Chilling out in Woy Woy, Australia
Every day was a new adventure for us and we wanted to stay in Sydney for as long as we could, but the money was getting tight with Sydney being a little bit more expensive for accommodation than we had planned. So we headed a little north of Sydney to a place called Woy Woy. With easy access to both Sydney and Newcastle, it was the ideal location for us to get a little R&R!
Where we Stayed:
We stayed at the most amazing air b’n’b nestled in a quiet cul-de-sac. It was convenient to both Sydney and Newcastle and keep us on our toes locally! To get a free $50 for your first trip with airbnb; click here! Then search in Woy Woy for ‘Sip n Dip’ and you will come across the same gorgeous place we stayed with a pool!
What we did:
Umina Beach which is either a bus or an uber ride away. This 2 kilometer long beach stretches along the stunning hill and cliff sides with views almost to Sydney! The cliffs and hills surround the cove which provides perfect opportunity to be able to walk quite far out into the water without getting knocked off your feet! However, it is not a popular surfing destination for this reason; the waves are not big enough! Read more about it below.
Australian Reptile Park located in Gosford; is not only popular for the ability to be able to check out the Australian Wild Life up close, but it is the only place in New South Whales where you can go as see the milking of the funnel spiders for antivenom. Everyday at 9:45am they give a talk and an information session about spiders. It helped to put my mind at ease about all the scary and venomous things in Australia. It is a bit tricky to get to as there is no local transit that goes very close, so you will likely have to go with a tour, take a taxi or uber there.
Hunter Valley Region is best known for its wine tours! And we got a first hand viewing from a local who knew the best spots to go! Maybe you should check this out if you want to hit up the best spots, including one of the oldest wineries in the region and an organic winery, but I think my personal favourite was Tempus II which had an absolutely delicious rose that wasn’t too sweet or too dry and was made so that there was a very little sugar in the wine itself (Pro Tip: Sugar gives you those wine headaches!)
Newcastle, Australia is not very far from Woy Woy, a quick an hour and a half on the train watching the scenery pass us by gave us the perfect opportunity to check out Australia’s best rated beach; Merewether Beach!
Sydney, Australia; we didn’t quite feel that we got our entire fix our first days in Sydney, so we did a day trip to Sydney to check out Manly Beach which was also an hour and a half away from Woy Woy.
Where we ate:
We mostly ate at home in our air b’n’b because we had full access to the kitchen and loved the decor of the modern earthy vibes with a walk out patio next to the pool.
There are intercity trains that leave from Sydney Central and arrive at Woy Woy Station and there are local buses which run on the Opal card. There are also some local taxis and Uber,
The Full Story:
Nestled between Newcastle and Sydney is a small beach town called Woy Woy. Woy Woy was lightly mentioned in our Lonely Planet book, but once arriving here I realized it had more to offer than what was suggested. It is a slower town and was known as a retirement community, but it is transitioning into a commuter town with a lot of movement from Sydney to the suburbs driving up prices and changing the landscape of the shops around town.
Our first day in our paradise airbnb was our chance to check out Umina Beach and the nearby shops. The absolutely stunning narrow beach stretches along the coastline approximately 2 km long, give you views of gorgeous cliff sides and clear waters. You can see all the way to the cliffs of Manly, according to the locals, and you can wade quite far into the water because the sand bar stretches out quite far and the waves are quite small (not meant for surfing or body surfing), which was perfect for me! I could enjoy the beautiful warm water without getting knocked over by big waves or without having to dive under the waves. I walked out all the way to almost chest height (check out Advice From the Locals – Australia) and was able to fully enjoy the waters of the ocean. After a few hours, we dried off in the scorching sun, packed our things and headed into town for a beach break (yes, I said beach break, haha!) We walked past a couple of cute cafes, but I was on Mission: Swimwear! I was looking for a new bikini, but as I learned previously from attempting to shop in Sydney, swimwear is not cheaper in Australia (Tips for Shopping in Australia)! I happened to walk past a shop that was shutting down so snagged a new bikini top at 40% off and a new rashies (swim top used for surfing) at 25% off. Mission: Swimwear… SUCCESS!
Adventure day!! What is adventure day you ask? A day we didn’t totally plan but happened to work out to be such an amazing day simply because we went with the flow. Did you get all that? Haha! Anyway, we had decided the Pelican Feeding at Fishermans Wharf because it was suggested by the locals as well as by our Lonely Planet book. So, after a slow morning of hanging by the pool, we headed to Fisherman’s Wharf. Andrew enjoyed a fish ‘n’ chips from the restaurant while I enjoyed a gelato. We waited patiently for the pelican feeding to begin. Suddenly, I happened to watch two pelicans fly over and as I turned to Andrew to point where they had landed, magically about ten more had joined the two, all of them perched on the roof of the restaurant, patiently waiting as well!
Astounded by the sight of being so close to a pelican (aka pelly), I was extremely excited to see them up close during the feeding. A lady, Wendy, comes over with a bucket of fish and a Pelican Research & Rescue shirt, she asks me politely to stand back and then started speaking to the crowd as the pellies flew down to the water and waddle up onto the grass. After filling our brains with interesting fact about pelicans, Andrew and I offered to help rescue one of the pelicans that has a lure stuck in her; Check out our rescue video and story: An Amazing Pelican Rescue Story.
After some fun in the sun in Woy Woy, we wanted to take an opportunity to meet up with one of my friends in Newcastle. We met them at one of the many beach side restaurants and watched a water polo game while we enjoyed our lunch. We headed to Mereweather Beach, allegedly the best beach in Australia (I think this is determined by the ability to surf waves) to catch some rays! I thought the waves to be a little too much for me and the coast line a little too rocky for my liking, but the sand was hot and the water was salty, so what else matters on a relaxing beach day?! The beach took it all out of us and we headed home around supper time, but not before we determined what our next day was going to be… we wanted to go to the Australia Reptile Park! The only place in New South Whales that you can go and watch the milking of Funnel Spiders for antivenom! I am really glad that I went and got a proper education on spiders and spider bites, it helped to put my mind at ease and made me feel a wee bit more comfortable being in Australia; Get the full story!
We thoroughly enjoyed every single moment that we stayed in Woy Woy; from chilling by the pool to rescuing pelicans, from walking around town to riding the train to Newcastle, there was never a dull moment in our minds!