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 new foreshore makes things easy for families. well, it can never get too easy for parents of small children… 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 town is located on the southern Central Coast peninsula 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.
Find out about...
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.
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.
The foreshore is mainly used for water activities: swimming, fishing, 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 foreshore is a perfect spot for families with young children. You’ll find everything you need at close proximity: swimming, cafe, picnic area, barbecues, playgrounds.
The eclectic Ettalong Markets are a popular attraction.
The markets are located in the Ettalong Beach Tourist Resort complex, and they 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, and even the stores contrast between each other. The more I go the more I like it.
The 6-screen Cinema Paradiso is also located in the Ettalong Beach Tourist Resort complex.
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!)
Here 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.
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...
Walk up and over the headland from Pearl Beach to Patonga (6 km return) or walk to Mount Ettalong Lookout.
Find out more about these walks below...
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…
• Brisbane Water Oyster Festival (November)
• Central Coast Italian Festival (April)
There are a number of 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 ($$$) is a modern Australian restaurant located on the waterfront right beside playgrounds. Breakfast, lunch or dinner depending on the day; 02 4339 3369; The Esplanade corner Beach St.
The Grand Pavilion ($) has the best Indian in town. Lunch & dinner; 02 4341 7234; 46 Picnic Parade.
Safran ($$$) 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 outdoor in the garden. Only a short walk from the ferry wharf. Breakfast & lunch; 02 4341 8080; 1/175 Ocean View Rd.
Are you after water views? Then the Mantra is the best place to stay. But make sure you book ahead for a well-located room with views. The Mantra has a funny U-shape – the views are very different from one room to the other and some are much better than others. You can also get a room at the Mantra that opens directly to the pool.
Noise from the Ettalong Diggers can be an issue. Ask for a room away from noise on a higher level.
Phone: 1300 987 604
Address: 53/54 The Esplanade, Ettalong Beach
Ettalong Beach Tourist Resort is a good option if you’re looking for something quirky. It’s the same complex I mentioned above with the Ettalong Markets and Cinema Paradiso. The Italian decor is certainly amazing.
It’s right next to the Ettalong Markets, the cinema and great restaurants. Great location.
There's also has a small, shallow indoor pool.
Phone: 02 4341 1999
Address: Cnr Ocean View & Schnapper Road, Ettalong Beach