This insider's guide will help you enjoy the best of what Australia's Central Coast has to offer.
With a vast extent of bushland, coastline and more than 40 beaches, the region offers lots of things to do for families, couples and outdoorsy people.
The Central Coast is located between Sydney and Newcastle, just a quick drive from the big smoke.
Why visit this region? Here are 11 reasons:
The coastline stretches for 80 kilometres, and you can pick from over 40 golden beaches!
From surfing to secluded to kid-friendly beaches, we have them all. There are enough options out here to suit everyone.
Check out popular holiday hotspots like Terrigal and Avoca Beach with lifesavers on patrol. Or unspoiled beaches like Maitland Bay and Frazer Beach.
It's the beach lifestyle that attracts so many holidaymakers year after year.
One or the best aspects of the Central Coast is the vast extent of natural areas.
You don't have to go far away from Sydney to enjoy some native bushland!
Along the Hawkesbury River, Broken Bay and the Tasman Sea, there are national parks you can get to and walk in less than two hours.
And many are suitable for children.
There are also longer well-signposted hikes.
Bouddi Coastal Walk is an epic walk along clifftop tracks and boardwalks. In winter, you'll spot migrating whales from one of the picturesque lookouts.
The beach and surfing are embedded in the Central Coast lifestyle, and there's no shortage of epic waves for surfers!
The Central Coast has plenty of beaches that produce world-class surf waves.
Check out Copacabana Beach, Wamberal Beach, Forresters Beach, Shelly Beach and Soldiers Beach.
There are also great spots for learning how to surf, like Avoca Beach, Terrigal and Umina.
Grab your board and get ready to hit the waves.
Not only does the Central Coast have long stretches of golden sand beaches and scenic bushwalks, but it also has fun attractions.
Experience hands-on wildlife shows and feed kangaroos at the Australian Reptile Park.
Experience abseiling, laser skirmish or quad biking at Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures.
Jump from one obstacle to another on a floating inflatable course at Central Coast Aqua Park.
Walk an obstacle course high up in the trees at Treetops. Fly in a microlight. Or fly on the world's longest roller coaster zip line.
The Australian Reptile Park is the most popular attraction on the Central Coast. This hands-on zoo homes exotic reptiles and Australian animals.
Enjoy the natural bush setting.
Visit interesting exhibits and watch super entertaining shows.
Meet animals up close, including deadly spiders and snakes, alligators, koalas and a Galapagos Tortoise.
And meet free roaming kangaroos and a cranky saltwater crocodile.
The Australian Reptile Park is the best attraction on the Central Coast for families or overseas visitors.
There are several markets on the Central Coast, from arts and crafts to food. Here are a few for you to check out:
Terrigal Beach Markets is held beside the beach on the first Saturday of every month. The markets offer stunning ocean views and high quality stalls.
Located beside Avoca Lake, Avoca Beachside Markets offers gourmet food and locally made craft.
Enjoy the lovely beachside atmosphere on the fourth Saturday of every month.
Gosford City Farmers Market offers artisan and fresh produce by local producers every Sunday.
From May to
November each year, the region's east coast transforms into a hot spot for
Thousand of whales migrate along the NSW coastline. They head north to subtropical waters from late April to August to mate and give birth, and then they head back south from September to November.
The Central Coast is blessed with spectacular lookouts... perfect for watching the humpback whales’ acrobatic displays.
The best whale watching spots on the Central Coast are Captain Cook Lookout, Gerrin Point Lookout, The Skillion, Crackneck Lookout and Norah Head Lighthouse.
The Central Coast offers magnificent fishing. You can catch a wide variety of fish species!
Some best beach fishing spots include Wamberal, Terrigal, Killcare, Ettalong, Ocean Beach, Patonga, Forresters, Shelly, Budgewoi, North Entrance, Soldiers and Umina.
Other fishing hotspots include The Entrance, Tuggerah Lake, Lake Munmorah and Pelican Point.
Great rock fishing spots include South Avoca Rocks and the rocks surrounding The Skillion.
You can catch bream, blackfish, whiting and luderick from many places.
If you're looking to entertain the kids, you won't run out of things to do on the Central Coast.
There are many exciting attractions for families, like the Australian Reptile Park and Treetops.
Enjoy the outdoors and water activities at Aquafun and Central Coast Aqua Park. Or enjoy free activities like bushwalking and visiting a family-friendly beach.
Raining today? Check out our indoor play centres, Laser Tag, Escape Rooms, Flip Out, Escape Reality or Bateau Bay Ten Pin Bowl.
The Central Coast has many charming coastal towns that offer a unique atmosphere, an attractive beach and great cafes.
The most bustling place is Terrigal, with its stunning coastline and vibrant dining and nightlife. You'll find boutique shops, restaurants and cafes beside the beach.
If you prefer a quieter place, there are plenty of other options…
Avoca Beach offers excellent surfing. Killcare is surrounded by many bushwalks and beautiful beaches.
The Entrance is a popular place for fishing and prawning.
It’s time to swap the city for an uninterrupted view of nature.
Not only does the Central Coast have plenty of stunning beaches, but it's also home to national parks and large bushland areas.
You don't need to drive far from Sydney to find a stunning spot to pitch your tent.
Set up in the bushland near the beach or deep in the bush and enjoy fishing, kayaking, bushwalking or surfing.
Want to discover more hidden gems during your visit to the NSW Central Coast? Use the navigation at the top of the page.