25 best Central Coast Beaches

Avoca Beach and Terrigal Beach are two of the most popular beaches on the Central Coast NSW. But they're not the only ones...

There are 41 beaches on the Central Coast, which stretch over 87 km of coast. So nearly half the coast is made up of beaches!  

1. Avoca Beach

Avoca is one of the most popular holiday spots on the Central Coast with families because of comfort and convenience. Have cocktails at Mojito Joe’s, a BBQ or fish and chips, and let kids run wild in the sand. And why not watch a quality movie in the only remaining single screen cinema beside a beach?

Avoca Beach has:

  • Lifeguards
  • Surfing
  • Surfing lessons
  • Rockpool for kids
  • Dog-friendly section
  • Restaurants & cafes

Read more 

Where to Stay

• The Palms at Avoca —highly-rated cabins with resort-style pool

• Avoca Palm Resort —highly-rated apartments in the heart of town and near the beach

Avoca Beach nsw
Rockpool Avoca Beach
Avoca Beach

2. Bateau Bay Beach

The 200 m Bateau Bay is a great spot on the Central Coast for kids...

They like to walk over the rock platforms and explore the rockpools.

The bay is backed by Wyrrabalong National Park and is sheltered.

For a bit of fun and interest, walk there from Crackneck lookout on the 2 km bush track.

Bateau Bay has:

  • Rockpools for kids to explore
  • Sheltered bay
Bateau Bay
Bateau Bay
Bateau Bay rock pools

3. Cabbage Tree Harbour

Cabbage Tree Harbour is a sheltered bay free of rips that is beautiful on a sunny day.

It’s popular with families because it contains one of the best rockpools on the Central Coast.

There’s also a boat ramp.

Cabbage Tree Harbour is located at Norah Head

Cabbage Tree Harbour has:

  • Rockpool for kids
  • Sheltered bay

Where to Stay

Norah Head Holiday Park—cabins and campsites near the beach with jumping pillow and pool

Cabbage Tree Harbour

4. Copacabana Beach

Locals call Copacabana “Copa”.

Copa is sheltered from the northeasterly wind so it’s a great spot in summer. It's actually a lovely place for a holiday, because it never gets too crowded. Copa is also a favourite surfing spot on the Central Coast.

Copacabana has:

  • Lifeguards
  • Surfing
  • Rockpool for kids
  • Dog-friendly section
  • Cafes

Read more 

Where to Stay

Copacabana Shores–highly-rated apartments metres from the beach

copacabana nsw
Copacabana Beach NSW sunrise
Copacabana NSW rockpool

5. Ettalong Beach

Ettalong has a reputation on the Central Coast for safe swimming because the water is shallow and flat (a headland shelters the water from the swirl).

Ettalong is a great place to spend the day. There’s a little playground, cafe and picnic area. The bicycle path goes all the way to Umina Beach along the shore.

Travel to Ettalong on the Palm Beach Ferry.

Ettalong has:

  • Calm water
  • Restaurant & cafes

Read more 

Where to Stay

Mantra—highly-rated apartments, the best ones are higher up and have views of Brisbane Water and the swimming pool

Ettalong Beach swimming
Ettalong Beach, boats moored, green hill
Ettalong Beach during a beautiful sunrise

6. Forresters beach

Forresters is a long uncrowded beach backed by mansions on top of a hill overlooking the ocean.

It's a great spot for walking the dog and a favourite place for surfers.

It's not quite secluded but feels like it.  

Forresters has:

  • Surfing
  • Dog-friendly section
Forresters Beach
Forresters Beach
View of forresters Beach and Terrigal

7. Killcare Beach

Killcare is a top contender on the Central Coast for the scenery.  You can see the Northern Beaches across the ocean and Bouddi National Park surrounds the beach. 

The attractive kiddies rockpool at the foot of the headland is a magnet for toddlers.

Killcare is a very nice beach and lovely village. 

