The shores of Caroline Bay are where you will find a gallery with multiple exhibition spaces, a cafe, and a gorgeous Japanese garden, all hidden in a complex just a stone's throw away from the Central Coast Highway.
The Gosford Regional Gallery Precinct is an important cultural and educational resource for the community, as well as a great family attraction with a large children's playground beside it. The gallery itself was a highlight on my recent visit with a viewing of the current art exhibition, Anything Goes
The gallery with a mermaid garden by artist Celeste Boonaerts
Featuring 6 local artists – Peter & Celeste Boonaerts, Camelle Denny, Sita Cooray, Leeanne Livens and Michael Kelliher – it is a colourful account of the Central Coast through works encompassing acrylic pouring, oil painting, pastels, mixed media, printmaking and handmade jewellery.
Art by Peter Boonaerts
You'll find images of sea and landscapes with florals, birds and fish that are playful, wild, fresh and vibrant. The jewellery featuring stones and beads is equally vibrant and unique. Open daily until 26 August, from 9.30am-4pm, this free exhibition is one of many temporary exhibitions held here.
Handmade jewellery by Sita Cooray
Adjacent to this space is the main building housing another exhibition space and the Top Point Cafe. It was here I parked myself on a couch for some morning tea – a much-needed cappuccino, which I paired with the cake of the day, the oh-so-delicious berry cheesecake.
Cake of the day
Open 7 days, 8am-3.30pm, there's plenty of hearty breakfast and lunch items to choose from, including bacon and egg dishes, fritters, quesadillas, pancakes and waffles, juicy burgers, fish 'n' chips, fried calamari, ribs, risotto, chicken wings, glazed pork belly bites, pasta and salads. The range of beverages is extensive too with plenty of iced drinks, hot drinks and alcohol. For the full menu, click here
Moving out the back of this building, you'll find the beautiful Edogawa Commemorative Garden, a Japanese garden with stone lanterns, waterfalls, a quaint red bridge, a wisteria walk, a koi pavilion and lotus pond, a teahouse and a myriad of blooms and trees.
Japanese beauty at every turn at this tranquil garden
Open daily (9.30am-4pm) with entry free, it's a beautiful tranquil area to walk around in, having been designed on the traditional 'shuyu' (strolling) style with meandering pathways. Weddings are often held in the garden and the cafe-cum-restaurant, that's also a function space, caters for receptions and other special occasions.
With this precinct and so much more to see and do in the area, the Central Coast is a great destination for a day out or a weekend away and it's only an hour north of Sydney.