Central Coast

Highlights

Bridging the area between Sydney and Newcastle, the Central Coast region begins at the mouth of the Hawkesbury River and stretches all the way to the southern end of Lake Macquarie. With a number of delightful villages, as well as an alluring mix of bays, beaches, inlets, lakes and hinterland areas, there’s plenty to see and do on the NSW Central Coast.

  • Seasalt Restaurant, Central Coast
  • Bouddi National Park, Central Coast

About the Central Coast

Surrounded by stunning scenery and fresh coastal air, the Central Coast is home to a number of picturesque towns and villages including Umina Beach, The Entrance, Avoca Beach, Terrigal and Ettalong Beach.

With an abundance of natural beauty, beaches and fantastic restaurants, the Central Coast makes an idyllic holiday getaway for all ages.

Take a walk through lush bushland, kayak or canoe in the region's gentle waters or follow one of the many cycle paths that weave their way through the area.

Person looking out from Hickson Road viewpoint. Image credit: Shaun Sursok

A hike through the Brisbane Waters National Park is a revitalising experience. Enjoy the surrounding beauty further by following the Somersby Falls Walking Track, the Mooney Mooney Nature Walk or the Great North Walk.

Wyong also provides an excellent holiday base for both families and adventure seekers. The Entrance and Bateau Bay also offer more outdoor activities on the idyllic waters of Tuggerah Lake. Families can watch the pelican feeding daily at The Entrance waterfront, visit the Norah Head Lighthouse or explore the many family-friendly and surf beaches in the region

Take a leisurely picnic at the Mt Penang Gardens in Kariong before you wander through landscaped parklands. Meet snakes, lizards, crocodiles, spiders and other native and exotic animals at the family-friendly Australian Reptile Park in Somersby. Learn all about life in the deep at the Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre in Terrigal.

Australian Reptile Park, Central Coast. Image credit: The Legendary Pacific Coast

For those looking for adventure, you can mountain bike through the Ourimbah State Forest. Learn how to ride a horse at Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures or join a diving expedition and explore the wreck of the Ex-HMAS Adelaide at the nearby dive site.

For a slower pace, perfect your swing on one of the greens at Shelly Beach Golf Club.

Hunt for fresh local produce, souvenirs, handmade goods, plus new and vintage clothing at one of the Central Coast’s local markets. The Gosford City Farmers Market and Avoca Beachside Markets are two of the region’s most popular markets.

  • Terrigal beach, Central Coast

    Beaches

    The Central Coast is home to a number of popular swimming spots including Avoca Beach, The Entrance and many others; you could spend the day swimming, fishing, or surfing at dozens of pristine locations. For a different view of the area, try hiring a kayak or paddle board to explore the various waterways around the Central Coast.

  • Skydive the Beach and Beyond Central Coast, Warnervale

    Adventure

    Adventurous travellers will find no shortage of things to do on the Central Coast. Explore the region on horseback with Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures, or bushwalk and cycle its many scenic trails by yourself. Admire the Central Coast from above as you Skydive the Beach and Beyond, or take on flying foxes and suspension bridges at TreeTop Adventure Park.

  • Block N Tackle, Central Coast

    Food and Drink

    Sample the acclaimed cuisine at Terrigal's Bellyfish, taste the handcrafted ales and Cajun cuisine at Six String Brewery in Erina, or simply head for the beach to find some of the best cafés in the region. Fine dining institutes such as Reef Restaurant in Terrigal and Byblos Restaurant & Bar in Gosford, where Lebanese banquets are paired with modern cocktails, are popular with locals and visitors alike.

  • Bateau Bay, Central Coast

    Nature and Parks

    Home to a diverse and beautiful landscape, the Central Coast offers many opportunities to get in touch with nature. Explore Brisbane Water National Park and Bouddi National Park, stay overnight in a secluded campground, or play paintball in the Watagan Mountains. Learn about rainforest conservation at the Forest of Tranquility in Ourimbah, or visit the Australian Reptile Park and Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park to meet some of our native animals.

  • Camping

    Camping

    Settle in for an evening under the stars at one of the Central Coast’s top camping and caravanning locations. Take your pick from a variety of powered and unpowered camp sites, or set yourself up in a cosy cabin. With plenty of waterside holiday parks in the region, it's easy to nab a spot close to the beach or the bay for a casual summertime getaway, or immerse yourself in the wilderness and learn essential survival skills.

  • Shopping, Markets & Culture

    Shopping, Markets & Culture

    Feel free to browse the Central Coast’s wide range of shopping centres, independent retailers and boutique stores. Erina Fair, the largest shopping centre in the region, boasts over 300 stores in addition to restaurants, cinemas and an ice-skating rink. Those looking for something special might prefer perusing the fresh produce, handcrafted gifts, vintage homewares and clothing available at the Central Coast's weekly, monthly and seasonal markets.

The Central Coast, NSW: Your next adventure is closer than you think - Adventure

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Local areas

  • Gosford Area Close to fabulous beaches and surrounded by picturesque state forests and lakes, Gosford offers plenty of things to do that are fun for the whole family.
  • Wyong Area Nestled between the mountains and the sea, the Wyong area offers lush wooded valleys and national parks, lakes, coastal towns and pristine beaches.