Make your own list and discover more of the Coast as you go
The Central Coast of New South Wales is home to Tuggerah Lake and Lake Macquarie, with the South Pacific Ocean to the East. You can therefore safely assume that there is plenty of water activities in the Central Coast. It has pristine beaches for swimming, snorkelling, and surfing. Its lakes are good for still water activities, such as canoeing, kayaking and standup paddleboarding. If you are after these, the Central Coast is the best destination. Being centrally located, it is a short drive from Sydney in the south and New Castle in the north.
In addition to the water, the Central Coast has plenty more to offer. Let me list down the top five for me:
1. Pelicans at The Entrance
More than two decades ago, the pelican feeding ritual at The Entrance was accidentally established when staff from a local fish and chips shop would throw out scraps. It has since drawn crowds. Behind the scenes, however, it became a good opportunity to keep an eye on the health of the pelicans as they could have hooks and lines tangled up in their gullets, wings and other body parts. Restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic temporarily halted the pelican feeding at The Entrance, but that does not mean that you can not go and watch the pelicans in their natural environment.
Built in 1903 to mitigate the perils of sea travel between Sydney and New Castle, the Norah Head Lighthouse has guided many ships to avoid the dangers brought by thick fog, fierce gales, jagged rocks and black-out conditions along the coast. Today, the lighthouse is still operational with a 1000 Watt tungsten halogen white light which can be seen 40 kilometres out to sea. Vantage points around its grounds provide breath-taking panoramic views of the Tasman Sea.
The Tuggerah Lake Cycleway is a 12-kilometre shared pavement that starts at The Entrance and takes you to Chittaway Bay through Long Jetty. You need not cycle through the full course, particularly if you go with children. The long jetties at Long Jetty are good stops for rest and photos.
At the southern end of the Watagan mountain range, just west of Wyong in the Central Coast of NSW, the TreeTops Adventure Park offers many outdoor activities and a unique tree-to-tree course featuring a network of rope bridges, flying foxes, trapezes and Tarzan jumps. Located in the Ourimbah State Forest just 26 minutes' drive northwest of The Entrance, the TreeTops Adventure Park accepts the Parents NSW Voucher. Vouchers can be used 7 days a week, including public holidays and are valid until the 9th October 2022. Please note that the Park is only able to accept the full $50 voucher value.
Okay, I know I said activities other than water. However, Toowoon Bay Beach is an exception because while we have plenty of coast in Australia and New South Wales, a protected bay like Toowoon Bay is not common. At low tide, the water inside the bay is so low that I had the confidence to leave my non-swimmer children playing at the shore while I, their non-swimmer dad, went snorkelling chasing little schools of fishes without fear of getting drawn out to sea.
I'll be coming back to the Central Coast and try out more of what the beautiful place has to offer. I am pretty sure this short article does not do justice to the many fun things one can do in and around the Central Coast.