The Weekender: NSW Central Coast
Kangaroos, Sand Dunes and Beaches – Drive along the Central Coast of New South Wales and explore its many picturesque offerings.
In my previous article, I made an itinerary that covers some of the major attractions along the South East coast of NSW. Central NSW offers a rustic kind of drive that Australia is famous for. The distance to every destination has been calculated from the city centre.
An hour’s drive away from the city center, Sydney’s northernmost seaside point, Palm Beach is all about blue waters, golden sands, breath taking lookout points and numerous seaside restaurants. The 2.3 km stretch can be best observed from the West Head lookout and Barrenjoey Head Lighthouse lookout points well worth the walk. If you’re not up for the walk, try out the various water sport activities, such as, kayaking or surfing or jump on a ferry to the Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. Palm Beach is also famous for its depiction in the popular TV series Home and Away and is the perfect spot to sit back, unwind and treat yourself to a great meal or two.
Address: Palm Beach, New South Wales 2108
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. Bahá’í writings advocate that God is an unknowable essence and expressions of God’s attributes can be found in the beauty, richness and diversity of the natural world. 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. One can sit and relax in the gardens and explore the variety of flora on display, enjoy lunch or arrange a picnic. The main temple is an architectural wonder consisting of 9 sides and doors that open to the beautiful gardens.
Address: 173 Mona Vale Road, Ingleside, NSW 2010
An hour’s drive away from the Bahá’í temple, The Entrance is a beautiful seaside town on the scenic Central Coast of NSW. With Lake Tuggerah on one side and the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean on the other, this seaside town offers many 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, an added bonus of this destination is the opportunity to feed hundreds of Pelicans that flock towards eager looking tourists to get their share of food, while tourists get their share of Instagram worthy pictures. With plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby and picnic areas almost everywhere, this is the perfect stop to stop and relax before heading out to the next destination.
Address: The Entrance, New South Wales 2261
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 wild Kangaroos sprawling across the vast grounds and forests in the area. Even though they are wild, they are friendly towards tourists as this has become one of the most popular tourists’ spots over the years and are used to having people around, petting them and posing for the perfect Facebook profile picture with them. That being said, beware of feeding them human food, as it is harmful for them and once they get a taste of it, they can get aggressive and attack you for food. But by all means, go sit with them and get that perfect Australian trip shot with the Kangaroos and their joeys. 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 the nearby Pulbah Island.
Address: Eucalyptus Drive, Morisset, NSW, 2264
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 cafés, Newcastle serves as the perfect 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-meter-long bridge and boardwalk offers spectacular views along with snippets of World War 1 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.
Address: 30 Shortland Esplanade, Newcastle East NSW 2300
A 50-minute drive away from Newcastle lies our final and most intriguing destination of the day – Birubi Beach at Anna Bay, Port Stephens. This is not just any other beach of Australia. What makes Birubi beach unique is the presence of the largest coastal sand mass in New South Wales. Around 20 miles of sandy shores stretches from Stockton to Anna Bay with sand dunes that reach a height of 30 meters in the Anna Bay end. Because of the sand dunes the area is famous for camel rides, quad-biking and sandboarding. The waters of the beach are frequented by dolphins and great white sharks, and humpback whales also make an appearance at the Stockton end during migration season. To finish the day off we highly recommend a visit to Crest Cafe at Birubi. The Birubi Burger and Papardelle are the perfect pre-drive lunches.
Address: 73 James Paterson St, Anna Bay NSW 2316
Total drive time to Birubi beach and back – 8 hours approximately (give or take 30 mins)
Total distance to Birubi beach and back – 509 kilometres
With this itinerary, you can tick off some of the main attractions along the central coast of NSW. Happy Travelling!
Feature image via HUNTERhunter.