#rockytraildestination: Central Coast for Rocky Trail FAMILIES

Hiya, Rocky Trail Families!

This is for you, if you are keen to race at one – or both – of our back to back events on the Central Coast this year:

24 August | Shimano MTB GP
Cross-country lap racing at its best! 4 or 7 hours, solo or in teams on one of the most iconic trail networks near Sydney and Newcastle!

1 September | Fox Superflow
Superflow racing is MTB life with the volume turned up! No start order, no worries! Ride and race together all day, at your own pace – get ready for those adrenaline surges on the gravity courses!

Have ‘a little family adventure on the Central Coast’ with Rocky Trail!

Martin and I have been living on the Central Coast for five years and especially since having Cosmo 3.5 years ago, we’ve had so much fun exploring what this beautiful region has to offer.

Beaches, playgrounds, cafes, kid-friendly restaurants and especially cycle paths – see us explore our home together with Cosmo in this Video Trailer:

Come and create memories – let us tempt you to bring the family and the kids!

While you race, they will have plenty of things to see and do and they can also get a piece of the racing action by spectating or some kids activities we offer.

Both events are proudly supported by the Central Coast Council and together with the major sponsors Shimano Cycling Australia, RIDE Fox Australia and sealant partner, Stan’s NoTubes with Jetblack Products Australia, all your rider photos from both events are included in the entry fee!

About the events

Shimano MTB Grand Prix, 24 August 2019

Think: racing Saturday, beaches and cafes Sunday.

This is your classic cross-country lap event, which promises you “old school cross-country racing” on the home track of the Rocky Trail Entertainment crew, right in the heart of the NSW Central Coast! Race solo or in teams for four or seven hours!

This race is part of a series, however, every race is a stand-alone event and you collect points for a series ranking. – Rocky Trail delivers a set of events that is less of an elite- and winners-only-focused competition, but a positive and inclusive experience for all participants – on awesome trails at fun and exciting destinations that will make it worthwhile for your whole group of riding couples and mates! Race on Saturday, explore on Sunday!

>> More information on the event website

Shimano MTB GP Racing at Ourimbah State Forest. Video: Faber Film

Fox Superflow, sealed by Stan’s, 1 September 2019

The Ourimbah trails will offer really “old-school” race tracks that will be fun to explore! We will have 2-3 trails all running at the same time and you will ride to the top. Check out the event website for more information and track maps in the race lead up!

Why Superflow?
Because the race tracks are picked by the Rocky Trail crew so that they give the riders that “super flowy” feeling! Each timed section demands different skill sets of the riders – from tricky sections around rocks and tight corners to flowy berms and quick stints that needed pedal power and endurance.

Almost all events require riders to ride to the starts on their bikes (but not for this event in Thredbo!) and it that way the series offers a big variety of trails. All our trails can be as tough as you want them to be – there are always different line choices and generally, the faster and the harder you go, the more challenging they get. We specifically pick our venues to meet those requirements.

No start order, no worries – Spend all day together!
These events are unique Australia-wide in that we can offer an awesome day out to a wide range of riders – from elite to amateur racers to families, couples and groups of friends riding together. We have introduced a very flexible timing system so our events don’t require any start orders and riders can pick the sequence in which to complete the timed race stages themselves. That way, riders of different categories can spend all day riding and racing together!

>> More information and register on the event website.

Fox Superflow action at Ourimbah State Forest. Photos: OuterImage.com.au

See you out there on those rocky trails,

Have ‘a little adventure on the Central Coast’!

Visit the Central Coast online visitor portal for lots of ideas of where to stay and what else is on …here’s what awaits you:

Photos: Central Coast Council

Plan your stay

We will have a catering van at both events, serving hot and cold drinks, snacks and food (think pasta, sandwiches, yoghurt, fruit) all day on the Saturday 24 August and on Sunday, 1 September. Here are some more links to accommodation and event websites:

>> Visit Central Coast Tourism – Accommodation: “From beach B&Bs to rainforest retreats, there’s a stay to suit your style and budget.”

>> Visit Central Coast Tourism – Eat & Drink: “Whether you’re after à la carte or a casual meal, there’s something to please every taste.”

>> Visit Central Coast Tourism – Things to do: “Unleash your adventurous side, discover pristine beaches, explore nature trails or just relax and unwind.”

