I still remember the first time we visited Austinmer - we took the winding road along the coast and saw deserted beach after beach with aqua clear water. When we got to Austinmer suddenly it seemed like everyone on the coast was at this one beach. We pulled up thinking this is the spot to be. There were kids running around madly in the park, people all over the beach, lots of swimmers catching a wave and the cafe opposite was hiving.
Austinmer is an iconic location along the coast and many day trippers from Sydney flock to the beach. It has a kids park, shade, grass to set up a picnic, showers, toilets and change rooms, shops and a cafe opposite. This is a place you can park your car and play all day.
Austinmer is a small, charming village so there are only a hand full of shops, cafes and things to do. But knowing where to find the little hidden gems and having it in a neat two day itinerary is something I just could not find online. So I thought I better write it.
Although Austinmer offers a mix of accommodation you really only have to decide between two choices a holiday house or the Headlands Hotel resort.
Austinmer Headlands Hotel: Offers a mixture of studio, one bedroom and two bedroom rooms. There is a resort style pool, dining and bar. The views are incredible and access to the bike and walking path as well as a secluded beach is just outside your door.
Austinmer Holiday Houses: you can of course check out Emerald + Aqua, Airbnb or Stayz for a great range of holiday homes that are private and offer the chance to experience life like a local.
By car from Sydney CBD it will take you about 1 hour and 20 minutes. From Parramatta about 1 hour and 25 minutes. On the train from Sydney Central you are looking about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Austinmer train Station is very accessible to the beach, just walk down Moore Street and take a left and you will find yourself in the hub of things. If you plan on just staying in Austinmer then you could probably get around easily on your feet. But I would recommend bringing your car as there a few places further a field that you might want to explore. There isn't anywhere in Austinmer to hire bikes but you can contact South Coast Bike Hire who will bring the bikes to you (if you hire two bikes the cost is about $45.00 each) if you have your own bring it with you.
Shell's Diner - offers old style fish and chips, burgers, milkshakes and all those favourites that you crave after a swim at the beach. The atmosphere is busy and unpretentious and the food is deep fried delicious. But there are also fresh juices and salad so you can balance things out a bit. Don't get put off by the crowds the food comes out quickly and the turnover means it is fresh.
Austi Beach Cafe - has all the usual cafe favourites especially for breakfast, the French toast with Mascarpone cheese and streaky bacon is a winner. Get there early so you can get a table on their outdoor deck overlooking the beach.
Headlands Hotel - recently reopened after redevelopment of the site. It is worth a visit for the view and a cold bubbly . We will keep you posted on the food as we learn more but the accommodation is a winner.
Fireworks Cafe - is the best option for coffee, a short walk along Moore Street is worth the wait for a well made brew. Their food is also fresh, well made and varied. They hold themed dinners every couple of weeks which are worth booking in for. Dinner in general needs to be booked ahead. New owners have taken over this year and hopefully will build on its excellent reputation.
Haveli Living - brings together fabrics, clothing and home wares that manage to both have a global yet beach feel. Take a far flung adventure through the orient and take home sumptuous table clothes, Turkish tiles, copper bowls, beaded African statues and beachwear with a difference.
Mala Beads - is a tiny shop filled to the brim with all things lovely and interesting. Don't be fooled by the size and leave your self plenty of time to look at everything. For the keen jewelry maker there is a wonderful range of beads in resin, glass and wood. Mexican hand made artifacts, collections of beautiful jewelry and odds and ends that you will never find anywhere else. Owned by a famous Sydney casting director and her mum the shop has a global feel and offers beads and jewels from around the world.
Supermarket: IGA or Coles in Thirroul - Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul.
Butcher: Pure Bred Meats Thirroul - Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul.
Chemist: Barry Navins Pharmacy - Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul.
Newsagency: Austinmer Newsagency and Post Office - corner of Lawrence Hargrave Drive & The Grove.
Pizza Delivery: Crust Pizza - Lawrence Hargrave Drive (they get very busy so order early).
Medical Centre: Thirroul Medical Centre - Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul.