An Insiders Guide On: Things To Do Central Coast

Located only an hour from Sydney or Newcastle you’ll find the Central Coast. Here you’ll find one of the best eco-friendly tourist locations in NSW. In fact, the Central Coast is one of Australia’s first certified Eco Destinations. We’ve got nature-based activities at the forefront and most of our destinations within the Central Coast strive for sustainability. So you are probably wondering ”what’s there to do on the Central Coast?” The short answer is so much, we have 40+ beaches, 6 national parks, vibrant food culture and countless coastal and hinterland towns. So we’ve made it easy for you and put together some of the best things to do Central Coast and the must-do experiences we have here.

We hope you love this place as much as us!

Hiking the Central Coast

Frazer beach
One of the best views Central Coast has to offer

The Central Coast has recently been dubbed an Eco-Friendly Tourist Destination. So one thing that is sure about the Central Coast is that we love nature! The Central Coast is home to numerous national parks and state parks; within these are hundreds of hiking trails. Whether you’re looking for boardwalks, mountains, waterfalls, secret beaches, or lookouts we have it all here on the Central Coast.

Some of the hikes here are considered some of the best hikes NSW has to offer, Bouddi Coastal Walk for example is known as being one of the must-do hikes in Australia because of how well maintained this walk is as well as having some of the best coastal views you can find.

If hiking is on your agenda, check out our blog, and get your hands on our hiking book for hiking guides to the best hikes Central Coast has to offer!

Jetpack at Kariong

Jetpacking tours near sydney
A unique gift on the Central Coast is jetpacking

If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you’re in an action movie this one is for you. One of the more unique things to do here on the Central Coast is to go jetpacking. This unique aqua experience will see you launched 15 meters into the air as hundreds of litres of water are pushed through the jetpack keeping you airborne.

Your time here at Kariong includes instruction time with an instructor to help you nail your time in the air and a guaranteed 10 minutes air time using the jetpack and another 10 minutes using the jet board. If you need to take a break for a rest it will not come out of your time either.

This is the perfect experience for thrill seekers on the Central Coast and is one of the best things to do on the central coast for adults and kids alike.

Firescreek Botanical Winery

visit NSW

One of the more unique things to do on the Central Coast is to visit Firescreek Botanical Winery. This winery is a unique winery on the Central Coast and in NSW due to its regenerative and organic farming practices. This award-winning winery produces 25 types of wine year-round from a single grape harvest. Firescreek Winery grows using small-scale organic permaculture regenerative farming techniques. Without the use of heavy machinery and growing using biodiversity of over 30 species of fruit, 40 species of roses, and countless other botanicals, the winery is able to make wine all year round, instead of relying on a single grape harvest.

Because of the practices used here, the wine incorporates unique flavours of florals and fruits, which is what has led the winery to become a leader in the small wine industry.

Garnish collecting

There is a range of experiences on offer here including wine & chocolate pairing, where guests will taste wines that have been expertly paired with handcrafted local chocolates. Indigenous storytelling and wine tasting are also offered where guests will hear stories from a local indigenous elder and learn about how native botanicals work their way into telling a story through wine. And also a mixology and foraging class which is a hands-on experience where you will roam the gardens learning about the winery and finding natural garnishes for your cocktails. You’ll then head back and learn how to make cocktails with the wines and alcohol made at the winery. Guests will create their own signature cocktails with the help of a bartender who will share tricks of the trade.

From our time at the winery, the Chocolate and Wine paring at Firescreek Winery is one of the best things to do on the Central Coast, and the foraging and mixology class is a lot of fun, especially if you go with your friends.

Watch the Sunset at Long Jetty

things to do the entrance

Make time for sunset. The sunset at Long Jetty is one of the most impressive sunsets of the Central Coast and arguably in NSW. The sunset sets over the mountains and you’ll catch the reflections of the clouds of the mountains on the lake. The Long Jetty pier is the most popular spot to watch the sunset, however anywhere along this stretch of lake is very impressive.

Long Jetty sunset
Long Jetty sunset

Explore Terrigal

In recent years, Terrigal has become the place to visit on the Central Coast. And with its vibrant food and coffee culture and beachside dining, it’s easy to see why. In the past Terrigal is widely known for its stretches of beach, The Skillion which is its impressive headland and the tranquil Terrigal Lagoon. However, the recent boom of coffee culture in Terrigal has made this the place to be. While in the area you can hike the Skillion, walk the beaches, go paddleboarding, have a drink at a rooftop bar or join an ocean tour.

Terrigal has become a place where both locals and tourists alike enjoy coming together and enjoying vibrant food and beach culture throughout the summer, and during the winter many ocean tours will leave from the Terrigal Haven.

Go Whale Watching

Things to do Central Coast NSW
Whale Watching Central Coast

Speaking of tours from Terrigal. One must-see thing on the Central Coast is whale watching. There are countless headlands that offer prime viewing of the whales during whale season. However, there is no better seat than right on the water. Whale Season on the Central Coast takes place between May and November and during this time the ocean turns into a super highway for humpback whales during their migration. Terrigal Ocean Tours offers a great experience from the haven where you’ll get a first-hand look at the humpback whales. These are eco-friendly tours so there is no guarantee that you will see breaching whales, however, the vessel used is highly agile and research is conducted during each tour so there is a good chance you’ll see some whales on your time out in the ocean.

