12 Best Family Beaches - Central Coast NSW

Looking for the best family beaches on the NSW Central Coast?

On this page you’ll discover the most popular beaches with families. And our favourites with the kids.

You’ll find all the facilities you need at these beaches such as toilets, cafe and playground. And of course a suitable swimming spot... 

Family beaches Central Coast NSW

Below you’ll find out if the beaches are patrolled, have a rockpool or a calm swimming area.

I know small children tend to get sick easily. So I’ll let you know if a beach received a poor rating for water quality (in the Beachwatch report).

So here are our 12 favourite family beaches...

1. Avoca Beach

Features: 

  • Patrolled
  • Rockpool
  • Fully-fenced playground
  • Surfing & surfing lessons
  • Kiosk/cafe
  • Toilets
  • Water refill station

Avoca Beach has great facilities for families right beside the beach...

It's a perfect beach if you have kids of different ages, from toddlers to surfers... Young children can swim in the large rockpool. You can grab food and coffee at the kiosk or cafes next to the rockpool. The beach is patrolled, and the surfing conditions are often great. 

If your children need a rest from the beach, they can stroll to the fenced out playground behind the surf club. There’s plenty of space for picnics and barbecues.

You can also hire pedal-boats, kayaks and stand up paddle boards at Aquafun on Avoca Lake… it’s great fun! 

The beach’s rating for water quality is ‘poor’, so better swim during dry weather.

Learn more about visiting Avoca Beach.

Avoca Beach
Avoca Beach
Avoca Beach

2. Terrigal Beach

Features: 

  • Patrolled
  • Small toddler rockpool
  • Kiosk/cafe
  • Toilets
  • Surfing & surfing lessons
  • Water refill station

Terrigal Beach is the number one destination for holidaymakers on the Central Coast. It’s a small city on a beach so it’s very busy in summer.

The beach is patrolled and the surf is small. If your children want to learn to surf, Terrigal Beach is a great spot. Smaller children like to swim at Terrigal Haven where the water is calm. 

There’s a small rockpool for toddlers and all the facilities you need beside the beach. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and shops. And a beer garden is located across the road from the beach.

Parking during the peak holiday season is hard. The best place to park is in the multi-storey car park. The carpark is a few minutes’ walk to the beach.

The beach’s rating for water quality is ‘poor’, so better swim during dry weather.

Find out more about Terrigal Beach.

Terrigal Beach in summer
Terrigal Beach
Terrigal Haven - swimming at sunset

3. Macmasters Beach

Features: 

  • Small playground
  • Patrolled
  • Ocean pool
  • Kiosk/cafe
  • Toilets
  • Surfing
  • Picnic area and barbecues
  • Water refill station

I really like Macmasters Beach. The beach sits at the foot of Bouddi National Park. The atmosphere is  relaxed. Kids can swim in the ocean pool down the rocky path or between the flags a bit further up the beach. The ocean pool is shallow but large enough for kids of all ages.

Macmasters Beach is one of our favourite places for picnics. You can lay a picnic rug and cook on the barbecue on the grassy area beside the national park. Or you can eat at Barefoot Cafe on the terrace and enjoy the view of the beach.

Learn more about visiting Macmasters Beach

Macmasters Beach - families swimming in the ocean pool
Macmasters Beach - Barefoot Cafe
Macmasters Beach

4. Copacabana Beach

Features: 

  • Playground
  • Patrolled
  • Rockpool
  • Kiosk/cafe
  • Toilets
  • Surfing
  • Water refill station

Copacabana Beach has a real holiday feel to it.

There’s a rockpool for toddlers and lifeguard patrol. Copa, as the locals call it, is a popular surfing beach. Toilets and a water refill station are located at the surf club. You can grab food and coffee at the kiosk. There are also a couple of cafes and shops across the road from the beach. Plus a small playground and skateboard park. The lagoon is a nice place to splash about.

Copacabana Beach is a couple of minutes’ drive from Avoca Beach. And it’s quieter during summer holidays.

Learn more about visiting Copacabana Beach.

Copacabana Beach NSW - kids swimming between the flags
Copacabana Beach rockpool
Copacabana Beach

5. Pearl Beach

Features: 

  • Small playground
  • Ocean pool
  • Kiosk/cafe
  • Toilets
  • Picnic area

Pearl Beach is located on Broken Bay and is bordered by Brisbane Water National Park. Tall tree canopies cover the town and the beach has a relaxing, holiday atmosphere.

Families swim at the southern end of the beach where the water is calm and sheltered. There’s also an ocean pool. (Don’t swim at the northern end of the beach, it’s a dangerous spot.)

A short stroll from the beach is a nice cafe, toilets, small playground and a shaded picnic spot.

