About Central Coast

With a new story around every corner, and only a stone’s throw away from Sydney, the Central Coast region is a vibrant coastal destination to live, work, and play. Fringed by a stunning coastline, 40+ beaches, hemmed with lush wilderness, hazy mountain ranges and scenic forests, this tropical paradise is just 90 minutes north of Sydney.

More than half the coast is brimming with national parks, bushland, open spaces, & pristine waterways. This also includes some of New South Wales’ popular nature-inspired experiences such as the Bouddi Coastal Walk, Somersby Falls and the World Heritage Listed Convict Trail and Ourimbah State Forest. But the city has its fair share of luxury experiences as well, including off-grid glamping, premium dining, and relaxing day spas, all set against the glittering coastline, national parks, and rugged hinterlands!

Like most major Australian cities, Central Coast also offers epic encounters with native wildlife. The Australian Reptile Park is a zoo that houses exotic reptiles and Australian animals in their natural bush setting. May-November calls for some whale watching fun, with the east coast region becoming a hotspot for the migrating Humpback whales.

Dig deep into the region’s indigenous heritage with an Aboriginal-led tour and hear dreamtime stories, check Aboriginal rock art, and learn about bush food! With this incredible combination of natural beauty, outdoor adventure, cultural experiences & relaxation options, Central Coast is definitely a bucket-list worthy destination.

Central Coast Cruise Experiences

Lunch Cruises

2 Cruises

Whale Watching Cruises

1 Cruise

From $95

Featured Cruises

3 Cruises

ACGVAZ1039

3hr Sunday On Hawkesbury Cruise

On Sundays, cruise the Hawkesbury River on the legendary Riverboat Postman. Enjoy scenic vistas, classic Ploughman’s-style lunch & beverages!

Duration 3hr

ACGTPY1042

Riverboat Postman 3-hr Hawkesbury River Cruise

Combine a soothing sightseeing experience with waterfront dining along the tranquil waters of Hawkesbury River only on the Riverboat Postman.

Duration 3hr

ACGHCM1106

2.5 Hour Fantasea Whale Watching Cruise Central Coast

Educational whale-watching adventure cruise departing Palm Beach Wharf, Central Coast during the school holiday season – perfect option for families.

Duration 2hr

From $95

Know Before You Go

Best Time To Visit

Though there’s no such thing as a bad time to visit the Central Coast, though February through May, and September through November are considered the best times. You’ll find mild sunny weather, bright blue skies, and moderate crowds. Plus, you get to watch the mighty Humpback whales in action!

Public Holidays

Monday, 1 January: New Year's Day
Friday, 26 January: Australia Day
Friday, 29 March: Good Friday 
Saturday, 30 March: Easter Saturday 
Sunday, 31 March: Easter Sunday 
Monday, 1 April: Easter Monday
Thursday, 25 April: Anzac Day
Wednesday, 25 December: Christmas Day
Thursday, 26 December: Boxing Day

Other public holidays declared by the state and territory governments:

New South Wales
Monday, 10 June: King’s Birthday
Monday, 7 October: Labour Day

Events & Festivals

Lighthouse Festival
Held at the Norah Head, Lighthouse is a one-day gathering with good music, good food, and good company. Enjoy spectacular artists performing in an ocean-view setting. This year, expect a brand new food and wine experience.

Bouddi Coastal Run
Here’s your summer to-do list topper – the 14km or 21km trail runs in the iconic Bouddi National Park. Conquer varied terrains like smooth trails, rocky landscapes, sandy expanses and cliff tops – the best way to experience the outdoors!

Flavours By The Sea
Everyone can participate in this one! This event celebrates the region's coastal location and highlights its vibrant food scene. Featuring a diverse range of local vendors, restaurants, and food artisans, Flavours by the Sea offers a unique opportunity to indulge in the finest flavours the Central Coast has to offer. The event also features live music!

School Holidays

TERM 1 SCHOOL HOLIDAYS 2024
New South Wales: 15 April to 26 April

TERM 2 SCHOOL HOLIDAYS 2024
New South Wales: 8 July to 19 July

TERM 3 SCHOOL HOLIDAYS 2024
New South Wales: 30 September to 11 October

TERM 4 SCHOOL HOLIDAYS 2024 - 2025
New South Wales: 23 December 2024 to 6 February 2025

Accommodation

From backpackers hostels, motels, holiday houses, and camping packages to beachfront apartments, farm stays, nature retreats, and luxe lodges, the Central Coast offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets. Airbnb bookings are at an all-time high during the summer.

Dining

Food enthusiasts exploring the NSW Central Coast have plenty to get excited about. Whether you’re looking to indulge in the fresh catch of the day at the many waterfront restaurants or enjoy a locally-inspired menu at a chic cafe, there’s something here for every palate. Explore dessert bars, picnic spots in national parks, beachside cafes, as well as sophisticated cocktails at sunny rooftop bars!

Transport

Getting here from Sydney is pretty easy with trains running regularly every half hour from Sydney, and every hour from Newcastle – hop on a ferry from Palm Beach for an added experience!

A network of buses, and taxis can be easily used to navigate between railway stations and popular hubs like shopping centres and most beaches. Taxis, uber, ferries, and car hires are also available.
 

Central Coast Tourist Information

Shopping & Market Hours

Look out for artistic finds, quality organic produce, culinary treats, and beachy fashions on the Central Coast. The city is home to numerous beachside markets, galleries and boutique stores. Held on the fourth Sunday of every month, Avoca Beachside Markets welcomes over 100 unique stalls where you can find local artists, delicious food, live music, and workshops for the little ones. Pop in at Bouddi Gallery to find Aboriginal paintings, ceramics, glassware and weavings.
 

Medical Services

Gosford Hospital serves as the primary hospital for referrals and regional trauma cases on the Central Coast. Wyong Hospital is a significant metropolitan hospital, and sub-acute care is provided at Woy Woy Hospital and Long Jetty Healthcare Centre. Additionally, there are several community health centres and community based services.

For general aid (police, fire, ambulance) phone 000.