>> Follow #thisisthelife, Central Coast’s portal for activities and what’s on up here on Facebook

>> Follow “Visit the Central Coast NSW” for great stories and getaway ideas on Facebook

>> Event information, registration, schedule and maps: Shimano MTB GP
>> Event information, registration, schedule and maps: Fox Superflow

Fun family trips on the Central Coast

>> Things to Do – our selection via Central Coast Tourism website

>> Bars, Clubs and Pubs – our selection via Central Coast website

>> Adventure Itineraries

>> Nature Itineraries

>> Family Itineraries

Whale Watching

It’s whale watching season – did you know that more then 25,000 hump back whales migrate up the East Coast of Australia every year? The Central Coast has several fantastic headlands and vantage points to view this spectacular annual display. Our favourite spots are:

  1. Crackneck Lookout, (Wyrrabalong National Park).
    You can drive right to the top. Limited parking is available, and it can be very busy on sunny weekends. Several picnic tables and benches are available. Pack a picnic and enjoy the sunshine.
  2. The Skillion, Terrigal.
    As you drive into Terrigal, the Skillion is a prominent landmark. Parking is available easily, however, it is a steep walk to the top. There is a concrete stairway and path added, so no problems taking prams up there. The view is certainly a reward for a bit of effort!
  3. Norah Head Lighthouse.
    Norah Head Lighthouse is beautiful to visit in any season – see our notes on the beautiful bushwalk below! There is designated parking with a pathway to the Lighthouse. There are ample spots to sit and scan for the passing whales. The people of Norah Head will this year celebrate the 13th Annual Whale Dreamers Festival at Norah Head Lighthouse on Sunday 1 July 2018. This event fundraises for the conservation of and research projects about whales.
    Why not get the best view of the whales right from the top and book a lighthouse tour to walk the 96 stairs to the top!
  4. Bateau Bay Beach Viewing Area.
    While it is not the highest vantage point, a beautifully landscaped sandstone platform provides a clear viewing point out over Bateau Bay. Plenty of parking is available, and picnic tables and amenities are close by. Check out our notes on our favourite bushwalks below! – Park the car here and take the bushwalk to the top of Crackneck for the ultimate whale watching location. It is not a difficult bushwalk however the surface is uneven, and it is undulating terrain.
  5. Copacabana Beach – Whale Watching Platform – Captain Cook Lookout.
    At the Southern end of the coast this purpose built platform has views all the way south to Palm Beach.

> Visit NSW information Whale Watching

Norah Head – Bushwalk, rock pool and The Ark Cafe

This is one of our favourite breakfast and brunch spots on the coast! You can park your car near the cafe and do the easy 3.5km walk through the bush to the Norah Head light house, climb down the steps to the beach and walk along the beach and around the headland to the Rock Pool. From there steps lead back up to the cafe.

>> Link to walk on Wild Walks website

> The Ark Cafe website (open every day 8am-4pm)

TreeTops Adventure Park

Just 300m from the Rocky Trail event centre at Ourimbah State Forest you can experience the iconic Australian bush like never before. Get up-close and personal with native Australian wildlife and magnificent Gum trees, as you climb, weave and fly through the tree tops on self-guided rope courses. Flex your adventurous spirit and test yourself mentally and physically with over 100 elevated obstacles with rope ladders, wobbly bridges, tunnels, cargo-nets and zip lines. – Perfect for the accompanying families and friends while you race or as a pre- or post-race activity together!

>> TreeTops Adventure Park website

Australian Reptile Park

One of our most favourite excursions is to the Australian Reptile Park just off the Gosford exit – you would have noticed the huge dinosaur on your way up to Wyong! This is a hands-on zoo located in a natural bush setting, home to exotic reptiles from around the world and a wide variety of Australian native animals. Enjoy live entertaining shows, themed exhibits and behind the scenes tours. Learn about conservation work undertaken by keepers including the Tasmanian devil breeding program at Devil Ark, and our lifesaving snake and spider venom collection work.

>> Australian Wildlife Park website

Gosford – Kincumber Pub

This a great pub, but don’t let the name fool you – great food, delicious cocktails, nice setting and heaps of stuff for the kids to do!

>> Link to Kincumber Pub feature on Playing in Puddles website

Gosford – Japanese Garden

This is a nice one if you’re in the Gosford area; the cafe serves yummy food and for a buck you can buy some fish food and go out into the gardens and – feed the fish! Cosmo loves it and, wait for it, there is a big playground right outside near the car park also (you’ll drive past it to get into the car park).

>> Link to feature on Playing in Puddles website

Umina – Beach, playground and lunch/dinner

This charming little village is a gem on the Central Coast and one of our favourites! We recently headed there after Cosmo got up from his nap and explored the massive ‘Peninsula Recreation Precinct Playground’. It is a paradise for kids of all ages and their parents – a toddler area with pirate ship and a sandpit, massive swings for the older rascals, a huge climbing net and the beach right across the road. Oh, and we must mention the cafe and restaurant right next to it! But that’s not enough, you must check out the new ‘Sounds on West’ restaurant just a bit over a kilometre from the playground. It’s the latest offspring from the Six String Brewery – a rustic restaurant with a charming backyard and garden where the kids can roam free and even eat the strawberries! There’s a blackboard to draw on and Lego to play with… heaven! Not to mention the food – ribs, corn bread, sausages, Schnitzel and beer. Yasss!

