Umina Beach is located on the scenic NSW Central Coast – an hour and a half hours’ drive from Sydney, and is locally known as being on ‘The Peninsular’ (other towns on the peninsula include, Ettalong Beach, Blackwall, Woy Woy, Pearl Beach and Patonga). Umina Beach is the ultimate spot for a fun and relaxing holiday by the seaside. Buzzing with people during the summertime, activities include – surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, swimming, kayaking, fishing, walking (waterfront pathways and beach to beach walk), and with eateries to explore, this is a holiday that provides a variety of things to do, but allows you to totally relax too. Umina Beach is the quintessential laid-back Aussie beach lifestyle. So get ready to surf, swim, explore, eat and camp!
Surf and Swim
There are two surfing levels you can choose from here; easy and difficult. Being a protected beach, Umina Beach is the perfect spot for those learning to surf, and venture out from Umina Beach towards Box head (you’ll need to paddle quite a way out), and at the heads, you’ll be met with some challenging waves. My husband is at the beginners’ stage, and is yet to paddle out to Box Head. But we felt this was an insider tip worth sharing. We’ve met an energetic surfer who used to paddle out to Box Head from Umina Beach, and highly recommended it – but Box Head being quite away out – he said he was exhausted coming back in. You need to be extra fit to try this one. And we’ve also heard about surfers who’ve caught water taxis from Palm Beach to Box Head to catch these waves!
Armed with the knowledge on where to surf, all you need to know now is what the area offers!
Where to Camp?
Situated on prime beachfront location, the NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort – offers an abundance of activities especially for families, which include at the beach; apart from swimming in the ocean, the beach offers shallow waters and an ocean rock pool, there are also places to hire and learn surfboarding – for children, and stand up paddle boarding – for adults and children. The campground with its water parks, jumping cushions and swimming pools, provides enough to keep the little ones busy for weeks. The resort is also adjacent to the Peninsular Recreation Precinct, which has a large playground area (includes a large flying fox, skate park and climbing frame) with BBQs, kiosk and a restaurant. There’s no excuse for the family to be bored this summer!
If you prefer something quieter, The Patonga Beach and Camping Area (it is a fifteen-minute drive from Umina Beach) also on the waterfront, it is a smaller campground and village, with only a few shops – and just the outdoors to explore, this is nature at its best! Situated on a corner of land between the beach and creek (surrounded by bushland) – the area is ideal for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and bushwalking (and boating, at the opposite end of Patonga is a boat ramp). In a sporty mood, they also have a tennis court! Just a short walk away is the Patonga Boathouse Hotel, which overlooks Brisk Bay and Broken Bay (currently under renovations, due to open in November).
Festivals and Markets to Explore
Coincide your trip with one of the areas most popular festivals – The Brisbane Water Oyster Festival – held annually in November, this year – the 11th November in the Galleria Complex (Ettalong Markets) and surrounding areas. This is a ten-minute bike ride from the NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort to Ettalong village (ask the resort about bike hire, or see bike hire stands located in the Peninsular Recreation Precinct and at the front of Ettalong Diggers). Or enjoy a 40 minute-walk, perhaps take a lovely beach walk from Umina to Ettalong Beach. While this is the perfect festival to try an oyster or two and watch the iconic Oyster Eating Competition, there are also a range of food stalls – that are influenced by many countries from around the world. With wine from the Hunter Valley and beer from the Six String Brewery, and over 50 retail stores and live entertainment – they’ll be much to see and explore at this busy and exciting festival!
Another festival in the same area is the Italian Festival – held in April. This a place to celebrate culture and all things Italian, and is in the most appropriate setting too. Also in the Galleria Complex; with its bright and quirky Mediterranean atmosphere, interesting indoor alleyways, retail shops, and being mostly undercover, is a fun place to shop and explore. During the festival, entertainment includes live choir performances, wandering musicians, and dancing performances. And for a bit of extra fun, they also include a spaghetti eating and gelato licking competition. Enjoy the best Italian coffee, wine and cuisine all weekend!
If you’re looking for something a little closer. Umina Beach Markets is held every third Sunday of the month in the Peninsular Recreation Precinct, adjacent the campground, and is as laid-back and relaxing as you’ll get. It’s also a great spot to grab lunch or snacks from a few shop front caravans, where you can sit back on some blankets and enjoy live music. Travelling in a Kombi or camper somehow you’ll feel part of the scene here. Perhaps it’s the shop front caravans, or the variety of boho style chic stalls, or maybe it’s just the relaxed setting of a beachside market, that makes it an unpretentious yet ‘cool’ and hip place to be!
Walks to Explore
On the peninsula there are a few walking tracks to explore:
- Umina Beach to Ettalong Beach Waterfront Walk: 3km one way, pathways, mostly flat walk) which starts from Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club/ Margarita Daze and ends at Ettalong Ferry Wharf. Parts of this pathway at the Ettalong Ferry Wharf area are relatively new.
