays, and breathtaking mountainscapes that attract holidaymakers year-round. It’s all about the great outdoors here, from waterfront eateries with uninterrupted views of the coast to the myriad of outdoor adventures on offer, both on and off the land.

This is our round-up of things to do in Coolum Beach for a coastal getaway you’ll never forget.

Things to do in Coolum: eat

Coolum Surf Club

With its stunning ocean views and laidback atmosphere, the award-winning Coolum Surf Club is the epitome of beachside dining.  Relax outside on the dreamy outdoor deck and watch the waves roll in or dine inside to contemporary coastal furnishings with panoramic ocean views. Ideal for long lunches, a post-swim snack or casual catchups with friends, diners have their pick of club classics alongside a noteworthy selection of vegan, vegetarian, gluten, and dairy-free options. Think homemade gourmet pizzas, burgers, local seafood, salad and everything in between. Those in the know opt for the steaks which are cooked over an ironbark-fuelled coal pit to give a delicious sweet and smoky taste that will have you hooked.

1775-1779 David Low Way, Coolum Beach

Heirloom

Serving up sumptuous salads, amazing toasties and top-notch coffee, you know you’re in very good hands at Heirloom. Where breakfast is concerned, the smoked leg ham toastie with provolone, sauerkraut and mustard is a simple classic. Come lunchtime we’re ordering one of their colourful Asian-inspired salads – think cabbage, crispy fried noodles, lettuce, cucumber, mint, wasabi peas, proteins, and the list goes on. Pair your main with a raw sweet treat and a smoothie and you have yourself a mighty fine meal. Trust us; no one does salads like these guys do.

6/1776 David Low Way, Coolum Beach

Mr Mancino

Continuing your culinary tour around Europe, Coolum Beach’s resident Italian joint is the place to head for pizza, pasta, and all manner of comfort classics. With its emphasis on fresh ingredients and authentic recipes, Mr Mancino serves a wide-ranging menu across antipasti, pizza, slow-cooked meats, and desserts, but the star attraction is without a doubt the pasta. Start your night with salt and pepper calamari and mushroom arancini, order your favourite noodle with a homemade sauce of choice for the main (the gnocchi with burnt butter, sage and pumpkin and spicy tomato penne arrabbiata are standouts) and end the night with an assortment of Italian desserts – washed down with a bottle of vino. Naturally.

1806 David Low Way, Coolum Beach

Rock Hop Espresso

If you’re serious about your coffee, look no further than Rock Hop Espresso, a specialty coffee shop on Elizabeth Street. Here, you’ll find the expert baristas pumping out perfectly poured shots of Entity Coffee which lay the foundation for a cup that’s perfectly balanced and meant to be savoured. When it’s time for a treat, opt for one of their delectable locally sourced sweets. Perfect for grabbing on the go, we simply can’t get enough of the Caramilk cookies from Sunny’s Treats. Those with a little extra time on their hands can perch at one of the shaded outdoor tables that are primed for people-watching.

12b Elizabeth St, Coolum Beach

Yiani’s Greek Restaurant

Experience a taste of the Aegean at Yiani’s Greek Restaurant. Adored as much for its lively atmosphere and impeccable service as its sumptuous fare, this Hellenic hideaway serves up authentic Mediterranean flavours to locals and epicurious visitors alike. From sizzling seafood platters to mouth-watering moussaka, Yani’s menu is a true celebration of Greece’s rich culinary heritage. We’re talking meze, share plates, grilled dishes and fresh fresher than fresh seafood. Enjoy it all with a bottle of dangerously smooth Greek wine and finish the night with a serving of decadent bougatsa.

6/7-13 Beach Road, Coolum Beach 

Things to do in Coolum: drink

Foxy on Coolum

Coolum’s favourite multi-tasker, this vibey after-hours haunt will fix you a spread, play you some live local sounds and mix you up a cocktail before you can say table for two. Intimate and laid-back, Foxy on Coolum keeps the good times rolling every day of the week. With a curated selection of cocktails, you’ll find classics in addition to a range of custom concoctions specially made by their friendly bar staff (Foxy’s orange mojito is a must). Regularly hosting live music performances, you can have pre-drinks, dinner and catch a gig all in one venue.

3/7-13 Beach Road, Coolum Beach

Coolum Beach Hotel

When you think of pub dining, coastal-cool interiors and a serene beachfront location don’t immediately come to mind, but that’s exactly what you’ll find at Coolum Beach Hotel. Open seven days a week and brimming with atmosphere, this laidback local is the kind of all-inclusive community-minded venue where mum, dad and the three kids are just as welcome as the local surfers and after-hours crowd. Expect quintessential gastro-pub plates like parmas, burgers, and steaks as well as elevated dishes like vegan popcorn cauliflower, pumpkin red curry and poke bowls topped with spicy chicken, Asian slaw and kimchi. Friendly, tasty, and open every night of the week – what more could you want?

David Low Way, Coolum Beach

Coolum Surf Club

Whether it’s a sunset spritz on the terrace or post-meal aperitif in the main bar, this bustling beachfront boozer has your tipple sorted. Transitioning from dinner to drinks flawlessly, Coolum Surf Club ticks all the beverage boxes with 22 draught beers, cider, and alcoholic ginger beer on tap, as well as a wide range of quality wines, cocktails, and bottled beers. And with live music in the bar on Friday and Saturday nights from 8.30 pm, it is the perfect place to bliss out and take the serene surroundings.

1775-1779 David Low Way, Coolum Beach

Things to do in Coolum: play

Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
Climb Mount Coolum

Lace up your hiking boots and get ready for an unforgettable adventure that will have you feeling on top of the world. Rising above the lush scenery of the Sunshine Coast, climbing to the peak of this 25-million-year-old laccolith is an absolute must. You’ll want to spend some time at the top, so be sure to pack some nibbles to enjoy as you soak up the other-worldly views from the summit.

Learn to surf

Live your real-life Blue Crush moment! With its stunning coastline, crystal clear waters and consistent waves, Coolum Beach is the perfect destination for surfers of all levels. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner looking to try something new, Coolum Surf School offers a variety of lessons and packages offering the perfect opportunity to improve your skills, connect with nature and feel the thrill of riding the waves. All equipment including wetsuits and boards supplied.

Asante Day Spa

Indulge in a day of pampering at Asante Day Spa. With its tranquil atmosphere, top-tier treatments and expert therapists, this relaxing retreat is one the best things to do in Coolum for anyone seeking a luxurious spa day. From facials and massages to brow tattooing, premium spa packages and rituals, Asante’s menu offers an array of treatments designed to soothe the mind, body, and soul.

For more destination guides and local travel inspiration, head to Sitchu.

Things to do in Cairns

Easy-going vibes with a dash of urban chic, Cairns is on the up and up, thanks in part to its ever-growing roster of foodie and bar hangouts. But Cairns has always been a crowd pleaser. Namely for the Great Barrier Reef, meandering waterways and lush parklands that are a veritable playground for outdoor enthusiasts. 

