Toowoon Bay

Toowoon Bay is the beach I would vote for if it competed for the bluest and cleanest water on the Central Coast. 

You almost feel like you're on a tropical beach. This is what it looks like on a sunny day (photo below). The teal-coloured ocean sparkles.

Toowoon Bay is located on the Central Coast NSW. It’s only 2 km south of The Entrance. Like The Entrance, this place is popular with families, but it’s very different…

Toowoon Bay Beach

The water is sheltered from the big swell by a reef. The beach looks like a triangle with one of the corners extending out to sea and a reef stretching across... 


It forms a curving bay in which the waves can’t get in. Since there are lifeguards it’s an ideal swimming spot for young children.

And for anyone who likes calm water...

woman swimming ocean

And there’s more for children... Swadling Reserve sits up the hill from the waterfront. The park contains a large grassy area with sheltered picnic tables and barbecues and a playground...

Swadling Reserve

And what about children-friendly accommodation? Toowoon Bay Holiday Park sits up the hill from the beach beside Swadling Reserve. The pool and jumping pillow are a big hit with children. Choose a cabin, a caravan or a campsite. 

Toowoon Bay Holiday Park

Families are well catered for at this beach and so are other visitors. Calm water means others also like it very much…  

Surfers and kayakers hang out in the waves past the reef. The calm water attracts stand up paddle boarders and depending on the conditions you may see kite-surfers and windsurfers – it's apparently a top spot for these.

Kite surfing at Toowoon Bay

And thinking of it, Toowoon Bay tops the charts for being the best beach to sit back and relish the sparkling water. You see many people practising this sport here. There’s just something about Toowoon Bay…

people sitting down at the beach

Kims Beachside Retreat figured this out over 30 years ago. What started as a beach camp in 1886 has now turned into a romantic and luxury timber accommodation underneath impressive Norfolk Island pines right on the beach...

Kims Beachside Retreat

If you want to indulge in complete calmness combined with luxury, choose this accommodation. Listen to birdsongs, look at rainforest vegetation or the ocean and watch the sunrise from your balcony. Drag you chair on the beach if you prefer.  

If you want to enjoy a holiday with your pet, dogs are allowed off the lead on the shore for 1.5 km between Little Bay and Shelly Beach.

Both accommodations, Toowoon Bay Holiday Park and Kims Beachside Retreat, are dog-friendly. You can access the dog-friendly section of the coast directly from the holiday park. Handy isn’t it?

pathway leading to beach

Beyond Toowoon Bay 

If you like long walks on the beach walk north to The Entrance or South to Shelly Beach and beyond. Whichever direction you take you can always find a quiet spot away from the crowd...

man sitting on a beach

Walk north from the beach to The Entrance past Blue Bay, a smaller version of Toowoon Bay. Since it’s not patrolled it’s quieter. And very beautiful, too...

Blue Bay

At The Entrance you can swim in the ocean baths or between the flags. Continue walking along the water channel to Memorial Park and Pelican Feeding… an entertaining place for kids (3 km).

Walk south from Little Bay to Shelly Beach and beyond on the dog-friendly section (1.5 km)... 

Shelly Beach

 Shelly Beach is popular with surfers and golfers… Shelly Beach Golf Club sits behind the beach dunes.

Shelly Beach NSW Australia

Keep on walking to the end of Shelly Beach and around the headland to Bateau Bay Beach (3.5 km). This is a sheltered bay where people go to get away from the crowd during the holiday season. It’s also the start/end of the popular Coast walking track in Wyrrabalong National Park

Accommodation in Toowoon Bay

Toowoon Bay Holiday Park – Budget 

Toowoon Bay Holiday Park signpost

Toowoon Bay Holiday Park is an old-school holiday park run by the Council. The cabins and sites are simple – but the jumping pillow and pool are a big hit with the kids.

The holiday park is conveniently located between two gorgeous beaches: Toowoon Bay Beach and Shelly Beach.

The holiday park is also dog-friendly. It means you can holiday with your whole family. You can walk down with your pet to the dog-friendly beach directly from the holiday park.

Choose between seven types of cabins or a powered site.

Facilities include:

  • Pool
  • Jumping pillow
  • Amphitheatre with movies
  • School holiday activities
  • Kids play area
  • Camp kitchen
  • Disabled facilities with wheelchair access
  • Free Wifi
  • Foxtel in cabins

Kims Beachside Retreat – Luxury 

Kims Beachside Retreat cottage

Escape in an adult-only romantic oasis right on the beach. Admire the ocean from your balcony and wakeup to beautiful sunrises. Kims offer 34 bungalows and villas located on the beachfront or within sub-tropical vegetation.

Some accommodations have an indoor spa bath, a private outdoor jacuzzi or a private swimming pool. Comfort is such that you may not want to leave your retreat. You don’t even have to...

