If you’re looking to explore, Central Coast Australia, specifically the Terrigal Beach area, is a must see with something on offer for all types of travelers.
Australia’s Central Coast is a small slice of paradise located on the east coast, about an hour’s drive North of Sydney. It’s the perfect location for travelers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the big cities and relax in the pristine climate, soaking up the warm sunny weather.
Much like the rest of Australia, this region has a rich history, being inhabited for thousands of years by Aboriginal people. The local Guringai and Darkinjung people were some of the first to come into contact with the British settlers.
The Central Coast’s bushland and oceans are home to a rich ecosystem boasting all sorts of flora and fauna unique only to Australia and there are so many ways to see it all. For the active traveler seeking to get out and explore the surroundings, there are options for bushwalks, adventure sports, surfing, snorkeling, diving, sailing and climbing.
Or perhaps you’re simply seeking to kick up your feet and relax? For this there’s no place better than stunning beach side. This place really has it all. For those making the trip down under, the Central Coast is definitely a must see.
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A few key points to mention for visitors:
Accommodations and Hotels in Terrigal
There’s actually quite a range of accommodation types to choose from, depending on your preferred way to travel. For those looking to do things on a low budget, hostel rates range between $40-80 USD and camping is also an option.
Hotel rooms range from $100-300 USD with Vacation rentals and Airbnb also available. Staying on the Central Coast is a great way to avoid the busy traffic of Sydney, while at the same time taking advantage of all the cities benefits with just a short commute by car or train.
Transportation from Sydney and Around the Central Coast
There are a variety of transport options to get you around town, ranging from taxis and ubers to public buses and trains. The public transport system is somewhat lacking however, with the main train line connecting it to Sydney and buses taking on the rest.
Private transport such as taxis and Uber are relatively affordable also. If you’re spending a few days in the area the best option is probably a hire car. These go anywhere from as low as $60 USD/day and up.
Things to do in the Central Coast
So you might be wondering, what is there actually to do in this place? Why should you visit? There is potentially and endless list of reasons to this question, however the simple answer is the stunning coastal location.
With a rich and fertile ecosystem on land and sea, the Central Coast reaps all the benefits that comes with being a seaside community. With pristine beaches, exotic marine wildlife and access to fresh locally caught seafood, it’s easy to see why the lion’s share of tourism is centred around this aspect.
Here’s a few things that are a must see for first timers:
Terrigal Beach is a stunning location in any day, in any type of weather. This beach is ideal for families with young children. It’s very clean and has small to medium surf.
Terrigal Beach located very close to shops and other amenities such as cafes, toilets, parking spaces and a variety of restaurants to choose from. This beach offers a safe swimming environment almost all year round. It is patrolled by surf lifesavers every day from October long weekend until the end of April.
At the southern end there is a small ocean rock pool tucked into the cliff for people to explore, and beyond that is Terrigal Haven, a protected boat harbour with boat ramp, scuba diving, fishing charters, snorkeling as well as picnic and barbeque facilities.
Vista Points for Great Sightseeing
Captain Cook Lookout – Watch for humpback whales from here during the migration. Views as far as Sydney. Click here for more information and reviews.
Crackneck Lookout Coast Walk – A lovely walk near Bateau Bay ends up at a boho coffee truck for the perfect picnic. Click here for more information and reviews.
The Skillion – A steep stairway climb rewards you with outstanding marine and horizon vistas. Click here for more information and reviews.
This beach is also prone to sightings of whales and dolphins if you’re lucky. One of the best known beaches on the Central coast, Terrigal Beach is a vibrant seaside town, just as popular with locals as it is with visitors.
Drinks in the Terrigal Beach Area
Block ’n Tackle Brewery – Small batch artisan brewer pairs craft beers with tasty eats. Click here for more information and reviews.
Firescreek Fruit Wines – Flavorful and aromatic fruit, flower and herb wines in a stunning setting. Click here for more information and reviews.
