Life & Style

Explore all the best things to do on the Central Coast this summer

You're spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do on the Central Coast. From bush to beach, and adventure to art, here’s our guide to the best things to do on the Central Coast (in no particular order!).

1. Wildlife 

The Central Coast is home to not one, but three top-notch wildlife parks! All set in vast open spaces, and passionate about Australian flora, fauna, and conservation, The Australian Reptile Park, Central Coast Zoo, and Walkabout Wildlife Sanctuary make a great day out. 

30 best things to do on the central coast nsw

2. Darkinjung Aboriginal Cultural Tours 

Experience a unique Aboriginal cultural experience guided on Darkinjung Country including traditional smoking Cceremonies, bush walks, and historical rock engravings. Learn about the wisdom, spirituality, customs, and beliefs of the Aboriginal people of the local area.

3. Broken Bay Pearl Farm

We bet you don’t know much about the hidden gem of pearl farming! Visit Broken Bay Pearl Farm to cruise the river in a guided tour, browse the Shellar Door of locally grown pearls, shells, and jewellery, or enjoy some fresh oysters overlooking the river. 

4. The Art House Wyong

Check out what’s on at this state-of-the-art and exciting theatre that brings world-class capital city entertainment to the Central Coast. With shows on every week of the year from comedy, to dance, to drama, and everything in between, you’re sure to find a show for you! 

5. Bouddi National Park

Bouddi has it all – a famous boardwalk, hiking trails, camping grounds, cycle routes, guided Aboriginal heritage tours, fishing spots, lookouts, and some of the Central Coast’s most stunning beaches. 

30 best things to do on the central coast nsw

6. Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures

This award-winning tourist destination is a must-visit. Offering horse riding, quad biking, kayaking, abseiling, eco-villas, and glamping tents, all set in the stunning surrounds of the Glenworth Valley, this is the definition of adventure. 

7. Learn to surf

As a beachside region, the Central Coast has a strong surf culture. Why not take a lesson and get out on the waves? Check out Central Coast Surf Academy, Sals Surf School, or Norah Head Surf Coaching.

8. Treetops Adventure

Head into the treetops for swinging, flying, and bouncing adventures in the great eucalypt trees of Ourimbah State Forest. Choose from 8 ropes courses, 2 zip coasters, or the bouncy interconnected spaces of Networld. Fun for the whole family!

30 best things to do on the central coast nsw

9. Spend a morning in Long Jetty

The trendy Long Jetty strip has plenty to keep you occupied. Spend the day exploring some of the Coast’s best coffee and cafes, a yoga studio, tattoo shops, float tank room, art gallery, cocktail bar, and dozens of boutique shops. 

30 best things to do on the central coast nsw

10. Browse the art galleries

The Central Coast is home to some incredible artists from all over the peninsula. For the art lovers, it’s worth dropping into the Ken Duncan Gallery, Gosford Regional Gallery, Grant Molony Studio, and Bobbie P Gallery to name a few!

11. Avoca Picture Theatre

Everyone loves the nostalgia and romance of an old-school cinema right?! Avoca Picture Theatre is perched on the south end of beautiful Avoca Beach and oozes charm. Showing both the Box Office hits and some more obscure special features, drop-in for a flick. 

12. Brunch

You can’t go past a good, long, lazy brunch and the Central Coast has an impressive list of drool-worthy brekkie menus to sample. Check out our feature on the best here.

30 best things to do on the central coast nsw

13. Chase waterfalls

Somersby Falls may be the most well-known waterfall walk in the vast bushland of the Central Coast but there are many more to explore for the nature lover and water baby alike. Seek out Kariong Brook Falls for the swimming hole, Girrakool Falls for a good hike, or Ironbank Falls for the best-kept secret.

14. Pick a beach

A trip to the beach is a no-brainer but with such a vast coastline and some of the most beautiful (and uncrowded!) beaches on the east coast – there's plenty to choose from. We love Maitland Bay, Forresters, Avoca, Spoon Bay, Bateau Bay, and Soldiers but check out our guide here for even more!

