Day trip to Killcare & Hardys Bay
Killcare and Hardys Bay on the New South Wales’ Central Coast are the small coastal villages that make you feel like you could be anywhere in the world – yet it’s only a 90 minute drive south from Newcastle. Nestled in and around the Bouddi National Park, it’s the perfect place to find a little beach or fishing shack (or the growing number of tasteful McMansions) and get away from it all. While you’re there, make sure you emerge from the peace and serenity to try out the local hospitality!
Yum Yum Dining, Hardys Bay
Yum Yum Dining has a relaxed vibe with a Mediterranean seafood-inspired menu. The restaurant is owned and run by Hayley and Clinton who took over the location late last year. The restaurant itself however, is very established and in its twelfth year, so these guys know their food. The menu is full of easy and fresh flavours, and nothing too heavy. Seasonal produce is used to keep the dishes super fresh, so dishes are swapped in and out of the menu to move with the sun. So Mediterranean. Swoon. Try the scallop and prawn dumplings. The food matches the view perfectly as the huge glass doors that frame the restaurant open out to a perpetually sparkling bay.
Hardy’s Bistro, Hardys Bay
Nestled at the bottom of the entrance to Hardys Bay, you’ll find Hardy’s Bistro which has become a haven for locals and visitors alike since opening its doors in 2014. This is a great café for a casual breakfast, lunch or dinner or just duck in for a Toby’s Estate coffee. Like Yum Yum Dining, the Bistro is directly opposite the stunning and sparkling bay, and on a sunny day, sun pours into this heritage building overlooking the wharf. Definitely worth a drop in after a strenuous walk around the Bouddi National Park.
The Fat Goose, Hardys Bay
The Fat Goose is conveniently located next door to the Bistro and a few steps away from Yum Yum, so it’s easy to sample all that Hardys Bay has to offer. This bakery and café combo is a top spot for a laid back breakfast or lunch and they do a great coffee to boot. On the bakery side, you’ll find hand-crafted Italian style breads, rye loaves, classic European pastries, gluten free breads and sweets, muffins, friands, savoury pies and quiches. All are baked daily in house at The Fat Goose.
The View, Hardys Bay
After tramping through the National Park on a cool winter’s day, there’s nothing better than heading down to The View (situated next door to Yum Yum) for a wood-fired pizza. We weren’t kidding when we gushed about the scenery at Hardys Bay – these guys actually named their restaurant after it. The Pizza Bianca and Cajun Bacon has us drooling at the mouth. Enjoy a great meal at the restaurant looking out over the water or opt for a takeaway and have it brought over to you while you dangle your feet in the bay. Now that’s service!
Bells Restaurant & Bar, Killcare
If you’re looking for a fine dining experience on the Bouddi Peninsula, or in fact the entire Central Coast, you need to book a table at Bells Restaurant & Bar. This place has a spectacular view looking out over the National Park and its manicured gardens are a pleasure to stroll through on your way to a drink and a silver service dinner. Open since 2007, this restaurant has built up some great credentials in the fine-dining food scene. The menu is all about simplicity and freshness with seasonal dishes inspired by the produce grown and harvested in the restaurant’s very own vegetable garden. The five course degustation is high on our wish list! Treat yo-self.
Things to do
After all that wining and dining, you’re going to be in need of shifting a few KGs! So here are a few options of things to do in the area to burn off some steam (and saturated fats!).
Bouddi National Park is home to countless attractions, including one of Australia’s first marine protected areas, significant Aboriginal sites, wildlife and wildflowers, and even an old paddle steamer wreck. It's a great getaway for a weekend or a week. During the cooler months, keep your camera handy as you spot humpback whales migrating between May and September. Lookouts like Box Head and Gerrin Point are great vantage points for this beautiful sight.
Bouddi National Park is a spectacular coastal reserve with cliff top walks and pristine beaches. One of the most popular walks, but definitely the longest in the park is the Bouddi Coastal Walk. The natural beauty, stunning views and cultural heritage to been seen along the Coastal Walk makes it truly unique. While the walk is 8km one way from Putty Beach to MacMasters Beach, it is a relatively easy walk with picnic spots to stop and enjoy along the way.
The unique Marine Extension is a feature of the walk. Extending from Bombi Point to Gerrin Point, the marine extension covers 287ha and helps protect the marine life of the bay. Fishing is prohibited in this area, but it’s a great area to snorkel and dive in the warmer months.
Boat, Bike and Paddle Hire, Killcare
You can visit the team at Boat, Bike and Paddle Hire for any sort of fun on the water or on two wheels. These guys have all kinds of crafts, including the “BBQ Boat” which is growing in popularity on the Central Coast. These pontoons are awesome as they’re licenced for 12 people, so there’s plenty of room for your whole crew and you don’t need a boat licence to operate... it even comes with its own flushing toilet! Putt putt your way around the peninsula with your own floating mini-kitchen for a perfect day out. These guys also have tinnies for fishing the peninsula, as well as kayaks, paddle boards and push bikes so there’s something for everyone!
This article originally appeared on Hunter Hunter.