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Central CoastAustralia

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.

Top hotels in Central Coast

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific
Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific
4.5 out of 5
Pine Tree Lane, Terrigal, NSW
The price is AU$169 per night

Nestled on the beach, this Terrigal hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of The Skillion and Terrigal Beach. Terrigal Lagoon and John Gray Close Reserve are also within ...

4.4/5Excellent! (988 reviews)

"Probably the nicest revel team I’ve encountered, and I travel a lot. Really accomodating, friendly, helpful, and efficient. They genuinely made me feel welcome and nothing at all was a problem. Beautiful hotel and lovely ocean views. Really enjoyed my time there, thank you. I will be back :)"…"

Reviewed on 28 Mar. 2020

Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific
Mantra Ettalong Beach
Mantra Ettalong Beach
4 out of 5
53-54 The Esplanade, Ettalong Beach, NSW
The price is AU$146 per night

Situated in Ettalong Beach, this beach aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ettalong Diggers Club and Blackwall Mountain Reserve. Ocean Beach and Anderson's ...

4.2/5Excellent! (1,828 reviews)

"would have liked some biscuits with the coffee. Only 1 tiny soap for bathroom"…"

Reviewed on 27 Jun. 2020

Mantra Ettalong Beach
Ocean Front at The Entrance
Ocean Front at The Entrance
4 out of 5
102 Ocean Parade, The Entrance, NSW
The price is AU$110 per night

Offering direct access to the beach, this The Entrance motel is on the boardwalk and within a 10-minute walk of Blue Bay Beach and North Entrance Beach. Toowoon ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (563 reviews)

"Ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of a busy work Schedule. Over indulge in your spa On the balcony and watch the world go by as you soak up the fresh salt air and listen to the sounds of crashing waves on the shore, total bliss. Loved it thank you for a wonderful weekend experience."…"

Reviewed on 29 Jun. 2020

Ocean Front at The Entrance

Popular places to visit in Central Coast

Australian Reptile Park
Image for Australian Reptile Park

Australian Reptile Park

4.5/5(63 reviews)

Spend the day roaming this leafy bushland zoo to hand feed kangaroos, spy Tasmanian devils and see a huge range of reptiles from Australia and beyond.

Terrigal Beach
Image for Terrigal Beach

Terrigal Beach

4.5/5(205 reviews)

From great surf to gorgeous views it’s no wonder this is one of the best-loved oceanfront spots on New South Wales’ Central Coast. 

Top activities in Central Coast

Australian Reptile Park Admission Tickets
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Australian Reptile Park Admission Tickets

AU$35
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park Admission Single
Image for Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park Admission Single

Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park Admission Single

AU$28
Per adult
Quad Biking (ATV) Experience at Glenworth Valley
Image for Quad Biking (ATV) Experience at Glenworth Valley

Quad Biking (ATV) Experience at Glenworth Valley

AU$105
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend