Below you’ll find out all about the best walks worth experiencing on the Central Coast near Sydney.
Our region is well known for its beautiful beaches.
But the Central Coast also has superb national parks and walks that offer spectacular coastal views.
So if you’re looking for a great bushwalk or walk to do, here are my and the local’s favourite ones.
8 KM ONE-WAY - 4 HRS - HARD
The Coastal Walk in Bouddi National Park is one of the most popular walks on the Central Coast.
You get spectacular coastal views almost all the way.
The walk follows the coastline between Killcare and Macmasters Beach. It proceeds over boardwalks in some sections and up and down clifftops and beaches in others.
The easiest part of the walk, also the most stunning, sits between Maitland Bay and Putty Beach. If you just want to do a short walk, that’s the section I recommend.
The most strenuous section is between Little Beach and Maitland Bay. There’s lots of walking up and down but the amazing views more than make up for the workout.
Midway is the beautiful Maitland Bay beach. A great spot to have a dip in if it’s hot.
It says to allow 4 hours for the walk, but we did it in 2 hrs 20 min at a regular pace.
Parking Putty Beach – park at the end of Putty Beach Rd, Killcare Heights. Parking is $8. The walk starts at the end of the beach.
Parking Macmasters Beach – park at the Surf Life Saving Club on Marine Pde (enter 100 Marine Pde in your GPS). Follow the stairs between houses 85 & 87 Marine Pde.
6 KM RETURN - 3 HRS - HARD
This is a popular walk in Brisbane Water National Park between Pearl Beach and Patonga over a headland via Warrah Lookout.
The walk is rated hard because you have to walk up the headland and down. But it’s a good workout.
The highlight of the walk is the view at the top of the headland at Warrah Lookout. It’s stunning.
You see the Hawkesbury River below dotted with sailing boats and the Northern Beaches at a distance.
You can either start the walk from Pearl Beach or Patonga. Both villages are lovely and you can have a swim at the beaches.
At Patonga, enjoy a cold beer and lunch at the Boathouse Hotel. You get great views of the water from the terrace.
At Pearl Beach, eat at Pearl Beach Cafe, the lovely cafe across the beach.
Parking Pearl Beach – Crystal Ave, Pearl Beach. Enter 67 Crystal Ave, Pearl Beach in your GPS and drive a bit further to the small parking spot on the right.
Parking Patonga – along Patonga Dr. Enter 8 Patonga Dr Patonga in your GPS. The walk starts at the eastern end of the beach.
3 KM ONE-WAY - 1HR 15MIN - MEDIUM
In Wyrrabalong National Park, the Coast walking track is a popular walk that follows the clifftop between Bateau Bay and Forresters Beach. There are clearings and lookouts along the path with unobstructed views of the ocean and coastline.
The views are fabulous, particularly at Crackneck Lookout. If you walk during the migration of whales you can almost be sure to spot some. Crackneck Lookout is also a great place for a picnic.
At the start of the walk is Wyrrabalong Lookout, the highest coastal point between Sydney and Newcastle. You can see Forresters, Wamberal and Terrigal beaches at a distance.
At the end of the track is Bateau Bay. It’s a lovely spot to chill out before retracing your steps. Kids enjoy exploring the large rocks and rock pools.
Parking - park at the end of Cromarty Hill Rd, Forresters Beach. Or if beginning from Bateau Bay Beach, park on Reserve Dr corner Rushby St, Bateau Bay.
1.8 KM RETURN - 1 HR - STEEP
Maitland Bay is a beautiful secluded beach in Bouddi National Park.
On a sunny day, the beach can get picture-postcard perfect.
The lovely walk that leads to Maitland Bay takes you through gullies and lush vegetation.
The track starts at the Maitland Bay Information Centre and descends steeply for 900 metres. It takes about 20 minutes to get down. The path is easy to negotiate because it’s well maintained. It’s paved and there are stairs.
Set aside a couple of hours to dip your toes and have a picnic.
If it’s low tide, you can spot the remnants of the PS Maitland on the eastern end of the beach. The ship was wrecked in 1898.
Then allow 40 minutes to ascend back. If you’re fit you’ll manage the climb in a third of the time.
The walk is popular so it can get busy during the holiday period.
Parking – next to the Maitland Bay Information Centre on Scenic Rd, corner Maitland Bay Dr, Killcare Heights.
10 KM ONE-WAY
The 5 Lands Walk is a magnificent 10-kilometre walk along the coastline. It traverses five beautiful beaches of the Central Coast.
The 5 Lands Walk is an organised event that happens on the Saturday closest to the winter solstice. Thousands of people take part each year. You can spot plenty of whales and the energy of the crowd is phenomenal.
If you’re not going to be on the coast during the winter solstice, no problems. The walk is worth doing at any time of the year.
The walk starts at the southern end of Macmasters Beach. Follow the beach to Copacabana at the other end.
From Copacabana, head to Avoca Beach along Winney Bay, then continue walking along the beach to North Avoca.
From North Avoca, walk over the headland to Terrigal.
There are plenty of restaurants and cafes along the way, which make the walk even better.
Parking – park near MacMasters Beach SLSC.
1.5 KM RETURN - 1 HR - EASY
This short walk leads to Little Beach, a secluded cove in Bouddi National Park.
Enjoy a relaxing stroll through a beautiful remnant rainforest.
It’s a perfect walk for kids – toddlers can walk there and back on their own. You can even push a pram. We walked there many times with our babies and toddlers. A perfect thing to do on a Sunday afternoon.
Take a picnic and let the kids explore the little stream, beach and rocks. You can easily hang out there for an hour or two.
There’s also a camping ground, non-flush toilets, picnic tables and a barbecue.
Parking – park along Grahame Dr in Macmasters Beach, just past the couple houses. You’ll see signs for the walk.
500 M RETURN – 15 MIN – STEEP
This popular walk leads to two beautiful waterfalls.
The walking track winds steeply downhill through dense rainforest.
The prettiest waterfall sits mid-way along the track. The walk leading to it is steep but easy because there are stairs.
Kids enjoy playing around the puddle at the bottom of the waterfall. Some people like to stand under the falling water.
The last waterfall at the bottom of the hill is smaller. The pathway leading to it goes over wet rocks so it can be slippery. Make sure you wear non-slippery walking shoes.
It's a great spot to visit during a hot summer day as the dense forest keeps you cool.
There's a picnic ground at the start of the walk.
The site can get surprisingly busy. The last time we went, many families were visiting and having a picnic.
Parking – Somersby Falls Rd, Somersby. Enter 265 Somersby Falls Rd, Somersby in your GPS. The parking fee is $8. Or park for free along the road before entering the formal parking spot.
7.5 KM LOOP - 3 HRS - EASY
The Coast to Lake walk is an interesting and varied walk.
Walk along the coast and enjoy the beautiful sceneries.
The best thing about this walk is the variety. You'll walk along the lake's shore, The Entrance channel, along beaches and through town.
There are beautiful swimming spots at Toowoon Bay and Blue Bay, so bring your swimmers.
There are also plenty of great cafes and restaurants along the way. You may want to enjoy some shopping and have lunch or a coffee at Long Jetty. Check out Common Ground and Green Tangerine.
You'll also see the very long jetty on Tuggerah Lake. You can walk on it and the sunsets are gorgeous.
There are plenty of great amenities along the walk like toilets and water refill stations.
Parking – you can park and start the walk anywhere. The walks loops around Long Jetty, Toowoon Bay and The Entrance.