And as more and more people make a move to this seaside city, Cairns is keeping pace with on-trend kombucha bars, health cafes and eateries with fresh from the trawler seafood. This handy guide will have you covered, whether you’re planning a holiday or making a sea change.   

Things to do in Cairns: Eat

Photo credit: NOA
NOA

NOA is a Cairns institution in the trendy suburb of Edge Hill. Serving amazing food for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as delicious cocktails. NOA is a meeting place for locals and tourists alike to enjoy seriously good food and beverages in a relaxed, yet refined environment. NOA is also the winner of the 2022 Travellers’ Choice Award from Tripadvisor.

1 Pyne Street, Edge Hill, Cairns

Prawn Star

There are only a few places in the world where you can find seafood fresher than this. Dining straight on the trawler, Prawn Star is a no-frills foodie experience that is bound to impress. Think oysters and sashimi delivered ocean to table. It’s all about friendly vibes and good food at this cosy joint. 

Marlin Marina, E31 Berth, Cairns City 

Dundee’s at the Cairns Aquarium

No need to travel to Dubai for this insanely Insta-worthy experience. Stop by from breakfast through to dinner if you fancy dining with the fishes. Known for superb grilled steaks and fresh seafood, Dundee’s incorporates as many local flavours and ingredients as possible. It’s a true Aussie dining experience, and we hear only good things about the peppered kangaroo loin. 

5 Florence Street, Cairns City 

Things to do in Cairns: Drink

Rocco

Speaking our language, Rocco has a seriously decadent Champagne menu. We are talking an entire page dedicated to the bubbly stuff. Boasting panoramic views of the tropical city and greenery galore, pair your aesthetic cocktails with their delish share-style Mediterranean menu. Fancy tea for two? Try the Punch pot which combines TWG Moroccan mint green tea reduction and Tanqueray Gin. 

Level 12, The Tower, 131-141 Esplanade, Cairns City

Photo credit: Hemmingway’s Brewery
Hemingway’s Brewery

If a fine brew gets your heart beating, then head on over to Hemingway’s. With over 20 beers on tap, the heritage-listed venue also serves a selection of bottled craft beers from all over the world. Beer not your thing? Then opt for the craft gin tasting paddle. It all pairs beautifully with the waterside views and a menu full with curated beer snacks, artisanal pizzas and some dang fine burgers. 

4 Wharf Street, Cairns City

Three Wolves

Classy speakeasy vibes abound at this specialty drinking house. Three Wolves really know their spirits offering an entire tequila menu as well as some of the most delectable cocktails. Tucked away in a laneway, Three Wolves is opposite their Wolf Lane Distillery and both are worth a visit!

32 Abbott Street, Cairns City

Things to do in Cairns: Explore

Cairns Esplanade Tourism and Events Queensland
Cairns Esplanade. Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
Cairns Esplanade

Cairns Esplanade has 5km of paved walking paths along the waterfront with a number of exercise stations, playgrounds and a swimming lagoon. The Promenade is easily accessed from the CBD with a number of shops, restaurants and cafes worth exploring.

Cairns Botanical Gardens

Located in the beautiful enclave of Edge Hill, the Botanic Gardens is a popular destination for nature lovers and fitness enthusiasts alike.  The Gardens boast an impressive collection of tropical plant life, including rare and exotic species.

For those looking for a more strenuous workout, the Gardens precinct offer several walking trails including the Red, Green and Yellow Arrow trails. These trails wind their way through the lush tropical foliage and provide breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Shopping & Markets

The Cairns CBD is a shopper’s paradise, with a wide variety of boutiques and shops to suit every taste and budget. Some of the post popular being Oceana Arcade, Boutiques on Grafton Street, Makin’ Whoopie Shields St,  Cairns Central Shopping Centre and Rusty’s Markets selling local produce and handmade goods.

The local markets are in abudance across the region selling fresh fruit & vegetables, handcrafted gifts and items. Some of the most popular are the Port Douglas Sunday Markets, Palm Cove Markets, Tanks Art Market and Atherton Tableland markets. Days and times of operation can be found here.

Hit the Road

Cairns and its surrounding areas offer a wealth of exciting and unique attractions to explore. Hire a car and head South to the enchanting Paronella Park near Mission Beach with a stop at the  Babinda Boulders for a picnic and freshwater swim. Head West to the Atherton Tablelands to follow the waterfall trail and try delicious locally made cheese and chocolate or pick fresh strawberries.   Otherwise head North to Port Douglas, Mossman Gorge the Daintree River and oldest Rainforest on the planet. Whatever your interest there is something new to experience at every turn.

Helicopter the Reef 

If you want to see as much of the gorgeous reef as you can, then we recommend taking to the skies for an experience of a lifetime. If you are going to splurge on a helicopter ride, this is the place to do it. And if you really fancy splashing some cash opt for a half-day trip that allows you to land and snorkel the reef. Keep your camera handy!

For comprehensive holiday assistance, including tour bookings, transport and more, head to our Destination Management Services page to learn more.

For more destination guides and local travel inspiration, head to Sitchu.

Best wineries at the Hunter Valley

As Australia’s oldest wine region, the Hunter Valley has been a gourmet food and wine destination for centuries. With exceptional grapes, boutique breweries, chic cellar doors, bountiful vineyards, and gastronomic restaurants on offer, a day tour of the Hunter Valley is a pleasure-seeking experience, to say the least. To make the most of your weekend, we have curated a list of our favourite Hunter Valley wineries to visit. You’re welcome!

Pepper Tree Wines

Pepper Tree Wines

Situated right in the heart of Pokolbin, the cellar door of Pepper Tree Wines named, The Vault, is designed to offer the quintessential Hunter Valley wine experience. Specialising in single vineyard wines, you can enjoy up to six wines of your choosing, paired with cheese and olives, all while enjoying the cellar’s leafy surrounds.

86 Halls Road, Pokolbin

Margan Wines & Restaurant

Is it a food and wine experience you’re looking for? You’d be hard-pressed to go past Margan, who are offering a range of limited release wines from 100 hectares of sustainably farmed Margan vineyards. They boast a range of casual grazing options, paired with wine flights, seven days a week. Or you can dine in their acclaimed one hat restaurant, Friday through to Sunday. 

1238 Milbrodale Road, Broke

Brokenwood Wines

Brokenwood Wines

At Brokenwood Wines the options are just as fancy as their new cellar door. With tastings ranging from $25 to $110, depending on where your budget and palate is at, there are plenty of different experiences to choose from. Their pod seating is as COVID safe as you can get and allows your group relative privacy. 

401-427 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin

Tyrrell’s Wines

Steeped in history, Tyrrell’s provides a beautiful winery experience. Well worth the visit, this oasis-like setting offers a cellar door, relaxed winery tours, barrel tastings, and masterclasses. Be sure to check out the winemaker’s wall for a veritable who’s who of Aussie viticulture, and to ensure you taste the best of the best, opt for a glass or two of their chardonnay. 

