The NSW Central Coast, a one-hour to 90-minute drive north of Sydney, is a quintessential Australian vacation playground, the place swimming, browsing, and fishing are as a lot part of a keep as going for a coastal bushwalk or downing a beer across the barbecue. But its imagery is extra far-reaching, worthy of Hollywood standing . . . because the movie set, as I discovered throughout a go to to beachside Umina, for an upcoming Netflix TV collection starring Aussie actor Toni Corlette. Little surprise native tourism authorities selected the theme “Love the Central Coast”.
Whether or not you resolve to stretch your legs on a scenic stroll, paddle a canoe, sail a yacht, check out eating alfresco fashion, pattern home-grown delicacies, spot whales or come up shut and pleasant with wildlife, this 60km part of coast has the substances for a full-on seaside escape.
As a mouth-watering addition, a self-drive Central Coast Makers Path has been launched for lovers of hand-crafted chocolate, nougat, cheese, boutique fruity and botanical wines, and freshly shucked oysters, together with the uncommon Akoya pearl oysters farmed within the Hawkesbury River.
Listed here are 20 the explanation why the Central Coast ought to be in your subsequent Australian vacation plans.
Central Coast, NSW
- Central Coast Non-public Tour – Uncover Aboriginal artwork and waterfalls in Bouddi Nationwide Park and Brisbane Water Nationwide Park, discover seashores and go to a vineyard.
- Damaged Bay Pearl Farm Tour – You don’t should go to Broome to study pearl farming. Board a catamaran to see how pearls are farmed and store for pearl jewelry.
17 Issues To Do In Central Coast
1- Really feel The Sand Between Your Toes
Avoca Seashore, Terrigal, Ettalong, Umina, Copacabana, Killcare, The Entrance and Toowoon Bay are amongst a bunch of names synonymous with getting the sand between the toes on a beachside vacation on the Central Coast.
Whereas most of the 40 or extra seashores are favoured for browsing, others inside huge Brisbane Water – Ettalong, for instance – are protected against the waves, perfect for households with younger youngsters.
The alternatives are many, the place you may mix a picnic with a splash within the water.
2- Discover Headland Lookouts
Jutting out to the Tasman, separating the stretches of sand with rocky outcrops are the commanding headlands and a collection of pure viewing platforms for recognizing ships, dolphins, seals and, in season, the migrating whales on their northbound and southbound swim.
On the northern finish of the coast close to Toukley is the favored Norah Head and a historic lighthouse that dates from 1901 and continues to function.
Different headlands embrace the Skillion at Terrigal (put together for a steep climb) and Crackneck, close to Bateau Bay, the latter with close by parking and an ideal spot for fish and chips with a view.
3- Go Fishing
Brisbane Water is a holidaying playground for boat lovers and fishing fans, the place multi-million-dollar craft share the identical waters as budget-style boats for rent.
From the mouth at Damaged Bay to Gosford, Brisbane Water stretches a number of kilometres, on one aspect, the favored seaside of Ettalong and close by Booker Bay.
Throughout the waters, the quaint and extra tranquil villages of Hardys Bay and Wagstaffe are reached by highway through the Maitland Bay Drive Bridge.
Additional north is the favored vacation city of The Entrance, well-known for its fish and chips and resident pelicans, and mouth to the a lot bigger Tuggerah Lake, boats for rent and fishing for bream, flathead and whiting is a favorite pastime, so too prawning.
4- Observe A Strolling Path
Whether or not you favor a coastal and bushland setting, the Central Coast has a marked path for all ages and requirements of health, of notice is the spectacular 8km-long Bouddi Coastal Stroll from Killcare to McMasters Seashore.
You don’t have to cowl the complete distance to see a wide ranging ocean view from this nationwide park.
Alternatively, there’s the 6km return Coast Stroll Monitor alongside the cliff by the Wyrrabalong Nationwide Park, from Forresters Seashore to Bateau Bay.
Ideally, particularly through the whale watching seasons, you must take pleasure in a picnic lunch at Crackneck Lookout.
Away from the coast and perfect for kids is the fast and straightforward 500-metre return stroll to Somersby Falls, nice for a picnic and splash round on a sizzling day.
5- Admire Aboriginal Rock Artwork
Sheltered in an inland space near Kariong and the close by M1 motorway is a pure sanctuary the place thousand-year-old aboriginal rock artwork is uncovered on a strolling tour whereas strolling within the footsteps of the Darkinjung individuals with elder Gavi Duncan of Darkinjung Cultural Excursions.
Alternatively, in one other nook of the Central Coast is Warre Warren Aboriginal Place in Higher Mangrove, dwelling to 200 or extra eye-opening artwork websites.
