Ettalong Beach is a magnet for families wanting to enjoy fishing and safe swimming.
The water is calm and shallow and the eastern bank is a favourite fishing spot.
The beach is located where Brisbane Water and Broken Bay meet. Opposite Broken Bay is Palm Beach. It's only 7 km away in straight line but 100 km by roads around waterways.
Ettalong is an aboriginal word meaning “place for drinking”. It was named as such because fresh water was available from a hole submerged in sand close to shore. Early crews would stop in this town to get water from that hole.
The foreshore is a perfect spot for families with young children...
There are great amenities: cafe, picnic area, barbecues, playgrounds and toilets.
Kids can ride their bikes or play in the playgrounds while you’re having a picnic or barbecue. Or eat at The BOX on the Water. It overlooks Brisbane Water...
It used to be one of our favourite beaches when our kids were little.
The foreshore is mainly used for water activities: swimming, fishing and boating.
The water is calm, flat and shallow – it has a reputation for safe swimming. (The water is protected from the open seas by a headland.)
You can catch bream, whiting and flathead along The Esplanade.
The sand continues unbroken to Ocean-Umina Beaches for 4 km. You can have a nice long walk on the sand. Or cycle on the path to Umina SLSC.
The eclectic Ettalong Markets are a popular attraction. The markets are located in the Ettalong Beach Tourist Resort complex. Open every weekend 9 am - 4 pm. The markets are covered so you can go even if it rains.
The best things about the markets in my eyes are the décor and eateries (Gozleme anyone?). Those alone are worth a visit.
The resort has a stunning Mediterranean decor. You may find that the rich decor contrasts with the stores. But the more I go the more I like it.
The 6-screen Cinema Paradiso is located beside the markets. The décor is just as stunning as in the markets... Each room is different from one another. This building is certainly one of the kind. (This is not a generic Hoyts!)
This is one of the few areas on the Central Coast where there are no hills, so cycling is fun.
Cycle to Umina Beach for a swim. Or head to the BMX tracks and playground behind the Surf Life Saving Club if you have kids.
Follow Booker Bay Rd and Blackwall Rd. Then cycle on the bike path to Woy Woy Fishermen’s Wharf for seafood or fish & chips. Stop over at Blackwall Mountain and walk to the lookout (15 min). (Turn onto Bay View Cres from Blackwall Rd.)
Bouddi National Park contains plenty of stunning walks. You can join tracks together to walk longer.
All walks lead to stunning lookouts or isolated beaches. Try Maitland Bay track, Box Head walking track or Coastal Walk.
Or drive along The Scenic Rd and stop at Marie Byles Lookout for amazing coastal views.
Here are nice walks in Brisbane Water National Park close to Ettalong. Both of these walks will take you to stunning lookouts:
1) Walk up and over the headland from Pearl Beach to Patonga (6 km return).
2) Walk to Mount Ettalong Lookout – takes only 10 minutes through a path in the bush.
To get to Mount Ettalong Lookout, drive along Mount Ettalong Rd toward Pearl Beach. Once you've driven past Umina, you'll start driving up a windy road to the top of a headland. When the road straightens out, look for the car park on the left.
Umina is the closest beach to Ettalong. It's patrolled and the waves are small. It’s a top place to learn to surf.
I already mentioned that behind the beach is Umina Beach Playground...
This playground is more fun than the Ettalong playground for older kids. You’ll find a large climbing web, flying fox, BMX track, skateboard ramp, and bicycle track. There’s also a fenced playground for toddlers.
A good cafe is Jasmine Greens next to the playground.
Watch out for these yearly events…
There are many great cafes and restaurants, which is very surprising for such a small regional town. You can find most multicultural food…
The BOX on the Water ($$$) is a modern Australian restaurant. It's on the waterfront right beside playgrounds. Breakfast, lunch or dinner depending on the day; 02 4339 3369; The Esplanade corner Beach St.
The Grand Pavilion ($) has the best Indian in town. Lunch & dinner; 02 4341 7234; 46 Picnic Parade.
Safran ($$$) is an award-winning modern Turkish restaurant. It may well be the highlight of your day. You can share Meze (small dishes). Book a table outside if the temperature allows. Dinner & lunch on Sat; 02 4342 7030; 81/189 Ocean View Rd, Ettalong Markets Tourist Resort.
These are other great restaurants in the Ettalong Beach Tourist Resort:
If you really only want a pie, the Ettalong Beachside Pie Shop is renowned for them. 382 Ocean View Rd.
Coast 175 ($) is a locals’ favourite for coffee, breakfast and lunch. So much so it can get full during weekends. The cafe is airy with beautiful coastal décor and nice music playing (yes, music is important!). That’s usually where we get our coffee fix.
The meals are made from fresh seasonal ingredients from gourmet markets. For a top breakfast and Campos coffee, this is the place to go. Sit outdoors in the garden. Only a short walk from the ferry wharf.
Breakfast & lunch; 02 4341 8080; 1/175 Ocean View Rd.
Most visitors in Ettalong Beach stay in a holiday rental. You can search on a site like Stayz or Airbnb.
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Car: 1 hr 20 min from Sydney via the M1 (F3). Click on this link for directions on Google Map.
Train: 1 hr 45 min from Central Station in Sydney. Take bus 53 from Woy Woy Station.
Ferry: 30 min on the Palm Beach Ferry. Departs from Palm Beach Wharf.