1838 Broke Road, Pokolbin

Mount Pleasant Wines

Set against the beautiful backdrop of the rolling vineyards and the Brokenback Range, Mount Pleasant Wines needs to be added to the top of your winery hitlist. You can book in for one of their four wine tasting experiences at the cellar door, where you’ll sip your way through a wine flight made up of their signature drops. After sampling some of the region’s best wines, we can almost guarantee that you won’t leave empty-handed.

401 Marrowbone Road, Pokolbin

Krinkewood

Krinklewood Vineyard

The Hunter Valley meets the French countryside at the whimsical boutique cellar door, Krinklewood Vineyard. Set amongst a Provencal-style garden, with oversized urns and French metal garden chairs dotted about, this ivy-covered venue serves organic wines, grown and produced in a biodynamic and sustainable way. Covering a range of wines from Semillon to Shiraz, a visit to Krinklewood promises not only a dreamy setting, but also a wine tasting experience with a holistic difference.

712 Wollombi Road, Broke 

Winmark Wines

For chardonnay served with a side of culture, make your way to Winmark Wines. The chardonnay is next-level, as is the firepit which overlooks the property’s beautifully landscaped grounds. There’s also a majestic steel sculpture perched above the vines by sculptor David Ball. Owner Karin Adcock commissioned the piece just before he won the 2017 Bondi Sculpture by the Sea.

229 Wollombi Road, Broke 

Thomas Wines

Is it an in-depth experience of the Hunter’s two signature varieties you’re after? If so, make a bee-line to Thomas Wines on Hermitage Road. You won’t find a better Semillon and shiraz-only experience that encompasses soils, vineyards and a tasting of up to 17 single vineyard varietals anywhere else.

Hermitage Road & Mistletoe Lane, Pokolbin

Usher Tinkler Wines

Usher Tinkler Wines

Set within the original Pokolbin Church, Usher Tinkler Wines’ cellar door is a welcoming space where you can match your wine or whiskey with freshly-diced cured meat. Choose from their collection of reds, whites and whiskeys, while you soak up the stunning view of the Brokenback Range from outside the venue’s soaring glass panorama window.

97 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin 

Wandin Valley Estate

Set amongst rolling vineyards and natural bushland, Wandin sets an example of a winery serving up exceptional meals, created from only the finest local produce. Offering a range of tastings, as well as two, three, and four-course lunch options, complete with wine pairings, only means one thing — a long, lazy lunch here is a must when in Lovedale.

12 Wilderness Road, Lovedale 

Scarborough Wine Co

For a cheese and wine experience that is family-friendly, you can’t go past Scarborough Wine Co on Gillards Road. With five levels of bookable tastings ranging from $30-$45, there’s something for everyone. You’ll be seated and served by your own private host while you taste through individually portioned small bottles. If you don’t have the full hour that’s recommended to enjoy these experiences, they’ve cleverly created the Sip on Inn experience which showcases six wines chosen by your host for just $20 per person.

179 Gillards Road, Pokolbin

Tamburlaine Organic Wines

Tamburlaine Organic Wines

Located in the heart of Pokolbin, Tamburlaine is Australia’s largest producer of organic wines, with the winery itself dating back to 1966. Today, the entrance to the cellar door sets the scene, with a whimsical arch draped with grapevines leading the way. Visit for casual tastings at the bar or book for a structured tasting session in one of their many private rooms.

358 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin

Tulloch Wines

For a family-friendly tasting experience, the 125-year-old institution Tulloch Wines has created a full spectrum of tastings from Wine & Chocolate ($30) through to their premium Aged Wine & Cheese experience ($100). In addition, there’s a special kids tasting of three soft drinks matched with three kids snacks for just $10. There’s even a Kombucha tasting for the designated driver! 

638 De Beyers Road, Pokolbin

Bimbadgen

Taste the full range of Hunter varietals at beautiful, Bimbadgen. Take in the view and sip away the afternoon with their full Signature Experience for just $15.

790 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin

For more destination guides and local travel inspiration, head to Sitchu.

Things to do in Glenelg

Just a 20 minute drive or a 35 minute tram ride from Adelaide’s CBD, Glenelg is a vibrant beach-side suburb with a whole lot of personality. Whether you’re an outdoorsy type or looking for something a little more laid back, there’s no shortage of ways to spend your time there. Glenelg is home to some of South Australia’s best shops, restaurants, bars, beauty salons and sandy beaches.

We’ve rounded up some of the best things to do, finest spots to eat and drink and some top notch shopping options for your trip to the bay.

Things to do in Glenelg: play
Wild Dolphin Tour Sailing Experience in Glenelg. Image credit: Temptation Sailing
Sailing Experience

Dreaming of a life at sea? These Glenelg sailors have you sorted. Temptation Sailing’s premium tours cater to adventure seekers and laid-back holiday goers. There’s a Wild Dolphin Tour where you can spot and swim along the local wildlife and a number of cruises which can include delicious food and beverages from their licenced bar, afternoon tea and a twilight evening sailing experience.

Marina Pier, Holdfast Shores Marina, Glenelg

Pinot & Picasso

Unleash your creativity while enjoying a glass of your favourite beverage at Pinot & Picasso. BYO bottle to share with friends and the team will do the rest, supplying your canvas, paints, and step-by-step instructions to paint your masterpiece.

Level 1/3 Moseley Street, Glenelg

Things to do in Glenelg: pampering & beauty
Coast Yoga, Glenelg. Image credit: Coast Yoga
Coast Yoga

Stretch and flex out all your troubles with a session at Coast Yoga. Classes are available seven days a week and cater to all experience levels. Their extensive offering includes beginners classes, prenatal and mothers and babies sessions, men’s yoga and even rope yoga. 

1-5 Sussex Street, Glenelg

Blow Dry Bar

Do you have a fancy event to attend, a special dinner planned or perhaps you just want a little TLC to give yourself a confidence boost? Stop off at the Blow Dry Bar for some premium pampering. Whether it’s a classic blow dry for a bouncy bouffant, a new look with highlights or make up and beauty services at the Glam Bar, they make you look and feel like a million bucks.

113 Jetty Road, Glenelg

Things to do in Glenelg: eat & drink
Moseley Bar and Restaurant, Glenelg. Image credit: Moseley Bar and Restaurant
Moseley Bar and Restaurant

If you’re after a relaxed, beach vibe alongside good food and drink, then Moseley Bar and Restaurant is a must visit. Open ‘til late daily, you can take your pick of nibbles, lunch and dinner available, or choose from their list of wines, beers and cocktails waiting to refresh you.

If you fancy something a little more al fresco, book yourself into the Moseley Igloos for yourself and seven others to enjoy exclusive use of either a relaxed lounge igloo or a more formal round table dining igloo, complete with your own personal waiter. When summer comes back around, Moseley Beach Club returns to give a taste of the Amalfi Coast right on your very doorstep.

11 Moseley Square, Glenelg

Bottega Gelateria

Treat yourself to a scoop of some of Bottega Gelateria’s handcrafted gelato, created the traditional way – with passion, time and years of experience. They only use fresh seasonal fruits and the finest SA ingredients in their creamy creations including traditional strawberry, plum sorbet and even matcha green tea.

