Ocean Beach, Umina
Umina is the kind of place where a large chips feeds a family of four; a place yet to be discovered by evil developers.
The main street is relaxingly daggy. The service is friendly, the shops are cluttered and the overall feeling is that you can go barefoot and no one cares.
This laid back vibe extends to Ocean Beach, an NRMA Holiday Park set right on the Umina beachfront. From the moment you check in into your Seabreeze Townhouse, the overall feeling is aaaahhhhh.
The interiors are beautifully functional and tasteful, with a solid timber table and chairs in the kitchen, modern cane couches in the lounge area and, impressively (for a linen snob like me), fresh, colourful bedding in all the rooms. It feels beachy but kitsch-free; something of an art form.
The townhouses are perched directly opposite the beach access so it takes about two minutes to climb out of bed and splash into the freezing cold surf. The waves are gentle and the beach is dog-friendly, a total bonus for a puppy stalker such as myself.
The major benefit of Ocean Beach, beyond the pristine natural setting and the whooping bellbirds, is the fact that this place is Child-Friendly with a capital ovulation. There are several playgrounds, jumping pillows, a rainforest-themed pool and spa complex, a cafe and a Kids Club with lots of things that actually sound pretty fun (chocolate crackle making, pancakes and cartoons, a treasure hunt and tractor rides).
I don’t have kids but I know plenty of stressed out people who do; people who could use a break from their sticky, ungrateful offspring. Ocean Beach is the perfect solution to a multi-generational holiday. The littlies can play with other germ-ridden brats, the adults can relax in the knowledge that their children are safe and the teenagers can lurk moodily in the fresh air, texting their friends.
Have you been to Umina? What did you think?