Jada is an artist and surfboard designer; Lisa is a fashion designer. Both call the Barrington Coast home. Follow their journey as they soak in the culture of the region’s contemporary coastline and find new inspiration along the way.
Location 1: Nusa Indah Surfboards
Needing inspiration after a hiatus from surfing, Jada Stanley asked a local surfboard shaper to put her favourite piece of Balinese batik silk fabric under the glass of a new board. Thrilled with the result and delighted to be back in the water, Jada posted an image of the surfboard on Instagram. What she didn’t expect was a repost from Aerin Lauder of Estee Lauder. It created global interest in the surfboard design, and a new business for Jada - Nusa Indah Surfboards.
"It was a beautiful product yet there was no expectation to be a good surfer, it was about making you feel good. And between surfs I could put it in a corner of the house, and it looked like an artwork but was a meaningful connection to my lifestyle."
Today, Jada collaborates with established artists to create the inlays used in her boards designs, which are both a piece of art and performance surfboard. Jada has collaborated with Vogue magazine, and designed a series of surfboards with international interior designer and artist Lulu DK. Her surfboards are available on her online store: nusaindahsurfboards.com
We join Jada as she heads out across the coast in search of inspiration for a new surfboard design with a couple of surf stops and some lunch thrown in for good measure.
Location 2: Saltwater
Jada’s first stop is Saltwater Beach. As Jada journeys towards Saltwater, the charming coastal exteriors of the beach front homes in Wallabi Point contrast with native heath and coastal bushland. Saltwater National Park is a magnificent Nature Reserve and a site of significant cultural heritage to the local Biripi community. There are several sites related to the Dreamtime within the park, and the area is declared an Aboriginal Place. Parts of the park are listed as endangered ecological communities and there are a number of rare and lovely plant species to be spotted here.
In the surf, Jada meets her good mate Lisa, owner of contemporary women’s fashion line Lenni the Label. Jada and Lisa grew-up surfing here and still love the calm and laid-back coastal atmosphere which contrasts their dynamic, fashion-forward businesses.
Before Nusa Indah, Jada started Saltwater Surf School. Being a qualified surf coach has given her specific insights into the needs of female surfers and this has influenced the performance surfboards she produces today.
It’s not just the shape of the boards that has been influenced by Jada’s experiences in Saltwater, the Barrington Coast provides a rich canvas to draw inspiration, from the abundance of natural forms, transformative landscapes and rich stories and characters. Jada captures imagery of burnt tree bark and vibrant green regrowth for her reference book and is inspired by the curls of Lisa’s hair post-surf.
Location 3: Thirty Three Degrees
Jada and Lisa decide to head down the coast for lunch. The twin townships of ForsterTuncurry are a 45-minute drive south of Saltwater Point. These busy coastal hubs are an iconic Barrington Coast holiday destination with a thriving café and restaurant culture. If you’re looking for accommodation, these hubs offer a myriad of options, from luxury apartments, motels and beachside homes, to glamping experiences and campsites.
Situated right on Tuncurry’s lakeside waterfront is Thirty Three Degrees, a casual and charming bar and restaurant that offers a relaxed dining experience with fantastic views across Wallis Lake. The perfect lunch spot with friends, Hamilton’s boasts an extensive bar offering and a menu to suit every taste, with deliciously fresh seafood, like Sydney Rock Oysters being a specialty.
Sydney Rock Oysters from Wallis Lake are considered one of the world’s premium seafood delicacies. The oysters at Thirty Three Degrees come from its own leases, farmed in Wallis Lake’s pristine turquoise waters, these exceptional oysters are available freshly shucked to eat in or takeaway.
Jada and Lisa soak up the atmosphere and are thrilled with the local oysters. Before leaving, a new composition is captured as a reference for Jada’s design library.
Location 4: Manning Regional Art Gallery
The next stop on the journey is the Manning Regional Art Gallery, an important cultural asset for the region with over 320 prominent works in its collection. The Gallery is a vibrant cultural hub that is located in Taree, 40 minutes drive north of Forster. Delivering a diverse and outstanding exhibition program, the Gallery has been promoting art and community engagement in the Barrington Coast for 30 years.
The Gallery has several exhibition spaces, featuring curated and touring exhibitions from around Australia, as well as local and nationally recognised artists. These spaces change regularly, with new exhibitions at least every 6 – 8 weeks.
The main exhibition during Jada and Lisa’s visit was the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, showcasing excellence and creativity in contemporary Australian portraiture. The prize is an important part of Australia’s Arts calendar and demonstrative of the quality of artwork on display year-round at the gallery.
As well as exhibitions, the Manning Regional Gallery hosts a number of events and classes including cultural workshops, like traditional basket weaving. You’ll find the friendly gallery staff incredibly knowledgeable, especially in regards to local artists and cultural happenings.
Location 5: Wallabi Point
When the waves are on, one surf is never enough. After their gallery visit, Lisa and Jada stop into Wallabi Point to catch a few sunset waves before calling it a day.
The Barrington Coast provides endless opportunities for surfing experiences and encompasses some of the most stunning yet unheralded surfing spots in NSW.
From long open beaches to hidden surf breaks, the Barrington Coast has it all. Expect uncrowded waves with surf spots to suit all surf styles and abilities. What’s more, a range of surfing tournaments, festivals and competitions take place throughout the year like the NSW Surfmasters tournament held at iconic Boomerang Beach, Pacific Palms.