This stretch of coast between New South Wales’ two largest cities is a perfect getaway, with beautiful beaches, native rainforests, coastal villages and wildlife.
Known as “the playground of two cities”, New South Wales’ Central Coast is a scenic stretch of coastline between Sydney and Newcastle. Featuring a diverse landscape of gorgeous beaches, scenic inlets, rivers, lakes and picturesque hinterland, the Central Coast has plenty of exciting destinations for relaxation and adventure. Visit charming towns and see historic lighthouses. Hike through fragrant eucalypt forests and spot whales off the shore.
Explore Gosford, the coast’s largest township. Embark on a road trip north towards the Wyong region to tour the laid-back coastal towns. Terrigal Beach and Avoca Beach are popular swimming spots. Wax up your surfboard and hit the surf breaks at North Avoca and Soldiers Beach. Enjoy a cooling dip in the rock pools at Pearl Beach.
Experience breathtaking coastal views with a walk along the 9-kilometre (5.6-mile) trail that stretches from MacMasters Beach to Terrigal. More trails can be found in the Central Coast’s numerous national parks. See the cascading Somersby Falls in Brisbane Water National Park, near Gosford. Bouddi National Park is home to pristine beaches, jagged cliffs and several Aboriginal cultural sites. Hike through beautiful red gumtrees to Crackneck Point Lookout in Wyrrabalong National Park and spot whales breaching out at sea.
Learn about the Central Coast’s diverse wildlife at the Australian Reptile Park or the Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre, both of which are ideal for kids. Other family-friendly attractions include the Tree Top Adventure Park, where you can ride a zip line through the trees in the lush Ourimbah State Forest.
Other leisure activities include mini golf and indoor swimming at the Mingara Recreation Club. Catch a performance at the annual Central Coast Country Music Festival or an opera production in the Arboretum.
Main towns along the Central Coast are accessible by regular trains from Sydney. Just 1 hour’s drive north from Sydney, the Central Coast is a great weekend getaway. Visit in summer for sun-drenched beach days or in winter for whale-watching season.