15. Cycle around Tuggerah Lakes

Tuggerah Cycleway is a 12km leisurely and flat bike path that hugs the lake's foreshore from The Entrance to Chittaway Bay. With plenty of parks and picnic spots along the way, take the whole family! It's popular with walkers too.

16. Ettalong eats

When it comes to eating out, you're spoilt for choice on the Central Coast and at the epicentre is Ettalong Beach. This sleepy town has become increasingly popular not only for its spectacular views of Broken Bay and Lion Island and sandy beaches but for its quality cafes, bars, and restaurants. Here’s our guide to the best restaurants and cafes at Ettalong Beach.

17. Cocktail Hour

A quality cocktail is not only found in the city – the Central Coast has some award-winning mixologists in its midst. Check out our guide to what’s shaking and stirring here

30 best things to do on the central coast nsw

18. Set sail

As if the coastline wasn’t enough, the Central Coast is lucky to possess some of the most scenic sailing waters – Broken Bay, Brisbane Water, the Hawkesbury River, and Pittwater. Contact Hardys Bay Sail Charter or Hawkesbury House Boats to sail away. 

19. Terrigal Boardwalk to The Haven

The Terrigal Boardwalk connects the bustling centre of Terrigal town to The Haven headland, offering stunning views along the way. Family and pet-friendly, this new and modern oceanfront stroll also looks beautiful lit up at night. 

20. Meet the alpacas at Iris Lodge

Iris Lodge offers a truly unique experience where you can hand feed and round up their alpacas before enjoying a complimentary breakfast with them by your side! You’ll also meet their lambs and cows and get to experience life on the farm. Afternoon alpaca visits are also available.

21. Visit the local breweries

If you’re into beer there are a number of craft breweries dotted around the coast, each with a laid-back casual vibe. Head to Six Strings, Block N Tackle, Bay Rd Brewing, Central Coast Brewery, and Hawkesbury Brewing Co.

30 best things to do on the central coast nsw

22. Hit 9-holes 

As a popular getaway destination, the Central Coast has its fair share of beautiful golf courses to practice your swing. Our picks are Kooindah Waters, Magenta Shores, Shelly Beach, and Wyong

23. Markets 

There’s nothing like a casual stroll around an open-air market and there are a few regular markets across the coast to choose from. Hit Gosford Farmers Market for produce, Avoca Market for local artisanal products, or Long Jetty for a lakeside vibe with live music. 

24. Julie Goodwin’s Cooking School

Made famous as our first national Masterchef, Julie Goodwin is a Central Coast local. Visit Julie’s Place for a wide variety of cooking classes for all skill levels. From high tea, preserving & pickling to canapés, cocktails, and family meals, it all happens at Julie’s Place! 

25. Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre

A great family-friendly and educational activity where you can touch starfish, sea sponges, and corals whilst learning about the marine ecosystem of the Central Coast. They also occasionally host talks from marine experts. 

26. Get your hiking boots on

The Central Coast is teeming with incredible walks with breathtaking views, so stretch your legs and explore the great outdoors with our list of the best tracks. 

27. Watersports

It’s not called the Central Coast for nothing and a visit would not be complete without getting out on the water. Try your hand at stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, paddle boats, water jetpack, or the inflatable obstacle course at Aqua Park

28. Shop til you drop 

There are boutique stores galore across the coast for those special, one-of-a-kind finds. Hot names include Bohemian Traders, Drift Home and Living, Shadowbang, and La Boheme. Explore more in our guide to Terrigal, and shopping guide to Long Jetty

30 best things to do on the central coast nsw

29. Visit a shipwreck

The Ex-HMAS Adelaide lies 1.4km from Terrigal in 35 metres of water. Swarms of marine life now call the wreck home and you can book a dive with Pro Dive to check it out!

30. Head to the chocolate factory

Indulge your sweet tooth with a visit to The Chocolate Factory in Gosford (they also do tours and chocolate-making workshops), or Luca Chocolates in Wyong. We guarantee you will not leave empty-handed!