>> Peninsula Recreation Precinct Playground

>> Sounds on West

Wyong Milk Factory

Wyong Milk Factory is a 2 minute drive from the event centre – cafe, restaurant, hairdresser, beauty treatments, gift & furniture store, pub, fitness centre, cheese factory, chocolate factory – need we say more???

>> Wyong Milk Factory

>> Luka Chocolates – see below for “Event Partner Offer”

>> Little Creek Cheese Factory

Wyong Town Centre

Take a stroll through the Wyong Town Centre on Allison Road – barber, cupcake store, restaurants, a pizzeria cafes with Glee Roasters and Duck Duck Moose and one of our event partners, Panonia.

>> Glee Roasters

>> Duck Duck Moos Cafe

>> Sirone’s Pizza by the metre

Coastal and Bush Walks that we love

There is a great collection of bushwalks on the “Central Coast Weekender” blog here – and in the following a few that we really love:

Bateau Bay – Wyrrabalong National Park – a beautiful walk that spans from Shelly Beach all the way south to Forresters Beach and Juliane’s regular walking and running track, often also with Cosmo. Enjoy scenic views and wildflowers along The Coast walking track near Bateau Bay. This is a great winter walk, and there are excellent spots for whale watching along this easy walk in Wyrrabalong National Park.

Kincumber Reserve – A relaxing, peaceful open space perched above Kincumber and Green Point on the beautiful Central Coast of NSW. –  As recommended on Central Coast Weekender.

Somersby Falls – A beautiful, short walk, just around the corner from the Australian Wildlife Park at the Gosford exit of the M1.

Forest of Tranquility at Ourimbah – over 100 acres of bush with a surviving Australian Rainforest and pristine streams, diverse wildlife and flora. With walking trails, sculpture trail by local Artists at our unique venue it is the ideal place to relax and spend a day or a few hours.

Strickland State Forest near Ourimbah – we often venture out here, because Strickland has extensive walking tracks through varying forest types – past waterfalls, under cabbage tree palms and along creeks.

Click here for some more Central Coast Destinations as recommended by the “Central Coast Weekender” blog.

Playing in Puddles Website

One of our favourite websites to browse through of an afternoon or on the weekend is “Playing in Puddles” – there is an amazing collection of local playgrounds, activities, kids events and maps with heaps of useful and vital information for mums and dads!

>> Playing in Puddles Website Link

>> Top 10 Toddler playgrounds on the Central Coast

Here are our (and Cosmo’s) favourite playgrounds and why:

Saltwater Creek Playground, Long Jetty

An amazing playground with a sandpit and also toddler-friendly slides and swings. Great BMX track out the front and huge meadows and BBQ facilities to hang out in between. We often ride to this one from our home near Wyong – you can check out cycle paths on our Rocky Trail Destination website, which launched a Cycle The Lake project thanks to the Lakes Festival on the Central Coast in 2017.

>> Link to Saltwater Creek Playground

>> Link to Cycle The Lakes website on Rocky Trail Destination

Canton Beach Playground, Toukley

>> Link to Canton Beach Playground

Bill Sohier Park, Ourimbah

This one is located near Ourimbah Uni and not far from the event venue. It’s not huge, but really nice and secluded and quiet most of the time.

>> Link to Bill Sohier Park

Ettalong Beach Waterfront Playground

>> Link to Ettalong Playground

Bushlands Reserve Playground, Springfield

This one has the longest slippery dip on the Central Coast, that alone is worth a visit – and there is a little kids bike track too!

>> Link to Bushlands Reserve Playground

Terrigal Rotary Park Playground

We haven’t been yet, but have heard so much about this already! As soon as Cosmo’s sniffles stop we’ll check it out and update our “review’ here 🙂

>> Link to Terrigal Rotary Park Playground

Website links for insider tips on the Central Coast

We collected some links to websites and blogs of locals for ideas to explore the Central Coast and “have a little adventure” up here for the weekend!

>> Six Seaside Cafes for a Sunday Brunch – by Coastal Chic

>> The Coast’s best Smoothie Bowls – by Coastal Chic

>> Modern Organic Long Jetty Zen – by Coastal Chic

>> Organic Bella Brunch in Terrigal – by Coastal Chic

>> Restaurants on the Central Coast reviewed by Coastal Chic

>> Grubhunter  – Food Finder on the Central Coast

>> Gosford Farmer’s Market – Weekly every Sunday from 8am to 1pm

> Coastie market guide by Coastal Chic

>> ‘LIKE’ the “This is the Central Coast” Facebook page for regular tips on what to discover on the coast!

What else is happening on the Central Coast on the Rocky Trail event weekends?

Photos: Rocky Trail Entertainment / OuterImage.com.au