Abundant and very fresh food in a buffet is included. The food is home-made and succulent. There’s an abundance of seafood: sashimi, Iluka King prawns, fish…  cheese board, fresh bread, soup of the day, salads, cold meats… a real feast!

Drink tasty cocktails before dinner in the Cocktail Lounge to the sound of life music.

Also impressive is the genuinely friendly staff who go above and beyond to help you.

Kims is also pooch friendly in certain rooms.

Or check out these other nice places to stay at The Entrance. 

where to eat

The food kiosk at the Surf Life Saving Club is open 7 am - 3 pm. This cafe is the closest to the beach. There’s also Munchas at Shelly Beach Surf Life Saving Club.

Great local cafes are located 500 m from the beach. Try these two great ones:

Visit our favourite Two Birds Gallery Cafe. It's a pleasant and chic gallery-like cafe with eclectic furniture and good chill-out music. The ambience is relaxing and pleasing for all the senses. The menu is seasonal. 104 Pacific St: 8.00 am - 2.30 pm.

Two Birds Gallery Cafe

Visit the airy Coast89. This cafe is also popular among locals. 89 Toowoon Bay Road: Tue - Thu 7.30 am - 3 pm; Fri - Sat 7.30 am & dinner from 6 pm; Sun 7.30 am - 2 pm.

We like the food and coffee at both places and are always greeted with a smile. 


For hassle-free dinners with children, you may like Seaspray Restaurant at Shelly Beach Golf Club; kids eat free 7 days a week 5pm - 6pm. Shelly Beach Rd, Shelly Beach.

At Bateau Bay Hotel kids eat free on Sundays and there’s a playground. There is good live music here as well. Corner The Entrance Rd and Lumby Dr, Bateau Bay.

At Chijmes Bateau Bay (Bowling Club) kids eat free on Fri dinner and Sun lunch & dinner and there’s a playground – I like their Singapore-Malaysian menu. 5 Bias Ave, Bateau Bay.  

The Entrance Leagues Club has an undercover play area for children. 3 Bay Village Rd, Bateau Bay.

what to do

As I mentioned you can enjoy water activities at Toowoon Bay and Shelly Beach. Both beaches are patrolled. The surf is bigger at Shelly Beach. Toowoon Bay is great for stand up paddle boarding, kite-surfing, windsurfing and snorkelling.

Below are other attractions nearby…

Pelican Feeding occurs every single day at 3.30 pm at The Entrance Memorial Park no matter what the weather is like. Dozens of pelicans get fed in front of your eyes. They congregate very close to people and I think that’s the main appeal of the show.

These pelicans have been fed at the same time everyday for many years. They know when it’s time to eat. If you want to see them arriving one by one and congregate, arrive by 3.00 pm.

Visit The Entrance. It's is fun for kids during weekends and school holidays... There are children rides, jumping castles and a beautiful old carousel (such as you see in the movies). There’s also a little train that take kids around the site and Vera’s Water Garden, a water fountain that kids go into to cool down.

There are playgrounds and a large grassy area.

You can swim at The Entrance Baths or at the beach between the flags.

Majestic Cinema is located there.

Read about our 5 best things to do at The Entrance with kids

Cycle along Tuggerah Lake past playgrounds, picnic tables, barbecues and Long Jetty. The bicycle path starts at The Entrance and hugs Tuggerah Lake for 12 km. The bike trail is flat and easy.

Visit Long Jetty. There are trendy cafes and attractive vintage and second hand shops. 

Bushwalk in Wyrrabalong National Park. Experience these walks...

The Coast walking track is the best walk in my opinion. It follows the coast along the clifftops for 3 km. The view of the ocean is picturesque, especially from Crackneck Lookout. Watch for whales between June and August. You can also drive to Crackneck Lookout: Hilltop St, Bateau Bay.  

You could also walk to Bateau Bay Beach from Little Bay and pick the Coast walking track there: 12 km return.

The two other walks in Wyrrabalong National Park are in the northern section in Magenta. The Lillypilly loop trail passes through a littoral rainforest and the Red Gum trail through a Red Gum forest. 

Walk The Coast to Lake Walk. It's is a pleasant 7.6 km loop along Long Jetty, Tuggerah Lake, The Entrance channel and the beach.

Start from Toowoon Bay – the walk is well-indicated. There are toilets and water refill stations along the way.

If you want to bring your dog or bicycles, stick to the paved paths instead of walking along the beach.

Play golf at Shelly Beach Golf Club, an 18-hole golf course located on Shelly Beach Rd. Look at the views of the ocean while playing golf.

Bateau Bay Ten Pin Bowl

Play Ten Pin Bowl if you’re looking for something to do with the kids when it rains. Or have a hit in the golf range next to the bowling alley. 

Where is Toowoon Bay

Located on the Central Coast NSW near The Entrance, 90 minutes north of Sydney.

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