photos DESTINATION CENTRAL COAST
As humans return to their globe-trotting ways post-pandemic, the more unsettling realities of industrialised global tourism are back in the spotlight. But travel can be a force for good and, with it, send a message of hope and connection, so we’re bringing our beloved sustainable travel series Village Green online so you can continue to voyage with your values.
Last year, the Central Coast became the second place in New South Wales to achieve international recognition as a sustainable destination through Ecotourism Australia. As one of only seven ECO-accredited destinations in Australia (and just 90 minutes north of Sydney!), it’s the perfect place to explore year-round from headland to hinterland.
above LA BOHEME BY NIKKI TO
Scotland-born stylist Stephanie Davies fell in love with the Central Coast and made it her home back in 2014. Inspired by the warm and inviting community she found, she opened La Bohème in 2018 and it’s quickly become the one-stop shop for slow fashion in Terrigal. Showcasing brands like Spell, Hunza G and Alemais alongside the eponymous La Bohème, Stephanie is inspired to create (and curate) effortless, timeless pieces that will stand the test of time. Think romantic, flowing pieces tailor-made for a chic coastal getaway.
Known as the “home of clay, creativity and community”, Umina’s Centered Ceramics is the Central Coast’s go-to for getting your hands dirty and letting your creative flag fly! Offering classes in hand-building and wheel-throwing, the store also stocks an assorted range of locally made ceramics – the perfect keepsake to bring some of that signature coastal charm home with you.
above TIKI LA LA VIA FACEBOOK
TIKI LA LA
Venture down to Long Jetty for your vintage fix at Tiki La La. It’s a hip haven for those with one eye on the past looking for mid-century furniture, deep vinyl cuts, blue jeans and faded tees. “Our work at Tiki La La is sustainable by nature,” owners April Xing and Heath Crawley say. “Here we are finders, restorers, curators and pushers of iconic vintage design, unique fashion and select eclectic sounds.” We love!
Live your best life swanning about in Bohemian Traders! Running from sizes XXS to 4XL, the Central Coast-born brand offers a sea of organic cotton and linen in dreamy neutral palettes alongside bold, brightly coloured prints. Shop in-store at the brand’s signature boutique in Erina Heights for all of your twirling needs.
above WOY WOY FISHERMAN’S WHARF BY NIKKI TO
WOY WOY FISHERMEN’S WHARF
Three generations of the Cregan-Clayton family have been serving up sustainable seafood at Woy Woy Fishermen’s Wharf. Originally opened in 1974, the establishment got a face-lift in 2017 but is still fervently committed to working with and supporting local fishermen, aquaculture experts and farmers. Think spicy yellowfin tuna tostadas and blue mussels in spicy tomato broth in a breezy dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows or snap up some classic fish and chips at the heaving takeaway kiosk.
FLOUR & CO
Generational love on the Central Coast runs deep – Flour & Co is another must-eat spot that’s been in the Picot family for 30 years. The family-run bakery and coffee house in Toowoon Bay is a bustling hub of community slinging No Label Coffee alongside crusty loaves, delectable pastries and raw treats – all made in-house!
If you’re after a garden-to-plate feed, look no further than Like Minds in Avoca Beach. The menu boasts Fat Poppy Coffee, Burnt Honey Bakery bites and produce sourced from the on-site vegetable garden. Opened by local couple James Rolph and Melissa Morgan, the cafe has a keen focus on sustainability and a zero-waste policy that sees everything composted. The pair also hosts regular farmers’ markets and produce swaps in the space!
Whether you book in for a yoga class or stop by for a wholesome lunch, nourish your body and soul at Long Jetty’s Komuniti. Using locally sourced, organic and seasonal produce, the cafe offers up delicious whole foods including roasted mushrooms on seeded mountain bread, chai-spiced chia and almond porridge, and their signature Yin & Yang dish – corn fritters served alongside butterscotch whip pancakes.
above BOUDDI COASTAL WALK BY NIKKI TO
Beloved for its stunning coastal scenery and vibrantly verdant bushland, the Central Coast is a nature-lovers paradise. Hit the ground feet first and soak up the natural beauty with a veritable feast of bushwalks. Our picks? The Bouddi Coastal Walk is an eight-kilometre hike with breathing coastal views (keep your eye out for migrating whales!) and perfect picnicking spots. If a short stroll with the kiddos is more your pace, you can’t go past the Girrakool Loop Track – a breezy two kilometres through tranquil bushland.
TERRIGAL OCEAN TOURS
No trip to the Central Coast is complete without catching a glimpse of the majestic humpback whale. We like to think of them as the troubadours of the sea. Not only do they travel extensively – moving between Antarctica and the warmer waters of Australia in a journey that can take up to three months – but their dulcet tones are heard everywhere from nature documentaries to yoga studios. Sadly, commercial whaling wanted humpbacks for more than their vocal range, decimating the population to a critical low. Since its banning in 1979, the whales have gotten their groove back – numbers have grown to over 80,000 and counting and you can have your own respectful encounter with these magnificent creatures through Terrigal Ocean Tours. Certified by Ecotourism Australia, the company offers a range of small-group eco-tour adventures with marine experts on board and guaranteed whale sightings.
GIRRA GIRRA ABORIGINAL EXPERIENCES
How much do we really know about the history of this vast island we inhabit? Learn about the world’s oldest living culture through a 100% Aboriginal-owned business. Founded by Wongaibon and Wiradjuri man Tim Selwyn, Girra Girra offers a range of experiences to connect with Country and culture from guided bushwalks to overnight camping so you can tap into a rich stream of stories and witness the immense natural beauty of the Central Coast.
While the Central Coast is rightfully known for its beautiful beaches, there’s also a rich hinterland hidden away, abundant with organic farms to explore. The likes of The Food Farm in Yarramalong, Fanelli Organics in Mangrove Mountain and Full Circle Farm in Jilliby all offer regular farm tours so you can discover what regenerative farming practices look like in action – a wholesome learning experience for big and little kids alike. Discover these local producers and more at farmers’ markets in Gosford every Sunday, at Like Minds Cafe every Wednesday and beachside in Avoca every fourth Sunday!