Patonga is a blissful fishing village full of charming cottages. The village sits at the mouth of the Hawkesbury River and is surrounded by Brisbane Water National Park. In fact, it’s the most isolated village on the Central Coast – so you get a real sense of isolation.
Drive to the village over a beautiful windy road through Brisbane Water National Park or even better, embark on a ferry from Palm Beach.
Spend a night or two. Pitch a tent in the campground beside the creek. And relax with one or two delicious handcrafted ales from local breweries at Patonga Beach Hotel. It’s a must.
This village has been a popular holiday destination for Sydney siders for a very long time. Holidaymakers would arrive by ferry before they built a road in the 1930’s.
The village can’t be expanded further. It’s contained by the Hawkesbury River and Brisbane Water National Park.
The village has: An art gallery. A seafood shop. A camping ground. A picnic area. A pub. And lots of water. You can swim in the creek or in the ocean. Across the pub the water is calm.
The up-market pub has taken in the character of the village: It blends with the surroundings. The exterior is cottage-looking and the interior is classy: Fine fittings and furnishings and not one single poker machine.
The camping ground is simple too. No cabins, no jumping pillow, no bells and whistles. Only tents and caravans. A creek. An ocean. Bring your fishing rods... it’s simple living at its best.
Patonga Beach is about relaxing, swimming, relaxing, fishing and relaxing.
Take the kids to the creek (away from the strong currents at the mouth) or to the beach near the jetty. Fish in the creek. Walk the dog on the beach in the off-leash area. Kayak on the creek. Have a beer at the pub.
This village is great for recharging the batteries.
Walk to Pearl Beach via Warrah Lookout on a section of the Great North Walk.
From Warrah Lookout, at the top of the headland, the view is epic. Warrah Lookout is my favourite lookout on the Central Coast. From above, you see Palm Beach and lots of tiny boats sailing the Hawkesbury River.
The section from the village to Warrah Lookout is steep. The section between Warrah Lookout and Pearl Beach is on a fire trail.
The track starts at the eastern end of the beach. The walk takes 30-45 minutes from the village to Warrah Lookout and another 30 minutes to Pearl Beach.
You can also get to Warrah Lookout by walking on the shorter Tony Doyle track (about 375 metres). To get to Tony Doyle track, park at the end of Warrah Trig Rd.
Cruise with Palm Beach And Hawkesbury River Cruises to Bobbin Head and back. Enjoy the beautiful sceneries. The ferry stops at Bobbin Head for an hour, enough time for a picnic.
Or the ferry can drop you at Cottage Point Inn restaurant for fine dining and pick you up on its way back.
The Palm Beach and Hawkesbury River Cruises departs Patonga wharf at 11:30 am and returns at 3 pm. Find out more.
Enjoy mountain biking in Brisbane Water National Park.
Ride the Tommos Loop, the Rocky Ponds trail or the Warrah Trig Loops.
The two first ones are 20 km combined. The trails start at Staples Lookout on Woy Woy Rd.
Warrah Trig is 10 km and starts at the end of Warrah Trig Rd. Cycle to Warrah Trig Rd from the village up the steep hill if you're fit.
For lovers of blues music, the Patonga Blues Across the Bay Festival has been going for 15 years.
The festival occurs in November at Broken Bay Sport & Recreation Centre.
You can only get there by ferry from Patonga or Palm Beach.
Purchase your tickets beforehand because places are limited. Buy them online at www.patongablues.com before the festival.
The camping ground is popular spot for Sydneysiders. It's a simple campground with powered and unpowered sites (no cabins) beside the creek and close to the beach.
Take your swimmers, kayaks and fishing rods.
The campground has barbecues and a playground. Kids can ride their bikes.
From the camping ground you can walk to the Hotel, Warrah Lookout or Pearl Beach.
Keep warm in winter – between April and September, you can take a fire pit and firewood (must be an enclosed vessel standing at least 20 cm off the ground).
Espresso coffee, food essentials and fishing bits and pieces can be purchased at the office.
The camping site is very popular during the peak holiday season. Book early.
The Hotel is a major drawcard for visitors. Most tourists are day-trippers who come to enjoy the outdoor terrace with water views.
The Hotel rooms on the second floor are airy self-contained apartments with polished wooden floors. Sit on the large balcony and enjoy the water views.
Walk downstairs and eat fresh oysters from the creek, buckets of Australian prawns or salt & pepper squids at the pub. Drink handcrafted ale from the Six String Brewery.
(Staff can also pick you up or drop you off at Woy Woy Station at the start of a bushwalk in Brisbane Water National Park.)
Book online here or call 02 4379 1111.
Ferries depart from Palm Beach every day and return in the afternoon. The trip takes about 30 minutes. Check out timetable and fares.
1 hr 25 min from Sydney on the Sydney to Newcastle Freeway. Exit at Gosford. Follow the directions on Google Map.