The Entrance is the most family-friendly town on the NSW Central Coast.
It’s also the best place to see pelicans, plus there’s a beach right there.
We've always enjoyed coming here with the kids. There's a lot of fun entertainment.
The area is known for its stunning beaches, the channel that connects Tuggerah Lake and the ocean and the fun foreshore with playgrounds and children's rides.
The vibe is laid-back and you can enjoy water-based activities in the ocean or in the lake. Fishing is popular here.
The town takes its name from the channel which links the ocean to Tuggerah Lake. It was originally known as 'Karagi', an Aboriginal word meaning 'the entrance'. But later, they adopted the English version so the town became The Entrance.
If you're planning a visit, continue reading and discover the attractions here and nearby.
Numbers 1 to 7 are excellent options if you have one day here. If you have more time, numbers 8 to 11 are extra ideas.
Situated at the foreshore, Memorial Park is a perfect spot for entertaining the kids and enjoying a relaxed picnic.
You'll find plenty of entertainment for kids:
For those hot days, young ones can cool off and splash around in Vera's Water Garden, a fun wading pool.
Keep in mind that the children rides happen on weekends and school holidays. Outside those days the town can be sleepy.
Enjoy swimming at the beach - lifeguards patrol over the summer months.
You can also swim in the ocean baths at the southern end of the beach. There are lap pools and a children's wading pool. It's free to use and there are showers and toilets. Lifeguards are also on duty there.
Other great swimming and surfing beaches are also located nearby...
Toowoon Bay is perfect for young children because it's patrolled and the water is calm.
For a sense of seclusion, visit Blue Bay. It's calm but not patrolled.
If you'd like to surf, head to:
They're all a short drive away.
The Entrance is renowned for its large number of pelicans. These iconic birds are a regular sight in the area. They attract visitors from all around.
When you come for a visit, you can expect to see many pelicans along the waterfront.
Don't miss the town's famous Pelican Time. Sessions take place every weekend, on public holidays, and daily during school holidays. It's at 3:30 pm at Pelican Plaza.
This is a fantastic chance to get up close and observe these graceful birds.
You'll learn all about the pelicans, and volunteers often bring some for rescue.
Enjoy cycling along Tuggerah Lake.
An epic 12 km walking and cycling path begins at The Entrance.
Along this path are fantastic lake views, making it one of my top choices for bike rides on the Central Coast.
The route also offers access to playgrounds, picnic areas, and a super long jetty.
If you need to rent a bike, you'll find a self-serve bike hire machine at Memorial Park near the boardwalk.
The Entrance offers a variety of scenic walks, from shorter to longer ones.
For a shorter stroll, follow the pathway along the channel and enjoy stunning water views.
If you're in the mood for a longer walk, you have two great options:
Up for a longer walk? I recommend the Coast to Lake Walk. This 7.5 km loop takes you through varied landscapes. The walk takes 1.5 to 3 hours.
If you're eager for more, take the beach route from The Entrance to Shelly Beach and hit The Coast Walking Track.
The Entrance is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts.
Tuggerah Lake is a hotspot for both land-based and boat fishing. You can catch mullet, bream, whiting and flathead. Summer is the best time for prawns.
Cast your line from the shoreline or go on a boat for deeper water fishing.
The channel, which experiences tidal flows, is also a popular fishing spot.
If you need a boat, you can hire one at the Entrance Boatshed under the bridge. If you have your own boat, there's a ramp at Picnic Point Reserve.
Long Jetty is well-known for its cute boutique and vintage shops, making it an excellent place for shopping. Especially if you want to find unique and special things.
This hip town also has a burgeoning food scene with great cafes.
It's located next to The Entrance. You can drive there or ride your bike along the lake.
Hike The Coast walking track in Wyrrabalong National Park and take in the views from the Lookouts.
Start your walk in Bateau Bay and finish at Forresters Beach. The return walk is 6 km. The path is well-marked and easy to follow.
You'll pass Crackneck Lookout along the way, which offers incredible ocean views.
Wyrrabalong National Park also offers two other enjoyable walks on the northern side of town. The Lillypilly loop and Red Gum trails are flat and easy. They give glimpses of Tuggerah Lake.
Visit Norah Head for a relaxing day out. Explore its history while taking in the coastal views.
Situated on a headland, the Norah Head Lighthouse offers sweeping ocean vistas.
For an affordable fee, you can take a tour of the lighthouse. You'll ascend to the top while friendly guides share fascinating stories.
Enjoy the peace, the well-maintained garden and the lovely views at Sensory Gardens. Have a relaxing walk and enjoy the fabulous sunset over Tuggerah Lake.
The garden is wheelchair-friendly and suitable for everyone.
Located at Terilbah Reserve, The Entrance North.
Memorial Park hosts various annual events and activities at specific times.
Below are yearly celebrations:
Check out my top picks for coffee and dining in town.
There are plenty of fantastic cafes and restaurants in The Entrance to choose from. You'll discover some top-notch dining spots offering high-quality food.
Many visitors to The Entrance like to stay in a holiday home or apartment at proximity to key attractions.
If you're seeking a hotel, Ibis Styles is affordable and at walking distance to Long Jetty and Tuggerah Lake.
There's also Jetty Motel which is a great spot.
Located on 1 hr 30 min north of Sydney via the M1 and 1 hr 10 min south of Newcastle via Pacific Highway. Follow the directions on Google maps. The GPS will direct you to the free car park beside Memorial Park which is a central location.
You can also park beside Picnic Point, in the free car park on Duffys Lane, or beside the Surf Life Saving Club.
I hope you enjoy your visit.