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!  

Here are 25 great beaches in alphabetical order, as well as top-rated places to stay near the beach.  

Find a map at the bottom of the page showing their location. 

1. Avoca Beach

Features:

  • Patrolled
  • Surfing
  • Surfing lessons
  • Rockpool for kids
  • Playground
  • Dog-friendly section
  • Restaurants & cafes
  • Toilets

Avoca is one of the most popular holiday spots on the Central Coast because of comfort and convenience. Relax while your kids swim in the rockpool. Sip on cocktails at Mojito Joe’s during warm summer nights. And why not watch a quality movie in the only remaining single screen cinema beside a beach? 

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Avoca Beach
Avoca Beach
Avoca Beach

2. Bateau Bay Beach

Features:

  • Rockpools for kids to explore
  • Sheltered bay

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, walk to the beach from Crackneck lookout on the 2 km bush track.

Bateau Bay
Bateau Bay Beach
Bateau Bay Beach

3. Cabbage Tree Harbour

Features:

  • Rockpool for kids
  • Playground
  • Sheltered bay
  • Cafe
  • Toilets

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. Cabbage Tree Harbour is located at Norah Head

Cabbage Tree Harbour

4. Copacabana Beach

Features:

  • Patrolled
  • Surfing
  • Rockpool for kids
  • Playground
  • Dog-friendly section
  • Cafes
  • Toilets

Copacabana, or Copa as the locals call it, is Avoca Beach’s neighbour. But Copa is quieter and more understated than Avoca. Avoca residents often escape to Copa during summer holidays to get away from the crowds. Also, Copacabana beach is protected from the northeasterly wind by the headland so it’s more comfortable during summer afternoons. 

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Copacabana Beach
central-coast-beaches-copacabana-101

5. Ettalong Beach

Features:

  • Calm water
  • Playground
  • Restaurants & cafes
  • Toilets
  • Ferry service from Palm Beach

Ettalong has a reputation on the Central Coast for safe swimming because the water is shallow and sheltered from the swells. It's a great place for families with small children. There are amenities beside the beach, a playground and nice picnic spots. You can travel to Ettalong on the Palm Beach Ferry.

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Ettalong Beach
Ettalong Beach
Ettalong Beach

6. Forresters beach

Features:

  • Surfing
  • Dog-friendly section

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.  

7. Killcare Beach

Features: 

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

Killcare Beach is a top contender for the scenery. The attractive kiddies rockpool located at the foot of the headland is a magnet for toddlers. The surf is often rough but our children like being bashed by the waves near the shore. 

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Killcare Beach

8. Little Beach

Features: 

  • Surfing
  • Camping 
  • Rock pools for kids to explore
  • Toilets

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 remnant rainforest to get to it. There's also a campground and barbecues.

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Little Beach
Little Beach
Little Beach

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
Lobster Beach
Lobster Beach

10. Macmasters Beach

Features:

  • Patrolled
  • Ocean pool
  • Playground
  • Surfing
  • Dog-friendly section
  • Cafe 
  • Toilets

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). Macmasters is also a fantastic picnic spot. 

Macmasters Beach

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 amid an urban area but you couldn't tell from the beach. To get to it you have to walk 900 m down a steep walking track in the National Park.

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Maitland Bay
Maitland Bay
Maitland Bay

12. Moonee beach

Features: 

  • Surfing

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.

Moonee Beach
Moonee Beach
Moonee Beach

13. Patonga Beach

Features:

  • Calm water near the jetty
  • Camping 
  • Dog-friendly section
  • Playground
  • Nice pub
  • Ferry service from Palm Beach

Patonga is sandwiched between the Hawkesbury River and Brisbane Water National Park. Patonga is the most isolated town in the region. A good day in Patonga means fishing in the creek, swimming, and drinking a cold beer at the Hotel. Patonga Camping Ground is a locals' favourite campsite by the creek.

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Patonga Beach
Patonga Beach
Patonga Beach

14. Pearl Beach

Pearl Beach has: 

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

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.

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Pearl Beach
Pearl Beach
Pearl Beach

15. Pelican Beach

Features:

  • Surfing

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.

Pelican Beach
Pelican Beach
Pelican Beach

16. Putty Beach

Features:

  • Calm water
  • Beginning of Bouddi Coastal Walk

Putty is part of Bouddi National Park so it’s 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. Camp at Putty Beach Campground, which is metres from Putty Beach. 

Putty Beach

17. Shelly Beach 

Features: 

  • Patrolled
  • Surfing
  • Dog-friendly section
  • Golf course
  • Cafe
  • Toilets

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.

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Shelly Beach

18. Soldiers Beach

Features:

  • Patrolled
  • Surfing
  • Food kiosk and cafe
  • Toilets

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. It reminds me of holiday beaches further up the coast with white sand and clear water. Visit Norah Head Lighthouse while you're there.

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Soldiers Beach
Soldiers Beach
Soldiers Beach

19. Spoon bay

Features:

  • Surfing

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. Spoon Bay is so close to Terrigal yet feels far away from the populous suburb. Park at the end of Spoon Bay Rd and walk down the short path to the beach through the bush.

Spoon Bay
Spoon Bay
Spoon Bay

20. Tallow Beach

Features:

  • Surfing

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. If you can manage to carry a surfboard, fishing gear and a tent, it will make it a fun overnight adventure. Little Tallow Beach is linked to Tallow by a track. You can camp at Tallow.  

Tallow Beach

21. Terrigal Beach

Features:

  • Patrolled
  • Surfing
  • Surfing lessons
  • Rockpool for kids
  • Restaurants & cafes
  • Toilets

Terrigal is the most urbanised beach on the Central Coast. It’s also one of the most scenic. The Beach is surrounded by quality restaurants, cafes and boutiques. The waves are small and it’s a great beach to take surfing lessons. Also toddlers can splash in the small rockpool.

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Terrigal
Terrigal
Terrigal

22. Terrigal Haven

Features:

  • Dog-friendly section
  • Calm water
  • Restaurants & cafes
  • Fishing charters
  • Toilets

Terrigal Haven is a perfect spot for families with small children. It’s also a good beach on the Central Coast to kayak, snorkel, fish and stand-up paddle board. The water is calm and there’s ample space around the beach to explore, run around and have a picnic. Located in Terrigal.

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Terrigal Haven
Terrigal Haven
Terrigal Haven

23. Toowoon Bay 

Features:

  • Patrolled
  • Calm water
  • Food kiosk
  • Dog-friendly section
  • Surfing
  • Stand up paddleboarding
  • Playground
  • Toilets

Toowoon Bay has the most beautiful, teal coloured water in the area. The water is calm so it’s a favourite with families. There’s a kiosk and also a playground and barbecues in the park behind the beach.

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Toowoon Bay
Toowoon Bay
Toowoon Bay

24. Umina Beach

Features:

  • Patrolled
  • Surfing
  • Surfing lessons
  • Dog-friendly section
  • Cafes
  • Playground
  • Toilets

Umina Beach is a top contender for the most scenic beach on the Central Coast. It’s located on Broken Bay across Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Umina is also a top family beach. The waves are small and perfect for learning to surf. One of the best playgrounds is next to the beach. Take bikes for the kids. For good food / coffee go to Jasmine Greens beside the playground.

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Umina Beach
Umina Beach
Umina Beach

25. wamberal beach

Features:

  • Patrolled
  • Surfing
  • Dog-friendly section
  • Restaurants & cafes
  • Toilets

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.

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Wamberal Beach
Wamberal Beach
Wamberal Beach

Map – Central Coast Beaches

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

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