Anyone who has ever visited Ettalong will tell of the many things that tourists have to do there. The resort is just a step or two away from the beach and is situated on the edge of Brisbane Waters. Just ninety minutes away from Sydney and the Palm Beach Ferry, Ettalong is easily reached, even by train. Most people drive to Palm Beach, park up and jump on the ferry to start off a good break.
It is obvious that any resort like this, with its own central business district, has a lot to offer in the way of accommodation, entertainment and access to nature and all its wonders.
Within the town there are a number of walkways which lead people into all kinds of shops. Clothes or shoes, luggage or home items, or even antiques – all are available here and we all know how tourists like to rummage! The Central Coast’s markets, which are under cover for visitors’ comfort, have entertainment in many different guises. There is a cinema, live entertainment, holiday accommodation and a cool atmosphere so even local residents congregate here at weekends.
Along the beaches, the usual water sports and snorkelling are available. Of course, eventually families will want to try something else out so look for the Australian Reptile Park. Here, there are some rather wonderful wildlife shows to keep everyone entertained.
There is a giant Galapagos tortoise, New South Wales’ largest croc and some of the countries cutest animals to get up close and personal with. See Spider World or the Lost World of Reptiles and see snakes and spiders being milked for the venom. Very interesting!
Not far away is Ourimbah State Forest with the Treetop Adventure Park. There are more than one hundred adventures to participate in set right up in the trees so expect to be flying around on zip lines quite a bit. Suspension bridges link trees and many other great activities more than twenty metres up in the air!
Since Sydney is not far away, most people will book accommodation there for a few nights so that they can experience the usual sites and sounds of this beautiful city. Or, for something a little more leisurely, try a Scenic Cruise from Palm Beach to Pittwater and Broken Bay to Patonga and then up the lower Hawkesbury to Bobbin Head. With places like these on the menu, the cruise is worth it just to see a little more of the beauty of the area from a different perspective.
Passing by Lion Island, look for the colony of tiny penguins that nest here. Then look out for the lighthouse on the point and several other places of interest that will be pointed out.
There is another cruise on offer called the Riverboat Postman Cruise which takes people back in time to see how life used to be. The Hawkesbury River used to be something of a lifeline for the community way back in the late eighteenth century. It carried traders and produce between farming communities and Sydney itself, which was not so big at that time. Even now, post and milk deliveries are still made in this way and, for those who can’t get out, groceries and newspapers are also delivered by river.
Since this is a water oriented community in general, those who want to fish freshwater or ocean are also very well catered for. Lastly, anyone who loves whales will be able to see them as they pass by quite close to shore. Other species which abound in the waters here are Snapper, Spotted Mackerel, Teraglin and a host of other fish. Big game fish include Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna and Albacore. The great thing about booking a deep sea fishing trip is that everything is inclusive, including the rods and bait, and they will clean the catch ready for a barbecue back at your holiday rental in Ettalong, later on.
Even if people want to stay in Sydney and come out to these beaches every other day or so, accommodation is available both in the city and close to the beach at Ettalong. Rented housing or holiday homes abound and even those on tighter budgets can find a caravan park or camping site to snuggle down in. People with kids may do well to book a serviced apartment with pool so that they can spend a day or two being quiet while the kids let off steam in the water.
Summer in Australia is from around October through to April, with the hottest times falling around Christmas and January. Even at other times though, the weather does not get bitter as it does in the UK. Take along something light in case of rain or a chill wind but no need to pack the parkas!
The cost of travel to Australia is well within the reach of most people. Flights from major UK airports to Sydney are plentiful and transfers and holiday accommodation in Ettalong can be booked online. Car hire may be advisable for onward travel.