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Up until a few days before I visited the Central Coast, I’m ashamed to say I’d never heard of it. But now, I’m making it my little mission to put this beautiful spot on the map. It’s somewhere that I find myself daydreaming about so it’s safe to say I kinda love it and I’ll definitely be going back!
Located just an hour and a half North of Sydney, it’s a great place to visit to escape the city and also an unmissable place to stop at if you’re doing an epic Aussie East Coast road trip. It’s full of wildlife, loads of beaches and some more unusual things too. So what’s not to love? Here’s my guide to visiting the Central Coast to make sure you have an amazing day there.
Take in the view
To start your day off, head straight to the stunning Crackneck Lookout. Strange name, I know but the views are simply amazing. `From here you can see right over The Entrance and Shelly Beach and you’ll get a glimpse of what the Central Coast has to offer. If you’re visiting at the right time of year, it’s also a great place to do some whale spotting! There are even picnic benches up here if you fancy your breakfast with a view.
Stroll along Shelly Beach
You’ve seen it from above, now it’s time to feel the sand beneath your feet. Seeing the golden glow against the crystal clear waters and rock pools makes it a great way to start your day and a fantastic beach to explore. It’s also a popular surf beach if that’s what you fancy, too.
Explore The Entrance
This is the super pretty main town that’s almost surrounded by water. To the East is the sea, and to the west is the Tuggerah Lake. Here you will find a number of shops and restaurants, and if you’re looking for a place to stay to extend your trip, then this would be the spot!
Pick your fish for lunch
Because I’m British, going to the seaside and not having fish and chips is practically a crime. So for a great chippy lunch, head to the Big Tuna Fish Co. restaurant where you can get a great portion for a great price. Check out their counter and chose the fresh fish you want to have then tuck in.
Do the Coast to Lake walk
Time to burn off some of that food and see some more of The Entrance. Grab a Coast to Lake walk map from the tourist information centre and explore by foot. The whole route takes a couple of hours but it’s also divided up into smaller sections covering some great local attractions along the way.
Spy some Pelicans
No matter what, every day at 3.30pm, a flock of magnificent Pelicans come on to the beach for their daily feed. This has been going on for over 20 years when the nearby fish and chip shop would feed the Pelicans the scraps from the shop. Nowadays, the focus goes towards conservation, research and is used as a way to make sure the pelicans are well and safe.
Visit the Norah Head Lighthouse
As with many beaches here in Australia, lighthouses have played a massive part in maritime history and the safety of sailors. This lighthouse was one of the last built in NSW and is heritage listed. Tours around it are available and it can even be hired out for events and weddings! But seeing as you’ve only got the one day here, soak in the amazing views for free. To get closer to the water, make your way down the steps and onto Soldiers Beach. The huge, flat rocks here are pretty amazing to see and a reminder of the power the sea has on the coastline.
Finish your day with something different
Ok, so you’ve soaked in the views, walked the beaches and even spotted some amazing wildlife. What a day! But why not try something a bit different to finish your day off? Head west of the lake to the Wyong Milk Factory where you will find a rather unusual mix of businesses. The main focus is unsurprisingly on their delicious artisan cheese but you can also enjoy a nice cold beer at the Milk Factory Tavern, have a BBQ by the river or even go for a workout in the gym. But why not finish off with a row down the Wyong River? Hire out a rowboat or kayak, grab your bestie and go for a punt in the cool(ish) evening air.