By Shelley Ann Morgan
September 10, 2020 | 3 minute read
Image credit: Central Coast Newspapers
Umina is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘place of sleep.’ Once a popular place to retire, Umina Beach has evolved to become one of the busiest places on the Central Coast. It is now a thriving tourist destination and a place that many young families are calling home. Think Newtown meets Byron Bay, although on a smaller, less crowded scale!
* At the time of writing, activities and places mentioned in this guide are at varying stages of recovery from COVID-19. Please check government and business websites for specific details on opening times and any restrictions before you travel.
Umina's long sandy beach is one of the Central Coast 's most popular beaches for swimming. With two surf clubs in the area, and after hosting the 2013 - 2016 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships, it is also known as one of the top ten beaches around Sydney for learning to surf, as large swells rarely occur at this protected beach. Today it also includes schools such as Manasup - the perfect way to learn SUP (stand up paddle boarding).
If you’re in Umina on the weekend, wander along to the vibrant seaside markets that are held every third Sunday of the month in the Peninsula Recreation Precinct. With its boho-chic stalls, it is a great way to experience the atmosphere of Umina Beach.
Umina beach has an excellent playground with a closed in area for toddlers, larger play equipment for older children, some disability accessible equipment and an exercise track. It’s also a dog-friendly area. Jasmine Greens Park Kiosk
cleverly overlook the playground and is a drawcard for the area.
With the growing demand for organic produce, this cafe (hidden behind the kiosk) offers dishes with a Mediterranean influence using locally sourced, chemical free and organic ingredients. On weekends, this area is a mishmash of people, pets, bicycles and scooters. As parents relax in the cafe’s sun lounges, children enjoy the fun adventure playground, skatepark, large climbing frame and flying fox.
A five-minute drive from the recreation precinct area is the town of Umina Beach, and with its variety of shops, anything you need can be found here. Become one of the locals and explore the favourite places to eat, chat and be merry. There are a few to choose from, however, the lesser-known treasures are: Ruby’s Cafe and Books
- aptly named as it’s the perfect place to relax with a coffee and read one of their many books, and Margarita Daze
if you fancy a meal, snack or a cocktail at sunset overlooking the tranquil ocean.
Perhaps the most popular evening restaurant is the new Sounds on West, influenced by Southern USA’s slow BBQ cooking technique. This is a cosy restaurant and bar that exudes a hip vibe and if you like a catchy song or melody, on weekend nights talented young guitarists play a few solo tunes.
If you need a little relaxing - Umina Beach style - why not book in for a yoga class at Umina Beach Yoga
(there is also a Monday Buddhist meditation class during school terms) or go the extra mile with a massage at Rise Shakti Rise.
Umina Beach epitomises the relaxed Australian beachside lifestyle. As a picturesque, fun-filled, yet laid-back holiday destination - it’s easy to see why travellers come back to this coastal town time and time again, and why others are now calling it home!
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