Killcare has: 

  • Lifeguards
  • Surfing
  • Rockpool for kids
  • Food kiosk & restaurant
  • Dog-friendly section

Read more 

Where to Stay

Bells at Killcare—5-star, one of the best luxury accommodation on the Central Coast

Putty Beach Campground—camping in Bouddi National Park, minutes walk to the beach

Killcare
Putty Beach Killcare
Putty Beach Killcare nsw

8. Little Beach

Little Beach is my favourite relaxing afternoon with the family spot. It’s so peaceful you won’t want to leave.

This Central Coast beach is hidden in Bouddi National Park and you have to walk a cruisy 750 metres through a beautiful remnant rainforest to get to it. It can easily be done with toddlers and an off-terrain pram. 

It's also a campground with barbecues.

Little Beach has: 

  • Surfing
  • Camping 
  • Rock pools for kids to explore

Read more 

Where to Stay

Little Beach Campground—camping in Bouddi National Park beside the beach 

Little Beach
Little Beach Bouddi National Park
Little Beach, Bouddi National Park

9. Lobster Beach

The secluded Lobster is perfect for recharging the batteries...

Located in Broken Bay and tucked in Bouddi National Park, the small stretch of sand is peaceful and quiet. And much of the time empty because it's hidden.

Access Lobster by bushwalking a kilometre from Wagstaffe or through the Flannel Flower walking track.  

Lobster Beach Bouddi National Park Central Coast
Lobster Beach Bouddi National Park Central Coast
Lobster Beach - access by boat

10. Macmasters Beach

The highlights here are the ocean pool and Barefoot Cafe positioned at the foot of the bushland.

The ocean pool is toddler-friendly and you can even swim some laps (but it’s not an Olympic size pool).

Barefoot cafe holds its name well – it’s casual and it overlooks the ocean. So you don’t need shoes at this cafe. Beach style.

Macmasters is also a fantastic picnic spot. 

Macmasters has:

  • Lifeguards
  • Ocean pool
  • Surfing
  • Dog-friendly section
  • Cafe 
Macmasters Beach nsw
Macmasters Beach nsw

11. Maitland Bay 

Maitland Bay wins the title for the best hidden beach on the Central Coast...  

The 600 m untouched stretch of sand is tucked in the bushland of Bouddi National Park. The National Park is situated right amid an urban area but you couldn't tell from Maitland Bay. To get to it you have to walk 900 m down a steep walking track in the National Park.

Maitland Bay was formerly called Boat Harbour but after the SS Maitland ship sank off the coast in 1898, the name was changed to Maitland Bay. You can even see the remains of the ship at low tide.

Read more 

Maitland Bay nsw bouddi
Swimming at Maitland Bay
Maitland Bay

12. Moonee beach

Even though Moonee Beach is just a short bushwalk to get there, you feel like you could be anywhere.

All you can see is the ocean, the beach and lush bush, and all you can hear is the sound of pounding waves.

Moonee Beach is completely untouched, as are all the beaches in Munmorah State Conservation Area.

You really don’t need to drive far to get the vibe of a remote beach.

Moonee has: 

  • Surfing
Having a dip at Moonee Beach
Moonee Beach
Moonee Beach

13. Patonga Beach

Patonga sits in a magical spot right at the mouth of the Hawkesbury River and at the foot of Brisbane Water National Park.

The fishing village attracts Sydneysiders who arrive by ferry from Palm Beach. You can also get there by a scenic windy road through Brisbane Water National Park.

A good day in Patonga means fishing in the creek, swimming, and drinking a cold beer at the Hotel.

Patonga has:

  • Calm water near the jetty
  • Camping 
  • Dog-friendly section

Read more 

Where to Stay

• Patonga Beach Hotel—apartments on the second floor of the pub, polished floors, large balcony with water views

Patonga Camping Ground—a locals' favourite campsite by the creek

boat on the sand at Patonga
Patonga Beach nsw
Patonga

14. Pearl Beach

Pearl is the jewel of the Central Coast. No pun intended.

It's located in Broken Bay and the town is set in the bushland in a valley on the edge of Brisbane Water National Park.

