The Best Things to do on the Central Coast: Where to Eat, Drink & Explore
From exclusive foodie experiences to secluded beaches, these are the best things to do on the Central Coast if you’re looking to go off the beaten track.
Escape the daily grind and venture to the Central Coast, a mere 90-minute journey from Sydney, packed with pristine beaches, lush national parks, and an enticing array of bars, boutiques, and eateries.
Venture off the beaten path to uncover exclusive culinary adventures, tranquil gardens, and secret spots. Ready to plan your getaway? Here's a curated list of the best things to do on the Central Coast that you can share with your pals to kick start the holiday planning.
The Best Things to do on the Central Coast: Arts & Culture
Aboriginal Storytelling and Wine Tasting Experience at Firescreek Winery
History and nature converge at Firescreek Winery. This unique Aboriginal Storytelling and Wine Tasting Experience is led by a local Darkinjung Elder and lets you immerse yourself in Aboriginal culture, from the haunting melodies of the didgeridoo to the ancient tools and artefacts that tell stories of generations past. As you explore, the lush gardens provide a serene backdrop for wine tasting. Discover the award-winning wines infused with indigenous botanicals, a taste of Australia's rich biodiversity. This private adventure, perfect for the culturally curious, promises an unforgettable blend of heritage and fun. All you need to bring is an open heart.
Starts at $250 per adult
192 Wattle Tree Road, Holgate
Visit the Gosford Regional Gallery
For those with even the slightest appreciation of art, a visit to the Gosford Regional Gallery is a must. Beautifully set on 22 hectares of public park on the shores of Caroline Bay in East Gosford, the gallery showcases a wide variety of visual art, photography, sculpture and design. Plus, there’s an onsite café and the Edogawa Commemorative Garden with its Japanese landscaping offering a zen setting.
36 Webb Street, East Gosford
Book your spot at Centred Ceramic’s Wine and Clay Friday
For a fun night that will bring out your inner artist, book a seat at Centred Ceramic’s Friday night workshop. You’ll get expert advice as you sculpt your cup, mug or small platter, and better still, you can BYO vino. Bonus!
$65 per person
246 West Street, Umina Beach
Take an Art Class at Pinot & Picasso Terrigal
Head to Terrigal for a creative session with Pinot & Picasso. Enjoy a wine and paint session, as you perfect your art in a social evening class.
$69 per person
4/185 The Entrance Road, Erina
The Best Things to do on the Central Coast: Eat & Drink
Have Breakfast with Alpacas at Iris Lodge Alpacas
Who doesn’t love an alpaca? This fun, family-friendly experience takes place every weekend or - every day during school holidays at Iris Lodge Alpacas, a working farm in Jilliby. Expect to be greeted by a hungry alpaca and meet and feed other animals before enjoying your own breakfast while watching the alpacas – don’t let them bully you into sharing.
33 Dunks Lane, Jilliby
Design Your Own Brewery Crawl
For craft beer lovers, the Central Coast is an absolute Mecca. On your trip, why not plan your own brewery trail starting with a local ale at Bay Road Brewing in Gosford with its complimentary food truck offering, or Six Strings Brewery at Erina which has only recently partnered with Moobi Valley for a classic beer and burger combo. Block ‘n Tackle at Kincumber is well-loved but and be sure not to miss Hawkesbury Brewing Co. in Lisarow!
Set out on the Meet the Makers Artist Trail
A collective of Central Coast makers and creators have teamed up to offer a Meet The Maker Trail experience that follows the Central Coast’s foodie and artisan producers from coast to hinterland. Tempt your taste buds with multi-award-winning cheeses, or try your hand at a cheese-making workshop at Little Creek Cheese. Sweeten your palette with moreish nougat and locally handcrafted chocolates at The Chocolate Factory. At Firescreek Fruit Wines you’ll sample botanical and fruit flower wines and book in for a 'meet the winemaker' experience.
Learn to Shuck an Oyster
Sydney Oyster Farm Tours guide people through operating Broken Bay oyster farms for an authentic aquatic farm experience. Visitors get to meet second and third-generation oyster farmers, learn to shuck like a pro and taste the famous Broken Bay Oysters straight from the river. It doesn't get any fresher than that!
Tours from $90 per person
Take the Central Coast's unofficial coffee tour
Local roasting house Glee Coffee at Wyong is a neighbourhood favourite. Housed in the historic Chapman Building precinct in the heart of the village, you'll feel at ease sipping the day away and snacking on their delectable brunch bites. In Toukley, stop into Rise Mofo for your morning brew, and be sure to take a look at their beautiful, sunny yellow mandala mural before you leave. At Lords of Pour in Ettalong, you can expect a delicious brunch feast. This uber-cool locale serves up specialty coffee and simple breakfast classics with a modern twist. We have our hearts set on the pulled pork toastie. Delish!
Glee Coffee- Shop 9, 14 Alison Road, Wyong and Shop 4, 490 Central Coast Highway, Erina Heights
Rise Mofo- 3/327 Main Road, Toukley
Lords of Pour- 199a Ocean View Road, Ettalong Beach
Experience the hinterland’s rich farm to plate offering
The Central Coast is a rich food bowl, home to a variety of meats, fruit, vegetables, pecans, citrus, honey and more. Book a harvest tour with Mountain Goat Trails or Grace Springs Farm. Or every Friday until 7pm, pop into La Tartine Sourdough at Somersby as they open to the public once a week for their variety of sourdoughs fresh from the baker.
Don’t forget to mark the diary for the annual Harvest Festival, held over the June long weekend when all the farm gates and businesses open up for this festival atmosphere, tastings and entertainment.