All excursions embrace a bush tucker-inspired morning tea and a Welcome to Nation smoking ceremony.
6- Be taught About Oysters And Pearls
Simply off the M1 is the Damaged Bay Pearl Farm and an aptly branded Shellar Door, which showcases the gems in many alternative lights below the Pearls of Australia label.
The Mooney Mooney retailer might look unpretentious however there’s nothing unpretentious in regards to the gems on present and on the market, from these grown in Western Australia’s Cygnet Bay to the uncommon and treasured Akoya pearls grown in and round Damaged Bay, on the solely pearl farm in NSW.
Right here, you both browse over the number of cultured pearls and mothers-of-pearl shells earlier than taking a pre-booked informative two-hour guided tour which features a cruise below the historic railway bridge to one of many farmed websites.
As a bonus, you will note some fascinating Aboriginal rock, date unknown. Reserve your spot on the tour right here.
7- Style Chocolate And Nougat
For some hands-on enjoyable, The Chocolate Manufacturing facility, West Gosford, serves up lots in true Willy Wonka fashion, from creating your personal chocolate bar toppings to arranging a combined field of confectionaries whereas youngsters don aprons for junior chocolatier workshops.
The manufacturing unit is certainly one of 4 award-winning family-run institutions to current signature artisan experiences alongside the self-drive Central Coast Makers Path and hosts common pre-booked guided excursions.
It’s dwelling to Bon Bon Wonderful Chocolate and the Sydney Marshmallow Firm and is the world’s second-largest producer of nougat, Nougat Limar, below the steerage of chocolatier Andrew Yiasemides and his crew.
Permit time to take pleasure in a cup of the Bon Bon sizzling chocolate within the café.
8- Go Wine Tasting
One other property on the Central Coast Makers Path is the Firescreek Botanical Vineyard.
It’s an oasis tucked away in Holgate, the place the matching of fruity award-winning boutique wines with a collection of chocolate is without doubt one of the many tasty causes to go to such a family-owned institution.
The property’s backyard is well-liked for weddings, outside wine tastings, pairing with bushtucker, and the chocolate from native retailer Luka, situated on the Wyong Milk Manufacturing facility.
Inside the country wine cellar door to satisfy visitors is winemaker Nadia O’Connell, who has as many as 25 wines on sale at any time.
There’s a raspberry wine that’s as refreshing because it sounds, adopted by a blackcurrant and occasional combine, good for lovers of espresso.
A Chilli and orange mix has a chew with a touch of citrus, whereas a should is the lavender and blueberry.
9- Style Gourmand Cheese
On the historic Wyong Milk Manufacturing facility website is the common-or-garden Little Creek Cheese Manufacturing facility, tiny in measurement however giant for its fame to draw cheese lovers.
Based by devoted cheese maker Sue Parsons, her husband Russell and their son Alex, this compact workshop and store is a shock packet for its varied membership cheddar, yogurt cheese and marinated fetta, successful associates from the primary chew.
What began as a mere interest the place the Parsons would share their culinary craft with family and friends has blossomed right into a severe cheese-making operation, leading to main awards.
Of notice are the haloumi and creamy goat fetta, which picked up an award on the coveted 2022 Australian Dairy Product Competitors for its flavour.
Make certain to take alongside an esky as you’ll not see the assorted cheddars and jars of fetta within the supermarkets.
10- Go On A Treetop Journey
For these on the lookout for an adrenalin-charged problem amongst the native Australian wildlife and a typical bushland setting of towering eucalypts, Treetop Adventures has a collection of swinging, flying, and bouncing for all ages.
The park, throughout the Ourimbah State Forest, is the flagship of 14 Treetop Adventures parks nationwide and consists of tree rope programs (from two to 25 metres above the bottom).
Programs are for various ages and requirements and take greater than two hours to finish.
11- Meet Vegemite And Toast At Reptile Park
A preferred spot for households and now dwelling to newly born devilish twin boys is the Australian Reptile Park, Somersby, the Tasmanian Tiger newcomers named Vegemite and Toast, becoming a member of cousins Cheese and Pickles.
The joeys have been born contained in the park’s Aussie Ark as a part of the organisation’s marketing campaign to save lots of the endangered animal species.
The family-friendly park, 60 years within the making, is dwelling to over 200 native and worldwide wildlife, from venomous spiders and snakes to marsupials akin to quokkas, kangaroos, and koalas.
And you may even undertake an animal, maybe a Tasmanian Tiger.
12- Meet The Meerkats
For one more shut encounter with the wildlife, the Walkabout Wildlife Sanctuary at Calga has launched a number of packages the place you may meet the curious meerkats, from a 10-minute velocity date and a 30-minute meerkat magic encounter.
