The creative coast: discover why artisans are flocking here
It happened slowly at first. The occasional new fashion label. An interesting gallery or two. Local artisans producing stylish and unique homewares. Today, this emerging groundswell of Central Coast art, design, fashion and style continues to grow, attracting an assortment of likeminded creative spirits to a relaxed coastal lifestyle.
Long Jetty is probably the best example of the transformation, with a wonderful blend of fashion boutiques, stylish homewares and edgy design establishments bringing a whole new feel to the area between the beach and the lake. Check out Plain Janes for an eclectic mix of local and international brands, or grab some one-off vintage treasures from Dapper Darlings on The Entrance Road. If essential oils, natural soaps, and bath salts are more your thing, make sure you swing past the delightfully named (and presented) Shadow Bang Apothecary and Supply (you’ll also find a dazzling range of cozzies, lingerie, and clothing).
Fashion on the Coast is gaining traction both locally and internationally, with an exciting bunch of designers making the world sit up and take notice – there’s even a regular Central Coast Fashion Week. You’ll love the Ukiyo-Co by Weave collection, chic loungewear that can go effortlessly from elegant restaurant to casual resort. Or there’s Kira Pizzingrilli’s self-titled label featuring fabulous statement pieces and stunning dresses, swimmers, and skirts. For high-end and wonderfully elaborate bridal and evening wear, seek out Koukla by fabulous local designer Natasha Prestidge.
La Boheme’s gorgeous fashion boutique at Terrigal channels a relaxed Byron Bay vibe, with items from their own sort-after label together with other fashion brands, homeware, make-up and new age wellness products. Then there’s Bohemian Traders, a wildly successful Erina Heights (and online) mecca for classic European cuts designed for the modern man or woman. And if surf and street wear is more your thing, make sure you check out drom, the Coast’s very own distinctive and popular brand.
Another great addition to the Coast’s growing artisan credentials was Loughlin Furniture, now a well respected part of Gosford’s busy homemaker hub. After many successful years at Sydney’s Paddington Markets, they moved here and established a permanent showroom space and furniture making studio. It features both custom pieces and a consistent range of handmade hardwood pieces focusing on clean lines and elegant designs.
Throughout the Coast, you’ll also find an incredible range of stylish homeware stores. Maybe start with Drift at Forrester’s Beach, a multi-roomed treasure trove of unique pieces and striking interior design reflecting a relaxed coastal feel. The treasures continue at Haven and Home in Erina Heights, an inspiring blend of homewares, gifts and jewellery sourced locally and overseas. Or pop into Mooch at Hardy’s Bay and check out their beautiful boutique with a carefully curated selection of homewares, art, furniture and fashion. Make sure you swing by Blonde Onyx at Woy Woy for their stunning mix of home décor and clothing. And then there’s Jachavela at Ettalong Beach, a hidden gem quietly gaining a reputation for its exotic blend of ethically sourced furniture and beautiful décor to suit every style of home. Oh, and don’t miss Stone Pony at Erina, who on top of an incredible range of rustic, industrial and imported wooden furniture have a dazzling range of homewares that has to be seen to be believed.
For those with even the slightest appreciation of art, a visit to the Gosford Regional Gallery is a must. It has grown into one of the Central Coast’s leading attractions, with a diverse program of local, national and international exhibitions. Beautifully set in 22 hectares of public park on the shores of Caroline Bay in East Gosford, it showcases a wide variety of visual art, photography, sculpture and design. Plus there’s a popular onsite café.
Further evidence of the Coast’s growing love affair with all things artistic is the wonderfully eccentric Art Drop movement. It sees local artists hiding a work at a particular location, then leaving clues on social media to help some lucky individual go out and find it. And it’s not just artists who have become involved – sculptors and musicians have embraced the quirky concept. Make sure you check it out for yourself when you’re here.
For help planning a visit to experience some of the unique creative arts and cultural activities of the Central Coast, go to our Itineraries section.