Every single time we have a getaway at Port Stephens it rains! We probably should give up visiting there but it's such a nice spot and an easy drive from Sydney. The area is also home to some seriously good cafes, so instead of hanging out at the beach we end up hanging out at cafes when the weather is all doom and gloom. Crest at Birubi Beach was a place we spent quite a few hours at one morning on our last visit, when the skies were pouring down with rain.
Crest is located in the local surf life saving club. The interior of the cafe is very funky and would please the snobbiest of city cafe goers I'm sure. The whole space has large window frontage looking out on to the beautiful beach. Ordinarily the windows are wide open, letting in the beautiful sea breeze and there would also be tables scattered outside along the front of the cafe on a day when the weather was a bit more friendly.
Crest is really family friendly and it ticks loads of the Little Munch boxes. Firstly there is a stack of parking (well when it is raining there is); access for prams is super easy; high chairs are readily available; there is a baby change table in the loos (which you will find just outside the cafe); weather permitting, kids can play on the grass outside of the cafe or down on the beach if they are old enough; staff are easy going and full of information on where to take kids in the area; and lastly they have some yummy food and drinks to fill up little bellies.
There is a $10 kids menu at lunch time which includes a bag of lollies! Kids have a choice between lasagne & salad, fish & chips or nuggets & chips. At breakfast time there are quite a few options on the main menu that should satisfy the fussiest of little eaters. Some examples are toast, raisin toast, banana bread, ham & cheese croissants or freshly baked muffins like my dudes went for. Babycinos and hot chocolates all come with a marshmallow and are served in disposable cups, which makes dining out so much easier for parents.
Parents will be very happy with both the breakfast and lunch menu. Whether you are a carnivore or herbivore there is an option on the menu for you. Hungry bellies can be filled up with a big breakfast, avo & fetta smash on toast, or granola with mixed berries and yoghurt to name but a few. At lunch time there is a sharing menu and also a menu for people who don't like double dippers (aka people who don't like to share). On the sharing menu you will find a seafood platter or tasting platter for two; nachos; oysters; and bruschettas plus more. And on the mains menu you will find a burger, steak sandwich, some salads and also fish and chips and s&p squid.
For drinkie poos, caffeine addicts will be delighted with the brew of Allpress coffee on offer and those of you like a little tipple will be glad to hear that Crest is fully licensed. So at lunch time, or for an afternoon drink, or even when they are open for dinner (Fri & Sat evenings) you can enjoy wine, bubbles, craft beers and ciders.
After your meal at Crest I would thoroughly recommend hitting the beach. At low tide you can take the kids crabbing and to explore the rock pools, and of course you can take a dip (however Birubi Beach isn't the most kid friendly of beaches in the area, so make sure you keep a close eye on little people in the water). Right next to Birubi Beach are the Stockton Sand Dunes. These big boys are the largest continuous mobile sand dunes in the southern hemisphere - some of them measure as high as 30m! There are loads of activities to be found amongst the dunes, so check out the Port Stephens Visitors Info website for more info, or just take along your own cardboard box to create your own fun!
Unfortunately you cannot make a booking at Crest, so I do advise in summer and other peak periods you arrive early for your meal. Their hours are very family friendly: 7 days from 8am - 11.30am for breakfast and lunch is from 11.30am - 3.30pm. Dinner is from 5.30pm Friday & Saturday nights.
Birubi Point SLSC
73 James Paterson St, Anna Bay NSW
Breakfast & lunch 7 days from 8am
Dinner Fri & Sat evenings from 5.30pm