Gossy Good Times

GOSFORD COMES ACROSS AS A CITY ON THE GO. All around town, construction work is carrying on. There is a wealth of heritage sandstone to be sure, and a history dating back to the convict days. Nonetheless, Gosford's eyes are framed forwards, towards a glorious future.

It is true that many buildings have been lost to the wrecking ball, including the Public School I was stationed at in the very late 1970s. Many, however, still remain. Henry Kendall Cottage was assembled in present day West Gosford using convict labour between 1836 and 1840, and is now a museum open to the public. At Frederick Point you can find the graves of the pioneers hidden among the million dollar properties.

135 years of the Mann Street story.

Mann Street is the main street of Gosford, its bloodline you might say, its artery. It functions as part of the former Pacific Highway, which runs from Sydney to Brisbane. On Mann Street you will find the railway station, police station, and council chambers. Down near the waterfront it meets the Central Coast Highway, which connects Terrigal and Kariong. On the way to Terrigal you will pass East Gosford, established in 1840, and maintaining something of a village feel.

Activities

TAKE A PUNT at the Raceourse. Watch the Mariners play at the Central Coast Stadium. Usain Bolt used to run with them. Climb to the top of Rumbalara Reserve, with its panoramic views. Ride on a junk on Brisbane Water (I've done that before).

Bara Barang Aboriginal Centre: 3 Mann Street, Gosford. Phone: (02) 4312 5133. Website: website here.
The Central Coast was once Darkinjung turf. Their legacy survives at Bara Barang, which means "Make Tomorrow" and aims to become a tourist attraction with a planetarium and the like. It would be nice to learn the Darkinjung names for the stars, if the project ever gets off the ground. I do know that Mirrabooka is their word for the Milky Way, and Mount Yengo is their Uluru. If I could ever make pilgrimage to that place, I will.

Edogawa Commemorative Garden: 36 Webb Street, East Gosford. Phone: (02) 4304 7550. Google Streetview: here.
I have a personal bond with this garden as it was planted by the Edogawa Ward of Tokyo, where I lived for 4 years, in Shinozaki. Whoever said that sister cities were a waste of money? this place is worth every cent! The garden, which adjoins the Gosford Regional Gallery, encompasses a Koi Pavilion, Wisteria Walk, and a sukiya style teahouse.

Capturing the scene, in the Edogawa Memorial Gardens

Stroll along the meandering pathways with their cypresses and ginkgo biloba, or simply plonk yourself on a stone bench, and soak up the sculpted view.

Chilling on a park bench

Gosford Hospital: Holden Street, Gosford. Phone: (02) 4320 2111.
Gosford Hospital is a huge structure and it dominates the skyline north of the railway. It is always quite busy, like all good hospitals, and it is confusing to find your way around inside. There are a couple of cafes and cafeterias if you need to pass time waiting for a blood test, or getting your Pfizer jab.

Pulse Nightclub: 108 Mann Street, Gosford. Website: website here.
When I was working in West Gosford in 2012, just round the corner from the Henry Kendall Cottage, my telesales crew all raved about this place, which was part of the Union Hotel. It might have been seedy, but it was the place to go. Sadly, the Union Hotel is now a hole in the ground, awaiting resurrection as a pair of luxury apartment towers. When those towers are built, they will redefine the Gosford skyline, taking it to a whole new level. That's "make tomorrow", Gossy style.

The Rhythm Hut: 135 Faunce Street, Gosford.
This is an entertainment venue and hub for musicians and performers. They have open-mike nights, drumming sessions, sound baths and suchlike.

Accommodation

GOSFORD IS IN need of good centrally located accommodation. Hotel Gosford is right in the middle of things, but it is also nasty and noisy. Fortunately they are constructing something new right next door, which might well be a grand extension. It won't be as high as the original,, but it will be a little bit grander.


Bella Vista Motel: 5 Central Coast Highway, Kariong.

Hotel Gosford: Corner of Erina Street and Mann Street, Gosford. Phone: (02) 4324 1634. Website: website here.
Deadset in the middle of Gosford, opposite the railway, rises this historic edifice, built in 1926. The internal lift is just as an ancient, and is said to be a museum piece. I was a little apprehensive on my first night here (March 2021), since this was a cheapie with shared bathrooms. My fears compounded when I discovered that there was no remote controller for the TV. It was a steamy day, and my shirt smelled from sweat. I trudged all the way back down the two flights of stairs to alert reception of my problem. A lot hung in the balance: this was my recon mission, and if the Hotel Gosford failed this first test, I would have to try something more expensive for the longstay. The woman at reception provided me another remote controller, and I trudged all the way back up to the second floor.


The second stay here was for a week in May 2021. I was on the top floor, room 304 to be precise, and the lift was out of action. Entering my room, I noticed a "Do Not Disturb" tag hanging from the door to room 303. I figured that I will need one of them myself, when I eventually start teaching in the hotel.