Pearl Beach used to be one of our favourite beaches when the kids were little.

Find out more about Pearl Beach.

Pearl Beach
Pearl Beach
Pearl Beach

6. Umina Beach 

Features: 

  • Huge playground, BMX track and skateboard park
  • Patrolled
  • Kiosk/cafe
  • Toilets
  • Surfing & surfing lessons
  • Picnic tables and barbecues
  • Water refill station

Umina Beach is a great family beach. Located in Broken Bay, it’s one of the most stunning beaches on the Central Coast.

The beach is protected from the big swell, so it’s a perfect spot if your kids want to learn to surf.

Families with younger children swim in the shallow and calm section at the southern end of the beach. Behind the beach is the well-rated NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Park. This beach is also patrolled and right beside the Surf Life Saving Club is a top playground.

The playground has a fully-fenced area for toddlers and a larger section for older kids. Plus a BMX track and skateboard park. There are many picnic tables and barbecues and a cafe beside the playground.

Learn more about visiting Umina Beach.

Umina Beach
Umina Beach
Umina Beach

7. Ettalong Beach

Features: 

  • Small playground
  • Calm water 
  • Kiosk/cafe
  • Toilets
  • Picnic area and barbecues
  • Water refill station

Ettalong Beach, on Brisbane Water, is a calm and shallow beach protected from the swell. So it’s perfect for very small children. But the beach’s rating for water quality is ‘poor’. So check for signs of pollution and avoid swimming after rain. The beach is just a few steps from the small playground, picnic area, cafe and toilets.

To get there you can catch the ferry from Palm Beach. Ettalong Beach makes for a great day out with small children.

Learn more about visiting Ettalong Beach.

Ettalong Beach
Ettalong Beach
Ettalong Beach

8. Killcare Beach

Features: 

  • Patrolled
  • Rockpool
  • Kiosk/cafe
  • Toilets
  • Surfing
  • Water refill station

Kids can swim between the flags or in the rockpool at the foot of Bouddi National Park. There’s ample space on the beach for the kids to run around. Plus Killcare Beach has stunning views of Sydney’s Northern Beaches across the water.

Find more tips about visiting Killcare Beach.

Killcare Beach
Killcare Beach
Killcare Beach

9. Putty Beach

Features: 

  • Toilets
  • Water tap
  • Picnic area and barbecues
  • Campsite
  • $8 parking fee

Putty Beach is my paradise beach. Why bother driving far away when you have a beach like this on your doorstep? Clear, blue and calm water, surrounded by the natural bush of Bouddi National Park, make this a perfect spot for families with children of all ages. You can also camp near the beach. Take your snorkels and inflatable boards.

Putty Beach
Putty Beach
Putty Beach

10. Toowoon Bay

Features: 

  • Playground
  • Patrolled
  • Protected surf
  • Kiosk/cafe
  • Toilets
  • Surfing lessons

Younger children have fun riding the small and steady waves at Toowoon Bay. The surf here is protected by the big swell by a reef. Next to Toowoon Bay is Shelly Beach, which is also patrolled and has bigger surf.

Families like to stay at Toowoon Bay Holiday Park, nestled between the two beaches.

With sparkling blue water, Toowoon Bay is stunning on a sunny day. Take boogie boards, paddle boards and snorkels.        

Find out more about Toowoon Bay.

Toowoon Bay
Toowoon Bay
Toowoon Bay

11. The Entrance Beach

Features: 

  • Family entertainment in town
  • Patrolled
  • 50 m ocean pool & wading pool
  • Kiosk/cafe
  • Toilets

The Entrance is a great family beach...

The beach is patrolled. There’s an ocean pool beside the beach with a lap pool and a kid’s wading pool. And several attractions for kids in town. Plus the water here is very clean.

After your swim, stroll on the boardwalk along the channel. Admire the amazing views. At Memorial Park, kids can have fun on the rides and at Pelican Feeding at 3:30 pm. So The Entrance is perfect if you’d like a bit more to do with the kids than just the beach.

Learn more about visiting The Entrance

The Entrance Beach
The Entrance Beach
The Entrance Beach

12. Norah Head Rockpool

Features: 

  • Rockpool
  • Kiosk/cafe
  • Toilets
  • Playground

The large rockpool at this beach is best for toddlers. The water here is very clean.

Walk up the path to a relaxed cafe and a playground. Have a little walk through the nature walk and around Norah Head Lighthouse. Norah Head makes for a relaxing day trip with small children.

If you fancy some waves, The stunning Soldiers Beach is on the other side of the lighthouse and is patrolled. 

Find more tips for visiting Norah Head.

Norah Head Rockpool

Map - Getting There

Related Pages...

› Family Beaches

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