Looking for an easy getaway without having to jump on a plane? You’re far from alone — with summer around the corner and everyone in need of some downtime, the Central Coast makes for the perfect road trip just 90 minutes out of Sydney.
Steeped in natural beauty from stunning beaches to lush wilderness — and boasting some of the best food in the state, there is no better place to unwind for a night (or two!).
This is how we spent our 24 hours up north:
WHERE TO STAY:
Talk about location.
With the ocean practically serenading you to sleep from their ocean-view rooms, the Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific showcases the best of what Terrigal has to offer.
With a wide range of rooms to choose from, we loved soaking up the panoramic sea views as we sipped our morning coffee from the balcony. Their comfortable bedding, generous-sized rooms, and central location make for the perfect pit stop during your Coast adventures.
Plus, they’re set right on the shores of the iconic Terrigal Beach, meaning you’re only ever a few steps away from the best cafes, restaurants, shops and the new Terrigal Boardwalk.
WHERE WE ATE:
Terrigal Beach House:
Taking advantage of the amazing location of the Crowne, Terrigal Beach House sits just downstairs and is the perfect place to unwind at the end of a busy day.
Their beachside cabanas let you enjoy the uninterrupted views of the beach, while their vast menu filled with delicious classics means there is really something for everyone to enjoy.
Seafood is obviously high on the list of recommendations, given the location, but anything from their pizzas to a mouth-watering lamb shoulder will be sure to satisfy any craving.
The Lucky Bee, Hardys Bay
Nestled in the hidden gem that is Hardys Bay, we’re not kidding when we say this is the best Yum Cha on the Coast!
Inspired by the streets of Southeast Asia, using fresh, local Central Coast produce, The Lucky Bee delivers both flavour and atmosphere.
We were truly spoiled during our visit, with a little bit of everything appearing quickly on our table to try. This is definitely a spot to explore with friends, as once you’ve had a taste, you’ll want to order it all!
Standouts included the Szechuan salt and pepper fried chicken wings, steamed pork buns and crispy duck spring rolls — plus, the gorgeous waterfront views of the bay simply MUST get a mention.
WHAT WE DID:
Iris Lodge Alpacas, Jilliby
We can guarantee you’ve never done anything quite like this!
Whilst you’d be forgiven for thinking about mostly beachside experiences while on the Central Coast, tucked in the gorgeous hinterland is the unique Iris Lodge Alpaca farm.
Iris Lodge is a working farm that gets you up close and personal with alpacas, sheep, cows and the rest of the farm’s residents.
We did the ‘Breakfast with the Alpacas’ experience, which allowed us to hand-feed (!!!) the herd of over 70 alpacas. From hilarious personalities to interesting names, the animals are comfortable with new visitors and love getting up close and personal while you treat them to breakfast.
Guided around the farm by owners Sean and Sharon, they originally started the business as a way to share their passion for alpacas with others. Both friendly and knowledgeable, you’ll love spending your morning with these experienced locals.
Broken Bay Pearl Farm, Mooney Mooney
Situated on the incredible Hawkesbury River, a visit to Broken Bay Pearl Farm is an absolute must.
Stepping first into their ‘Shellar door’ – a revamped Oyster Shed in Mooney Mooney, you can experience first-hand the only operating pearl farm in New South Wales.
Known for Akoya pearls, you not only get an immersion into the history of the oysters, you can experience it first-hand too! Jumping on one of their scenic cruises, you learn the full scope of their extraordinary pearling process before heading back to shore for a few fresh local oysters and a touch of pearl shopping (something very hard to resist!).
Yahoo Lifestyle was a guest of Love Central Coast.
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