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Central Coast Holiday: A family getaway weekend close to home

Central Coast holiday itinerary for families on a staycation

A Central Coast holiday is the best way to take a short break out of Sydney without eating up too much time travelling. You can’t go wrong heading an hour up the M1 to the Central Coast! It’s an amazing place to explore as there’s so much to do and see, as Maryka Stalley discovered.

We enjoyed a long weekend on the coast taking a Central Coast holiday and it felt like we were a world away from Sydney! The two-night, three-day holiday allowed us to relax, eat great food and be entertained by so many different activities!

We left Sydney just after lunch on Friday afternoon with the intention of heading to Treetop Adventure Park in Wyong but unfortunately due to the fires it was closed. So we headed straight to our accommodation at Macmasters Beach.

Central Coast Holiday: Day One

Check in, Accommodation at Malolo at MacMasters

For our Central Coast holiday, we stayed at Malolo at Macmasters (check in was a breeze as our key was left in a key-lock by the front door!).

It’s a 3 bedroom house with an additional Bunk House at the back of the property with the coolest set of custom built bunk beds – it was the main attraction for my kids! The house is large enough that it can be shared with another family or you can have the house to yourself – it fits 12 people!

With all your creature comforts plus an amazing outdoor entertaining area, Malolo at Macs was a perfect house to base ourselves for our entire stay. It’s only a short 500m walk to the patrolled Macmasters Beach which has a rock pool for the kids, the lagoon and a great cafe located at the southern end of the beach.

While we’d planned to climb among the branches at the Treetops course (we know kids love high ropes courses for little monkeys!), it was closed. As disappointing as it was, after settling into our accommodation, the extra time gave us an opportunity to explore local beach Killcare as well as Macmasters.

Central Coast holiday

The Bunk House and the set up at the accommodation on our Central Coast holiday

Central Coast holiday

Exploring Macmasters beach, looking towards Copacabana, during the staycation

Dinner #1 at Rhonda’s in Terrigal

That night we headed into Terrigal for a meal at Rhonda’s Bar and Restaurant. Terrigal is an easy 10 minute drive from Macmasters.

Rhonda’s has a cool layout where you can dine or drink downstairs at the bar and restaurant or head to the rooftop alfresco space upstairs.

We sat in a booth downstairs and ordered amazing wood fire pizzas which were delicious. The kids even had their first pink lemonade which they loved!

We finished all the delicious pizza’s!

Kids drinking lemonade on the Central Coast holiday

Having pink lemonade for the first time and loving it, after all it was a holiday!

Central Coast Holiday: Day Two

Holiday attractions: Australian Reptile Park

After a great night’s sleep we headed to the Australian Reptile Park in Somersby, a 30 minute drive from Macmasters. We had been to the Park a few years ago but this time we did the VIP ‘behind the scene’ Experience and what an AMAZING experience it was! It runs for 90 minutes and you are fully escorted by an experienced Animal Keeper. Our keeper, Ambrose was so full of knowledge and so patient with the millions of questions we all had. It was a fascinating experience where we got to experience things where the general public don’t get to go plus get up close and personal with lots of furry animals and not so furry ones!

Getting up close and personal in the ‘off display’ reptile room with an enormous snake!

As part of the experience we got to go to the ‘off display’ reptile room room to meet an array of animals from snakes, lizards and other reptiles. Ambrose informatively told us lots of interesting facts about the animals plus we got to feed and hold them.

We also had one on one time with a baby Tasmanian Devil where we cuddled them, met Ompa (as in Ompa Lompa) a baby Tawny Frogmouth, hung out in the Koala enclosure and got up close to 69 year old Hugo the resident Galapagos Tortoise!

We also went be behind the scenes and watched a funnel web milking where we were surrounded by hundreds of live funnel webs. Luckily, they were all in their jars waiting to be milked.

Zac about to extract venom from the eastern brown snake, which we were amazed by!

Hugo the Galapagos Tortoise was a popular attraction at the park and loved the attention

The highlight though, was venturing into the venom room where it’s home to over 150 of the world’s deadliest snakes and watching Animal Keeper Zac extract venom from an Eastern Brown Snake only a couple of metres away from us! We also learnt the process of how anti venom comes about which is fascinating! Did you know The Australian Reptile Park is the only zoo in Australia with a spider and snake Venom-Milking Program in place. So if you’re unlucky enough to be bitten by a snake or funnel web, the anti venom you are given would have originated from here and most likely have been extracted by Zac!

Also an amazing fact we learnt was that Zac (who’s job it is to extract the venom from the snakes) is allergic to anti venom!

After the experience we spent the rest of the day around the Park exploring and visiting  the other animals and feeding the kangaroos – it’s definitely a whole day out!

Cuddle time with a baby Tasmanian Devil, a species that’s rare to be so close to and touch!

