A freelance writer, and amateur photographer Dora also teaches creative writing classes. Check out her website at www.creativejuicy.com
Published July 25th 2011
If you've never been to the Ettalong Markets, you're missing a real treat and a fabulous day out. Ettalong is a quiet village near Umina and Woy Woy, and is home to the largest undercover market on the Central Coast.
If you live on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, the quickest and easiest way to get to Ettalong and add to a delightful day, is to drive to Palm beach, park your car and take the half hour ferry ride over to Ettalong. Ferries leave frequently, and if you happen to get there early, you can enjoy a stroll or a cup of coffee around Palm Beach wharf.
But it's not just market stalls at Ettalong Markets. The venue is set amongst restaurants, cafes, a 6 screen cinema called the Cinema Paradiso, and an outdoor cinema as well. Over the last few years, the complex has been gradually upgraded. The setting is a meandering maze of activity and the warm, inviting atmosphere resembles an Italian piazza. Vines hang from the balconies, framing hand painted murals on the walls, and the catacomb of courtyards are decorated with beautiful hand made stained glass windows.
Established in 1979, the market stalls have everything you'd expect, including clothing, jewellery, leather goods, antiques and electrical items and a farmer's market with great fresh produce. However, you'll also find some quirky characters and unusual items...
The Belgian Bakery sells amazing bread, freshly baked on the premises. Queues are always a good indication of something special, and you may find it hard to resist the aroma wafting from the little shop.
The markets are open from 9.00am till 4.00pm. I chose to leave Palm Beach on the midday ferry. That gave me two and a half hours of shopping, lunch and a 5 minute stroll into the main shopping street of Ettalong for a cleansing ale at the Ettalong Hotel, before catching the 2.30pm ferry back to Palm Beach.
WOW! ... Thanks Dora . I remember going a number of years ago, but it seems to have changed for the better. I look forward to exploring ... I guess no one has ever called you Dora the Explora?
By darry9 - reader Tuesday, 26th of July @ 05:40 am
coolest umbrella eva
By jolsen - reader Tuesday, 26th of July @ 06:45 am
I KNOWWWW...right??? The guy was cool too.
By Dora Bona - senior reviewer Tuesday, 26th of July @ 07:08 am
Hi Dora - what a great article! I can't wait to get over to Ettalong markets to check it out. Sounds like a great day out. I live in Cremorne, so I think the drive to Palm Beach would be a great way to make a big day of it. I've never been to Ettalong so looking forward to it.
By lizzy13 - reader Thursday, 28th of July @ 03:46 am
Cool place. I must remember to visit next time I am in the area.
By sherr22 - reader Thursday, 28th of July @ 03:59 am
I will definitely be going there. I remember visiting a few years ago and found it all a bit underwhelming, but I will definitely go back.
By giovanni - reader Thursday, 28th of July @ 04:20 am
By bowery - reader Thursday, 28th of July @ 04:32 am
What a place what ambience. They have the Italian festival on every April a must over 20 restsurants and cafes amongst markets cinemas and accommodation fantastic.
By Anonymous Thursday, 28th of July @ 09:31 am
Went to Ettalong Markets many years ago, but it seems like they are so much better now. I will definitely be checking it out.
By giovanni - reader Monday, 1st of August @ 10:30 pm
You can always get something a bit "different" at Ettalong markets. I have a skull with a snake winding through it. Probably got that at the same place you got the umbrella Dora!
By bowery - reader Monday, 1st of August @ 10:40 pm