The first time I ever saw The Entrance NSW was a typical summer day in Australia...
The sun was shining. The water was a clear aqua. Dozens of pelicans and anglers dotted the channel... I was flabbergasted by the natural beauty of the area!
The large population of pelicans, fishing and prawning, and the channel that connects the ocean to Tuggerah Lake characterise the place.
The Entrance is the English meaning of the aboriginal word Karagi (the town’s original name) meaning the ocean enters Tuggerah Lake.
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Read here about our 5 favourite family things to do at The Entrance NSW.
The town is located on the Central Coast NSW Australia, 1 hr 30 min north of Sydney and 1 hr 10 min south of Newcastle.
The best parking spot is beside Memorial Park. There’s also parking at Picnic Point and a car park on Duffys Lane. Parking is free.
Memorial Park is fabulous for families with children.
Visit during a weekend or school holidays. The place comes to life. It transforms from a sleepy town into a buzzing place with entertainment young children die for: carousel, jumping castles, rides, a little train…
This Ferris wheel is usually there during school holidays...
Plus small children love to splash in Vera’s Water Garden, a wading pool...
This is without doubt the most exciting town for kids on the Central Coast NSW.
The biggest attraction here is Pelican Feeding. Feeding occurs every single day of the year at 3.30 pm at the foreshore next to Memorial Park.
It’s your chance to get up close with dozens of pelicans. Arrive between 2.45 – 3.00 pm to get a good seat and watch pelicans turn up one by one and congregate. I think it's the best part of the show.
In any case you’ll see plenty of pelicans in the channel at any time of the day.
The Entrance Market are held every Saturday.
Besides, many events and festivals happen in Memorial Park:
Enjoy the area by walking along the channel, Tuggerah Lake, and the ocean...
Walk on the boardwalk and admire the view of the channel, the Tasman Sea, and Tuggerah Beach stretching as far as the eyes can see.
If you like history, read the signs along the boardwalk...
The boardwalk is part of the Heritage Walk that displays 75 signs and photos along Marine Pde and The Entrance Rd. You can download an app on your phone qwe.com.au/TE or obtain an information brochure from the Tourism Information Centre.
The boardwalk is short; it ends at the Surf Life Saving Club. But the whole Heritage Walk takes about two hours.
Walk along Tuggerah Lake pass the bridge.
A lot of people come to the area for fishing and prawning. You can hire fishing gear and boats in this boathouse (on the photo)...
A little further down the path is Picnic Point with barbecues and picnic tables, a playground, a boat ramp, and a skate park backed by beautiful lake views.
Picnic Point is also the start of the 12-km shared walking and cycling track that follows the edge of Tuggerah Lake...
It's one of the best bicycle paths on the Central Coast.
The 300 m patrolled beach is just at the end of the boardwalk. The beach is patrolled in summer.
The Entrance Baths are on the other side of the beach...
The baths are a great place to swim at The Entrance if you like calm water. You'll find a 50 m lap pool and toddler pool.
And just on top of the hill above the baths are Edith Ring Rest...
A man built this seat in 1936 after his wife Edith Ring passed away. She used to sit at this spot to enjoy the view of the ocean. Sit there and enjoy the view, too!
The Coast to Lake Walk is an interesting and varied walk that follows the channel, the beaches between The Entrance and Toowoon Bay, goes through a town, then follows Tuggerah Lake back to The Entrance.
The walk takes 1.5 – 3 hours depending on your pace. The walk is well signed.
Visit Long Jetty if you like retro, vintage and second hand shops and hipster cafes. It's on a noisy road but I like the shops. It's often referred to as a mini-Newtown.
Walk Wyrrabalong Coast walking track and visit Crackneck Lookout. It’s a great and easy coastal walk.
Closer to The Entrance are two walks in the bushland: The Lillypilly loop and Red Gum trails. They are short bushwalks and you get glimpses of Tuggerah Lake.
Visit Norah Head Lighthouse. You can walk to the top of the lighthouse for a few coins. The guides are friendly and the stories are compelling. Norah Head is a lovely village to hang out.
Norah Head is only a few minutes' drive from The Entrance.
Visit the Sensory Garden at Terilbah Reserve at The Entrance North. The garden has different species of Australian native plants and trees. Walk around the pathways and enjoy views of Tuggerah Lake from the platform.
There are beautiful patrolled beaches close by…
Toowoon Bay is perfect for young children because the water is calm and there’s lifeguard patrol.
For a sense of seclusion visit Blue Bay (not patrolled).
The water at Toowoon Bay and Blue Bay seems bluer than at other beaches in the region. Also you can surf or stand-up paddleboard.
Good to know: the water on this part of the coast has been rated as one of the cleanest on the Central Coast.
To find the best accommodation in town, read these pages just below...