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Terrigal, NSW. Walking Tracks, Beachside Bliss and My Assault on The Skillion.

 

Terrigal. One of the most overrated spots on the Central Coast in my opinion.  Now that’s not to say there isn’t a good reason that tourists and locals alike flock to the beachside town at the merest hint of sunshine. And it isn’t to say that I don’t venture out to see what all the fuss is about on the odd occasion.

My 17-year-old daughter was starting work early, so to save her an extra hour travelling on a bus, I offered to drive her to work.  Figuring I may as well pick a picturesque track I haven’t set foot on for quite some time for my morning walk while I was out, I settled on going the long way home via Terrigal.

I parked well away from the beach near the Marine Discovery Centre on Terrigal Drive and set out towards Terrigal Beach.  My aim for the day was not so much to walk as far as I could, but to enjoy the journey getting to The Skillion.  In my memory, The Skillion was a considerable amount of huffing and puffing up a short but steep slope, followed by a view that made each huff and puff worth it.

Destination: Skillion

I wandered through the beautifully maintained Terrigal Lagoon Reserve, to the banks of the Lagoon.  Ripples abounded on the surface of the water as fish darted away on my approach.  It struck me just how beautifully the local Lion’s Club keep this area, it would be a lovely spot for a picnic or barbeque on a sunny day.  The barbeques were spotless and there are public toilets just across the road next to a well-fenced playground.

Continuing on along Terrigal Drive, my walk treated me to an unspoilt view of the beach over twisting floral vines winding their way through trees and fencing without regard to which side they belonged on.  In the distance surfers and paddle boarders enjoyed the calm of the morning.

The barrier between road and footpath was decorated with ‘dot paintings’ by talented artists from the local schools. (And I don’t mean that in the indulgent manner of a parent proud talking to neighbours about their four-year-old’s finger painting, these are actually lovely works of art.)


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Coast 89, Toowoon Bay, NSW

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Sunday morning.   The perfect morning to sleep, lazily get ready and meander down to your favourite cafe for bunch.  Made all the more perfect as it was day three of our inaugural staycation.  While Coast 89 may not be my go to café, it is certainly top of my list for a slice of banoffee pie and some girly bonding for Mummy Daughter Dates.  Perhaps the only reason the Water’s Edge beats this place out as my go to café is the view at…. the water’s edge.  This place certainly has it beat for delicious things to eat and interior atmosphere.

The Restaurant

Coast 89 is located in a darling little bank of shops that have a delightfully boutique feel about them, quite unexpected for the out of the way area they are in.  In recent years the single block long group of eateries, boutique gift and clothing stores and local services has undergone a facelift and is now a rather pleasant place to take as troll in from the Bay after a swim or to while away some spare time on a weekend.

The unique blend of azure and white wallpaper combined with stainless steel on the walls is carried through to the fixtures with a chalkboard for specials dominating one wall.

The Food

I’ve been coming to Coast 89 ever since they opened several  years ago and I haven’t had a bad meal yet.  I won’t lie and say it is my favourite eggs benny on the coast, but overall the meals are lovely.   The menu is diverse and even my fussiest eater always finds something to practically gorge herself on.

Pro Tip:  Miss Fussy Fifteen recommends the Bacon and Egg Roll

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Eat Street Cafe, Gosford, NSW

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Second day of the work week.  I start at 8:30 am.  I like to leave time for unforeseen traffic so I am often 15 – 20 minutes early for work.  What I didn’t account for was the fact that

  1. I am an idiot and
  2. There was a public holiday on Monday so it was actually Wednesday today, not Tuesday.

Ever the optimist I seized the opportunity to be glad I had an extra 45 minutes up my sleeve before I had to be at work and decided to head down to a little cafe I had been dying to have my lunch break at for quite some time. What a brilliant opportunity to have early Brunch.  Also known as breakfast in some circles, but I don’t do breakfast.  Breakfast is for people who haven’t mastered the art of sleeping in.  Amateurs.