If you feel like bushwalking, walk up and over the headland to Patonga via stunning Warrah Lookout. 

Pearl Beach has: 

  • Ocean pool
  • Restaurant & cafe
  • Dog-friendly section

Read more 

Where to Stay

Wildwood—charming cottage on half an acre of land

Pearl Beach NSW Australia
Pearl Beach NSW Australia
Pearl Beach NSW

15. Pelican Beach

The only signs of life there are surfers and a few people lying on the sand. You're close to civilisation, but feel a hundred miles away.

Locals call Pelican “Pelos”.  

Pelos is hidden in the bushland of Wyrrabalong National Park and is unspoiled.

We don’t often go there because it’s not patrolled and it’s unsafe for the kids to swim. But in winter nothing is better than lying in the sun on a pristine Central Coast beach.

Pelo has:

  • Surfing
Pelican Pelos Beach nsw central coast
Pelican Pelos Beach
Pelican Pelos Beach

16. Putty Beach

Putty is part of Bouddi National Park so it’s completely untouched and scenic. 

The water is calm and beautiful... I wish we came here more often. But since we now have a couple of surfers in the family I’m being outnumbered.

You need to pay $8 for parking but it’s worth it.

Putty has:

Where to Stay

• Bells at Killcare5-star, one of the best luxury accommodation on the Central Coast

• Putty Beach Campground—camping in Bouddi National Park, minutes walk to the beach

Putty Beach bouddi nsw
Putty Beach bouddi nsw
Putty

17. Shelly Beach 

Shelly is another gem...

The forecourt has just been upgraded, the water is clean, the sand dunes makes it look untouched, and the golf course behind the sand dunes has the most stunning views. If you have a dog, it can run free for about 1 km up to Toowoon Bay.

Shelly has: 

  • Lifeguards
  • Surfing
  • Dog-friendly section
  • Golf course

Read more 

Where to Stay

• Blue Lagoon Beach Resort—beachfront cabins, resort-style pool, tennis, volleyball, basketball courts 

• Toowoon Bay Holiday Park—cabins and campsites with direct access to the beach. Pet friendy.  Pool & jumping pillow

Shelly Beach Central Coast nsw
Shelly Beach nsw central coast
Shelly Beach

18. Soldiers Beach

Soldiers is stunning, unspoiled and pristine. It's my absolute best.

It has a real holiday feel to it because it’s backed by the bushland of Wyrrabalong National Park and the water is clear. For a coffee or lunch, head to Snax up on the hill at the northern end and enjoy the view from up there. Also, visit Norah Head Lighthouse while you're there. 

Soldiers has:

  • Lifeguards
  • Surfing
  • Food kiosk and cafe

Read more 

Where to Stay

• Norah Head Holiday Park—cabins and campsites near the beach with jumping pillow and pool

Soldiers Beach NSW
Surfing Soldiers Beach
Soldiers Beach

19. Spoon bay

Wow! Was my first impression when I came out of the path onto this beach.

It took me years before I set foot on Spoon Bay... the beach is unknown to many locals. Surprisingly… it's beautiful and calming. And almost hidden.

Spoon Bay is so close to Terrigal yet feels far away from populous suburbs.

Park at the end of Spoon Bay Rd and walk down the short path to the beach through the bush.

Spoon Bay has:

  • Surfing
Looking at Spoon Bay from the lookout
Spoon Bay
Spoon Bay

20. Tallow Beach

The steep 1.5 km bush trail that leads to Tallow keeps many tourists away so that makes it an ideal secluded Central Coast beach away from civilisation.  

Come across on the ferry from Palm Beach, ride to Bouddi National Park and down the fire trail.  And if you can manage to carry a surfboard or fishing lines and a tent, it will make it a fun overnight adventure.

Last photo is Little Tallow. It's linked by a bushtrack. 

