Surf the coast with Amee

Surf the coast with Amee

Many Australian sporting legends call the Coast home, with an attractive choice of seaside villages complete with friendly cafes, modern eateries, national parks and surfing hotspots.
Amee Donohoe
Central Coast Surf Academy, Macmasters Beach

Amee Donohoe, owner of the elite Central Coast Surf Academy, doesn’t just talk the talk. The former professional surfer enjoyed an incredible 12-year professional surfing career, where she competed across the globe and in 2008 was ranked fifth in the world. After retiring from the sport she loves, Amee set up Central Coast Surf Academy in her hometown of Macmasters Beach and now coaches aspiring to advanced surfers, operating tailored surf lessons for people of all abilities.

We grabbed Amee between sets to share her favourite features of the Central Coast.

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What do you love most about the Coast?

“I just love the relaxed lifestyle, the many beautiful beaches, national parks, and the growing community I live in at Macmasters Beach.”

What is your favourite local spot for good cup of Joe? 

I can't narrow this down to one! Loo Loos Coffee Shack at Macs [Macmasters Beach] is amazing. Like Minds at Avoca has great coffee and a great menu made from organic and locally sourced produce. They are community-minded and very aware of recycling, plus the outdoor seating is a great spot for kids. If you want an incredible pastry with your coffee, Burnt Honey Bakery at Copacabana is a must. Get there early though, as there are often lines out the door – and pastries that good don’t last long!

As a surfer, what is your favourite beach on the Central Coast? 

I love my home break, Macmasters Beach, which is where I learnt how to surf. It may not produce the best waves, but it allowed me enough variety to really master different things and to get out there in the ocean solo. The community is special there – I enjoy the personal relationships you can form with all generations.  

What is your go-to outdoor experience on the Coast? 

I love the Central Coast’s national parks. Bouddi National Park has such amazing walking trails – you can pick a short one to do with the kids, or a longer hike when you're up for it. Our region’s coastline is stunning, there’s lots of wildlife, and you can enjoy isolation and serenity during the week.

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Bouddi National Park walking trail
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Burnt Honey Bakery, Copacabana

What is a great local restaurant you visit regularly? 

I love Lady Copa Pizzeria e Birra in Copacabana. The pizzas are authentic, they carry a great wine selection from local boutique wine store Upstairs Wines, and the service is friendly and family-focused.

Where is the first place you would take a visitor?

We’d wander out to grab a coffee from a local café and then head to my local beach, Macmasters Beach, of course!

Is there a hidden secret of the Coast you’d be willing to share? 

Killcare Beach is always quiet in comparison to most beaches on the Coast. It’s great for swimming and exploring around the rocks where there is an abundance of sea life. Grab a house-made donut from Bells Bakery & Larder at Killcare on your way down the hill to the beach – you won't be disappointed. 

Describe a typical day living on the Central Coast for you…

I always start with an early surf, or surf coaching session. Then I will grab a coffee and bite to eat, take the kids on an adventure to a rock pool, a hike or to the skate park. After my daughter’s nap, I hopefully get an afternoon paddle in. During summer I love having a barbecue or picnic at the beach and watching the waves with a group of friends.

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Upstairs Wines, Long Jetty
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Bells Bakery & Larder, Killcare
Image: Dom Cherry