Indulge Your Sweet Tooth at Bouffant
Pop into this creative wonderland to satisfy your sweet treat cravings. Serving up a variety of sugary confections, donuts and other delectable treats, you'll find it hard to order just one pastry at Bouffant.
Terrigal, Gosford, East Gosford, Umina
The Best Things to do on the Central Coast: Shop
Drop some cash at Erina Fair
If high street brands are your go-to, Erina Fair is the pot at the end of the rainbow. Holding the title of the Central Coast’s largest shopping centre, you’ll find over 250 stores brimming with local and international labels alongside entertainment, fresh food and dining options. Housing Aussie staples from Bonds, Cotton On, Country Road and Decjuba to International faves like Dr Martens and Sunglass Hut, the centre covers all your retail therapy needs!
Terrigal Dr, Erina
Pick up some sustainable threads at Shadow Bang Apothecary and Supply
Not only housed in the most delightful triangular shopfront (just calling out for an Insta-photo), Shadow Bang Apothecary and Supply is also home to fashion and beauty with heart. They are known for stocking sustainable brands by female creatives who are committed to providing ethical or small-batch alternatives to commercial products for women.
310B The Entrance Road, Long Jetty
Buy some chic threads at La Boheme Lifestyle
La Boheme Lifestyle boutique at Terrigal channels a relaxed Byron Bay vibe, with fashion brands, homewares, accessories and new age wellness products.
1/271 Scenic Highway, Terrigal
Up your design game with Coastal Road Interiors' gorgeous homewares
Coastal Road at Toukley, a multi-roomed treasure trove of unique pieces and striking interior design, reflects the Central Coast’s relaxed coastal feel. You’ll need extra boot space for your trip back to Sydney after a visit to this beautiful store.
137 Main Road, Toukley
Treat yourself to Haven at Home’s bespoke collection
The treasures continue at Haven at Home in Erina Heights. An inspiring blend of homewares and gifts sourced locally and overseas, you can’t go past their beautiful array of jewellery. From Kirstin Ash finery to A LA’s stone rings, you won’t go home empty-handed.
490 Central Coast Highway, Erina Heights
Indulge in retail therapy at Bohemian Traders
Popular online brand Bohemian Traders calls the Central Coast home with their HQ based in Erina. Run by husband and wife team Emily and David Berlach, you can expect classic European designs in beautiful patterns and colours, alongside trendy seasonal looks.
Shop 2A, 490 Central Coast Highway, Erina
Best Things to do on the Central Coast: Play
Blow off some steam at Smash You
Embrace your inner rebel and unleash some pent-up stress at Smash You in Erina, the Central Coast's exclusive destination for cathartic fun. This local family-owned establishment provides a safe, laughter-filled environment for you and your pals to let loose. They've got four dedicated Smash Rooms designed exclusively for adults (18+), where you can obliterate everything from TVs to guitars with your choice of weapon. While you wreak havoc, your friends can capture the chaos from the viewing window. But it's not just for grown-ups; kids (8+) can have a blast in the Splatter Rooms, splashing paint, bursting piñatas, and throwing colourful balloons at dartboards. So why wait? Gather your crew, relieve some stress, and share a laugh at Smash You on the Central Coast.
Starts at $50 per person
1/22 Barralong Road, Erina
Become a Blacksmith for a day
Venture to the picturesque Artisan Estate in Somersby, a hidden treasure just off the M1. Here, you can step back in time and immerse yourself in the age-old craft of blacksmithing amidst the beauty of a pecan orchard.
Whether you're a novice or have never held a hammer, fear not; guided blacksmithing classes are available for beginners. Slip on your gloves, enter the Maker's Shed, and let your creativity flow as you shape metal into a unique masterpiece. Surrounded by the natural splendour of the Central Coast, this experience reconnects you with ancient techniques and the great outdoors.
Choose from courses lasting two to five hours, with a BBQ lunch provided on this stunning estate. Booking in advance is essential, so round up your fellow aspiring blacksmiths arrange your unforgettable day of forging with fire.
Starts at $250 per person
30 Ulinga Road, Somersby
Search for pearly whites at Broken Bay Pearl Farm
Take to the water with Pearls of Australia on a tour of Broken Bay Pearl Farm, NSW’s only pearl farm, harvesting the precious, local Akoya pearl by third-generation pearl farmers. Nurtured by local farmers in Brisbane Waters and the Hawkesbury River, stop in and visit the ‘Shellar Door’ to browse the jewellery and pearls, and enjoy a platter of locally grown Sydney Rock, Pacific or Akoya pearl oysters while looking out at the farm's view of the Hawkesbury and the aptly named Spectacle Island.
Want to hear more about the makers and artisans that make the Central Coast so special? Check out our guide to the Maker's Trail.
Shellar Door, 12 Kowan Road, Mooney
Make like Tarzan and swing from the treetops
Treetop Networld is the newest adventure activity combining exploration and play. Discover an exciting new world, high up in the treetops, made up of a vast network of interconnected spaces. From bouncing high on the ropes to relaxing in swinging tree chairs, you’ll experience a whole new sense of gravity and appreciation for nature.
1 Red Hill Road, Wyong Creek
Go stand-up paddle boarding on Avoca Lake
Burn off all that delicious food and drink by paddle boarding or kayaking on the beautiful Avoca Lake. You can rent gear from the team at Aquafun.
Heazlett Park, 15 Ficus Avenue, Avoca Beach
Pack your swimmers, sunscreen and towels and head to the beach. Our favourites are Terrigal Beach, Umina Beach, Toowoon Bay beach, Copacabana Beach and Frazer Beach or Lobster Beach for a little more privacy.
For the best beaches on the Central Coast, check out our hit list here.