58 Jetty Road, Glenelg

Polk

An Instagrammer’s dream of neon lighting, pastel colours and palm trees galore is ready and waiting at Polk. There’s a menu packed with modern Asian fusion dishes with ‘Easy Eats’ or ‘Feed Me’ options, the most delicious cocktails and the good vibes of Glenelg.

114 Partridge Street, Glenelg South

Fourth, Glenelg. Image credit: Fourth
Fourth

Late night dinner and drinks date on the cards? Or perhaps a morning brunch? Fourth has got you covered either way. Their easy going, contemporary vibe extends from their interior design to their menu. Our recommendations? The market fish tartare and the 12 hour lamb. Named after the fact that the brother-duo owners are the ‘fourth’ generation in business on Jetty Road, we can count on the fact that these guys know their stuff when it comes to Glenelg.

34 Jetty Road, Glenelg

Coast

Newly opened as part of Glenelg Pier, aka one of Adelaide and even Glenelg’s best kept secrets, Coast takes pride of place along the Holdfast Promenade. Stop in for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just drinks, alongside a side of endless views over the sea and a beautiful sunset backdrop to accompany your evening cocktail.

18 Holdfast Promenade, Glenelg

Things to do in Glenelg: shop
Adelaide Instyle, Glenelg. Image credit: Adelaide Instyle
Adelaide Instyle

Open seven days a week and receiving fresh stock regularly, Adelaide Instyle Glenelg is the spot to pick up your new favourite styles. The team’s keen eye for fashion and abilities to match pieces perfectly means there’s something to be found to suit to all age ranges, styles and budgets.

77 Jetty Road, Glenelg 

Piper Homewares

Snap up some gorgeous boho interiors without the price tag at Piper Homewares. Take your pick from dainty jewellery stands, ratan galore, locally-made candles and an array of tasselled cushions to take home and enjoy.

1 Waterloo Street, Glenelg

Attitudes Boutique, Glenelg. Image credit: Attitudes Boutique
Attitudes Boutique

For good quality basics with a twist, everything you need to build your perfectly curated capsule wardrobe and seasonal patterns to add that little something extra to your look, head to Attitudes Boutique. Inside you’ll find new wardrobe favourites and pretty homewares to deck your home out in.

54 Jetty Road, Glenelg

Home Basics and Design

Are you after classic neutrals or colourful patterns galore? Minimalists and maximalists are both covered with Home Basics and Design’s chic homewares and furnishings for every room of the house. Get inspired with their fabulous modern lighting options, Scandi-chic chairs, and one-of-kind decorations for adorning your home.

128 Jetty Road, Glenelg

For more destination guides and local travel inspiration, head to Sitchu.

Things to do in Port Stephens

From water sports to nature walks.

A little less than an hour north of Newcastle City, Port Stephens is a holiday destination that sea-changers are moving to in droves. Thanks to its sunny disposition and unbeatable lifestyle. Boasting a string of seaside towns with sparkling waters, pristine wilderness and stunning beaches, Port Stephens is an outdoor enthusiasts’ dream. 

Port Stephens has everything at its fingertips; foodie destinations, open-air markets, giant sand dunes, wildlife encounters, and villages that cater to everyday life. Foreshore parks, coastal walks, cycling paths, and trails that lead to beaches bounded by native bushland. It’s a dreamy destination that locals relish in, and people from far-flung places come to experience.   

It’s a must-visit destination, and the list of things to do in Port Stephens is long, so pack your bag and start planning your coastal getaway. 

Nelson Bay, Port Stephens
Beach Hopping

From the calm bay beaches of Nelson Bay to the ocean swells at Anna Bay, you’re truly spoilt for choice in Port Stephens. Birubi Beach is the gateway to The Stockton Bight Sand Dunes. Shoal Bay and Nelson Bay beaches are dreamy spots for paddle boarding, kite surfing and boating, while the ocean-facing beaches of Tomaree National Park – Zenith, Wreck and Box Beach – will have you feeling worlds away from it all.

Check out the Dunes

Arguably one of the best things to do in Port Stephens is the largest moving sanding dunes in the southern hemisphere; the Stockton Bight Sand Dunes. Part of the Worimi Conservation Lands, this natural wonder reaches heights of up to 40-metres and slopes of 60-degrees. Meaning adventurers are out in full force sandboarding, camel and horse riding, hiking, quad biking and four-wheel driving.  

Tomaree National Park, Port Stephens
Explore Tomaree National Park

Stretching from Boat Harbour to Shoal Bay, Tomaree National Park has a lot to boast about; bushland trails, koala encounters, and stunning beaches. One of the best things to do in Port Stephens is the Tomaree Head Summit Walk. A steep but short walk with spectacular views of the region. And for a beach experience that takes you away from the summer crowds, meander through the bush trails to Wreck Beach.

Water Sports & Wildlife

Deep dive into the waters of Port Stephens and discover a wildlife sanctuary for dolphins, migrating whales and a colourful array of sea life. There is so much fun to be had off-land from paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkelling, diving, surfing, and boating. 

D’Albora Marina, Port Stephens
Visit the Marina

Sitting alongside Nelson Bay Beach, D’Albora Marina is where the boats come and go. Waterfront restaurants serve ocean-fresh seafood, and cafes open as the sun rises over the bay. Settle in and listen to tales of seafaring adventures, climb aboard one of the many tour boats or your private vessel, and have one of your own.

Take a Walk

Tucked away along the coastline of Port Stephens, the coastal walks surrounding Shoal Bay are one of its biggest drawcards. Tomaree Head Summit Walk may be steep, but you’ll be well-rewarded with spectacular coastline views. For something a little more grounded, Wreck Beach Walk meanders through a coastal forest to a secluded cliffside beach. 

Things to do in Byron Bay

Once a place swarming with just surfers and backpackers, now a tranquil oasis where locals, surfers and holidaymakers sit harmoniously side by side, the serene setting of Byron Bay is a dreamy destination that oozes laid-back charm. 

Whether you’re visiting or staying for the long haul, Byron’s beauty is all-embracing, drawing in the crowds with its stunning beaches, local boutiques, fresh local produce and a thriving restaurant scene where sea-changing chefs and artisans champion paddock-to-plate ambitions, with sustainability at the core. 

Dramatic coastline and surrounding lush hinterland welcomes a creative community, but to put it simply, people come to Byron for an escape from the daily grind. The welcome sign says it all: ‘Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out’. And when you arrive in Byron, that’s exactly what you’ll do.

So if you’re craving a weekend by the coast where you can switch off and unwind, this is the place to do it. Our handy guide will help you uncover some of the best that Byron has to offer. Just don’t be too surprised if you start to find yourself dreaming of a permanent move — you have been warned.

Eat

Byron Bay and the surrounding borders have long been a rich environment for fresh, quality produce, matched perfectly with a fusion of fine dining and equally refined, yet, laid-back cafés. From the ocean to the hills, make sure to spread your appetites wide by discovering the very best of the area’s culinary delights.

