Central Coast, Australia

From Broken Bay at the mouth of the Hawkesbury River to south of Newcastle, the Central Coast includes a mix of bays and inlets, pristine beaches, lakes and lush hinterland, all worth exploring.

Australia's Central Coast

See & Do

Bushwalks There are plenty of local, coastal bushwalking tracks in the area surrounding Bells: Bombi Moor, Little Beach, Bullimah Spur and Lobster Beach. See Indigenous rock paintings, magnificent scenery and Australian wildlife like the spiky Echidna.

Local Beaches Palm Beach is a 20 minute cruise from Wagstaff wharf and there are regular FantaSea ferries. Barrenjoey House is great for lunch or have fish & chips by the water. There are a few boutique shops and the headland has a gorgeous lighthouse if you are feeling energetic. Pearl Beach is another gorgeous spot and only 20 minute drive through Umina Beach.

Hawkesbury River Take a water taxi to lunch at the award-winning Berowra Waters Inn restaurant on the Hawkesbury River and watch the seaplanes land and take off while enjoying one of the finest meals in Sydney. (Click here to read our story about the area.)

Surf the Central Coast The central coast is home to many professional surfers and some amazing and renowned surf breaks: Box Head, Macmasters Beach and Avoca Point. Enjoy Learn to Surf classes at the Avoca Beach Surf School. Ph: 0400 499 873 or email: learn@avocasurfschool.com.au

Sailing Explore Broken Bay and Pittwater on the Taste of Sailing Experience – 3 hrs of sailing with a skipper includes a cheese platter, BYO drinks. On scheduled dates only. Half and Full Day Charters available. Contact Hardy’s Bay Yacht Charters or phone: (02) 4360 1442.

Diving Learn to scuba dive in tranquil Terrigal Haven at this unique Dive Centre: Terrigal Dive can improve your scuba diving knowledge and qualifications with advanced or specialty dive courses, refresher dives or scuba updates. Terrigal Dive offers a large selection of boat dives and wreck dives. Phone: (02) 4384 1219

Golf Everglades Country Club is located at nearby Woy Woy and has 18 holes. Phone: 02 4341 1866. Tuggerah Lakes Golf Club located at Shelly Beach (40 minutes north) is set on the headland and is one of the most stunning golf clubs in Australia. Phone: (02) 4332 3400.

Movies The Avoca Beach Theater has been showing movies since 1951 and is a rare and delightful cinematic experience. Showcasing both mainstream and art house pictures, it’s well worth a visit: 69 Avoca Drive, Avoca Beach (near the Surf Club). For bookings call: (02) 4382 1677.

Tennis There are 2 courts at Pretty Beach, both available to book. Set by a lovely park and across from the water, the courts are a great spot for some exercise and fun. Call the Wagstaff Store to book your match. Phone: (02) 4360 1018.

Horse Riding Guided Horse Rides or free ranging riding are possible at Glenworth Valley. The Valley is located 3km off the Sydney – Newcastle Freeway, which is a one-hour drive north from Sydney and only 20 minutes from Gosford. They also offer a range of other adventure activities, like kayaking, Quad Biking and Abseiling. Phone: (02) 4375 1222

Marie Byles Lookout An easy, level walk across the road, approximately 1 kilometer east, is the Marie Byles lookout. From here you can look South across to Palm Beach to Sydney. A spectacular coastal lookout, not to be missed. Bells and PBH will pack you a gourmet lunch hamper, complete with utensils and backpack ($95 for 2 persons).

Wildlife Check out the Australian Reptile Park: the zoo with Bite! Pacific Highway, Somersby. Phone: 02 4340 1022 . At the Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park you can visit the friendliest wild Aussie animals, with over 180 species roaming free and happy in the bush. There are also ancient Aboriginal sites. The rangers are experts on bush tucker and bush medicine. Phone (02) 4375 1100

Game Fishing One of the most exhilarating experiences you can have during your stay at Bells or PBH is a cruise on board ‘Pretty Beach’. Built for serious fishing, designed for luxury, the brand new CABO 38 Express sports cruiser is available for guests to charter. Prices start at AU$1,000. Check with reception to make a booking.

Biking Pack your gourmet lunch hamper and cycle around the largest lake on the coast. A flat 12-kilometer ride from The Entrance to Chittaway Bay, the ride is easy to moderate and quite spectacular. Phone Tour De Long Jetty Cycle Hire on 0411 258 899.

Eat & Drink

Hunter Valley Vineyards With the Hunter Valley an easy 1.5 hours drive away, it makes the perfect day out for any wine lover. Tours can be arranged, either private or with other adventurers at Divine Tours. Phone: 4385 8181 or 0416 099 845 22.

Local Farmers Markets The Avoca Beach Farmers Market is open the First Sunday of each month, 8am – 12 noon. Corner of Avoca Drive and Vale Ave (near the Surf Club). The Farmers Market offers a spectacular and mouth-watering array of gourmet foods and fresh local produce. For more information, phone: 0415 863 398

Shop

Shops & Cafés The local village of Hardy’s Bay has some gorgeous boutique shops and cafes, such as Mooch Inside, which features the work of emerging artists and designers, Yum Yum Eatery and The Fat Goose Bakery.

Art Ken Duncan is a local artist, known internationally. He is recognized as the master and pioneer of Australian panoramic landscape photography. His imagery reflects our planet in spectacular and breathtaking photographs. Gallery is located at 414 The Entrance Road, Erina Heights. Phone: (02) 4367 6701.

Stay

Bells at Killcare offers luxury 5 star accommodation with elegant cottages, suites and villas, close to local beaches and bushwalks, and includes a boutique spa, pool and award-winning restaurant set amidst beautiful gardens.

Calabash Bay Lodge is a boutique luxury retreat for the discerning gourmet traveller in a secluded water-access only location at Berowra Waters on the Hawkesbury River. (Sleeps up to 8 people.)

Turners River House is accessible by boat only and is located on the North bank of the Hawkesbury River close to Dangar Island and nearby Brooklyn. Enjoy complete privacy at not just one, but 2 adjoining waterfront cottages, with private jetty, wood fireplace and 2 spa hot tubs. Great spot for fishing, cooking, reading, writing, and relaxing. Perfect for families and couples looking to escape the city. (Sleeps 4-6 people.)

Turners River House

To read our full feature article about Australia’s Central Coast click here.

Latest posts by Kate Ayrton

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