The charming village of Killcare on the NSW Central Coast of NSW is perfect for a secluded escape. With its beautiful beaches and rugged Bouddi National Park, you'll find plenty of things to do and see on a weekend away: from bushwalking or mountain biking to swimming, surfing, fishing and whale watching.

Scenic coastal views from Bouddi National Park in Bouddi, Central Coast

National parks

Wagstaffe, Pretty Beach, Hardy's Bay and Killcare are bordered by national parks on the Bouddi Peninsula. The park feels worlds away from the urban buzz: it comprises significant Aboriginal cultural heritage sites, tracks for mountain biking and trails for walking, picnic areas, campgrounds and a protected marine habitat.

At low tide, lookout for the remains of the paddle steamer PS Maitland, which was shipwrecked in 1898 at the eastern end of Maitland Bay. To get to the wreck, take the scenic route along Maitland Bay track or the Bouddi coastal walk, a spectacular 8km trail that can be broken into shorter sections.

Beaches and coastal walks

The coastal walk in Killcare commands breathtaking views. Gerrin Point lookout, near the north-eastern end of Putty Beach, is a great vantage point to spot whales on their annual migration. At the other end of the beach is Killcare Surf Life Saving Club, where Horizon Cafe is a hub for locals enjoying views over aquamarine seas.

For a sheltered sandy beach with calm waters head to Lobster Beach, which curves around tranquil Broken Bay and is popular for swimming, snorkelling and fishing. You might even spot dolphins in the sparkling waters. Nearby is Box Head track, which leads to a lookout with sweeping views of Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

The scenic grounds of Bells at Killcare in Gosford, Central Coast

Eat and drink

For fine dining, head for Bells at Killcare, a bonafide Central Coast institution where the kitchen is now under the direction of celeb chef Sean Connelly. For something more casual, try the Killcare Beach Kiosk (sandy feet welcome) or grab breakfast and pastries at The Fat Goose. A new outpost of hip Southeast Asian streetfood restaurant The Lucky Bee has opened at Hardy’s Bay and Hardy's Bay Club has an acclaimed Thai restaurant.

Getting there and where to stay

Killcare is a 90min drive north of Sydney and around 1hr 45min south of Newcastle. You can also catch the scenic ferry from Palm Beach to Wagstaffe and take a taxi or walk along the coast. Places to stay include campsites, beach houses and two luxury options: Bells at Killcare and Pretty Beach House.