Visit the Norah Head Lighthouse

Norah Head Lighthouse
Norah Head lighthouse

Standing 26 meters high, one of the most impressive sights on the Central Coast is seeing the Norah Head Lighthouse. Located at Norah Head this lighthouse stands headland and was manned for more than 90 years to warn sailors of the impending danger if they got too close to our coastline. Surprisingly, in 1994 the lighthouse was demanned which made it one of the last lighthouses in Australia to be manned.

Nowadays the lighthouse still operates and can be seen 26 nautical miles off the coast. The site is a popular tourist destination and the old lighthouse quarters can be rented out as holiday rentals. The lighthouse also runs daily tours of the lighthouse where you can explore the grounds and access the inside of the lighthouse. On the tour, you’ll learn about the duties of a lighthouse keeper and climb the 96 stairs which the keepers climbed multiple times per day to see one of the best views of the Central Coast! Seeing this 360 degree view of the coastline is one of the most unique things to do on the Central Coast! Bookings are not required for this tour, they run periodically between 10am-3pm daily and are $10pp. There are more tour options and booking options for accommodation on their website below.

Broken Bay Pearl Farm

Something that the Central Coast isn’t widely known for is pearls. But did you know that NSW’s only pearl farm is located here? At Broken Bay Pearl Farm located on the Lower Hawkesbury River, you’ll learn about the untold stories of the Australian Pearl and how it has helped bridge cultural divides and how it overcomes ever-changing environmental pressures.

The Broken Bay Peal Farm offers a range of experiences, however, the most popular and most immersive is the Ultimate Experience. On this tour, you’ll learn about the history of the farm, endeavour on a cruise of the Hawkesbury River, immerse yourself in pearl grading, enjoy a locally sourced lunch and oysters from the farm, and you’ll also get to take a peal home from the farm. If you would like to upgrade this experience, there is also the option of a seaplane upgrade. All of this is on a private tour so you can take in the most of the farm and the immersive experience. This is offered at a rate of $500pp for a truly immersive unique experience and a pearl that you couldn’t put a price on.

For those on a tighter budget, Broken Bay Peal Farm also has the Discovery Tour which offers individuals the chance to see the farm on an interactive boat tour where you’ll learn about the farm and farming techniques. You’ll also get the chance to see the beauty of the Hawkesbury River on this tour. After this tour is over, you’ll head back to the Shellar Door where you can order Oysters, and buy pearl-based jewellery. This tour starts at $85pp

Australian Reptile Park

Elvis the Crocodile
The Reptile Park

The Australian Reptile Park is known for being the ”the hands-on zoo”. Simply put, this is the zoo where it is normal to cuddle a koala, pat a dingo, or hold a snake. This is a big hit with families. And is one of the reasons it is probably one of the most popular family activities on the Central Coast. Whilst this is great, the Australian Reptile Park is home to a lot more. On Sundays, you can see resident saltwater crocodile Elvis launch himself out of the water during his live feeding. He is known as the crankiest crocodile in Australia (they’re probably right) and it is the one show you don’t want to miss. Included in your entry are lots of animal encounter opportunities as well.

The Australian Reptile Park is also Australia’s leading site for venom programs. The park has had an enormous impact on lifesaving technology and every entry to the park puts more money back into this program.

To put it lightly, the Australian Reptile Park sole supplier of terrestrial snake venom for the purpose of making antivenom and also since the inception of the Australian Reptile Park’s funnel-web spider antivenom program in 1981, zero deaths have been recorded due to funnel-web spiders. This is huge for the park, and visitors to the park every year help keep these programs alive.

To find out more about these programs or to book tickets to the park make sure you check out their website. The Australian Reptile Park is currently open every day of the year (apart from Christmas day) from 9am-5pm.

Visit the Beach

Ocean Beach, umina
Ocean Beach Central Coast

The Central Coast is known for its beaches! There are countless beaches along the coast and people flock here every year for nothing more than to visit the beach. Along our beaches, you’ll find many quaint coastal towns with vibrant coffee cultures and some of the best views in NSW. Whilst on the Central Coast make sure you check out these beaches Bateau Bay Beach, Towoon Bay, Macmasters Beach, Terrigal Haven, Forresters Beach, Frazer Beach, Avoca Beach, Patonga, Killcare Beach, and Ocean Beach.

Visit the Entrance Boathouse

the Entrance boatshed
Boat Hire Central Coast

No boat license? No worries. The Central Coast is known for being close to the water, so one thing you may want to do is head out on the water. The Entrance Boat House is a historic boat shed that has been in operation since 1885. It offers boat hire for anyone with a valid driver’s license. From here you’ll be able to explore the Tuggerah Lakes region quickly and with some of the best views. Explore the islands in the lake or go fishing off your boat in areas of the lake that are only accessible via boat.

At the Entrance Boat House, you can hire.

  • Half-cabin motor boats
  • Open motor boats
  • Stand-up paddle boards
  • Peddle boats
  • Single & double kayaks
  • Fishing rod hire

After 3 pm on the last Thursday of every month, the boat shed turns into the BYO Sunset Oyster Bar. Here you can watch the sunset from some of the best views in town as well watch the local pelicans while enjoying fresh local oysters, prawns, and food platters.

Tickets for this event start at $10 and preordering your oysters and food is recommended. To RSVP to the next event check out the link below.

Private Central Coast Tour

If you don’t have a lot of time to visit the Central Coast a great option is to book a private tour of the Central Coast! This tour will take you to our beautiful beaches, sample wine at our wineries, get out on a hike, and even see some indigenous art! By doing a private tour you’ll get to see what the Central Coast is known for and get a fun guide to take you to a few off-the-beaten places too including secret beaches.

  • this article contains affiliate links and I may receive a small commission on eligible purchases from certain links.


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