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What to See in Central Coast for a Half Day


It was the middle of Winter in Sydney and me and my friends wanted a nice little break to discover something new: Sydney's Central Coast. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't at its best at first but became pretty sunny throughout the day. We then decided to hit the road with my Honda and explore! I've never been to Central Coast before and we had only an afternoon so we decided to drive around discover the main areas. Leaving the rest for this summer! There's definitely a lot to see but here are some essentials we visited and that you can easily do in one afternoon if you have a car!

How to get to Central Coast:

By car and from Sydney it's pretty easy  to get to Central Coast, you just need to follow the M1. Once on it, you will have several options to exit to where you want. You can take the main exit Gosford as well as it then links roads to the beaches. But I always recommend having a look at Google Maps before of course!Once there, also calculate the times you need in between the places you want to visit. Although it's super fast on the M1, it can take some time while on the coast to get from A to B.

By train, you can get the Central Coast and Newcastle line from Central station in Sydney. It will take you about an hour to reach Gosford. But then if you want to go to the beaches and other places you might have to get a car or take buses, but definitely not at easy! Having a car gives you a lot more options and freedom.

Beautiful Avoca Beach in Central Coast. Photo: Marine Raynard

What to see in a half-day at Central Coast:

1. Avoca Beach

When I hear Avoca Beach, I always think Avocado beach haha! But be reassured, it has nothing to do with avocados (cool thing if it would be). Avoca Beach is a beautiful, wild and large beach at the beginning of Central Coast. It's great for surfers as it generally has good waves and is big enough to welcome all the surfers.

I am not sure about summer but in winter there are so many dogs on the beach! Which if you are a dog (or any animal) lover like me, is a bit of a paradise! There's nothing cuter than seeing those big balls of fur jumping and running in and out the water.

There's also a beautiful little bay with the beach and ocean. Great for photos on a sunny day! (I managed to get the picture right before it was cloudy again.)

Avoca Beach in Central Coast

2. Terrigal Beach

Terrigal Beach is probably one of the most known places in Central Coast. It is very touristy and has lots of cafes, bar and a big hotel where people usually go party.

The beach is nice but a lot less wild and natural as Avoca beach. However, at the end of the seaside walkway, there's a nice short walk with beautiful red rocks. It's good to take a break there and watch the seaside town and its people.

After patting once again way too many dogs, we went for ice cream and smoothies. I recommend this place called “Juicy Junkie” where they have the most wonderful and delicious juices. Bonus for the surfing magazines while waiting.

I also met this photographer from Central Coast, Glenn McKimmin. His pictures taken from helicopters or beaches and ocean are just incredible. We talked a bit of photography, Instagram, landscape photography, gear and what it takes to become a professional photographer. Great meet, I'll definitely come back say hi and if you are looking for beautiful photographs while at Terrigal, have a look!

Finally, for the frenchies, there's a really good French restaurant in Terrigal. It's called “Le Chat Noir” I've passed in from of it and it seemed really nice so I'll make sure to visit again and try it! I've also heard only good things about it from friends.

Terrigal Beach at Central Coast

3. The Entrance

The weather started to deteriorate when we arrived at The Entrance but our timing was great because it was “Pelicans feeding time”, and what a funny experience!

I've seen pelicans before but never seen that many at the same time. It was very impressive and quite entertaining to watch because of the excited pelicans and of all the tourists as excited to watch! It lasts about half an hour and lots of fishes are being thrown around for the pelicans, and everybody is saying “wooow”.

Other than that, we didn’t explore much The Entrance but it seems nice to explore on a sunny day, there are some nice cafes and the possibility to rent some boats to go around the bay for quite cheap.

The Entrance Pelicans in Central Coast


4. Nora’s head with Nora’s lighthouse

This is the point where the weather really got bad so we didn’t spend as much time as we wished but still got some nice views from Nora’s lighthouse. Only a short drive away, you can see once again a really nice view of the ocean and rocks next to Nora’s lighthouse. If you are a really good surfer, you can try taking some uncrowded waves out there. Fishing amateurs will also like the place, we’ve seen a few ones on the rocks, rain or shine they are always there!

Finally, you can also visit the lighthouse, there are tours almost every day and several times a day. There are also few houses next to the lighthouse if you wish to stay overnight or more. With the bad weather it looked a bit spooky but on a nice day, it must be a great escape!

nora's head lighthouse in Central Coast

What’s for next time on the Central Coast?

There is so much to do and see around the Central Coast area, you definitely need more than one afternoon to discover the region. My next adventure will definitely be Bouddi National Park on a sunnier day as it looks so scenic and like a great hike. The entry fee is 8 dollars for a day but I am sure very well worth it!

Have you been to Central Coast? Where do you recommend for me to go next time? Let me know your best places and tips!

Pelicans The Entrance Central Coast