Central Coast holiday australian reptile park

This slippery fellow was a friendly snake that my daughter loved meeting

Meeting the koalas in their enclosure at the Australian Reptile Park on the Central Coast holiday

Dinner at Bombini

After an exhausting day at The Reptile Park we were starved and headed to Bombini’s in Avoca. It’s just round the corner and a 5 mins drive from Macmasters. It’s set on 2 acres at Avoca Beach and offers modern Australian cuisine. Along with the restaurant they have The Bombini pizza bar which is a more casual eating space on the terrace if you don’t want to eat in the main house restaurant.

We ate in the restaurant and the food was delicious, with options for both kids and adults. The restaurant has charming atmosphere and with the gardens for the kids to explore, it was a great place to end the day.

The Bombini pizza bar is a casual eating space on the terrace near the main house restaurant

dinner on the Central Coast holiday

Woodfired Pizza was a huge hit with all members of the family and devoured in minutes!

Kingfish Sashimi really hit the spot with its combination of firm texture, freshness and bite

Central Coast holidays Day Three

Brunch at Avoca Surf House

On our final day of our holiday we had a bit of sleep in and then headed to Macmasters Beach for a walk along the beach, before packing up our stuff and leaving Malolo at Macs. We headed over to Avoca Beach for  brunch. The Avoca Surf House is located on the beach and has amazing views overlooking the water,  great food and a chilled atmosphere.

There was a great variety on the menu and the kids meals had large portions – the boys loved their pancakes especially as they came with ice cream! They’d never had ice cream for breakfast before (another first!). The milkshakes were also to die for! We had breakfast the breakfast menu, but it’s also open for all day dining and during the summer it’s open late.

Great views of the beach, and great variety on offer on the menu, perfect for dining at any time

Kids pancakes with ice cream. The boys couldn’t believe they had ice cream for breakfast

Holiday attractions: Visited The Factory – Nougat and Chocolate

On the way back to Sydney we had two more stops – the first being The Factory. It’s the home of Nougat Limar, Bon Bon Fine Chocolate & The Sydney Marshmallow Co. We didn’t have time to experience everything The Factory has to offer but there’s guided factory tours, a Junior Chocolatier Workshop, a huge retail shop and cafe & patisserie.

We only had time to go to the retail shop and get a few goodies to take home! And let me tell you – the nougat was delicious! Some of the softest and tastiest nougat ever! It’s a must buy!

We will have to go back there another time to do their chocolate factory tour as well as their kids workshops as it would feel like being at the Wonka factory! It’s the sweetest place on the Central Coast.

The Factory has guided factory tours, a Junior Chocolatier Workshop, a huge retail shop and cafe

It’s that good the Royals have even visited the sweetest place on the Central Coast for a snack!

Glenworth Valley for Horse Riding

Our last activity for the holiday was at Glenworth Valley. Glenworth is Australia’s largest horse riding and outdoor adventure centre. We did a 2 hour horse ride but there’s also quad biking, kayaking, abseiling laser skirmish, as well as camp sites plus there’s also cabins if camping isn’t your thing. If you love the outdoors you will love Glenworth Valley – there’s over 3000 acres to explore!

After checking in, we were assigned a horse depending on our ability and were then put into a small group of eight. We set off on our trail and the scenery is amazing! We got to go along the valley, crossed a creek, headed up hill before heading back to the stables. We even got to do a slow trot!  You get to see quite a bit in two hours and the trail was varied which made it a fun and interesting ride. Our instructor was also very friendly and very helpful. The kids had been on short horse rides at a farm stay before but they had never been on a trail ride where they were responsible for guiding the horse – they loved it and are already asking when they can do another horse ride!

We were assigned a horse depending on ability and were put into a small group and set off

You get to see lots in two hours and the trail was varied which made it a fun and interesting ride

Time for a break and a drink of water during the trek across the gorgeous countryside

We were exhausted after our busy day but luckily it was only a quick 30 min drive home down the M1 back to the North Shore! The Central Coast has all the things you need for a great holiday – beach, great restaurants, activities, entertainment plus it’s suitable for all ages.

For a 3 day holiday we packed in a lot of things but there was still time to relax at the beach and the house. There are still so many other things that you can do there, that we will definitely head back there to try them out! Plus we only explored the southern part of the Central Coast.

If you can’t manage a whole weekend or longer stay, all the above activities or eateries are also just a day trip from Sydney!

Essential Information

Malolo at Macmasters

Rhonda’s at Terrigal

  • Address: 3/5 Kurrawyba Ave, Terrigal
  • Ph: (02) 4385 3100
  • Website: www.rhondas.bar

The Australian Reptile Park


  • Address: 366 Avoca Dr, Kincumber 
  • Ph: (02) 4381 1436
  • Website: bombini.com.au

    Avoca Surf House

    The Factory – Nougat & Chocolate

    Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures

    • Address: 69 Cooks Rd, Glenworth Valley
    • Ph: (02) 4375 1222
    • Website: glenworth.com.au

    Central Coast Tourism


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