8 Best Things to Do in Ettalong Beach NSW

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.

Ettalong Beach

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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.

Discover our favourite attractions in and near Ettalong Beach...

Best Things to Do in and Near Ettalong Beach

1. The Beach

Ettalong Beach

The foreshore is a perfect spot for families with young children. There are great amenities: cafe, picnic area, barbecues, playgrounds and toilets. It used to be one of our favourite beaches when our kids were little.

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.

The foreshore is mainly used for water activities: swimming, fishing and boating. You can catch bream, whiting and flathead along The Esplanade.

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.)

The sand continues unbroken to Ocean-Umina Beaches for 4 km. Have a nice long walk on the sand. Or cycle on the path to Umina SLSC.

2. Ettalong Markets

Ettalong Beach markets

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.

Find out more about Ettalong Markets

3. Cinema Paradiso 

Ettalong Beach cinema

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!

Check current movies.

4. Cycling

Ettalong Beach

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, and head to the BMX tracks and playground behind the Surf Life Saving Club if you have kids.

Or cycle to Woy Woy (13 km return):

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.)

You can hire bikes at Ride Ettalong at 285 Ocean View Rd or from the bike hire station on the corner of Beach St and The Esplanade. 

5. Bouddi National Park

Ettalong Beach

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 the 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.

Click here to discover the best bushwalks in Bouddi National Park. 

6. Brisbane Water National Park

Ettalong Beach

Here are nice walks in Brisbane Water National Park close to Ettalong. Both of these walks will take you to stunning lookouts:

Walk up and over the headland from Pearl Beach to Patonga (6 km return).

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. 

Click here to discover the best bushwalks in Brisbane Water National Park.

7. Umina Beach

Ettalong Beach

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.

Find out more about Umina Beach.

8. Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Ettalong Beach

Have a great time stand up paddle boarding on Brisbane Water.

Take a lesson to improve your technique, join a guided tour, or take a fitness class on a paddle board like SUP ball, SUP yoga or SUP fit. You can also hire a stand up paddle board for an hour or two and explore the waterway.

Bombora Ettalong Beach SUP offers activities that suit people of all ability levels, from beginners to experienced.  

The team are accredited ASI (Academy of Surfing Instructors). Karl is also a certified fitness instructor, and Tina is a SUP yoga teacher.

Check out Bombora Ettalong Beach SUP website.

The Locals’ Favourite Cafes & Restaurants

Ettalong Beach

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 on the waterfront. Breakfast, lunch or dinner depending on the day; 02 4339 3369; The Esplanade corner Beach St.

Osteria Il Coccia offers an excellent experience with a five course degustation menu cooked over wood charcoal and paired with a wine from Italy or France. Open Thur-Sat dinner and Sun lunch; 02 4327 8952; 40/189 Ocean View Rd. 

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. Open Wed-Sat; 02 4342 7030; 81/189 Ocean View Rd.

Bar Toto Trattoria and Bar serves cocktails, Craft Beer, Coffee, Wine, and Antipasti platters. The vibe is fabulous. Open on Fri and Sat; 02 4341 5260; 83/189 Ocean View Rd.                            

Coast 175 is a locals’ favourite for breakfast and lunch. The cafe is airy with beautiful coastal décor. The meals are made from fresh seasonal ingredients from gourmet markets, and they serve Campos coffee. 02 4341 8080; 1/175 Ocean View Rd.

These are other great restaurants in Ettalong:

  • Yusu Japanese Restaurant
  • Beef and Barramundi Bar & Grill
  • Gusto Italian Bistro (Spanish)
  • Lanna Thai Ettalong
Ettalong Beach

Where to Stay

Most visitors in Ettalong Beach stay in a holiday rental. You can search on a site such as Airbnb.

Great Places to stay in Ettalong

  • Ocean View Apartment - A perfect getaway from Sydney for a couple. The apartment is a stone's throw away from the beach and there are stunning water views from the living room and the bedroom. The place is also very stylish. 
  • Eccles @ Ettalong - A great villa for up to 6 people and an excellent place if you have kids. There's everything you need and nice touches for kids like toys and a high chair. And you'll be at walking distance to the beach. 
  • Ettalong Beach villa, spa and *Pet Friendly - You'll have this whole villa to yourself. It feels like a home away from home. Other than being comfortable and having a great spa, this place is at walking distance to two beaches. It can accommodate 5 people. 
  • Charlottes cottage Oasis - If you're a couple with a baby wanting to take your little dog, check out this place. They provide a cot and other baby equipment. The cottage is charming, there's a nice backyard, and it's located at walking distance to the beach and the shops. 

Getting There

Ettalong Beach

By car: 1 hr 20 min from Sydney via the M1 (F3). Click on this link for directions on Google Map

By train: 1 hr 45 min from Central Station in Sydney. Take bus 53 from Woy Woy Station. 

By ferry: 30 min on the Palm Beach Ferry. Departs from Palm Beach Wharf.

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Hi! I'm Christine.

When we moved to the Central Coast from Sydney 15 years ago, we struggled to find thorough information about the beaches, bush walks and hidden gems, so we set out to explore as best we could. Now that we have visited every town, beach and secret spot, I'll help you discover this stunning region! 


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