Some visitors could make an evening of it by staying in one of many website’s cabins or safari tents and embrace an after-dark highlight tour.
Anticipate to see creatures, nice and small, in a sanctuary that boasts a petting zoo amongst its household points of interest. And you may undertake an animal. www.walkaboutpark.com.au
13- Breakfast With Alpacas
Primarily based at Jilliby, within the Central Coast hinterland, is the Iris Lodge, the place a herd of alpacas, llamas, sheep, cows and horses graze and visitors, notably households with younger youngsters, can take pleasure in breakfast with their pleasant locals.
The multi-award-winning working farm was the brainchild of Sharon and Sean Hooper, who wished to share their love of farming.
Breakfast with alpacas have to be booked and is held on weekends and public holidays.
It consists of cereal, yoghurt, a fruit platter, muffins, tea breads, bacon and egg sandwiches, espresso and juice.
14- Look For TV Movie Units
Umina, Ettalong and MacMasters Seashore have performed to host to movie stars Tony Corlette and Bella Heathcote, to call two, for the filming of a brand new Netflix tv collection Items of Her, which went to air in 2022.
Central to the filming was the favored beachfront restaurant and bar Margarita Daze, on Umina Seashore, which was reworked into the Belle Isle Crab Shack for the shoot.
Seize a desk and you’ll sip on a cocktail and order a meal the place the celebs as soon as wined and dined.
Regardless of being filmed on the Central Coast, the eight-part thriller centered on the fictional American city Belle Isle.
TV-watching locals ought to hold a watch out for recognisable websites.
15- Go to A Picture Gallery
Famend photographer and pioneer of limited-edition Australian artwork, Ken Duncan, is amongst a bunch of celebrities to name the Central Coast dwelling, his trendy purpose-built gallery at Erina Heights, one of many largest privately-owned galleries within the nation.
You possibly can spend no less than an hour shopping over a few of his framed printed masterworks earlier than or after a espresso and snack on the adjoining Kew Eating Café.
Admission to the gallery is free.
17- Go On A Marine Discovery
The deliberate sinking of the decommissioned HMAS Adelaide, 1.5 km from the seaside, is without doubt one of the fascinating topics lined within the Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre at Terrigal.
A show of the sinking in 2011 is featured on this family-friendly interactive centre with a man-made contact pool and fish feeding.
The 138 m HMAS Adelaide is alleged to be the most important and most accessible former naval dive wreck within the Southern Hemisphere, reworked into a man-made reef for lovers of diving.
There may be an admission cost to the centre.
The place To Eat In The Central Coast
Because the inhabitants has grown, so too has the variety of cafes, far too many to call.
The Pantry, inside The Quarters Forresters Seashore retreat, is well-liked for breakfast, brunch or lunch; the menu options eggs your approach and eggs Benedict to a pasta of a day, a beef burger, and a Balmain bug slider, washed down with certainly one of three cold-pressed juices.
The café, open each day until 3 pm, can also be licenced.
Avoca Seashore Seafoods
For fish and chips on the beachfront, Avoca Seashore Seafoods is a magnet for costume-clad diners in summer time – for outside eating or takeaway.
The Central Coast contains a host of cafes and eating places for various tastes and budgets.
For Indian fare, the Grand Pavilion Terrigal affords a relaxed setting eating at a worth that received’t burn a gap within the pocket. A sister restaurant is situated at Ettalong, additionally on the Central Coast.
The Gilded Anchor
For households, the Gilded Anchor, The Quarters Forresters Seashore is open for dinner from Wednesday to Saturday or lunch on Sunday.
The informal restaurant has a menu of share dishes – with an Asian affect. Among the many dishes are steamed dumplings, wontons, crispy Asian tofu, and pork stomach bites.
The place To Keep In The Central Coast
Kims Beachside Resort
Nestled in a sub-tropical backyard, fronted by a row of towering Norfolk Pines with the protected waters of Toowoon Bay at your toes, Kims Beachside Resort is a haven for its luxurious bungalow and villa lodging, high quality eating, and total tranquillity.
Ebook forward, and you’ll be pampered with a full physique therapeutic massage, together with a a lot sought-after Japanese Reiki therapy.
Quarters Forresters Seashore
A fantastic base from which to discover the Central Coast is The Quarters Forresters Seashore, on the Central Coast Freeway, which has simply undergone a change and is inside an 8km drive of Terrigal.
It’s a family-friendly retreat with king, triple, and household rooms together with giant studios, the centrepiece a swimming pool and outside spa.
For vacation info, go right here.