The Central Coast is undeniably renowned for its abundance of breathtaking beaches and incredible bushland, but what you might not know is that this inviting slice of coastal splendour is bursting with local makers and artisanal creators.
From ‘slow’ coffee roasteries and craft breweries to pearl farmers, curated vintage stores and handcrafted ceramics, the friendly local makers and creators are the backbone of the Central Coast, cementing the region as a charming, laid-back and vibrant destination to visit.
Next time you’re on the Central Coast, be sure to check out these eight local makers and creators.
Legend Coffee And Culture
There are people who love coffee in their life and then there are people whose life is coffee, and the passionate team behind Legend Coffee And Culture in West Gosford is firmly in the latter camp. Dedicated to ‘slow’ coffee culture and the pursuit of serving up the finest, cleanest and juiciest coffee, this cafe-meets-roastery, founded by Peter Andrews, is bound to satisfy the most pretentious coffee snobs among us. There’s even a newly-opened ‘Slow Bar’ featuring a weekly rotation of different world-class brews—while it could easily slot into Sydney’s inner west, it’s a welcomed addition to the Central Coast. Expect take-home beans, cold brew, playful merch, and hangover-worthy toasties.
When it comes to vintage shopping on the Central Coast, snapping up a treasure or trinket along Long Jetty’s string of boutiques is a pretty safe bet, but the jewel in the thrifting crown is vintage collective Tiki Lala. Serving up an alluring mix of restored furniture, pre-loved vinyl and vintage threads, co-owners April Xing and Heath Crawley certainly know a thing or two about the art of curation. 70s-style plush leather couch? Faded rare band tee? Danish designer sideboards? You name it, they’ve unearthed it—and they’re kindly offering it all up to shoppers for a refreshingly humble price tag. It’s hard to walk away empty-handed, or, at least, a little inspired.
Shellie Christian Ceramics
If you’re looking to step away from the screen and get your hands dirty—literally—then Shellie Christian ceramic workshop in Fountaindale is the perfect place to play. Run by Christian herself, an awarded artist, certified teacher and ceramicist, you can immerse yourself in the world of clay as you learn how to create functional and beautiful pieces in a relaxed studio. But if retail therapy is more your thing, be sure to scope out Christian’s stunning creations. Paying homage to Christian’s connection to the bushland, each piece evokes a sense of oneness with nature and is truly a one-of-a-kind treasure.
Gin fans, if you haven’t discovered the beauty of Distillery Botanica, it’s a must for your next Central Coast visit. Nestled in Erina’s sweeping bushland, this endearing and award-winning three-acre boutique distillery, led by Phillip Moore, is an enchanting tasting experience. Stroll through the tranquil gardens before heading into the distillery to sample the likes of Moore’s Dry Gin, Distillery Botanica and Liqueurs, and beloved Mr Black—hello, espresso martinis. Once you’ve sampled a few and stocked up on a few goodies, pull up a seat in the sun at Bar Botanica and soak up the surroundings.
Daily Dough Co.
On the road and in need of a sweet treat? A pit stop at Daily Dough Co. is a surefire way to satisfy your sugar cravings. Dishing up mind-blowingly delectable doughnuts and desserts every day across two stores (Wyong and Terrigal), this pocket-rocket of a bakehouse, which was founded by Tumbi Umbi local Emma Peat, uses the finest ingredients and has developed a loyal following and customer base in just a few short years. We’re talking caramel glazed doughnuts with chunks of freshly-baked brownies on top, dense creme brûlée doughnuts with a crack-worthy top, Nutella-loaded croissants, Twix cookies and takeaway dessert boxes. Our recommendation? Just lean in and indulge—oh, and get there in the morning before the best creations sell out.
Local tapestry artist Pi Williams is turning heads for all the right reasons. A finalist in a number of art prizes, her large-scale tapestry creations are so vibrant and textural that all you want to do is reach out and touch them. Using a mix of punch needles, wools and yarns, Williams creates a broad range of pieces and commissioned tapestries. She also conducts both in-person and online playful workshops where you and your crew can learn about the wonderful and cathartic world of textile tapestry. If you are looking for striking statement artwork for a bare wall in your home, her artwork might just be the missing piece you are looking for.
Bay Road Brewing
While Six String Brewing Co. has dominated the Central Coast microbrewery scene since 2012, Bay Rd Brewing bounced onto the scene pre-Covid and deserves its time in the sun. The Gosford-based brewery, which claims to be “right down the line and free of all the BS that comes with craft beer”, is all about sharing crisp and diverse beers with great mates. Founded by mates Grant Buckham, Darren Barber and Sam Kennis, the laidback warehouse brewery serves up a slew of creative craft beers, from the fruity Passionfruit Pool Party Sour Ale to the heavily dry-hopped Wave Runner XPA. Just be sure to stop by when the food trucks roll around, like Stripped Gaza Street Food and El’s Fried Chicken—we assure you it’s a chilled way to spend an afternoon.
Broken Bay Pearl Farm
Proudly the only pearl farm in New South Wales, Broken Bay Pearl Farm is a unique experience tucked away on the Hawkesbury River in Mooney Mooney. After nearly two decades of culturing pearls, co-founders Ian and Rose Crisp teamed up with Cygnet Bay Pearl Farmer James Brown to fling open their ‘Shellar Door’, inviting curious culture seekers to immerse themselves in the world of pearl farming. Here, you can uncover a broad range of tours and pearl farming experiences or simply drop by to check out some of the stunning pearl jewellery they have available to purchase. Our recommendation? Jump aboard their private lunch cruise and devour as many oysters as humanly possible.
If you’re seeking a winter escape close to Sydney, the Central Coast not only serves up cosy stays, hearty cuisine and nature-filled experiences but an inspiring mix of local makers and creators too. Uncover more here at Love Central Coast.