The Central Coast of New South Wales is around 90 minutes north of Sydney.  It’s an area that has much to offer. The beaches, lakes and rivers are magnificent. The towns and villages have a laidback feel, and there are many activities to enjoy – on the coast or inland.

There’s restaurants, cafes, markets, as well as many water sports to enjoy.

The natural environment is also a major drawcard.

The total area is around 1850 square kilometres.

The Central Coast is also one of the first certified ECO Destinations in Australia

From bush walks in coastal rainforests, amazing national parks (eg: Bouddi National Park), waterfalls, to the famed sandstone areas – it truly is a beautiful place to explore.

Within the Central Coast is an area called the Peninsula District. This includes Blackwall, Ettalong Beach, Umina, Booker Bay, Patonga and Woy Woy.

The Peninsula District is also a popular place to live and retire.

Grey area shows the Peninsula District of the Central Coast. (Source: .id community)

The Stats

Let’s look at some of the statistics from the 2021 Census (ABS)

Ettalong Beach
Population:  5161
Males:         46.1%
Females:      53.9%
Media Age: 54
Country Of Birth
Australia 73.7%
England 5.1%
New Zealand 2.2%
Thailand 0.6%
Scotland 0.6%
Umina/Booker Bay/Patonga
Population: 24,697
Males: 47.6%
Females: 52.4%
Media Age: 47
Country Of Birth
Australia 76.8%
England 5.1%
New Zealand 2.2%
Philippines 0.6%
Scotland 0.6%
USA 0.5%
Woy Woy /Blackwall
Population: 14,346
Males:  47.7%
Females: 52.3%
Media Age: 47 years
Country Of Birth
Australia 75.1%
England 6.2%
New Zealand 1.9%
China (excl SARS, Taiwan) 1.3%
Philippines 0.9%
India 0.6%

The .id community says that it is estimated that the Peninsula District has a population density of 828.4 persons per square km.

Sunny day at the beach, with red and yellow lifesaving canopies on beach with a number of people standing. In the distance is a headland with a white yacht in the water.
Umina, New South Wales, Photo: Jill Weeks

The Weather

As an indication, if we look at nearby Gosford, the Bureau of Meteorology says there is a:
mean maximum temperature of 23C
mean minimum temperature of 11C
mean rainfall: 1328.7mm

What’s It Like To Live In The Peninsula District?

Geoff Ross moved from Castle Hill to a life on the Peninsula some years ago. Geoff retired, with a distinguished background in large retail stores (including one with the ’Go Harvey’ motto).

He was then asked by a friend to have a ‘hobby job’ with a removal company for 6 months (their motto: ‘Everything you need for your move’). The half year job turned into six years.  This was not surprising considering Geoff’s skills and experience.

Geoff had a large house. His children had moved. He says it was time to think about ‘where to live’.

He started to look for a weekender on the Central Coast.

‘It’s not far from the kids and grandkids’, says Geoff.

It takes around 1 hour 10 minutes to get back to Castle Hill. It’s not too far for Geoff to visit his previous suburb.  He, for example, can still visit medicos and mechanics in Castle Hill.

As an option, the train to Sydney takes around 1 hour 20 minutes.

Barefoot man in white shirt, black pants with lady in apricot and white dress with shoes in her hand walking along a sandy beach, with a treed hill across the water with a few white houses on the other side of the water
Ettalong Beach. Photo: Destination NSW

What Are Some Of The Advantages Of Living In The Peninsula District?

Geoff says that getting away from the traffic of his old home was a big attraction of the Peninsula.
*He liked the village atmosphere, that was slowly being developed.
*‘There’s only three ways into the Peninsula’.
*The weather is ‘pretty good’, the only wind is north-west (and that’s not too often).
*It’s out of Gosford.
*There are 4-5 clubs nearby (social clubs where you can meet for a drink, a meal, a catch up).  Some of the clubs, such as the Diggers Club, have regular shows that are good value.
*There’s lots more coffee shops.
*Atmosphere is relaxed.
*Bouddi National Park is good to visit.
*Patonga and Pearl Beach are ideal for walks at low tide.
*Geoff’s location is just two minutes away from the Palm Beach ferry (and I can vouch that is an interesting trip to do ).

Scenic aerials overlooking Pearl Beach on the Central Coast. Photo: Destination Central Coast

What Are Some Of The Challenges Of Living In The Peninsula District?

No district is without some challenges.
Geoff says the challenges in his area include:
*Potential development
*No major retail (need to travel into Gosford)
*Some roads need fixing up:  (‘I’m not drunk just avoiding potholes’) is one saying.
*Some medical procedures need to be done elsewhere.
*Becomes very busy on weekends.

Woman enjoying a morning of stand up paddleboarding at Pearl Beach on the Central Coast, Photo: Destination NSW

Popular Peninsula District Airbnb

Geoff’s Airbnb was started by ‘accident’. He had bought a home that had an ideal room for conversion.
With his Airbnb in hot demand, Geoff doesn’t have a lot of time to spare, but it does allow him to travel a bit.
One of his regular guests (17 stays so far) says the Airbnb of Geoff is so popular that he has trouble booking in!

What Does Geoff Miss About Living In Sydney?

‘It’s harder to catch up with old mates and there’s ‘no beer on Friday nights’.
It’s not as easy to catch up with family’.

However, Geoff loves living where he does:
‘I should have done this years ago’.

Jill Weeks has been an educator and author for many years. She is the author of 21 Ways To Retire, which gives insights into how 21 Australians from different backgrounds adjusted to retirementShe is also the co-author with her husband, Owen, of several editions of Where To Retire In Australia and one of Retire Bizzi.

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