Mark + Vinny’s Place

Having made a name for themselves with Mark + Vinny’s in Sydney and Melbourne’s Matcha Mylkbar, the dynamic duo have come to Byron to share their food and their motto: ‘don’t be upsetti, eat some spaghetti’. With MVP (Mark + Vinny’s Place), they’re bringing their classic brand of eco-friendly, fun, family-style Italian cooking to Byron. A love letter to the regions real MVPs, the valued local artisan producers, all ingredients are sustainably and locally sourced and over 50% of the menu is plant-based. Our go-to dishes would be the vegan egg carbonara, the blue spanner crab served on a bed on blue linguine or the spicy gnocchi alla Renée which – to quote the menu – is hot, like Renée. There is a gin-focussed cocktail list which highlights Australian gins like the locally-loved Brookie’s Byron Gin and The Cannabis Co. Mycene Hemp Gin. With plans to open a rooftop pizza bar later in the summer, this new spot has everything going for it!

7/7 Lawson Street, Byron Bay

Harvest

Located in the quaint town of Newrybar, about a 20-minute drive from Byron Bay’s CBD, dwells Harvest, a trendy and well-curated eatery offering an extensive, flavoursome menu. Covering all basis, Harvest offers a relaxed deli and café, set within a lovingly restored vintage building, and fine dine in their more upmarket restaurant – a contemporary Queenslander situated directly next door. Either way, a visit here promises fabulously fresh and delicious food.

18-22 Old Pacific Highway, Newrybar

Raes Dining Room, Byron Bay
Raes Dining Room

An exclusive boutique retreat with an idyllic beachfront setting. Aside from the gorgeous, stylishly designed rooms (of which there are seven), Rae’s renowned restaurant,  with an open-window framed view of the nearby Wategos Beach, is one Byron’s biggest draws. Serving contemporary Australian with a Mediterranean influence, every taste is catered for. Start with some locally caught oysters before delving into their delicious à la carte menu.

6/8 Marine Parade, Byron Bay

Beach Byron Bay

In a town full of stunning beaches, it’s only natural Beach Byron Bay would sit atop its golden sands. An alfresco hotspot boasting stunning panoramic ocean views – be sure to book a table for dinner, just in time to watch the sunset. 

2 Massinger Street, Byron Bay

Folk

If you’re on the hunt for a cool, yet casual place to eat, head to Folk — a charming café set within a converted weatherboard cottage with an easy-breezy vibe. The menu features a selection of fuss-free foods, including the likes of zesty avocado toast and freshly baked croissants, that you can choose to devour inside or out. Nab a spot outside on the gigantic cushions, so you can sprawl out with your coffee (and cake) in hand. 

1/399 Ewingsdale Road, Byron Bay

Folk, Byron Bay
Folk, Byron Bay
Drink

Nothing says ‘holiday’ like cocktail or two in the sun. And since Byron is one of Australia’s top tourist spots, it’s best to find out in advance where to book a spot at. Whether that’s a coffee stop the locals swear by, or a delicious cocktail at the latest new haunt, these watering holes should do the trick.

The Mez Club

Located along Byron’s main high street, The Mez Club is a must for cocktail hour. This beautifully designed venue has a rustic Mediterranean vibe, with white-washed walls, floor-to-ceiling doors and beautiful Moroccan-style furniture. The cocktails served here are fresh and vibrant and dangerously moreish. The Turkish Princess’ and ‘Classic Margarita’ come highly recommended.

4/85-87 Jonson Street, Byron Bay

Top Shop

Coffee before cocktails is essential, and it’s unlikely you’ll find a better cup in Byron than at Top Shop. As the name suggests, this locally loved café sits on the top of a hill, and is best known in town for serving up excellent, single origin coffee, along with a tasty range of burgers and sandwiches. Heads up — this place can get rather busy, so just in case you can’t find a seat, do as the locals do and sit on the grass by the road for a makeshift picnic.

65 Carlyle Street, Byron Bay

Barrio

Barrio’, meaning “neighbourhood” in Spanish, has an industrial-style interior, yet still manages to feel warm and welcoming, thanks to large wooden communal tables, an open kitchen with Argentinian wood-fired oven and grill, and outdoor tables and picnic rugs. The food served here is authentic and has a suitably well-refined cocktail list to match.

1 Porter Street, Byron Bay

Barrio, Byron Bay
Botanica Beach Club

For an indulgent splurge Elements of Byron ticks every box. Not only for its luxe lodgings, but for its trendy Botanica Beach Bar — a retro-style caravan, set up every day from 2pm-6pm, bang on Belongil Beach. Here you can order cocktails, mocktails, beers, wine, and even some tasty nibbles — with sand at your feet and panoramic views of Byron Bay Lighthouse.

144 Bayshore Drive, Byron Bay

Explore

The best part of being on holiday is planning out how to spend your newfound hours of freedom. Fortunately, Byron has an infinite variety of leisurely pursuits. Whether it’s spending an entire day soaking up the sun on the beach, browsing through one boutique store after the next, or taking a short drive out to one of the many surrounding villages —  Byron’s bounteous selection is guaranteed to surprise and delight. 

Wategos Beach

It’s no secret that Byron is famed for its many spectacular beaches, dotted up and down the coast. There’s Main Beach right on the edge of town, The Pass,  with one of the best surf breaks, and Tallow Beach’s long sandy stretches. But for an option that’s just as beautiful, with easy access, Wategos Beach is where you should lay down your towel. Tucked in below the cliffs of Cape Byron, you can park right in front, and skip down the few steps to the sapphire waters below. When you’re done basking for the day, just pop up and grab a coffee, juice, or a cocktail from the nearby Raes.  

The Farm Byron Bay

This 80-acre working farm located in Ewingsdale, houses a collection of micro-businesses, all operating with the same motto — to grow, feed, and educate its guests. Here you’ll find the celebrated Three Blue Ducks, a much-loved restaurant and produce store, The Garden Shed, a nursery hub with a mission to connect people to real food and the land it comes from, and The Bread Social, an artisan bakehouse baking everything from bio-dynamic sourdoughs to light buttery pastries. As well as food, there are farm tours, sunflower fields and picnic areas where you can BYO. 

11 Ewingsdale Road, Ewingsdale

The Farm, Byron Bay
The Farm, Byron Bay
Spell Boutique

If you’ve ever come across the brand Spell & The Gypsy on Instagram, then you’ve probably already fallen under their magical spell. Known for their beautiful boho and carefree clothing, this brand derives its distinct aesthetics to its birthplace, Byron Bay. An absolute must visit, their boutique store, Spell Boutique,  is located on Browning Street — the main road into town. Because if you’re going to eat and drink your way through Byron, you might as well dress the part.

15 Browning Street, Byron Bay

Marr-Kett

Byron Bay is bursting at the seams with gorgeous homeware stores, so much so, it’s almost impossible to leave without an item (or five) to take home with you. One of our favourites? Marr-Kett, a treasure-filled space located along one of Byron’s main stretches, Fletcher Street. This store specialises in vintage and custom-made Moroccan rugs, as well as artisan-made homewares, sourced both locally and globally. And just in case you can’t fit that coveted rug in the car or in your suitcase, you can always make your purchase through their website and meet your one-of-a-kind rug at home.

