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Humble haven by the sea

November 26, 2014 - Central Coast

Today, on this, our last day spent exploring the sunny Central Coast, we do what is the done thing in Terrigal and scuttle up to the top of Broken Head and its iconic feature, The Skillion. The view from the top of the narrow headland offers dramatic views of sun, sand, surf and sky from First Point to the South to Yumbool Point in Wyrrabalong National Park in the north.

After checking out of our lovely corner room on the top floor of the Crowne Plaza Terrigal, which is in the process of being reno’d and brought thoroughly up-to-date, we rejoin the highway and head to the Sanctuary Cafe for breakfast. Oh how we love healthy breakfast options – toasted muesli, chia seeds and yoghurt, for starters – and a space that overlooks tranquil bushland and is flanked by the gallery owned by legendary Australian landscape photographer Ken Duncan. The whole experience – from breakfast to gallery-gawping – is inspiring and captivating and topped off by an audio-visual presentation in a small theatre that showcases the works of the renowned photographer. It really is a must-see-and-do.

Next stop on the Legendary Pacific Coast is the Treetop Adventure Park, where we are thrilled to be one of the very first families to road-test the world’s largest zipline, which has us caterwauling around the forest in the ultimate human-in-a-harness rollercoaster ride.

“Calm your farm mum” says my youngest son Marley as I nervously become the Jane to my Tarzan, the Mamma Mia to my monkeys and, well, first cab off the rank to scream around the twisted structure that is attached to the treetops. It’s really one of the best things I’ve EVER done. Truly, an unforgettable outdoor experience.

After a really enjoyable lunch at the Wyong Milk Factory Cafe and a tasting of the award-winning Little Creek cheese and Luka Chocolates, we clock up another Central Coast highlight: a tour of the Norah Head Lighthouse. The lighthouse tour takes in the keeper’s cottages that are now available for short-term stays as well as an incredible 96-step climb into the lighthouse where it’s impossible not to romanticise about the notion of being a lighthouse keeper. It’s literally an 1000-watt lightbulb moment.

The planets aligned and we found ourselves on time for the pelican feeding time at The Foreshore, at The Entrance, which has been run by volunteers in the region for the past three decades. After checking into our cabin at Toowong Bay Holiday Park, we motor to Mingara, which, since the 70s has been a hub for the local community.

After a quick swim at the sprawling centre – which includes swimming pools, rapids, a sproingy athletics track, restaurants and more – we enjoyed an incredible dinner at Indigos and service from front-of-house Logan that surpassed the service we have received in some of Sydney’s top restaurants.

Tomorrow, it’s back to school for the kids and back to work for The Husband and I. The take-home message is that this region is full of unexpected surprises and authentic individuals and places that punch above their weight. #mylegendarydrive? It’s the stuff memories are made of.