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Best Things To Do on The Central Coast: Your Ultimate Local Guide

Are you planning a weekend trip away and needing some advice on the best things to do on the Central Coast? Our lengthy local guide has got you covered...

From wild national parks and sun-kissed beaches, to bustling bars, boutiques and trendy food haunts, the Central Coast is one of the best – and closest, Sydneysiders can be there within 90 minutes – places to escape for a weekend sojourn. Wander through the hinterland wilderness, browse the local markets or treat yourself to a shopping spree, this coastal gem is so worth escaping the city for. And don't just take our word for it; Green Destinations named it in its 'Top 100 List', and was only one of five Australian destinations featured.

Here’s our pick of the best things to do on the Central Coast  ̶  the perfect list to share with your friends to kick start the holiday planning.

Best Things to do on the Central Coast: Arts & Culture

Edogawa Japanese Garden
Edogawa Japanese Garden
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.

$59 per person

2/6 Pine Tree Lane, Terrigal

The Arthouse Wyong
The Arthouse Wyong
Book it in – see a Show from the Nation’s Finest at The Arthouse Wyong

Some of the hottest acts head to The Arthouse – from comedy, music, performance and theatrical; think Avenue Q, Tommy Little, Jimeoin, The Sydney Comedy Showcase, and much more.

19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong

Best Things to do on the Central Coast: Eat & Drink

Learn to Shuck an Oyster

Mooney Mooney 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

Photo credit: Glee Coffee (Top), Rise Mofo (Left), Lords of Pour (Right)

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 heart 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

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth at Bouffant

Pop into this creative wonderland to satisfy your sweet treat cravings. Serving up a variety of sugary confections, doughnuts and other delectable treats, you'll find it hard to order just one pastry at Bouffant.

6 Pine Tree Lane, Terrigal

38 Mann Street, Gosford

101A Victoria Street, East Gosford

For more amazing foodie destinations, be sure to check out our round up of the best restaurants on the Central Coast

Best Things to do on the Central Coast: Shop

Shadow Bang Apothecary and Supply
Shadow Bang Apothecary and Supply
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) it’s 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

La Boheme Lifestyle
La Boheme Lifestyle
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

Coastal Road Interiors’
Coastal Road Interiors’
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

Haven at Home
Haven at Home
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

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

North Avoca Beach, Central Coast Council
North Avoca Beach, Central Coast Council
Swim and sunbake at the Central Coast’s iconic beaches 

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.

The Central Coast Surf Academy
The Central Coast Surf Academy
Learn to surf

Want to learn how to carve it up? The Central Coast Surf Academy runs classes at a string of beaches along the coast. You’ll be a surfer girl in no time!

Credit: Visit Central Coast
Credit: Visit Central Coast
Kick off your morning with the Patonga to Pearl Beach hike

The 2-hour hike begins at the Patonga Boat Ramp and takes you on a scenic climb through Brisbane Waters National Park. Stop at Warrah Lookout for breathtaking views of Broken Bay and the Hawkesbury River. Wear your swimmers so you can go for a refreshing dip when you reach Pearl Beach. A quicker option is the Box Head Track, which takes about an hour.

For more amazing hiking trails, you can check out our list of the best Central Coast walks here.

Best Things to do on the Central Coast: Explore

Bouddi National Park
Bouddi National Park
Bouddi National Park

With secluded beaches, bays, rainforests, trails and thriving marine and wildlife, the park is incredible. You could spend days exploring it, or you could do the Bouddi National Park Coastal Walk. One of the most famous coastal walks in Australia, it’s the perfect snapshot of the Central Coast. Keep an eye out for migrating whales!

Picnic and splash around at Somersby Falls

The waterfall itself is stunning, and the surrounding area is perfect for picnics, with BBQs, tables, and lush rainforest views.

Maitland Bay

Pack a picnic and make your way to Maitland Bay. Walk down the 2km trail to the secluded bay, where you’ll find a shipwreck dating back to 1898. The bay is great at any time, and best at sunset.

Wamberal Lagoon

Hidden behind Wamberal Beach, the lagoon is peaceful and pristine, and ideal for water sports and wildlife-watching.

For more beautiful spots to experience, check out our list of the Central Coast's best places to explore.

Make the most of your next trip to the Central Coast with a mix of unique and memorable experiences. From beaches and walks, to culture and restaurants, these are the best things to do on the Central Coast.