Shop 5a 21/25 Fletcher Street, Byron Bay

For more destination guides and local travel inspiration, head to Sitchu.

The best kept secret spots of Adelaide

Adelaide may not be the biggest city but it’s always got a little delight tucked up its sleeve, ready for the grand reveal when you least expect it. If you’re a bit bored of hitting the same spots week in, week out; have a friend visiting who you want to show Adelaide to; or perhaps a first date and you’re keen to blow them away, these special spots are well worth a visit.

Maybe Mae

Maybe Mae

The definition of ‘hidden secret’ is when you cannot see the door and you have to know exactly where to push to gain entry. Maybe Mae is a stunning little hideaway, tucked below Bread & Bone, just off Peel Street. Take a seat in one of their dimly lit booths and be transported back to the 20s with their art deco styling and absolutely delicious cocktails and mocktails. 

15 Peel Street, Adelaide

Mount Osmond Reserve

Take a hike and get lost! Escape to The Hills and wander through lush greens and forests before finding yourself on top of the world* with an absolutely stunning view over the city. With various paths available, you have the choice of various walks from 2.2km right up to an 11km loop through beautiful pine and eucalypt forest. 

City of Burnside, Mount Osmond Reserve

Bibliotheca Bar & Book Exchange

Focusing on spirits from around the globe, perfect classic cocktails and books… lots of books; this stunning little spot is a step away from the more raucous streets into a slice of Europe. It’s cosy without being cramped, classy without being snobby, and cool without even trying. See something you like lingering on their bookshelves? Take it home and replace it with one of your own. 

27 Gresham Street, Adelaide

The Barlow Room

The Barlow Room

When we walk past a charming fireplace, we don’t usually question whether there is a secret bar behind it. Open only on Friday and Saturday nights, surely this is Adelaide’s most elusive, sneaky bar. A modern speakeasy, sound tracked by their resident pianist, only a select few are lucky enough to know exactly where to go and how to get in. A true secret of Adelaide. 

19-137 Lindes Lane

Baddog Bar

You’ve probably walked past this place a dozen times without even realising that behind the façade that seems to be a simple, seemingly innocent alcove and wooden door was your new favourite bar. This may seem like it’s impossible to find; but take a quick glance at your feet and you may spot ‘Beware of the dog’ and you’ve found the place if you’re after some fine whiskey and gins.  

63 Hyde St, Adelaide

K1 Cellar Door

Considering this is listed as one of Australia’s top 10 cellar door experiences, this may not be considered such a ‘hidden’ secret – though it is hidden out of the way, with beautiful views overlooking the vineyard and tranquil lake. Booking is certainly essential, so ensure you’re not disappointed.

159 Tynan Road, Kuitpo

Himeji Garden

Himeji Garden

Full of features which are of profound religious significance to the Japanese people, discover this world for yourself in the stunning and serene Himeji garden. By just taking a small step away from the city, you can lose yourself in the natural beauties including the lake and mountain garden and the dry garden. Also – it’s free entry.

South Terrace, Adelaide

Folklore Café    

If you’re not feeling the beach but also not feeling the city, then head over to the beautiful and industrial Port Adelaide. Amongst the colourful wall murals and situated right on the waterfront, you can enjoy some of their expertly made coffee and get stuck into some brunch sat out in the sun or under cover if the weather’s not playing ball.  

11 Mundy Street, Port Adelaide

For more destination guides and local travel inspiration, head to Sitchu.

The best things to do on the Central Coast

From wild national parks and sun-kissed beaches, to bustling bars, boutiques and trendy food haunts, the Central Coast is one of the best places to escape for a weekend sojourn. Wander through the hinterland wilderness, browse the local markets or treat yourself to a shopping spree, this coastal gem is so worth escaping the city for. Here’s our pick of the best things to do on the Central Coast  ̶  the perfect list to share with your friends to kick start the holiday planning.

Arts & Culture

Visit the Gosford Regional Gallery

For those with even the slightest appreciation of art, a visit to the Gosford Regional Gallery is a must. Beautifully set on 22 hectares of public park on the shores of Caroline Bay in East Gosford, the gallery showcases a wide variety of visual art, photography, sculpture and design. Plus, there’s an onsite café and the Edogawa Commemorative Garden with its Japanese landscaping offering a zen setting. 

36 Webb Street, East Gosford.

Book your spot at Centred Ceramic’s Wine and Clay Friday

For a fun night that will bring out your inner artist, book a seat at Centred Ceramic’s Friday night workshop. You’ll get expert advice as you sculpt your cup, mug or small platter, and better still, you can BYO vino. Bonus! 

246 West Street, Umina Beach

Take an art class at Exhale Art Studio or Pinot & Picasso Terrigal

Head to Long Jetty for a creative session with Exhale Art Studio. Known for their range of creative art classes and workshops they host everything from paint and sip to life drawing.

Enjoy a wine and art session with Pinot & Picasso in the heart of Terrigal, as you perfect your art in a social evening class.

Exhale Art Studio – Unit 7, 314-316 The Entrance Road, Long Jetty
Pinot & Picasso Terrigal – 2/6 Pine Tree Lane, Terrigal

Exhale Art Studio
See a show from the nation’s finest at The Arthouse Wyong

Some of the hottest acts head to The Arthouse – from comedy, music, performance and theatrical; think The Whitlams, Tommy Little, Lior, The Sydney Comedy Showcase, and much more. 

19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong

Eat & Drink

Take the Central Coast’s unofficial coffee tour

Local roasting house Glee Coffee at Wyong is a neighbourhood favourite. Housed in the historic Chapman Building precinct in the heart of the village, you’ll feel at ease sipping the day away and snacking on their delectable brunch bites. In Toukley, stop into Rise Mofo for your morning brew, and be sure to take a look at their beautiful, sunny yellow mandala mural before you leave. At Lords of Pour in Ettalong, you can expect a delicious brunch feast. This uber-cool locale serves up specialty coffee and simple breakfast classics with a modern twist. We have our heart set on the pulled pork toastie. Delish!

Glee Coffee- Shop 9, 14 Alison Road, Wyong and Shop 4, 490 Central Coast Highway, Erina Heights
Rise Mofo- 3/327 Main Road, Toukley
Lords of Pour- 199a Ocean View Road, Ettalong Beach

The Bon Pavilion 
Enjoy a long lunch at BonBon

The Central Coast’s cool hangout, The Bon Pavilion’s Bon Bon is the perfect locale for a mid-week catch up or weekend brunch. Start with bubbles and shared snacks, and make your way through their hearty classics and premium drops.

159 Mann Street, Gosford

Indulge the sweet tooth at Bouffant the bakery

Located in a heritage building in the heart of a transforming Gosford central, Bouffant is a creative wonderland that will satisfy your sweet treat cravings. Serving up a variety of sugary confections, doughnuts and other delectable treats, you’ll find it hard to order just one pastry.

