08 Sep 2016
Set between a national park and the ocean, Pearl Beach is the ultimate place to relax and pretend you’re miles away from everything.
As much as we all love Sydney, sometimes you need to escape the hustle for a few days. The coastline just north and south of Sydney are both stunning in their own right and offer experiences that cover everything from immersing yourself in a tent in nature to luxurious beach house stays on the waterfront. You choose! And the best thing about it is that you don’t even have to drive far to get to these spots.
Just 95 km’s north of Sydney, Pearl Beach is within an hour and a half drive away. With a head count of under 500, Pearl Beach is relaxed beachside village nestled in the Brisbane Water National Park that surrounds it. The ‘high street’, if you can call it that, has all of three businesses on it: The casual Pearl Beach Café, the more upmarket Pearl’s on the Beach, and Pearl Beach Real Estate agency that holds exclusive access to all the fabulous beach houses you can rent for your stay here.
Amenities like supermarkets, bottle shops and a seafood shop are all within a short 10-minute drive away at Umina and Woy Woy. Close by, yet far enough to give you the illusion of being completely isolated in the idyllic bubble that is Pearl Beach. Houses here are built to blend in with nature, further adding to the secluded bliss.
WHERE TO STAY:
I’ve returned to Pearl Beach twice in the last year and stayed on Green Point, the rocks above the southern point of the beach. Green Point Road is a narrow tree lined road with houses on the southern side facing the open water of Broken Bay and the northern side facing Pearl Beach. Both have access to the rocks underneath via a park at the point. You can walk all the way to the beach via these rocks, passing the rock pool on the way. These are two great properties at decent prices with great views. Both properties sleep up to 4 adults in 2 bedrooms. 16 Green Point Road offers lovely shaded and leafy outlook over Pearl Beach, whilst 27 Green Point Road has a wrap around balcony overlooking the ocean. They are both available through Pearl Beach Real Estate and can be found in their ‘Holiday lettings’ section.
Link to 16 Green Point Road via the Pearl Beach Real Estate web page here:
Link to 27 Green Point Road via the Pearl Beach Real Estate web page here.
Private rental house at 16 Green Point Road
Private rental house at 27 Green Point Road
WHERE TO EAT:
You won’t be breaking your head trying to work out where to eat out in Pearl Beach. There are only 2 options in Pearl Beach itself, although don’t fear – you will not go hungry!
Pearl Beach Cafe
The Pearl Beach Café serves delicious breakfast & lunch 7 days a week and is also open for dinner on weekends. The back of the cafe reveals a decent sized general store with a good selection of supplies and has an ATM. (You’ll have to drive to Umina for booze, though!)
Pearl’s On The Beach
Across the street and located right on the beach you’ll find the more upmarket Pearls on the Beach. Serving a contemporary Australian menu that changes seasonally, Pearl’s has just won a coveted Chef’s Hat at the Sydney morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards. It’s open from Thursday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.
Patonga Beach Hotel
The beachside community of Patonga, meaning ‘Oyster” in the Guringai people’s language, is a quick 10-minute drive from the next bay and the home of the Patonga Beach Hotel. With a large open deck overlooking the water and hearty pub fare, it’s a popular spot so book ahead or get in before the lunch rush.
Seafood Shop: D&L Witchard
Whilst there are lots of fish and chips shops between Umina and Woy Woy, there are only a few places to find the fresh stuff. Pick up some of this morning’s catch, oysters & prawns at D&L Witchard, 54 Ocean Beach Road, Woy Woy.
Fisherman’s Wharf, Woy Woy
Otherwise, there’s the Woy Woy Fisherman’s Wharf, where you can eat meals in the wharf restaurant, take away from the fish and chips shop or buy fresh seafood from the seafood market. Woy Woy Fisherman’s Wharf is at The Boulevard, Woy Woy.
WHAT TO DO
The best thing to do in Pearl Beach is relaxing. Crack open a rosé and watch the sun set, have a long breakfast or lunch on your front porch or balcony. Bring a good book and a stack of your favourite magazines – this is not a place to over exert yourself.
The beach is wide, golden and only populated by residents and those staying here for the weekend. The water is safe for swimming but there are no lifeguards, so be cautious as you would be at any Aussie beach. Dogs are allowed so no need to leave the pooch at home.
There’s a great walking trail from Pearl Beach to Patonga which takes 1.5 – 2 hrs to walk through red gums and eucalyptus trees with beaches at either end. More information on this walk here.
For a shorter excursion, take a stroll along the length of Pearl Beach and continue past the rock pool on to the rocks around Green Point.
Whale & Dolphin watching
If you happen to be here from June to October, find a spot on the rocks around Green Point and keep an eye out for whales splashing past. In other times of the year, there’s still a good chance of pods of dolphins making an appearance.
Why is it so perfect?
I love the seclusion and being surrounded by a luscious national park. It’s such an easy and quick drive from Sydney that makes it only slightly longer than the annoying drive to (or from) Bondi in peak hour on a Sunday. It caters to families, pets as it does to whisking away a lover or a group of friends. It has just enough food options if you don’t want to cook and amenities are just far enough away to remove you from any type of hustle. You can’t help but relax here and whether you choose to stay for the weekend or take a few extra days, Pearl Beach is guaranteed to give you your zen back.