Rhonda’s – Italian bar atmosphere with pizza and pasta on the side. Click here for information and reviews.
The Pocket Bar – A quirky little place for a proper cocktail. Click here for more information and reviews.
Check out other bars in the Terrigal Beach area.
Pelican Feeding at Terrigal Beach
Located at the waterfront of the Entrance, this event happens at 3.30pm each day and is definitely one of the Central Coast’s more popular attractions for tourists. It serves to entertain and educate people about the pelican colony local to the area.
What started off over 20 years ago from staff at the local fish shop feeding scraps to the pelicans everyday, has now turned into a wonderful spectacle involving these magnificent birds. It has all been made possible by a team of volunteers and sponsors who provide the pelicans whole fish to eat, 365 days of the year.
The feeders also use this opportunity to check the health and well being of the birds. This event only seems to get more popular so be sure to arrive early to get the best spot. If traveling with kids, a seat at the front could potentially provide an opportunity to feed the pelicans themselves.
Other Beaches to Visit
Macmasters Beach – Great setup for kids with play area and sea pool. Click here for reviews and more information.
Avoca Beach – Great beach to surf or watch surfers. Wide stretches of sand with places to snorkel, rock formations, and amenities. Click here for reviews and more information.
Norah Head Lighthouse Walk
Close to Toukley is a headland called Norah Head, which has the last active staffed lighthouse in constructed in New South Wales. The light keeper’s house dates back to 1903.
There is a fantastic walking circuit with a great range of stunning scenery to experience, in total taking about 1 hour to complete the whole 2.5km track. This walk covers the Norah Head Nature trail, the merchant navy memorial and the Norah Head Lighthouse before returning back along the shoreline.
The Lighthouse itself is made from concrete blocks and stands 90 ft high, situated on a narrow land strip separating the Tuggerah Lake from the sea. Its open for guided tours and there is also the opportunity to stay overnight in one of two cottages, both with the capacity of up to 8 people. Click here for reviews and more information.
Dining in the Terrigal Beach Area
The Grand Pavilion – A favorite Indian restaurant with vegetarian options. Outdoor seating and authentic, traditional cuisine. Click here for reviews and more information.
Yellowtail – Contemporary seafood with a strong reputation for quality and consistence. Click here for reviews and more information.
Chop ‘n Grind – Some say the “best burger on the Central Coast.” Casual, outdoor setting. Click here for reviews and more information.
Fine Dining in Terrigal:
L’Isle de France – Acclaimed classic French gastronomy in a spectacular setting. Click here for reviews and more information.
The Cowrie – Australian seafood menu, perfectly prepared in a stunning location. Click here for reviews and more information.
Click here for a full list of restaurants.
Local Tips for When You Visit the Central Coast
The Australian sun can be harsh, particularly in the summer months, and it’s important protect yourself. If you’re spending time in the sun it’s a good idea to always have a hat and wear suncream, as well as having a close supply of water available.
The central coast is large area with lots to do and lots of coastline to explore. We recommend traveling with a daypack as it allows you to easily carry these extra items like sunscreen, water and a hat.
A nice travel combo to use is a laptop backpack, as it protects your laptop when traveling and also doubles as great daypack when you reach your destination, you can find some nice ones here.
Australian beaches can also pose some fairly hazardous conditions from time to time, and even the locals will always try to swim in the flags. If you‘re a regular to Australian beaches or it’s your first time visiting, it’s a good idea to check out the rules on beach safety.
Meet Our Guest Author, Liam Gibson
“I’m an Industrial Designer by trade, but also a part-time stay at home dad. I’m a really active person and love getting outdoors to explore and staying fit.
I blog at The Ultimate Backpack blog, where I write about the design elements of backpacks and also help people to find the right backpack for their needs.
The goal is to provide people with all of the information that I have wanted to know when searching for a backpack.”
Tips for Trip Success
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I’ve never been to Australia but really do hope to go one day and explore this pretty country.