Things to do on your Central Coast Holiday
The Central Coast is the only place in the world where 5 separate waterways meet. Central Coast Council describes out waterways – From the southern shores of Lake Macquarie and the valleys and floodplains of Tuggerah Lakes to the delicate coastal lagoons, rugged Brisbane Water and the shores of the mighty Hawkesbury.
The Central Coast, as the name surely suggests, provides a coastal and country holiday experience for the entire family. The Central Coast region has an enviable mix of bays, inlets, pristine beaches, estuaries and lakes. It is 60 minute from both Sydney and Newcastle and offers endless possibilities of adventure and relaxation. The Australian Reptile Park at Somersby which is one of the best wildlife parks in Australia, is a huge draw card for the Central Coast and there are picturesque villages along the coastline and many beaches and bays like Pearl Beach, Ettalong Beach, Hardys Bay, Avoca Beach, Terrigal, Bateau Bay and Toowoon Bay.
With so much to offer, it’s not surprising that the Coast truly is a magically place to visit and you won’t be disappointed in the beauty of the Central Coast region.
Things to do
The greater Central Coast Region has attractions such as the famous Reptile Park at Somersby, Tree Top Networld and Adventure Park at Wyong and Firescreek Winery in Matcham. Plenty of fun things to do for everyone.
One of the best aspects of the Central Coast apart from its vast coastline is the bushland and wildlife. Several bush walks will take you into the heart of the rainforest, or to waterfalls, up on clifftops and mountains. There is plenty of marked trails for various fitness levels and the scenery is to die for. Our favourite walks include:
- Bouddi Coastal Walk
- Somersby Falls
- Girrakool Loop Track
- Strickland State Forest
- Patonga to Pearl Beach
So bring your hiking boots, pack a picnic and get ready to hike through some of the most stunning National Parks in Australia.
Central Coast Beaches
You can’t visit the Central Coast without spending some time at the beach. Whether you like swimming, surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, exploring rock pools or fishing, with over 40 beaches, the Central Coast has a beach that suits your interests. Even if it is in the colder months, the popular areas of Avoca, Terrigal or the Entrance are great places to enjoy a meal, a stroll or even shop. There is always something on! See the pelicans being fed at the Entrance or listen to the local buskers on the mains trip of Terrigal. Whatever you are into, you can’t plan a Central Coast Holiday and not see the beach. Best Beaches
- Spoon Bay
- Toowoon Bay
- Killcare Beach
- Putty Beach
- Macmasters Beach
Australian Reptile Park
The Australian Reptile Park is one of the best and well-known attractions on the Central Coast. The Australian Reptile Park is home to different reptiles, birds, mammals, creepy crawlies and cute koalas. There are live shows, animal talks, petting experiences and fun activities running every day, so not only do you get to see some amazing native wildlife, but you get to learn some valuable information too! The Australian Reptile Park is an important contributor to the community, helping hospitals with their supply of anti-venom, aiding in wildlife conservation and breeding and education. Only a thirty-minute drive from Avoca, check out the Reptile Park and see why it’s known as one of the best attractions on the coast. Can’t get enough? Check out the animals at Wildlife Walkabout Park!
Norah Head Lighthouse
Norah Head lighthouse is one of the last classical style lighthouses in NSW and began operating in 1903. It is still operational today. The walk up 96 stairs is well worth the effort with stunning 360-degree views on offer. It is a great view and a good workout all in one.
Learn more about Norah Head Lighthouse here.
The Central Coast is home to some really fun attractions. Enjoy ziplining through the trees at Treetops, running through a water obstacle course at Aquafun, horse riding through the valley and abseiling down waterfalls. Thrillseekers will be very satisfied here.
Between May and November, the Central Coast region becomes a popular spot to witness whales migrating. Thousand of whales travel along the NSW coastline every year and with multiple coastal lookouts, there is a great chance you will witness these stunning creatures in their natural habitat. Sometimes you can even spot dolphins! The best lookouts for whale watching are:
- Captain Cook Lookout
- The Terrigal Skillion
- Gerrin Point Lookout
- Crackneck Lookout
- Norah Head Lighthouse
Where to eat on the Central Coast
Good food and the Central Coast go hand in hand. From classic fish and chips on the beach to more refined dining experiences and everything in between. The Central Coast has it all.
If you are looking for a fine dining experience, consider The Cowrie, which offers modern Australian cuisines and breathtaking views of Terrigal Beach. Other Fine Dining Restaraunt recommendations:
- The Boathouse
- The Reef
- The Box on the Water
- Bells at Killcare
For a more casual experience, Motel Mezza at Wyong is a fantastic place to go with a group or with family. With share mezze plates and banquet feasts, this middle eastern restaurant will knock your socks off. Breakfast culture is a huge thing on the Central Coast and we have some of the best cafes around. The Green Tangerine at Long Jetty serves delicious coffee and fantastic breakfast feeds to keep you full and happy all day. Other cafe favourites are:
- The Point Cafe Avoca
- Glee Coffee Roasters, Erina Heights
- Farenheit Cafe, East Gosford
- Island Time, Terrigal
- Tommys Cafe, Gosford
- Link Minds, Avoca
- The Boy and the Rose, North Avoca
- Bamboo Buddha, Matcham
Where to Drink
Want to kick back and enjoy a glass of wine, get giggly with some friends over cocktails or enjoy a pint with some mates? The Central Coast has a great nightlife and has some fantastic bars and pubs with fun music and cool vibes.
- Pocket Bar Terrigal
- The Terrace, Gosford
- Margarita Daze, Ettalong
- Mumbo Jumbos, Terrigal
- Rhondas Bar and Restaurant, Terrigal
Planning your Ettalong Beach Holiday – Getting there and Where to stay
Ettalong Beach is 1 and 1/4 hours drive north of Sydney. You can catch the train which takes you around the Hawkesbury River or the Ferry ride from Palm Beach, across the Hawkesbury River to Broken Bay and Brisbane Water.