When the ashes cease falling from the skies and the trees stop smouldering I encourage you to visit my lovely home town of Sussex Inlet. Sussex, like many small towns on the south coast of NSW, was at the brunt of the recent bushfire devastation.
These coastal areas rely heavily on the summer tourism to sustain their small businesses throughout the colder months, and with the mass exodus of the tourist population, I fear for what lies ahead for them this year.
Inspired by the recent ‘Empty Esky’ initiative floating around social media I too encourage you to take your empty eskies, trailers and full wallets to support the local people, and in this case with a focus on Sussex Inlet.
Sussex, Berrara, Cudmirrah and Swan Haven all have so much to offer. This region is renowned for decent surf, white sandy beaches, aqua waterways, endless kangaroo sightings, great snorkelling, vast luscious bushland, fishing and an abundance of relaxation time.
It’s still home to my family, friends and is a place that holds many fond memories, yet today it’s surrounded by black trees, ash-covered beaches, isolation and despair.
With many of us feeling helpless during this time, I’ve compiled a list of 10 direct ways that you can contribute to supporting this coastal economy.
10 ways to support Sussex Inlet
Purchase from the local butchers
The Inlet Butchery meat is top quality, and I know you won’t be disappointed. Not keen on meat? Not to worry the vegetarian arancini balls are delicious, and they also sell tasty cheeses, sauces and spices to add extra flavours to your cooking.
Order firewoodInlet Tree Services, unfortunately, lost all their firewood and mulch in the fires this year which would usually sustain them throughout winter. Once they’ve replenished their lost stock, consider ordering a load of firewood to keep you warm or grab a load of mulch to top up your gardens. Keep an eye on Facebook to stay up to date with their progress.
- Breakfast or brunch at Jopen Cafe, Inlet Eats or Pelican Shores cafe,
- lunch at Batesy’sFish and Chip Shop or R&B Chicken and,
- Dinner at either the Sussex Bowlo for Chinese, the RSL, The Sussex Tavern or The Inlet Pizza House (the spuds are the shizzle).
Book a few nights stay
There are multiple holiday resorts and parks in Sussex to choose from, inclusive of beachfront, riverside and bush escapes. Check out this locally created comprehensive list of accommodation for you to choose from.
Actively explore the areaSussex Inlet Golf Club to discovering the many sandy beaches. In Sussex, you can be as active or relaxed as you choose.
We recommend hiring a boat from Sussex Inlet Marine Centre or Pelican Shores Cafe and Marina and exploring our beautiful waterways. Why not grab a fishing line and purchase your bait from Sussex Inlet Bait & Tackle Shop to truly make a day of it.
To keep healthy, do a fitness class by the river with May from The Slaughterhouse Bootcamp or hire a SUP from Madeline at Sussex Inlet Stand Up Paddle. Madeline also runs fitness classes to help you get into shape while you are here.
Get your haircut
Instead of freshening up your locks at home, get it done down the coast. Kiara, from Exquisite Hair, has a walk-in policy for all hair cuts so why not get a trim before you head home? Contact Kiara for more details.
Have lunch by the water
You’ll find delicious Hawaiian-Japanese Fusion at Island Sushi at Cudmirrah Beach, locally known as Sussex Beach, which serves yummy healthy lunches.
During the summer, you can also grab yourself a Bacon & egg roll from the Surf Club with proceeds returning to the nippers enabling the local kids to learn beach safety.
Update your surf gear at Ocean and Earth
You can read up on local legend and owner Brian Creegan here.
Watch a movie at the local cinema
The Inlet Cinema hasn’t changed since I was 5. It’s old school with class, and if you’re travelling from Sydney or Canberra, you’ll be blown away with the prices. One of the best things is they are often still showing movies which you may have missed back home.
For a small town, it inevitably packs in a lot of shops offering you all the things to make your experience more enjoyable.
The list includes;
- Thingamabobs (yes, it’s an actual store of clothing and nick-nacks),
- three bakeries,
- two hairdressers in town – Exquisite Hair and Inlet Hair Fashion,
- a pharmacy (where I worked for my entire childhood),
- a grocery store,
- fish and chip shops – Batesy’s and Seacrest
- R&B chicken shop, which frequently runs out of chicken, so get in early,
- Sussex Inlet hardware & Building Supplies,
- hobby shops,
- The Inlet Spot– where all locally handmade products are sold,
- Sussex bait and tackle,
- The Ice Creamery (where my friends and I spent our youth)
- two bottle-os,
- an RSL, The Bowling Club (The Bowlo), The Pub and too many local businesses to mention.
- Click here for a more full list of places to stay, eat and play.
The point is your money spent here directly goes to a person and supports a local family.
If you would like to contribute but can’t make the journey you can donate to the local fire brigade or to the local community group who orchestrate the Sussex Inletter providing all the local news to the township.
This beautiful town would benefit greatly from your generosity, compassion and kindness as a tourist this year and I surely hope you add them to your 2020 coastal bucket list.
I encourage locals to tag their businesses and services in the comments below and together let’s spread the word of our awesome spot on the coast.