Backpacking the Central Coast

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  • central-coast-1179430
    THE SKILLION AT TERRIGAL IS ONE OF THE MANY NATURAL ATTRACTIONS ON THE CENTRAL COAST: Photo - Wildlight photography, courtesy Destination New South Wales
  • central-coast-999191
    CENTRAL COAST HAS LOTS OF GREAT SURFING LOCATIONS: Photo - Hamilton Lund, courtesy Destination New South Wales
  • central-coast-993463
    CENTRAL COAST IS AN IDEAL LOCATION FOR MANY DIFFERENT WATER SPORTS: Photo - Nick Rains, courtesy Destination New South Wales
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Central Coast Highlights

  • If you are a lover of water activities such as swimming, surfing, kayaking, canoeing, fishing and boating, the Central Coast has over 30 beaches to choose from, as well as many pristine waterways and lakes.

  • The Central Coast is surrounded by lush hinterlands and several national parks, which are excellent for bushwalking (hiking), mountain biking and exploring the spectacular landscapes.

About the Central Coast

Population 300,000

Just over an hours drive from Sydney, the Central Coast has plenty to offer. There are over 30 beaches to choose from including some great surfing beaches, plus endless pristine waterways and lakes. This makes it a water sports haven for activities such as kayaking, sailing, surfing, sailboarding, fishing, canoeing and swimming. Also, being surrounded by many National Parks, there are plenty of on-land activities to do as well, such as bushwalking, mountain biking, and camping.

The Central Coast region is bounded by the Hawkesbury River in the south, the Watagan Mountains in the west and the southern end of Lake Macquarie in the north. The main cities and towns are Gosford, Avoca beach, Terrigal, The Entrance, Toukley, Budgewoi and Wyong.

Main Towns/Cites within the Central Coast

Avoca Beach

This is a popular holiday destination with an obvious surf culture and a relaxed and friendly ambience. The beach is great for all levels of surfing and also good for swimming. The town is a good base to explore nearby parks and headlands, or Avoca Lake..


This is the main commercial centre of the region and is surrounded by State forests and lakes.

The Entrance

This town is known for its huge pelican population, and every day at 3:30 pm there is pelican feeding at a special ramp on the ocean side of the bridge. The entrance combines surf beaches on one side and an impressive lake on the other. The lake is ideal for water-skiing, canoeing, sailing, fishing and sailboarding.


This is a popular Central Coast holiday destination and the geographic heart of the Central Coast. The town offers many activities such as fishing, swimming, surfing, boating, diving and exploring nearby stunning natural scenery.

Orientation Map for the Central Coast

View map of the Central Coast in a larger map

Central Coast Visitor Information Centre

200 Mann Street
Gosford, New South Wales
Phone (02) 4343 4444