The Restaurant

Eat Street Cafe is a prefab building at the carpark near the waterfront in Gosford, NSW.  Not sold yet?  I’m not surprised, but you will be. Surprised and sold that is.  Beautifully decorated with superbly finished timber and heritage elements, Eat Street Cafe is an outdoor eatery with a difference.  Not aiming for shabby chic or modern trends Eat Street oozes its own unique, comfortable street side atmosphere.  Every person that walks in is treated like a valued customer with staff going out of their way to learn people’s names. Relaxed seating is available if you are in the mood to watch the world go by, or you could grab a takeaway and wander 20 paces to sit by on the waterfront and lazily enjoy the sail boats drifting past.

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Somersby Falls, Central Coast, NSW

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I can’t speak highly enough of this little picnic area located, not surprisingly, in Sommersby. It is a delightful spot for a walk, a picnic, a bbq or (as I am quite fond of) a sneaky spot of lunchtime yoga if you work nearby.  Water spilling over lichen covered rocks in this picturesque rainforest location presents a multitude of photo opportunities and serene spots to sit and listen to the water cascading down the falls, meditate or read a book.

Somersby Falls NSW Quick Guide
Click to save as a printable pdf

Multifarious bird life, sandwich loving bush turkeys and water monitors and abound in this corner of Brisbane Water National Park. Well maintained steps and natural pathways lead you down the hill to viewing platforms and access points to the falls.  In the pools at the base of Lower Falls you will often see children and young people in swimsuits enjoying a paddle in the shallow water.  If you are very lucky, on a quiet day you may spot a turtle making the most of the tourist free solitude.

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The Fat Goose, Hardys Bay, NSW

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The Restaurant

Winding roads amidst tree lined hills lead you along one of the most scenic drives on the Coast.  So much so that the road leading in is called ‘Scenic Drive’.  Past the tourist traps of Terrigal and the stunning views out over Brisbane Water, the drive to Hardy’s Bay is part of the experience of this brunch outing.

This delightful little café is tucked in alongside the always popular Old Killcare Store and offers indoor and alfresco seating as well as take away orders.  What the building lacks in cosmopolitan style it makes up for in warmth and character.  Which in my opinion is much nicer than the spurious indy feel of Starbucks.  Bottles of Fat Goose branded sauces and spreads line shelves, the ambient light picking up the reds and oranges and making them almost glow.  Tables are nestled together near windows inside and out in the sunshine we watch people laughing and chatting, enjoying the unseasonable warmth.  Stroller friendly and dog friendly, the atmosphere is one of community.

The Food

Although the menu does feature an all day breakfast I couldn’t resist completely ignoring the reason I was out and ordering from the lunch menu.  Who can say no to a portobello mushroom burger stuffed with 3 different cheeses and smashed avocado?  Not me, that’s who.

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The Water’s Edge, The Entrance, NSW

The Water's Edge is a delightful, welcoming place to sit and enjoy a coffee and some eggs benny all year round.

The Restaurant

The Water’s Edge is my absolute favourite little place locally to have brunch. The food, the view and the relaxed atmosphere here make it an unbeatable spot to soak in the sun on a warm summer’s morning.  The coveted lounge chairs right on the edge of the boardwalk are the best spot in the entire restaurant and, if truth be told, I have been known to move tables in the middle of a meal if one of these tables becomes available part way through the meal.  The welcoming and comfortable atmosphere lends The Water’s Edge to feeling like a restaurant run by friends.

In summer we park a few kilometres away and walk along the lakefront or shore to The Water’s Edge, have brunch and, after a coffee and some time enjoying the view, walk back to the car.  With Pelicans cruising by overhead, the laughter of children learning to paddleboard, the sun glinting off the water and the comforting thought that there is an ice-cream parlour within 30 metres, The Water’s Edge is the perfect setting for a morning in the sun.  And when the sun is hiding you can enjoy the spectacular view with glass paneled walls to sit by to stay out of the wind and rain.

The Food

Primarily a fish restaurant, The Water’s Edge does breakfast/brunch surprisingly well.  We were a little hesitant the first time we went for brunch knowing their superb lunch and dinner menu.  I can say I was impressed with the selection and lack of fish on the breakfast menu.  Their eggs benny is done to perfection and you can mix and match items from the menu – very important when the eggs benny doesn’t come with mushrooms as standard. To accompany your eggs and hollandaise, the choice of bacon, ham or salmon is yours.   They even have berocca on the menu for those slightly headachy, might-have-over-indulged-with-the-girls-last-night mornings. (Not that I would know anything about that.)

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