11 Enticing Reasons to Visit the Central Coast, New South Wales

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 sandwiched between Sydney and Newcastle, so just a quick drive from the big smoke. 

Why visiting this region? Here are 11 reasons:

1. Fabulous Beaches

Central Coast beaches - Frazer Beach

The coastline stretches for 80 kilometres, and you can pick from over 40 different golden beaches!

From surfing beaches to secluded beaches 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, calm and enticing beaches like Maitland Bay and unspoiled beaches like Frazer Beach.

It’s the beach lifestyle that attract so many holidaymakers year after year.

2. Scenic Bushwalks

Central Coast bushwalks - Bouddi Coastal Walk

One of the best aspects of the Central Coast is the amount of bush around the coast.

You don’t have to go far away from Sydney to enjoy some native bushland!

There are bushwalks 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. 

3.    World Class Surfing

The beach and the surfing lifestyle are definitely embedded in the Central Coast way of life, 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.

4.    Fun Attractions and Adrenaline Fuelled Activities

Central Coast Aquapark - attractions

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 horse riding, abseiling, kayaking, laser skirmish, quad biking at Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures.

Jump from one obstacle to the other on a floating inflatable course at Central Coast Aquapark.

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.

5. Australian Reptile Park

Australian Reptile Park

The Australian Reptile Park is a hugely popular attraction. This hands-on zoo homes exotic reptiles and Australian animals.

Enjoy the natural bush setting.

Visit interesting exhibits and watch super entertaining shows.

Meet many animals up close, from deadly spiders to snakes, alligators, wombats, dingoes, 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.

6. Wonderful Markets

Central Coast markets

From arts and crafts to food, you’ve got several markets to choose from on the Central Coast. Here are a few for you to check out:

Terrigal Beach Markets are located right next to the beach. The markets offer stunning ocean views and high-quality stalls on the first Saturday of every month.

Located along the edge of Avoca Lake in Heazlett Park, Avoca Beachside Markets offer gourmet food and locally made craft.

Enjoy the lovely beachside atmosphere on the fourth Saturday of every month.

Gosford City Farmers Market offer artisan and fresh produce by local producers every Sunday.

7. Whale Watching

Whale watchingImage: Nico Faramaz/Shutterstock.com

From May to November each year, the region’s east coast transforms into a hot spot for whale watching.

Thousands of whales migrate along the NSW coastline. They head north to subtropical waters from late April to August to mate and give birth and head back south from September to November.

The Central Coast is blessed with spectacular lookouts... perfect for watching the humpback whales’ acrobatic displays.

The five best whale watching spots on the Central Coast are situated at Captain Cook Lookout, Gerrin Point Lookout, The Skillion, Crackneck Lookout and Norah Head Lighthouse. 

8. Fantastic Fishing

The Central Coast produces magnificent fishing. You can catch a wide variety of fish species!

Some of the best beach fishing spots include Wamberal, Terrigal, Killcare, Ettalong, Ocean Beach, Patonga, Forresters, Shelly, Budgewoi, North Entrance, Soldiers and Umina.

You can catch bream, rock blackfish, groper and luderick from most headlands along the east coast. Great rock fishing spots include South Avoca Rocks and the rocks surrounding The Skillion.

Other fishing hotspots include The Entrance, Tuggerah Lake, Lake Munmorah and Pelican Point.

9. Lots of Things to Do with Kids

Tin Pin Bowl Bateau Bay

If you’re looking to entertain the kids, you won’t run out of things to do on the Central Coast.

There are loads of exciting attractions for families like the Australian Reptile Park and Treetops.

Enjoy the outdoors and water activities at Aquafun and Central Coast Aquapark. 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, Virtual Reality games or Bateau Bay Ten Pin Bowl.

10. Charming Coastal Towns

Avoca Beach

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. Terrigal has a 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 great surfing. Killcare is surrounded by many bushwalks and beautiful beaches. The Entrance is a popular place for fishing and prawning.

11. Camping in Incredible Surrounds

Camping Central Coast

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 we’re also home to national parks and large areas of bushland.

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 deeper in the bush and enjoy fishing, kayaking, bushwalking or surfing.

More Reasons to Visit the Central Coast

Use the navigation at the top of the site to discover more hidden gems. 

I hope you enjoy your visit!

Hi! I'm Christine.

When we moved to the Central Coast from Sydney 15 years ago, we struggled to find thorough information about the beaches, bushwalks and hidden gems, so we set out to explore as best as we could. Now that we have visited every town, beach and secret spot, I'll help you discover this stunning region! 

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