The culture at this end of the Peninsula tends to revolve around healthy living, the outdoors and wellbeing. It’s where people connect over their chai, check out the waves, silently reflect in yoga, or get lost (in the best possible way) on walking tracks. Added to this outdoor sunshine lifestyle, this end of the beaches has also long been known for its bohemian lifestyle — a gathering place for artists, creatives and thinkers to virtually ‘drop out’ of mainstream living and thrive in an almost parallel universe, contrasted against the stress of the big smoke. This enclave is known as ‘around the bends’ (north past the winding bends of Bilgola) — and locals and holidaymakers wouldn’t have it any other way!
Yogis on holiday may enjoy the opportunity to drop into a casual yoga class. Try Palm Beach Yoga (Link: http://www.palmbeachyoga.com.au/) which is located above The Boathouse and overlooks Pittwater. You can also try The Avalon Yoga Co-op (link: http://avalonyogacoop.com.au/) which also welcomes casual visits and is a collaboration between a number of northern beaches yoga teachers.
On the fourth Sunday of every month between 9am and 3pm, Palm Beach hosts markets at Governor Philip Park where you can shop beneath the shade of beautiful Norfolk Pines for clothing, jewellery, handcrafted items and homewares. Try a snack or meal on offer from various food vendors. If you bring a picnic rug, take the short stroll over to either the ocean or Pittwater side where you can feast overlooking the water, or stay close by to hear the live music featured each market day. The market has been running since 2008 and is open each month of the year.
At the Avalon Recreation Centre in Avalon village, alongside Dunbar Park, there are often community art classes, talks and temporary art exhibitions on display. Positioned in the centre is also the Avalon Community Library, the Avalon Early Childhood Centre and a Council Customer Service Centre. Visit the website to see what’s on. (Link: https://www.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/community/community-centres-and-venues/avalon-recreation-centre)
When visiting Avalon Beach, be sure to check out the ‘Beautify the Bollards’ project. In 2014, Avalon artist, Richard Stutchbury, organised for the local community to spend a day repainting the 18 iconic decorated beach bollards next to Avalon Beach SLSC.
In Avalon village book lovers won’t want to go past Bookoccino — the first coffee shop/book store in Australia when it opened in 1992. The book store has recently been purchased by Raymond Bonner, an American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, and former New York Times and New Yorker writer and lawyer. Bonner has holidayed in the northern beaches for the past 30 years with his wife Jane Perlez, an Australian journalist and current Times’ Beijing correspondent. He and long time Bookoccino employee, Sally Tabner, are combining their impressive talents to partner in the running of the business. At its new premises (66 Old Barrenjoey Road) Bookoccino transforms from a bookshop by day to a wine bar – Bookavino – by night!
66 Old Barrenjoey Road
Avalon NSW 2107
Ph: 02 9973 1244 Call (02) 9973 1244