Holiday on the Peninsula

The Central Coast’s Peninsula District, which encompasses the suburbs of Blackwall, Booker Bay, Ettalong Beach, Patonga, Pearl Beach, Umina Beach and Woy Woy, has got to be one of the best places to spend the summer.

Fast becoming the foodie hub of the Central Coast, there are lots of up-and-coming venues to check out while enjoying a leisurely road trip around the Peninsula. Not to mention all the beautiful beaches, bush and coastal walks and independent boutiques you’ll discover in the region.

Spend the morning shaking off the post-festive season slump with a fun surfing lesson. Umina is the best place on the Coast to learn to surf because it’s shallow and the swell is generally low – check out Central Coast Surf School and Sals Surf School.

Across the road, location doesn’t get much more ideal for children than the Jasmine Greens Park Kiosk, which is adjacent to possibly the best playground on the Coast (there are dozens!). If you’re looking for accommodation, the NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort is a kids’ wonderland with pools and water parks – and the beach is just a few steps away.

After a busy morning in Umina, head to the Fisherman’s Wharf in Woy Woy for some well-earned fresh seafood. There is a new oyster bar up and running and the menu features a delicious range of dishes showcasing fresh, grilled, barbecued and dry-aged seafood.

Fisherman's Wharf, Woy Woy.

Words: Jess Verrender. Photography: Josef Nalevansky.

While delicious fare can be found all over the Peninsula, Ettalong is the heart of the local food scene. The Galleria is a unique dining and retail precinct set in an extraordinary art-deco Mediterranean-themed building that includes its own arthouse cinema. There are boutique shops, accommodation and several restaurants and bars that open to the street fronts of Schnapper Road and Ocean View Road. Toto’s Trattoria & Bar is a classic Italian lounge that offers a perfect fusion of old-world charm and modern flair – and live jazz every Sunday.

Just next door within the complex, Yusu is a hatted Japanese restaurant that serves up light delicacies in a quaint, cosy dining area or alfresco on the veranda. This one is incredibly popular with locals, so make sure you book (02 4341 3296)

LA Taco is a pop-up cantina brought to you by renowned Coastie restaurateurs Hayley Hardcastle and Cameron Cansdell of Saddles Mount White. Bringing a little slice of Mexico to Ettalong, the menu features delicious tacos, enchiladas, tortillas, grilled chicken, nachos, tostados and corn-on-the-cob, all coming alive with jalapenos, guacamole, salsa or pepitas.

Meanwhile, Palacinki Café serves up the most incredible crepes, both sweet and savoury – kids will lose their minds over the Nutella crepes.
Directly opposite the Galleria, Coast 175 is one of the most popular cafes on the Peninsula, along with Lords of Pour. Health fanatics should try Innerglow Kiosk for refreshing smoothies, fresh juices, turmeric and matcha lattes, and amazing salads.

The Box on the Water is an Ettalong institution, a gorgeous spot for cocktails, lunch or dinner accompanied by scenic ocean views. The beach is perfect for young kids, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds here, spending time in nature while enjoying some high-quality Mod Oz cuisine.

Fine dining at the BOX on the Water, Ettalong.

Image: The BOX on the Water Ettalong (Facebook).

Speaking of the water, Bombora Ettalong Beach SUP specialises in stand-up paddleboard lessons, SUP Hire, SUP fitness classes, SUP yoga classes and SUPball. Sunrise paddles and tours are a wonderful way to explore the Peninsula’s picturesque waterways.

Dubbed the ‘Palm Beach of the Central Coast’, Pearl Beach is an idyllic place to unwind in – there’s only one road in and one road out.
Pearly’s (previously the Pearl Beach Cafe and General Store) was given a menu revamp in 2022. Offering healthy and delicious classic café food, Pearly’s also has pizza nights every Friday and Saturday.

Pearls on the Beach has a long-term reputation for a reason. The restaurant serves fine dining by the beach with style, focusing on seafood, with delicious share plates and indulgent desserts on offer.

Pearl Beach Arboretum is a beautiful natural environment to explore. A flora and fauna sanctuary, it is located at the western end of Crystal Avenue and comprises some 5.5 hectares of native bushland with accessible pathways, a cottage for hire and parking for several cars.

Take the road out of Pearl Beach, drive over the hill and a few minutes later you will reach Patonga, a beautiful little fishing village on the southernmost point of the Peninsula. Accessible to Palm Beach by ferry, Patonga is well-known for its pub, The Boathouse Patonga Hotel.

Run by Northern Beaches hospitality giants the Boathouse Group, the venue offers a high-end pub, kiosk and accommodation and is surrounded by beautiful views of the Hawkesbury River and Brisbane Water National Park.

The Patonga Cottage is a dreamy little house with a pool, right next door to the pub. There is also a classy fish and chip shop nearby for those after takeaway.

If you’re coming from Sydney, Boathouse Ferry Co. services between Newport, Palm Beach and Patonga are currently in operation. Patonga Wharf is located opposite the hotel on Patonga Drive.

Jeep Wrangler has got your back, so you can keep adventuring for many years to come.

The 2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Auto 4X4 MY22 is offered by Central Coast Jeep as a demo car with three years’ scheduled servicing.
Features include a 3.6L engine, unleaded ULP fuel, automatic transmission and hardtop body type. Hydro blue, it includes keyless entry, leather-trimmed seats, rearview camera, rear parking sensors, 17-inch black aluminium wheels and much more.

Find out more or arrange a test drive at