38 Mann Street, Gosford

Sip on cocktails at Pocket Bar

Pocket Bar is a popular central coast hangout thanks to bespoke cocktails (if your favourite tipple isn’t on the menu – just ask the bartender to whip it up), a long wine list, and a solid selection of tapas plates. 

74 Terrigal Esplanade, Terrigal

Book a seat at fine diner Yellowtail

Situated in the heart of Terrigal village, this cosy restaurant is all about flavour and creativity. Yellowtail’s fine dining menu heroes Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Asian cuisines, and each dish highlights their signature culinary flair.

3/1 Campbell Crescent, Terrigal

Bar Toto
Sip and snack at Bar Toto

Italian trattoria Bar Toto is the local go-to for cocktails and antipasti. You’ll want to try the calamari fritti, arancini and burrata truffle. Delicious! 

83/189 Ocean View Road, Ettalong Beach

Shop

Pick up some sustainable threads at Shadow Bang Apothecary and Supply 

Not only housed in the most delightful triangular shopfront (just calling out for an Insta-photo) it’s also home to fashion and beauty with heart. Shadow Bang Apothecary and Supply are known for stocking sustainable brands by female creatives who are committed to providing ethical or small batch alternatives to commercial products for women.

310B The Entrance Road, Long Jetty

Stroll the Ettalong Markets and Mountain Growers Markets

Treasure hunt for clothing, art, and handcrafted jewellery at Ettalong Markets, then pick up fruit and veggies, freshly baked bread, antiques and homewares at Mountain Growers Markets (located at Peats Ridge). 

Ettalong Markets- 189 Ocean View Road, Ettalong Beach
Mountain Growers Markets- 1109 Peats Ridge Road, Peats Ridge

La Boheme Lifestyle
Buy some chic threads at La Boheme Lifestyle  or Franki & Co

La Boheme Lifestyle boutique at Terrigal channels a relaxed Byron Bay vibe, with fashion brands, homewares, accessories and new-age wellness products. 

Franki & Co at Norah Head has a stylish mix of both fashion and homewares, showcasing a great selection of much loved Australian coastal brands.

La Boheme Lifestyle – 1/271 Scenic Highway, Terrigal
Frankie & Co – 15B Mitchell Street Norah Head

Up your design game with Coastal Road Interiors’ gorgeous homewares

Coastal Road at Toukley, a multi-roomed treasure trove of unique pieces and striking interior design, reflects the Central Coast’s relaxed coastal feel. You’ll need extra boot space for your trip back to Sydney after a visit to this beautiful store.

137 Main Road, Toukley

Treat yourself to Haven at Home’s bespoke collection

The treasures continue at Haven at Home in Erina Heights. An inspiring blend of homewares and gifts sourced locally and overseas, you can’t go past their beautiful array of jewellery. From Kirstin Ash finery to A LA’s stone rings, you won’t go home empty-handed.

490 Central Coast Highway, Erina Heights

Bohemian Traders
Indulge in retail therapy at Bohemian Traders

Popular online brand Bohemian Traders calls the Central Coast home with their HQ based in Erina. Run by husband and wife team Emily and David Berlach, you can expect classic European designs in beautiful patterns and colours, alongside trendy seasonal looks.

Shop 2A, 490 Central Coast Highway, Erina 

Play 

Go stand-up paddle boarding on Avoca Lake

Burn off all that delicious food and drink by paddle boarding or kayaking on the beautiful Avoca Lake. You can rent gear from the team at Aquafun.

Heazlett Park, 15 Ficus Avenue, Avoca Beach

Swim and sunbake at the Central Coast’s iconic beaches 

Pack your swimmers, sunscreen and towels and head to the beach. Our favourites are Terrigal Beach, Umina Beach, Toowoon Bay beach, Copacabana Beach and Frazer Beach or Lobster Beach for a little more privacy. 

Learn to surf

Want to learn how to carve it up? The Central Coast Surf Academy runs classes at a string of beaches along the coast. You’ll be a surfer girl in no time!

The Central Coast Surf Academy
Kick off your morning with the Patonga to Pearl Beach hike

The 2-hour hike begins at the Patonga Boat Ramp and takes you on a scenic climb through Brisbane Waters National Park. Stop at Warrah Lookout for breathtaking views of Broken Bay and the Hawkesbury River. Wear your swimmers so you can go for a refreshing dip when you reach Pearl Beach. A quicker option is the Box Head Track, which takes about an hour.

Explore

Bouddi National Park

With secluded beaches, bays, rainforests, trails and thriving marine and wildlife, the park is incredible. You could spend days exploring it, or you could do the Bouddi National Park Coastal Walk. One of the most famous coastal walks in Australia, it’s the perfect snapshot of the Central Coast. Keep an eye out for migrating whales!

Picnic and splash around at Somersby Falls

The waterfall itself is stunning, and the surrounding area is perfect for picnics, with BBQs, tables, and lush rainforest views.

Maitland Bay

Pack a picnic and make your way to Maitland Bay. Walk down the 2km trail to the secluded bay, where you’ll find a shipwreck dating back to 1898. The bay is great at any time, and best at sunset.

Maitland Bay
Wamberal Lagoon

Hidden behind Wamberal Beach, the lagoon is peaceful and pristine, and ideal for water sports and wildlife-watching.

For more destination guides and local travel inspiration, head to Sitchu.

A weekend on the Central Coast

From wild national parks and sun-kissed beaches to bustling bars, boutiques and trendy food haunts, the Central Coast is one of the best – and closest (for Sydneysiders who can be there within 90 minutes) – places to escape for a weekend. Wander through the wilderness, browse the local markets or treat yourself to an indulgent spa session, this coastal gem is so worth escaping the city for. Here’s our pick of the best places to eat, drink and explore. 

Terrigal Beach
Terrigal Beach

Coffee & daytime eats

Catch up over coffee and breakfast at Bar Botanica
Do as the locals do and head to Bar Botanica for freshly-roasted coffee and garden to plate cuisine. Created by Julia and Dan Hughes (aka Mr Goaty Gelato), the rustic interiors, light-filled space and beautiful greenery, make this the ultimate weekend hangout.

Pop into Ludo’s Gourmet Patisserie for a French pastry
People travel near and far for Ludo’s sweet and savoury delights. While you’re there, stock up on goodies for later at Ludo’s Gourmet Pantry.

Taste-test the all-day brunch at The Glass Onion Society
For the morning after a late-night cocktail stint… Perched on Long Jetty is The Glass Onion Society, a warm and welcoming spot serving a delicious modern Australian-style brunch. It’s all day too, so it doesn’t matter what time you decide to rock up.

Bar Botanica, Erina
Bar Botanica, Erina

Stop at Bellyfish for brunch
As you enter Terrigal, Bellyfish is the first café you’ll see and it’s well worth a visit. The chefs pair up with local producers for a fun, modern Australian menu that changes with the seasons.

