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 for a weekend getaway (in no particular order!)
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.
Experience a unique Aboriginal Cultural experience guided on Darkinjung Country including traditional Smoking Ceremonies, 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.
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!
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.
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 so 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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, you have a lot 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! 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 epi centre is Ettalong Beach. From Mexican to modern Australian Ettalong Beach has historically been a quiet little seaside village. This sleepy town has however, become increasingly popular not only for its spectacular views of Broken Bay and Lion Island, and sandy beaches but for its quality cafés, 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, but in fact, the Central Coast has some award-winning mixologists in its midst. Check out our guide to what’s shaking and stirring here.
18. Set sail
As if the coastline wasn’t enough, the Central Coast is lucky to cradle some of the most scenic sailing waters - Broken Bay, The Brisbane Water, The Hawkesbury River, and The 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, or the new kid on the block, Hawkesbury Brewing Co opening early 2022.
22. Hit 9-holes
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!
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.
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.
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 the 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!