Cartoscope's detailed tourist map of the Central Coast is perfect for exploring this area. Buy online (for a nominal postage and handling fee) by clicking the link to the right, or pick up from local visitor information centres, tourism operators, service stations, motels and caravan parks.
Over thirty surf beaches span the length of the Central Coast. Countless waterways, rivers, creeks and streams beautify the landscape. Mountains provide panoramic vistas over sweeping coast and dense bushland. Rainforest lies beside rich green valleys. But it's not just the scenic beauty which makes the Central Coast an ideal year-round destination. It's also the diversity of coastal fun, hinterland adventure and relaxing natural experiences.
As a visitor you can choose to be as active or inactive as you like. Explore the hinterland or soak up the sun on an exclusive beach. Visit thriving and colourful markets or go
boutique shopping. Dine in world class restaurants or enjoy fish 'n' chips on the beach. Experience native flora and fauna in wildlife parks or do-it-yourself in vast National Parks.
The Central Coast is a water lover's paradise. Cast a line, hire a boat at The Entrance Boathouse, try your hand at prawning, stroll along lakeside boardwalks, or dine alfresco on the catch of the day.Tour the coastal lake system of Brisbane Water and experience the majestic Broken Bay area aboard Starship Cruises. Or go-it-alone by hired kayak, pedalcraft, dingy or surfski. The sleepy villages of Pearl Beach and Patonga are surrounded by Brisbane Water National Park and Broken Bay and provide respite from a day touring.
The township of The Entrance is ideally located where peaceful Tuggerah Lake meets the sea. Watch the feeding of the comical pelicans that congregate on the lake edge each afternoon at 3.30pm.
Discover nature's adrenalin-pumping possibilities. Explore tranquil waterways by kayak. Take an off-shore game fishing charter or dive amongst magical marine life, shipwrecks and caves. Hike through native bushland or abseil spectacular bluffs. Mount a horse and canter through bush wilderness. Learn to surf with patient masters of the sport. Bring a team of friends for a sensational game of paintball.
The Central Coast's thirteen National Parks and nature reserves protect coastal tracts, marine and riverside reserves and rugged hinterland. A distinctive feature of Bouddi National Park is its Marine Extension Area. Spanning over 287 hectares, fishing is prohibited in this area and as a result offers some superb snorkelling opportunities where you can get up close and personal with a wide variety of marine life. For the more adventurous, explore the wreck of the “Maitland” that sank off Bouddi Point in the early hours of 6 May, 1898.
Brisbane Water National Park is a major feature of the Central Coast, conserving approximately 12,000 hectares of sandstone country. The National Park is a bushwalkers paradise and is renowned for its springtime wildflowers. After a good bit of rain, Somersby Falls comes to life - a great place to picnic and relax with the family.
The hinterland offers a scenic splendour of rural tranquillity. Located west of Wyong, the lush green countryside borders the Watagan State Forest and Watagan Mountains and is a delight for bushwalkers and nature lovers. Parallel to Dooralong is the Yarramalong Valley with magnificent scenery and interesting attractions. Visit Bumble Hill Studio at Kulnura with its stunning views and outstanding works by some of Australia's finest artists in drawing, pottery and sculpture. At the Macadamia Nut Farm, sample and purchase fresh natural, roasted or chocolate-coated macadamia nuts or sit in the cosy restaurant and enjoy a light lunch or morning/afternoon tea.
History buffs will enjoy the walk in Brisbane Water National Park to Girrakool, which preserves ancient Aboriginal middens and engraving sites, or to the Bulgandry Aboriginal rock carvings. Visit the Great North Road in Dharug National Park, built by chain gang convicts between 1826 and 1834 and follow the interpretative signage which explains the unique features of this historic road.
At the award winning Australian Reptile Park, get to know sleepy koalas and kangaroos, native reptiles and birds, elusive platypus, and see the crocodile being fed. Indulge in an Aussie bush experience with native birds, trickling streams and Australian wildflowers. The Australian Rainforest Sanctuary set in a beautiful valley is a rainforest haven and native bird sanctuary. It has daily bird and animal feeding, easy forest walks and covered picnic areas.
At Calga Springs Sanctuary, discover Australian bush as it used to be over 200 years ago, free from feral plants and animals. Stroll 2 kilometres of walking trails to see Australian wildlife in their natural habitat. The earlier presence of the Darkinjung people is evident from the abundant presence of rock engravings and hand stencils.
An array of charming galleries and craft shops are on offer throughout the Central Coast. You can spend your day leisurely browsing the seaside boutiques, antique and country-style stores or you can pick up a few bargains at one of the Central Coasts' weekend markets. The Entrance, Ettalong and Toukley are the venues for lively markets open every weekend. The Terrigal Artisans' Markets, held on the 2nd Saturday of every month, are the most innovative and exciting markets on the Central Coast.
Do you enjoy knowing what you are eating? Then come to the corner of Wisemans Ferry Rd and Waratah Rd at Mangrove Mountain and meet the growers at the Farmers markets. They are held on the last Sunday of each month from 9am till 2pm. It is a great opportunity for local growers and producers to showcase and sell their fabulous food. But it is the visitor who comes away truly satisfied after spending the morning, tasting, trying and buying delicious, locally grown produce. There is also wood turning, arts and crafts and activities for the children.
The Central Coast boasts a range of casual bistros, chic alfresco cafes, waterfront dining and fine restaurants. Enjoy international cuisine prepared by award-winning chefs and accompanied by award-winning wine lists. Or for the casual diner, try a pizza from Panarottis or purchase tasty local food and travel to your own waterfront or forest location for a great feast. For dancing, entertainment, fine dining, sport and big screen action and a host of recreational activities, choose from the many clubs that the Central Coast has on offer such as the Mingara Recreation Club.
The Central Coast offers as much relaxation or exhilaration as you can take. With accommodation and activities from luxury to budget, there is literally something for everyone. It is this variety that makes the fantastic Central Coast a truly memorable destination that visitors keep coming back to.