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6 Must-Visit Destinations on New South Wales’ Central Coast

White sand dunes at sunset. Anna Bay, New South Wales. Image by Greg Brave via Shutterstock.

Kangaroos, sand dunes and beaches; drive along the Central Coast of New South Wales and you’ll wish you visited sooner…

Heading north from Sydney, you’ll soon discover the beautiful natural scenes that Australia is known for. So whether you’re planning out a road trip, or simply looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Sydney for a day, there’s no better place to visit than New South Wales’ Central Coast.

Here’s our pick of the six best must-visit destinations on New South Wales’ stunning Central Coast to add to your next weekend away in 2021.

Palm Beach, Northern Beaches

Just an hour’s drive away from the CBD, Sydney’s northernmost seaside point, Palm Beach is all about blue waters, golden sands, breathtaking lookout points and numerous seaside restaurants. The near two-and-a-half kilometre stretch can be best observed from the West Head lookout and Barrenjoey Head Lighthouse lookout points, both of which are well worth the walk.

Of course, there is plenty to discover and do whilst in Palm Beach. Here, travellers can partake water sport activities such as kayaking or surfing or, for something more relaxing, why not jump on a ferry to the Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park? One of our favourite weekend coastal getaways from Sydney, you can find all of the best places to eat, drink, stay and things to do here thanks to our weekender guide to this beautiful coastal town we call Palm Beach.


Bahá’í House of Worship

A 30-minute drive from Palm Beach, the Bahá’í House of Worship is a must-visit for anyone who is intrigued by the idea of religion and spirituality. The Bahá’í faith believes in the unity of all religions across the world and this is evident in their teachings, practices and architecture. The Bahá’í Temple, located in Ingleside, Mona Vale, is tucked away amidst natural gardens and bushland and sits high above the Northern Beaches, creating an environment filled with tranquility and peace – perfect for meditation, contemplation, reflection and introspection. After wandering through the main temple – an architectural wonder consisting of nines sides and doors that open to the beautiful gardens – you can sit back, relax and explore the variety of flora on display. This is a great place for a family picnic too!


Bahá’í House of Worship | 173 Mona Vale Rd, Ingleside, NSW 2010


The Entrance

Voted as one of the 10 must-visit Australian towns of 2021, The Entrance is a beautiful seaside town on the scenic Central Coast of New South Wales. With Lake Tuggerah on one side and the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean on the other, this coastal town offers more than just water sport activities. Take a walk along the The Entrance Heritage Walk and Coast to Lake Walk or head over to the North Entrance beach which is flanked to the north by Wyrrabalong National Park and by the Entrance Channel opening to Tuggerah Lakes to the south.

Moreover, visitors will also have the opportunity to feed the squadron of pelicans that flock towards the wharf daily thanks to The Entrance’s famed pelican feeding show. With plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby and picnic areas almost everywhere, this is the perfect place to stop and relax before heading out to the next destination.


Morisset Park

Kangaroos at Morisset Park. Image by Gregorio Koji vis Shutterstock

Kangaroos at Morisset Park. Image by Gregorio Koji vis Shutterstock

Just a 45-minute drive away from The Entrance, Morisset Park will provide you with a quintessential Australian experience – wild kangaroos! The park is full of these adorable creatures that sprawl across the vast grounds and forests of the area. Even though they are wild, they are friendly towards tourists and are used to having people around, petting them and posing for the perfect picture with them. With visitors and locals asked to refrain from feeding them, Morisset Park is still a great destination to spot some kangaroos – and even joeys if you’re lucky! Otherwise, the area, located in the Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area, is abundant with walking tracks and picnic areas to enjoy the spectacular views of Lake Macquarie and the nearby Pulbah Island. 


Newcastle

One hour away from Morisset Park is the second most populated city in New South Wales, Newcastle. With beautiful beaches and plenty of seaside restaurants and cafes, Newcastle serves as the perfect day trip stop for lunch and a little ocean relaxation. Head to the Newcastle Ocean Baths for a swim or take a walk along Nobby’s Beach. For breathtaking views of the city on one side and the vast ocean on the other, head to the Newcastle ANZAC memorial walk and bridge. Built in 2015 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC’s landing at Gallipoli, the picturesque 450-metre-long bridge and boardwalk offers spectacular views along with snippets of World War I facts, stories and steel silhouettes of fallen soldiers, engraved with the family names of men and women from Newcastle and Hunter Valley who served during the war.


Birubi Beach, Anna Bay

A 50-minute drive away from Newcastle lies our final and most unique destination of the day – Birubi Beach at Anna Bay, Port Stephens. This is not just any other Australian beach – Birubi Beach takes the title as the largest coastal sand mass in New South Wales. A costal town of mass proportions, here you’ll find around 20 miles of sandy shores that stretch from Stockton to Anna Bay with sand dunes that reach an impressive height of 30 metres. And, thanks to its abundance of activities and unique characteristics, Birubi Beach and Anna Bay alike are famed for camel rides, quad biking, sand-boarding and even whale watching during migration season in Stockton. To finish the day off we highly recommend a visit a local fish and chip shop before heading home.


Looking for more getaway ideas across New South Wales? Here’s everything you should (or should not) do on your next wine-filled road trip. Alternatively, explore some of our favourite New South Wales destinations including Nelson Bay and The Murray region.

We acknowledge the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.
Feature Image: Photographed by Greg Brave. Image via Shutterstock.
This article was first published on July 27 2018. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh on March 16 2021.
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