SUMMER 23/24

THE AWAKENING OF GOSFORD
Nestled between undulating bushland and Brisbane Water, Gosford’s untapped potential as a dynamic CBD has long been lamented. But with rejuvenations of the waterfront now underway, and buzzing bars and waterside eateries popping up, Gosford has come alive, beckoning locals and visitors of all ages to explore this emerging precinct.

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START THE DAY RIGHT

Some of the best coffee brews on the Central Coast can be found right here in the city centre. 

South End Social, on the ground floor of the Department of Finance building, boasts a true city vibe, frequented by professionals, locals and visitors alike. This café-come-bar serves modern Australian cuisine with an extensive breakfast menu, perfect for people-watching and planning the day ahead. Ahead in 2023, the owners are planning a series of canape evenings, as well as premium wine dinners and long lunches that will savour a different wine region each time: from Australia, Italy, France and Argentina. It’s also a favourite venue for corporate breakfast meetings and the café is undertaking more and more corporate catering as more offices return to work in the Gosford CBD. Shop 1/32 Mann St, Gosford

For a decadent treat, make a beeline for Bouffant, located in the historic sandstone school building. The sweet aroma will draw you in from the street, but beware – you’ll struggle to pull yourself away from fluffy croissants, caramel donuts and fresh sourdough. 38 Mann Street, Gosford 

Escape the CBD bustle at Tommy’s, across from Gosford waterfront. Grab a table on the sheltered patio and tuck into all-day breakfast with freshly squeezed juices and impeccable coffee. 1a Gertrude Pl, Gosford 

OLD MEETS NEW

With heritage-listed buildings offering a delicious contrast to neighbouring contemporary architecture, Gosford is the perfect medley of yester-year, present day, and everything in between. 

A short stroll along Mann Street serves up stunning examples of colonial constructions, including the Central Coast’s oldest building, the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music, at No. 45, housed in the former Gosford Court and Police Station, dating back to 1849. Take a close look at the sandstone façade to spot the original plaque commemorating the naming of Mann Street after Captain Gother Kerr Mann (1808–1899), a former Gosford magistrate. The Con. has welcomed back its students into the beautifully renovated heritage buildings this year (complete with three re-awakened ghosts!) and to the 77-seat Robert Knox Hall. 45 Mann Street, Gosford

Just down the road at 37 Mann Street, construction of The Grand apartments and shops is about to get underway. It retains the historic Lyons Den building and replaces the row of shops next door that had long seen better days. Together with the new Central Coast Quarter at 32 Mann Street, they herald a complete change in the look and feel of that end of Gosford. 

FOR THE KIDS

From playgrounds to water sports, there’s no shortage of fun to be had for children of all ages in Gosford. 

Gosford Waterfront Park provides fertile fodder for imaginative play, with its green spaces, climbing pods and a super slide for brave little ones. An innovative Tidal Terrace draws the bay into the park through a clever waterway, with the rising tide serving as a shallow play space, while low tide reveals sandstone islands in the shape of marine life. Gosford Rotary Park, Vaughan Ave, Gosford 

SAIL AWAY

There’s nothing quite like sailing across glassy water on a blue-sky day, the only noise being the flap of the sail as you cruise across Brisbane Water. Gosford Sailing Club offers learn-to-sail courses for all ages, with friendly instructors sharing their knowledge of this idyllic sport. Relax over lunch or dinner at The Bistro, where spectacular water views are just as inspiring as the food on your plate. 28 Masons Parade, Gosford

CATCH A GAME

Industree Group Stadium is an iconic Gosford landmark and the home of live sport on the Central Coast. Catch a Mariner’s game, cheer on your favourite NRL team or grab tickets to one of the major events that take place throughout the year, from Cinema Under the Stars to major musical acts. 14 Dane Dr, Gosford

OH, WHAT A NIGHT

As night falls, Gosford comes into its own, with lively bars, world-class restaurants and historic hotels.

Lyons Den beckons passers-by with its funky beer garden and festive lights. The safari-inspired design adds to the wild and free atmosphere, with unique ‘Den’ experiences on offer, from cocktail masterclasses to life drawing for the artist at heart. Part of the historic Creighton’s art-deco building dating back to 1938, Lyons Den is situated in the restored and adapted original double garage. 7a Mann St, Gosford

Head straight to Bay Rd Brewing for ‘Gossy Good Times’, a microbrewery and taproom serving up everything from crisp lager to punchy, hop-filled IPAs, where humans and dogs are equally welcome. Come for the beer and stay for the trivia (cheating optional). 89 Donnison St, Gosford

WORDS PHILIPPA MACKEN

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