Gosford Inn Motel: Narara.

Ibis Budget Hotel: 63 Central Coast Highway, West Gosford.
Reception features a hot drink corner with vending machines and snacks.

Cafes & Restaurants

GRAB A CHIPOTLE Philly steak steak sandwich at Gloria Jeans, on Mann Street. There is, in fact, no shortage of cafes in Gosford. On the first Friday night of the month, Aussie Night Markets is held with food trucks in West Gosford. Guzzle Gozleme and Pupusa from Central America...

Hot Dogs of the World foodtruck in Gosford

Bon Pavilion: 159 Mann Street, Gosford. Phone: (02) 4302 1593. Websbite: website here.
The Bon Pavilion is an attempt to introduce a bit of class to the Central Coast. John Singleton is a backer, and he has long been an exponent of development in Gosford.

Chicken V: Imperial Centre, Mann Street, Gosford.
I ate Ddukbokki and cheese, at Chicken V

Many Japanese restaurants in Australia are in fact owned and operated by Koreans and Taiwanese, which makes them inauthentic is my opinion. Better options are the Korean restaurants, which are not so appreciated by the Australian public. Some day soon Korean food is going to trend in Australia, and Gosford has a good selection of grocery stores, grills and specializing in this cuisine. At Chicken V, you can order such strange sounding but delicious dishes as gamjatang, ddukbokki. Spicy chicken is the big draw, however. I took on their Crazy Hot Chicken one evening and was defeated.

Lyon's Den: Mann Street, Gosford.

Mapo Galbi: 154 Mann Street, Gosford. Website: website here.
Authentic Korean barbecue that you grill at your table. The grilled selection includes marinated lamb chops, wagyu beef, pork belly and ox tongue. You can also order a range of spicy soups and kimchi pancakes.

Shopping

A LOT OF THE youth in Gosford seem to like the Gothic look. Perhaps they buy their clothes at Twisted Vixen (on Donnison Street), which is not just a store, but a community. Goths aside, there are quite a few clothes outlets along Mann Street, and in the Imperial Centre. For a wider choice, you need to go to Erina.

Erina Fair: Terrigal Drive, Erina. Website: website here.
Erina Fair is like yin to Tuggerah Westfield's yang. Instead of David Jones, they have Myer. While Westfield is long and straight, Erina Fair is segmented. It can be easy to get lost. The food court is a huge dome, ringed with historical photos.

Imperial Centre: 171 Mann Street, Gosford. Website: website here.

Terrigal

TERRIGAL IS probably the closest thing there is to "Gosford's beach". The sand here is an orange-golden hue, which changes to a greyish colour further north. I have no idea why that happens. The local landmark, the Skilion headland, is a geological marvel dating back to the Triassic Era. In the modern town, there is a popular Mexican restaurant, a few French bistros, the inevitable Crowne Plaza Resort. The last time I visited, at least one crane was in evidence, doing its work transforming the skyline.

Milky Lane: The Esplanade, Terrigal.
Milky Lane in Terrigal

Mumbo Jumbo's: 92 The Esplanade, Terrigal. Website: website here.
In the hipster heart of Terrigal, opposite the Surf Club, you can find this place. It features tropical cocktails, jerk chicken, and live reggae. More than 40 types of rum from smoked to spiced and dark to coconut – you name it, they’ve got it, including El Dorado rum liqueur, the ‘Caribbean Baileys’."
I dined here for my 46th birthday, with my Mum and Dad, and Michael's family. We made a booking for 8 people but there must have been a mix-up, as we were only allocated a 3-person table. It was hard getting my Dad up the stairs to the restaurant in the first floor, he was on his last legs you could say. I heard that they spin a lot of Reggae records here but tonight, the vibe was Motown. They have a lot of Jamaican drinks here too but I stuck to the Tecate beer from Mexico, largely because I liked the design of the cans.

Terrigal Beach House: 40 The Esplanade, Terrigal.

Woy Woy

British comedian Spike Milligan said it was the most boring place on Earth... words to that effect.

Bouddi National Park contains many significant Aboriginal sites.

Bouddi Gallery: 5/1 Kilcare Road, Kilcare. Mobile: 0419 287994. Website: website here.
Indigenous artworks in a wide variety of forms, from cushion covers and throw rugs. Each art work is accompanied by the Jukurrpa (Dreaming) story behind it.

Fisherman's Wharf: The Boulevard, Woy Woy. Phone: (02) 4341 1171. Website: website here.

Young Barons: Woy Woy. Website: website here.
As recommended by Not Quite Nigella. Savour the burrata cheese and the gnocchi.

Do you have any other places to suggest, or any questions regarding Gosford, Woy Woy and Terrigal? I am not a total expert, but I still try to keep up with developments there.



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