- Mt Ettalong Lookout : 4 km – return, rated easy, mostly on a management trail
- Woy Woy Waterfront Walk: 2 km return, easy, flat walk the entire way
- Patonga to Peal Beach Track :4km – one way, through the bushland, rated moderate, and off this pathway is Warrah Trig Lookout – one of the most visited lookouts on the peninsular. With spectacular views overlooking the Hawkesbury River and Broken Bay – across to the Pacific Ocean, Barrenjoey Headland, West Head, Cowan Creek, Juno Point and Patonga. This is one walk not to be missed due to this lookout, however, if you rather a shorter walk to the lookout, see below.
- Warrah Trig Lookout :also accessed via a twenty-minute easy walk (if you drive to Warrah Trig car park, the car park is accessed via a 5-minute drive on a dirt track) with descending steps to get there, you’ll notice the ascending steps on the way back, but it is worth the effort!
Where to Eat?
There are a range of places to grab a bite to eat from in Umina Beach, either along the main street (West St), or just off it. Here you’ll also find three main supermarkets too, Coles, Woolworths and Aldi. Each of these listed eateries are in no order, however, each offers their own individual uniqueness:
With a hip vibe, this is a cosy restaurant and bar. It is a place to enjoy some quality craft beer and Southern American style BBQ meat (slow cooking style), which includes smoking meat, and is a place to listen to some tunes. On weekend nights young guitarists play a few solo tunes. With a cosy setting inside Sounds on West – their outside dinning has a fun Aussie backyard feel, this place offers some quirky fun (popular for birthday parties too)! Menu includes for example, snacks; brisket sandwich – slow and low smoked brisket with American cheese, sauerkraut and the restaurant’s secret BBQ sauce. For a main, there are dishes like; pork ribs, which is a U.S. style spare ribs grilled in Sounds on West’s secret sauce. Gluten and dairy-free options available.
This is the place for a sundowner while enjoying tranquil ocean views. Dishes range from burgers, to seafood, pizza, and pasta, which include spanner crab linguine. And if you feel like lashing out try; the seafood platter for two, which consists of barbecued king prawns, natural oysters, soft shell crab, blue swimmer crab, grilled fish fillets, black mussels and salt and pepper squid. They also include a kid’s menu. Enjoy a range of cocktails too. See their menu for more details.
If you enjoy books, coffee and cafe meals – this is a wonderful place to visit. With a bookshelf that surrounds the back part of the cafe, here is a place to wander in grab a book and a coffee and sit back and relax! While Ruby’s is a popular spot for all-day breakfast (their breakfast dishes are quite substantial), and light snacks (quiches, frittatas, pies and sausage rolls), the assortment of pastries and cakes accompany tea and coffee nicely. Check their specials board for one-offs like house-made beef and red wine pie, with salad (take note – the kitchen closes at 2pm)!
Looking to have a relaxing beer in an easy pub with some great food, and live entertainment – the OB has a variety of dishes and drinks, which can be enjoyed in their new beer garden. Dishes range from; hand cut potato wedges, lamb shanks, to American Beef Burgers. And if you’re looking for a vegetarian meal, try the lentil burgers. And for entertainment, the hotel provides trivia night, karaoke night and themed days such as Family Funday Sunday, see website for more detail.
Jasmine Greens Park Cafe, is located in the Peninsular Recreation Precinct. With a kiosk, cosy restaurant and bar – it is at the heart of all the outdoor action, especially being so close to the beach. This venue overlooks the vibrant playground. While there are a variety of snacks and dishes to choose from, Jasmine Green’s menu focuses on sourcing locally grown, free-range and chemical free food. Besides the quick kiosk snacks such as quiches, pies and burgers etc, the restaurant offers dishes such as pancakes made from buckwheat and buttermilk with maple yogurt and fresh berries. And another popular dish is the mushrooms and grilled haloumi on quinoa soy sourdough toast with jasmine greens rocket and sesame pesto. Jasmine Greens provides gluten-free and vegan options too. During the warmer weather this area is often brimming with people, from families relaxing on sunlounges outside the kiosk area – enjoying a coffee, to children with pets and scooters travelling to and fro from playground areas. This is a place for the whole family!
For decades Umina Beach has been the ultimate camping spot for holiday-makers. While the area has developed and it has become a thriving tourist destination, it remains a place to relax – lay back and enjoy the sun, sand and surf. For those who enjoy the outdoors and the beach, this holiday destination will not disappoint!Follow us or like us on Facebook! And get the latest updates!
Shelley Ann Morgan has published a variety of online articles. With a master’s degree in Special Education, this has allowed her to write in the area of Education, through platforms such as the Huffington Post. Being an outdoor enthusiast, she is currently writing for the Weekender Travel and Kombi Lifestyle. She is keen to share her knowledge and enjoys writing informative articles that help the discerning traveller prepare for road travel and holidays in Australia. Shelley is the founder and editor in chief of Kombi Lifestyle.