Get your caffeine hit at The Rollerdoor Espresso Bar
Open from 6:30am, the Rollerdoor Espresso Bar in Erina is perfect for the weekend coffee run. Regardless of why you’re stopping in, make sure to take full advantage of the pastries on offer… you won’t regret it.

From casual lunches to fine dining

Linger over lunch at Saddles
Nestled in the bushland of Mt White, Saddles is the shiniest new addition to the Central Coast’s foodie scene. Owned by the dream team behind Bombini, the menu supports local producers and wine-makers, with most produce plucked from the kitchen garden. 

Saddles, Mt White
Saddles, Mt White

Fuel up with a burger at Chop n’ Grind
These aren’t just any old burgers – Chop n’ Grind has been awarded the ‘best burgers on the Central Coast’ by AGFG for two years in a row. They’re a little juicy, a little messy, and very delicious.

Tuck into fresh seafood at Woy Woy Fishermen’s Wharf
Because nothing beats a serving of fish n’ chips after a sunny morning on the sand. Woy Woy Fishermen’s Wharf boasts a prime waterfront location and has been in business for four decades, so you know it’s good. 

Dine straight from the grill at Bonfire, The Bon Pavillion
Boasting a downtown New York feel with leather finishings and moody interiors, Bonfire at The Bon Pavillion offers an open kitchen, allowing diners to get close to the behind the scenes action.

Woy Woy Fishermen's Wharf
Woy Woy Fishermen’s Wharf

Splash out on a fine dining dinner at Cowrie Restaurant
Overlooking Terrigal Beach, the beautiful Cowrie Restaurant has scooped up a slew of awards over the years. The menu is Modern Australian with a seafood focus, but to try a bit of everything, go for the tasting menu. You won’t be disappointed.

Indulge in homemade pasta at Young Barons
Young Barons is a hotspot in Woy Woy, serving the perfect plate of pasta every time, along with a handful of Italian-inspired mains. The delicious tagliatelle is our pick, topped with lamb ragu, parsley, and pecorino.

Dig into smoky delights at Sounds on West
Part of the Six String Brewing Company, Sounds on West is a moreish smokehouse dishing up Southern-style meats, sides and sauces along with boozy and non-boozy drinks (like the best lemonade you’ve tasted), all made on-site.

Bombini, Kincumber
Bombini, Kincumber

Get a taste of Italy at Bombini
Sitting pretty on two acres of rolling greenery, this local Italian is famous for its seasonal, sustainable fare and incredible wine list. Go for dinner and whatever you do, order the housemade sorbetti for dessert. Bombini also has a cooking school – if you and your girlfriends are keen cooks, sign up for the woodfired pizza or gnocchi-making class!

Drinks

Sip on cocktails at Pocket Bar
Pocket Bar is wildly popular, thanks to bespoke cocktails (if your favourite tipple isn’t on the menu – just ask the bartender to whip it up), a long wine list, and a solid selection of tapas plates. 

Soak up the scene and listen to live music at Terrigal Hotel
Just steps from the ocean, Terrigal Hotel is a sprawling space with plenty to keep you occupied. The lively local watering hole has it all: pub grub, music and karaoke nights.

Distillery Botanica, Erina
Distillery Botanica, Erina

Grab G&Ts at Distillery Botanica in Erina
Run by Phillip Moore – herbalist turned gin maker – the boutique Distillery Botanica is a must-visit. While you’re sipping, wander through the three-acres of ‘fragrant gardens,’ which is where Phillip picks the aromas for his gin.

Get a drink at Six String Brewing Company
Central Coast’s first boutique brewery. It’s all about the buzz at Six String Brewing Co. Pull up a chair and enjoy an ale in the sun. On weekends, you may be treated to live music and a pop-up Mexican cantina, too.

Take a seat at Bon Bon Bar, the Central Coast’s cool supper club
Stop in for a cheeky Tom Collins at Bon Bon Bar – The Bon Pavillion, and stay for a delicious share plate and wine-fuelled evening.

Avoca Lake
Avoca Lake

Things to do

Stroll the Ettalong Markets and Mountain Growers Markets
Treasure hunt for clothing, art, and handcrafted jewellery at Ettalong, then pick up fruit and veggies, freshly baked bread, antiques and homewares at Mountain Growers (located at Peats Ridge). 

Go stand-up paddleboarding on Avoca Lake
Burn off all that delicious food and drink by paddleboarding or kayaking on the beautiful Avoca Lake. You can rent gear from Aquafun.

Swim and sunbake at the Central Coast’s iconic beaches
Pack your cossies, sunscreen and towels and head to the beach. Our favourites are Avoca Beach, Terrigal Beach, Umina Beach, The Entrance Beach, Copacabana Beach and Lobster Beach for a little more privacy. Want to learn to surf? The Central Coast Surf Academy runs classes at a string of beaches along the coast.

Avoca Beach
Avoca Beach

Picnic and splash around at Somersby Falls
The Somersby Falls waterfall itself is stunning, and the surrounding area is perfect for picnics, with BBQs, tables, and lush rainforest views.

Kick off your morning with the Patonga to Pearl Beach hike
The 2-hour hike begins at the Patonga Boat Ramp and takes you on a scenic climb through Brisbane Waters National Park. Stop at Warrah Lookout for breathtaking views of Broken Bay and the Hawkesbury River. Wear your cossie so you can go for a refreshing dip when you reach Pearl Beach. A quicker option is the Box Head Track, which takes about an hour.

Laugh your way through a dance class at the Central Coast Dance Centre
You can book a private class at Central Coast Dance Centre (we’ve heard the Beyoncé one is fun), and you’ll get bubbly and nibbles upon arrival.

Catch a movie at the Avoca Beach Picture Theatre
Rained in? Make the most of it by watching a flick at the award-winning Avoca Beach Picture Theatre, which screens arty, classic and blockbuster films.

Bouddi National Park
Bouddi National Park

Explore

Bouddi National Park
With secluded beaches, bays, rainforests, trails and thriving marine and wildlife, the park is incredible. You could spend days exploring it, or you could do the Bouddi National Park Coastal Walk. One of the most famous coastal walks in Australia, it’s the perfect snapshot of the Central Coast. Keep an eye out for migrating whales!

Bells at Killcare
Every great girls’ weekend involves plenty of pampering and eating. Do both at the beautiful Bells at Killcare. Melt into a treatment at the luxe, Hamptons-style Day Spa, and then linger over a long lunch at the fine dining restaurant. Its Italian dishes are made with fresh, local ingredients – and are best enjoyed on the verandah with a glass of regional wine.

Maitland Bay
Pack a picnic and make your way to Maitland Bay. Walk down the 2km trail to the secluded bay, where you’ll find a shipwreck dating back to 1898. The bay is great at anytime, and best at sunset.

Wamberal Lagoon
Hidden behind Wamberal Beach, the lagoon is peaceful and pristine, and ideal for watersports and wildlife-watching.

Wamberal Lagoon
Wamberal Lagoon

For more destination guides and local travel inspiration, head to Sitchu.