Tallow has:

  • Surfing

Where to Stay

Tallow Beach Campground—camping in Bouddi National Park minutes walk from the beach

Tallow Beach bouddi nsw
Tallow Beach nsw bouddi
Little Tallow

21. Terrigal Beach

Terrigal is the most urbanised beach on the Central Coast. It's surrounded by quality restaurants, cafes and boutiques. It’s also one of the most scenic spot. Because it’s the most popular holiday destination on the Central Coast, it gets busy during summer holidays.

Terrigal has: 

  • Lifeguards
  • Surfing
  • Surfing lessons
  • Rockpool for kids
  • Restaurants & cafes

Read more on Terrigal 

Where to Stay

Crowne Plaza Terrigal—4.5-star hotel with ocean view, heated pool, restaurants and bars

Tiarri Terrigal—highly-rated, adult-only, rooms serviced daily, quiet cul-de-sac

Terrigal Pacific Coastal Retreat—highly-rated apartments, heated pool, 50” TV

Terrigal Sails Serviced Apartments—apartments serviced daily, quiet cul-de-sac, near the beach

Star of the Sea Terrigal—5-star apartments, heated pools, water slide, poolside cafe, tennis and squash courts, gym, billiard room and more. 

Terrigal
Terrigal
Terrigal Beach rockpool

22. Terrigal Haven 

Terrigal Haven is a perfect picnic spot. The water is calm. It's a great swimming spot for young children. It’s also a good place on the Central Coast to kayak, snorkel, fish and stand-up paddle board. Terrigal Haven is located in the popular town of Terrigal. Climb the iconic Skillion for stunning coastal views at the top. 

Terrigal Haven has: 

  • Calm water
  • Stand up paddle boarding

Read more 

Terrigal Haven Beach
Terrigal Haven Beach
Terrigal Haven

23. Toowoon Bay 

Toowoon Bay has the most beautiful, teal coloured water on the Central Coast. The swimming area is protected by a reef so the water remains calm. No wonder it’s a favourite with families. There’s a kiosk and a  park with a playground and barbecues up the stairs. Beside Toowoon Bay is Blue Bay, another lovely spot.  

Toowoon Bay has:

  • Lifeguards
  • Calm water
  • Food kiosk
  • Dog-friendly section
  • Surfing
  • Stand up paddleboarding

Read more 

Toowoon Bay Holiday Park—cabins and campsites with direct access to the beach. Pet friendy.  Pool & jumping pillow

Kims Beachside Retreat—luxury beachfront bungalows and villas with outdoor jacuzzi or private swimming pool, cocktail lounge, fresh buffet

Toowoon Bay nsw
Toowoon Bay
Toowoon Bay

24. Umina Beach

Umina is a top contender for the most scenic area on the Central Coast. Located in Broken Bay, you get views of widespread bushland, coasts, and the mouth of the Hawkesbury River. It’s also a top family spot. The waves are small and perfect for learning to surf. One of the best playgrounds is just beside. For good food and coffee go to Jasmine Greens.

Umina has: 

  • Lifeguards
  • Surfing
  • Surfing lessons
  • Dog-friendly section
  • Cafes

Read more 

Where to Stay

Ocean Beach Resort & Holiday Park - Big4—best-rated holiday park on the Central Coast. 4-star. Modern cabins, heated resort pool with water slide and wading pool, playground, jumping pillows, water park, go-carts, two half tennis courts, games room. Superb holiday park near Sydney with beach access (see the third photo below). 

Umina Beach
Umina Beach
The beach beside Umina Beach Holiday Park

25. wamberal beach

Wamberal is truly a stunning spot. Escape the crowds of Terrigal and head to Wamberal to surf, swim, fish, play in the lagoon, or lie down on the sand in a secluded spot. And if you like long walks on the beach, walk from Terrigal to Spoon Bay through Wamberal Beach.  

Wamberal has:

  • Lifeguards
  • Surfing
  • Dog-friendly section
  • Restaurants & cafes

Read more 

Where to Stay

There are several great places to stay in Terrigal, the beach beside Wamberal. 

Wamberal Beach
Wamberal Beach
Beautiful sunrise Wamberal Beach

Map – Central Coast Beaches

Press the little square on the top left corner for the list to appear. 


› Beaches

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