An Instagrammer extraordinaire, Pauly Vella is one of Australia’s most prolific social media stars and was among the first Instagrammers to go pro. He’s travelled the world from Canada to Croatia but his favourite place to photograph is right here on our doorstep.
Pauly is from Oakville in western Sydney – the other end of the mighty Hawkesbury River which also laps at our shores – but spends a lot of time on the Central Coast. While here, he captures magical moments that regularly receive thousands of likes on his popular Instagram feed @paulyvella.
“My Instagram account has taken me to many beautiful beaches, internationally and in Australia, but to me the Central Coast has such a beautiful and unique vibe,” Pauly tells Coastal Chic.
“I can’t explain how important it is to me to be able to photograph there. It is the place I want to be for that beautiful sunset.”
His colourful sunsets and sunrises are extraordinary; his beach and lake photographs beautiful. Pauly has made a career out of highlighting the best parts of the destinations he visits to his hundreds of thousands of followers around the world, but it was here, on the Coast, that it all began.
“I fell in love with the Coast when I used to visit my grandparents,” he says.
“It has been a family tradition since before I was born to stay in a small holiday home in Toukley. Every Christmas we keep the tradition alive by celebrating Christmas night at the house. I look forward to it all year.
“I remember when my Nunnu (grandfather) would take me to Norah Head ramp to talk to the fishermen and I learnt about all the different kinds of fish and how to catch them. He definitely inspired me to want to live on the Coast.”
“The Central Coast also inspired me to want to start an Instagram account. I would travel there on the weekend and look at the photos all week until I had the chance to drive up there again. I have found most of my success with photos of its beautiful coastline.
“I love the vibe I get from the Central Coast. It’s so relaxed. We can get so busy with our lives that we get pushy and (are) always rushing, but the Coast has a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where you don’t have to rush… unless it’s to catch the sunset.”
Pauly has snapped golden sunsets over Budgewoi, rainbow skies over Soldiers Beach and dazzling sunrises at Lakes Beach but his favourite place to photograph is a small jetty that stretches from Osborne Park over Tuggerah Lakes in Toukley.
“It’s a great little spot at sunset and has led to some of my most liked photos on Instagram,” he says.
When Pauly’s not madly photographing, he throws himself into the surf at Soldiers and Lakes beaches, goes for a calm swim at Blue Bay and soaks up the holiday atmosphere of Terrigal.
You might also find him enjoying a coffee and fish ‘n’ chips or chatting with the manager of his favourite Coast eatery – The Ark at Norah Head.
He also enjoys scouting out new photography spots when he occasionally helps out with his dad’s business in Wyong.
“It’s my favourite place to visit. Just an hour north of Sydney, the Central Coast’s unique beaches and the people really make the place for me. No matter what, they’ll go out of their way to give you a hand, which to me is the true Australian way. It’s my dream to move up there.”
If you don’t already, you can follow Pauly on instagram.com/paulyvella.
Coastal Chic tip: Tag your best Central Coast photos with #cccommunity, #centralcoastnsw and #coastalchicau
*A very special thank you to Pauly for sharing his beautiful Instagram images of the Central Coast for this post.