10 March 2016
Just an hour north of Sydney, the NSW Central Coast is a popular holiday destination amongst Sydneysiders. With this three-day itinerary, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the shimmering waters, pristine national parks and shopping and dining options in the area. Take things at your own pace and discover all the Central Coast has to offer.
From Sydney, follow the Pacific Motorway north until you get to Brooklyn (about an hour’s drive). This is the ideal spot to stop for a break and maybe even a picnic, and if you have time, you can catch the ferry to Dangar Island, a picturesque little holiday hub on the Hawkesbury River.
Rested and recharged, jump back on the motorway and follow it to the Calga turnoff, taking the exit towards Peats Ridge. You’ll find yourself at Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures, a 3,000-acre wilderness offering abseiling, kayaking, quad biking and, best of all, horse riding.
Another short drive and you’re in Gosford, checking in to your accommodation in the Central Coast’s largest town. Then it’s time for a delicious dinner at one of the town’s many great restaurants. Try Reviver for excellent cocktails and share plates or Byblos for delicious Middle Eastern fare with water views.
Check out of your hotel and into breakfast in one of Gosford’s cafes. Then head to Brisbane Waters National Park for a morning bushwalk, following the Patonga to Pearl Beach section of the Great North Walk, which runs all the way from Sydney to Newcastle. Drive through the national park to Patonga, where you will begin the walk, following it for 4km until you reach Pearl Beach. Go for a dip or even indulge in a delicious lunch at Pearl’s on the Beach.
Next, head to Avoca Beach, one of the Central Coast’s best. Here you can sign up for a diving tour or head out on your own (you’ll need to obtain a dive permit first) and explore the Ex-HMAS Adelaide Dive Site, home to a varied array of marine life. Take a tour or head out on your own, but remember that you will need to obtain a dive permit before you dive. You can also go for a dip, learn to surf, or have a coffee at Avoca Sands or dine at Bombini.
In the afternoon, head to The Entrance and check in to your accommodation. At 3:30pm, watch the afternoon pelican feeding on the waterfront; the local pelican colony has been making an appearance every afternoon for more than 20 years.
Drive from The Entrance through Wyrrabalong National Park and up to Norah Head, stopping off at Norah Head Lighthouse, which boasts spectacular views. Tours of the lighthouse run most days, and it’s worth climbing all 96 steps for the views alone.
Next head west to the town of Toukley, a great place to throw a line in if you’re keen on fishing, or stop off for a swim at Canton Beach on the northern shore of Tuggerah Lake. Pop in to the Toukley Gallery and admire the seascapes there, and then it’s on through Warnervale and back on the Pacific Motorway for the journey back to Sydney.