Secret Picnics in Bouddi National Park
Ever lingered a little longer on an image of people whom seem to have a perfect sunset picnic? You know the image - the ideal spot, the perfect golden light, maybe at a secret outlook or cove where the sand meets the sea or on the hill where your eyes continue over rolling vistas.
They have the perfect rug and pillows to relax on, and decadent platters of food and drinks. You can feel the warmth of the last light on your skin, hear the laughter between stories as they watch the private show the sunset is performing just for them.
Now before the reality of the logistics shatters the dream – we’re letting you in on a secret… we know someone who can create this perfect experience for you. Nicola Billens of Elixir Journeys is creating dreamscapes here on the Central Coast, from luxury picnics to sailing adventures and guided bush walks with lunch stops at Bells at Killcare or Patonga Boathouse to refuel.
Her intention is to, “Combine good food with nature with luxury touches. The goal is getting people out in nature to enjoy it.”
As with many, 2020 saw Nicola having to pivot, “I had been promoting Australia to high-net-worth international guests for luxury inbound tour operator – Alquemie, and I rarely showcased the Central Coast. It was only when I moved to the area, that I realised how under-appreciated this whole region is. Living here has shown me that there is actually so much to offer.”
Ahh the little secret we locals have always known; we have some of the most beautiful coastlines in NSW (maybe Australia…am I being too bold?). Our National Parks with their paths to secret locations, are just part of the tapestry that creates our unique offering. It is this secret door Nicola is opening up through Elixir Journeys, she is making it easy for even the least experienced bush walkers to explore the tracks or for those who want to explore it all and need some help of where to start, they can create bespoke experiences for you.
Nicola's goal is to use minimal motorised transport, give people a feeling of remoteness, showcase Bouddi National Park's beauty, and of course wow you. It is these elements and intentions she brings to the Elixir Journeys experience.
So back to that picture-perfect picnic. They call it ‘X marks the spot’ Nicola and her team take control of the whole scenario. From choosing a location (see the whole X marks the spot concept, right?…), then an hour before your picnic you will get a phone call to let you know your secret spot, this allows you enough time to find your way there.
The location is well-considered and unique to your requirements such as the weather, the tides, the number of people around, and your preferences. Whilst you will be in a public area, they aim to keep things as private as possible. The location may be the bay, the beach, or the National Park. There is also an option of going a little bit further afield where there is a chance of seeing wallabies whilst you picnic…if you are very lucky!
When you arrive, you will find nothing, except your picnic, and it is opulent. Beautiful rugs, pillows, comfortable chairs, glassware, blankets in case it gets cold. The offering of food and drinks is created with uber-local products. Little Creek cheese, Moore's Gin, or maybe some wine from Firescreek Winery to name a few.
If you want more substantial platters than cheese and cured meats this can be arranged, breakfast hampers are also available. As you sit there and indulge in your surroundings know that when you are finished you can just walk away. One phone call to Nicola and she will return to pack up and you can linger in your bubble of relaxation. The picnics usually last around 1.5 – 2 hours and you can give as little as 24 hours’ notice to organise one through Elixir Journeys.
As a local we are all guilty of not appreciating what we have on our doorstep, we take for granted the natural beauty we have to explore. Nicola is well traveled and so she speaks with confidence when she says, “this region really is a hidden gem just waiting to be explored.”
So, grab some friends, organise that romantic date and book a Walk, Eat, Sail Tour, a Guided Bushwalk, or a X Marks the Spot Picnic and enjoy our Central Coast and the beautiful Bouddi National Park.