The Central Coast is a huge area that stretches between Sydney and Newcastle, the most well-known towns in the area include Killcare, Avoca and Terrigal.
My husband Sam Clayton and I moved to Woy Woy around five years ago. My background is as a production designer/art director for film and TV, and we met studying our Masters in Production Design at Australian Film Radio and Television School. Sam got over working in the industry and was inspired to move into his family’s business: Woy Woy Fishermen’s Wharf, which has been in the family for 40 years!
We had been living in Bondi and I had been working in Melbourne, so moving to Woy Woy was a total change of pace. Although, we moved into our apartment above the busy restaurant, so there was still a buzz to our life. After hours, when the restaurant closes, we are sitting on a really quiet stretch of water that seems to wash away the stresses. It’s pretty idyllic.
After a few years, we bought a home in Avoca, and I really connected with a wonderful community while we lived there. Although, we have now moved back to Woy Woy for a few years and are renting out our house before we renovate it. This area is a bit more of a hub now, but we’ve got a beautiful spot right on the water in the middle of town.
After I first moved up to the Central Coast, my friend Cate Stewart and I could see a need for some creativity to be injected into local hospitality businesses, so we started doing fit-outs for the new wave of local restaurants A few years on and our company Stewart + Highfield are working on some really exciting projects. We love being a part of the new energy in the area.
What I love most about living on The Central Coast is the really supportive creative community. It’s a more laid-back way of life, but it’s also commuting distance from Sydney, so I can continue to do art directing for TV commercials as well as run our interiors business.
I also love that you have spectacular beaches and national parks right on your doorstep, yet it still feels a little undiscovered. For example, the thrift stores are still genuinely cheap, and you can really find a bargain. I’m still finding hidden gems in towns after five years of living here!
Photo – Jacs Powell, and Sarah-Kate from Chasing Brightness.
Bouddi Coastal Walk. Photo – Jacs Powell.
The Mars-like landscape! Photo – Jacs Powell.
The walk starts at Putty Beach Road, Killcare Heights. Photo – Jacs Powell.
Woy Woy Fishermen’s Wharf has been in my husband’s family for 40 years! Photo – Jacs Powell.
Seafood is the specialty at Woy Woy Fishermen’s Wharf. Photo – Jacs Powell.
The traditional Aboriginal fish trap that we commissioned. Photo – Jacs Powell.
Looking out to the water. Photo – Jacs Powell.
We live above the restaurant and the views of the water are amazing. Photo – Jacs Powell.
Like Minds Avoca. Photo – Jacs Powell.
The ceiling sculpture of floating clouds is by local artist Jane Gillings.Photo – Jacs Powell.
The Surfer’s Breakfast. Photo – Jacs Powell.
Amazing coffee too! Photo – Jacs Powell.
This cafe has changed people’s lives! Photo – Jacs Powell.
Inside Natalie Walton’s Imprint House. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.
Imprint House is open Fridays or by appointment. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.
Copacabana Beach House. Photo – Jacs Powell.
Inside the dreamy Airbnb accommodation. Photo – Jacs Powell.
This restored 1970s home is an impeccably-designed place to stay. Photo – Jacs Powell.
There are breath-taking views from every room! Photo – Jacs Powell.