Overlooking the south end of Terrigal Beach, the W-shaped Crown Plaza Terrigal was designed to ensure that each of the 199 rooms has a balcony and at least partial water views. If you want to treat yourself, the Pine suites are spacious and airy, boasting uninterrupted beach views from glass walls in both the living room and bedroom. The real kicker for us is the bathroom – it’s larger than most Darlo apartments and features a gleaming spa bath and a shower head the size of a dinner plate. On the lower levels of the hotel you’ll find Seasalt restaurant, a sunny atrium where breakfast is served until 10.30am on weekdays and 11am on weekends. For après surf, hit the Florida Beach Bar and Terrace, which opens out from the hotel onto the main street of Terrigal and is the place for when you want a cold beer, a casual meal. Shake off any afternoon lethargy while you’re here with a stroll along the Terrigal Haven Coastal Walk. Head right along the beach, around the worn red sandstone and up to the headland that now has three purpose-built lookouts where you can meditate on the majesty of the Pacific Ocean. Worked up a hunger? Nothing says coastal down-time like a fish dinner by the seashore, so grab some tender calamari rings from Fishbonez and picnic on the sand.Pinetree Ln, Terrigal 2260. 02 4384 9111. Rates: about $200-$800.
Cameron and Hayley Cansdell opened Bombini on the site of a former Mexican restaurant in 2015, and transformed it into a haven of locally sourced, Italian-inspired dishes. Start with antipasto including freshly shucked Pambula rock oysters and salt cod, potato and saffron polpettines. Then enjoy roast beetroots with red lentils, mint, almond and olive oil cream before enjoying dry-aged, grass-fed beef sirloin rib on the bone or grilled kingfish with a smoked eggplant and chickpea salad and topped with oregano and lemon salsa. Be sure to save room for the housemade sorbetti! 366 Avoca Dr, Avoca 2251. 02 4381 1436.
Time Out Tip
In an inspired moment of recycling genius, the former naval warship HMAS Adelaide was sunk 1.8 kms off Avoca Beach in 2011 to create an artificial reef for sea life to inhabit and divers to explore. Book into one of the six daily dives through the Terrigal Dive Centre. Terrigal Dive Centre, Scenic Hwy, Terrigal 2260. 02 4384 1219.