Blessed with outstanding beaches and laid-back towns, the Central Coast stretches between Sydney and Newcastle along the Pacific Ocean. Geographically it is bound by the mouth of the Hawkesbury River in the south, the Watagan Mountains in the west, and Lake Macquarie in the north, with Gosford the main commercial centre. It has long been a getaway for Sydney-siders and retirees, but its natural beauty is now drawing visitors from further afield.
The Entrance is an ideal base for pursuing a range of watersports on the tranquil waters of Tuggerah Lake and renowned for its daily waterfront pelican feeding sessions, while Bateau Bay lies near the native wildlife haven of Wyrrabalong National Park, together with the working lighthouse of Norah Head. There’s plenty of walking trails to explore in the Brisbane Waters National Park, taking visitors to beautiful Somersby Falls and to soak up the views along the Mooney Mooney Nature Walk, and the 250-kilometre long Great North Walk that extends the length of the Central Coast. Discover the region’s rich marine diversity at Terrigal Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre, then head underwater to dive the offshore reefs and wrecks. Picturesque Avoca Beach offers both a child-friendly ocean rock pool and good surf at nearby Umina, together with a monthly beachside market where locally-produced handicrafts and produce are on show.
The Central Coast is connected to Sydney along the Pacific Motorway, with Sydney Airport 85 km to the south of Gosford and Newcastle Airport 115 km to the north. There are regular public bus and train services which connect the Central Coast’s main hubs with Sydney and Newcastle, as well as the Palm Beach Ferries which operate between Palm Beach in Sydney and Ettalong Beach.
Before the British arrived, the region was inhabited by the Guringai and Darkinjung people. One of the first Aboriginal people to learn English, Bungaree, came from the region and was later declared by Governor Macquarie “The King of the Broken Bay Tribes”.