Set between the calm waters of Tuggerah Lake and the sparkling Pacific Ocean, The Entrance is an aquatic playground. It’s a popular spot for family holidays with plenty of fun activities, watersports, bike trails, fresh seafood and, of course, the famous pelicans.
Australia’s largest water birds flock to Pelican Plaza in pretty Memorial Park at 3.30pm every day to squabble with seagulls over fish at the Pelican Feed. With wing spans up to 2.8m and an extensible throat pouch, it's wonderful to see this spectacle up close. The feeding also provides locals with an opportunity to help injured birds.
Things to do
Next to the park is the enchanting Vera’s Water Garden, a splash pool for kids with brightly coloured fountains in the shape of magical sea creatures. Head south from the park to The Entrance Beach for a delightful foreshore walk. There are two ocean baths at the southern end of this patrolled beach.
A 12km shared path winds around lovely Tuggerah lake. Tuggerah Lakes Cycleway travels between Chittaway Bay and Magenta, which is across the bridge near the northern section of Wyrrabalong National Park. You can hire bicycles near both Pelican Plaza and the Visitor Information Centre.
Eating out and events
Local cafes and restaurants are plentiful, with fresh seafood a specialty. There are free barbecue facilities and picnic tables by the lake at Picnic Point Reserve and at the Long Jetty Foreshore Reserve. Find time to walk to the end of the iconic and aptly named Long Jetty, which stretches out over the shallow waterway.
The Entrance also enjoys a vibrant events calendar of festivals and weekly Saturday markets. Worth circling on your cultural calendar are the Winter Blues and Jazz Festival in July and Country Music Festival in August.
Getting there and where to stay
The Entrance is a 1hr 20min drive north of Sydney and around 1hr 10min from Newcastle. You can also catch the train from Sydney to Gosford or Tuggerah stations and connect by bus. Accommodation options include backpacker hostels, holiday parks, apartments and waterfront resorts.