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The Best Beaches on the Central Coast for Summer Fun

The sun-kissed hotspots you’ll never want to leave. Discover our hit list of the best beaches on the Central Coast.

Central Coast

With the Pacific Ocean to one side and Brisbane Water to the other, this beautiful stretch of coastline is a beach lover’s paradise. You'll find national parks with secluded bays and surfing beaches, seaside towns with golden-hued shorelines and meandering lagoons, as well as plenty of chances to find a quiet place for a dip or surf.

From Patonga in the south to Bateau Bay in the north, the Central Coast has an impressive line-up of alluring beaches that are as pretty as they are fun to explore. 

Read on for our edit of the most beautiful and best beaches on the Central Coast.

Bouddi National Park (Image Credit: Central Coast Tourism)

Bouddi National Park

Want to feel like you’re away from it all? Bouddi National Park is a natural delight with its stunning wilderness, jaw-dropping coastal walks and a string of secluded beaches.

At times, the beaches can be a bit of a hike to get to, but they’re well worth it. Walking trails surrounded by natural bushland will lead you to Maitland Bay, which has a shipwreck dating back to 1898, Little Beach and Lobster Beach on the shores of Broken Bay.

Avoca Beach

Avoca Beach

A hotspot for weekend getaways, Avoca Beach knows how to draw a crowd during the warmer months. This picture-perfect beach is the suburb’s beating heart.

It's known for its great surfing and swimming conditions, ocean pool, golden-hued sand, playground and dog-friendly areas. Plus, it has a lagoon behind the beach, which is a popular spot for kayaking and canoeing.

Steps away from all this is a delightful selection of cafes, eateries and restaurants. With this combo, it’s easy to see why Avoca is one of the best beaches on the Central Coast.

Patonga Beach

Patonga Beach

One of the most picturesque spots on the Central Coast thanks to its isolated position on the southern tip of the coast, Patonga is one good-looking seaside village.

On the shores of Hawkesbury River and Broken Bay, the beach itself is perfect for swimming, kayaking and standup paddle boarding. At the same time, Patonga Foreshore Reserve is an idyllic spot to devour a serving of fish n’ chips.

A steady stream of day-trippers come via the Palm Beach ferry to experience Patonga Beach, the chic Boathouse Hotel and Brisbane Waters National Park.

Killcare Beach

Killcare Beach

Sitting side-by-side, Killcare Beach and Putty Beach are a firm favourite among the locals. Perched on the foreshore of Bouddi National Park, the beach is renowned for its rock pools and sandstone cliffs – a stunning backdrop at sunrise and sunset.

If that wasn’t enough to make this one of the best beaches on the Central Coast, then the swimming, surfing, fishing, and off-leash dog area will be.

And if you’re feeling particularly active, Putty Beach forms part of the Bouddi Coastal Walk, which stretches all the way to Macmasters Beach.

Terrigal Beach

Terrigal Beach

The stretch of golden sand that runs the length of Terrigal’s town centre is the suburb’s pride and joy - and for good reason. It’s patrolled during the warmer months and is known for its excellent surfing, swimming and fishing conditions.

At the south end, there’s an ocean rock pool and Terrigal Haven, a boat harbour with scuba diving, snorkelling, picnic and barbeque facilities.

The eateries, cafes and restaurants that are steps away from the beach also make this a summer hotspot.  

Frazer Beach

Frazer Beach

At the northern end of the Central Coast, in Munmorah State Conservation Area, Frazer Beach is a sheltered 400-metre-long surf break. Only patrolled over summer and Easter, it’s a popular go-to for local surfers, while the grassy area in front of the beach is a dreamy spot for a picnic.

Make the most of one of the best beaches on the Central Coast by spending the night at the secluded beachside campground. While in the area, stop by Wybung Head Lookout and Snapper Point for impressive coastal views. 

Pearl Beach (Image Credit: Central Coast Tourism)

Pearl Beach

Tucked away at the southern end of the Central Coast, this lesser-known beachside suburb loves to sit on the sideline, letting neighbouring Ettalong and Patonga garner all the attention.

But don’t be fooled by this quiet gem because it is one of the Central Coast’s best-kept secrets. Pearl Beach’s bayside position and ocean rock pool, makes it a perfect spot for swimming.

And if water and sand play isn’t enough to wear out the kids, then stopping by the children’s play area on the way home might just do the trick. 

Wamberal Beach

Wamberal Beach

Unspoilt and uncrowded, Wamberal Beach has views stretching to Terrigal Beach, Forresters Beach and the Wyrrabalong National Park.

This patrolled beach on the Central Coast is a great spot for swimming and fishing, while the area called ‘The Bend’ attracts surfers from all over.

The beach also features a rockpool and off-leash dog areas. Located just behind the beach is Wamberal Lagoon (perfect for kayaking and paddleboarding), it has a tranquil feel with the land on either side being a sanctuary for protected birds and animals. 

Bateau Bay Beach

Bateau Bay Beach

North of Wyrrabalong National Park, Bateau Bay Beach has quite the reputation for its swimming, snorkelling, and hang-gliding. Wide swathes of grassy areas meet golden sand and a beach that is just as alluring.

Sitting along the picture-perfect Wyrrabalong Coastal Walk at the southern end of Bateau Bay Beach is Crackneck Lookout, which is the place to watch the whales during their annual migration.

Ettalong Beach (Image Credit: Destination NSW)

Ettalong Beach 

Set along the shores of Brisbane Waters at the point where it meets Broken Bay, Ettalong Beach is a firm family go-to.

Although lifeguards do not patrol this beach, the calm waters of the bay, the ease of cafes and restaurants, and the excellent boating facilities are all big drawcards.

The ferry service connecting Ettalong to Palm Beach on Sydney’s Northern Beaches has long made this one of the best beaches on the Central Coast. 

Umina Beach

Umina Beach

Sitting just south of Ettalong and bordering Brisbane Waters National Park, Umina Beach’s gentle swell makes it a great spot for swimming and for those learning to surf.

A popular weekend destination, Umina’s golden beaches are pulsing with holiday-makers eager to feel the sand between their toes and the salty ocean waters wash over them.

For those who love to bring their pooch with them, there is a dog off-leash area.  

Toowoon Bay Beach (Image Credit: Visit NSW)

Toowoon Bay Beach

For a swim to remember head to Toowoon Bay Beach, where the sand is soft and the water is crystal-clear and oh-so inviting.

Patrolled year-round, this beach on the central coast of NSW is ideal for any water-based activity you fancy, from fishing and snorkelling to swimming and surfing. 

Loved our edit of the best beaches on the Central Coast, and looking for more summer inspo? Make the most of your time in this beautiful part of NSW with our edit of the best accommodation and foodie hotspots on the Central Coast.

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