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Places to Explore: The Central Coast’s 10 Best-kept Secrets

From exclusive foodie experiences to secluded beaches, these are the best places to explore on the Central Coast if you’re looking to go off the beaten track.

Lobster Beach at sunset
Lobster Beach at sunset

With stretches of beautiful coastline and an enchanting hinterland region, the Central Coast boasts some of the most beautiful, natural scenery in NSW. But beneath the surface of this stunning coastal region sits an array of lesser-known locales just waiting to be explored. 

Go off the beaten track and discover some of the Central Coast’s best-kept secrets. From exclusive foodie experiences to secluded gardens, these places to explore on the Central Coast are hidden away for a reason. Lucky for you we're willing to share them with you. And, you can now let your friends in on the secret in anticipation of your next group trip to the Central Coast.

Studio Lane
Studio Lane
1. Places to Explore on the Central Coast: Erina's New Creative Coffee Hub

Studio Lane is the brainchild of two friends who are as serious about their coffee as they are about community. Thomas Lane and German Salamanca opened this new coffee hub, fine wine store and events space for kindred creative spirits to connect and collaborate.

Over and above the cool coffee and gourmet goods offering, Thomas is also the creator of handcrafted jewellery label The Fifth Lane and, as restrictions continue to ease, you can expect an event line-up packed with workshops and talks will return to Studio Lane.

4/185 The Entrance Road, Erina

2. Places to Explore on the Central Coast: Expert-led Nature Tours with a Touch of Luxury

Elixir Journeys offer a curated selection of tailor-made and small-group tours crafted to show you the best of nature, food and wine on the Central Coast. For jewellery lovers, the ‘Paddle and Pearls’ kayak tour to a pearling shed is a must-book experience. If you're travelling with a foodie, the ‘Sailing Safari with Seafood Lunch’ will excite all the senses. To get close with nature, the ‘Sundowner Stroll Nature Tour’, complete with sunset picnic, will allow you to experience Bouddi National Park in a beautiful new way.

3. Places to Explore on the Central Coast: Terrigal's Coastal Boardwalk

Spend the day taking in stunning vistas from Terrigal's new coastal boardwalk. Starting from the southern end of the beach, the boardwalk connects Terrigal's village to The Haven and the iconic and dramatic Skillion landmark.

4. Places to Explore on the Central Coast: Make the Lighthouse your Home for the Weekend

You can stay at local landmark Norah Head Lighthouse in two former keeper’s quarters. From sweeping verandas to the picture-perfect location, the beautifully furnished three-bedroom suites boast ocean views from every window and are just a short walk to Norah Head Rockpool, Nimbin Beach and Lighthouse Beach.

From $370 per night

Norah Head Lighthouse

For more unique stays, take a look at our Central Coast accommodation round up.

Photo Credit: Jacs Powell
Photo Credit: Jacs Powell
5. Places to Explore on the Central Coast: Tour with a Pearl Farmer at the Only Pearl Farm in NSW

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. You can visit the Shellar Door on the beautiful Hawkesbury River, book in a tour to cruise with a pearl farmer, or browse the exquisite pearl jewellery.

Shellar Door, 12 Kowan Road, Mooney

6. Places to Explore on the Central Coast: Set out on the Meet the Makers 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. For the final experience, head behind the scenes at NSW’s only pearl farm, Broken Bay Pearl Farm.

Click for more information

7. Places to Explore on the Central Coast: Explore Local Hidden Gem, Munmorah State Conservation Area

The Munmorah State Conservation Area has several pristine beaches and breathtaking lookouts and is a hidden gem to locals. The Palms Picnic Area is a tropical rainforest oasis where you can enjoy the golden streams of sunlight filtering through on a sunny day. Frazer Beach is a popular surf break and picnic area. Or be sure to check out the expansive scenic views from Wybung Head Lookout and Snapper Point.

Looking for more hiking trails? We’ve done the hard work and put together our list of the best Central Coast walks.

8. Places to Explore on the Central Coast: 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.

9. Places to Explore on the Central Coast: Set off on a Wilderness Adventure in Glenworth Valley

A Central Coast institution, yet still a secret to most Sydneysiders, Glenworth Valley is an outdoor adventurer’s dream. From horseback riding and quad biking, to kayaking and abseiling, you can pick your own adventure. Upgrade your daytrip to a weekend stay by setting up a luxury glamping site, complete with a comfy mattress and solar lighting.

69 Cooks Road, Glenworth Valley

Check out our Central Coast caravan and camping accommodation article for the best stays amongst nature.

10. Places to Explore on the Central Coast: Treat Yourself to a visit to Glow Beauty Space

This luxurious beauty space has been designed with the busy modern woman in mind; everything you need all in one place. Glow Beauty Space is known for its expert team of beauty therapists and hair stylists, overseen by owner Jade Pentony who has looked after many a celeb in her former Sydney salon life, and its stylish interiors by Xanthe Highfield.

3 Ghersi Avenue, Wamberal

11. Places to Explore on the Central Coast: Head to the Treetops

Exclusive to the Central Coast, 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.

Ourimbah State Forest, 1 Red Hill Road, Wyong Creek

Lobster Beach at sunset
Lobster Beach at sunset
12. Places to Explore on the Central Coast: Take a Dip at Lobster Beach

The Central Coast has many a private beach, accessed by walking trails through national parklands, and Lobster Beach is no exception. A sheltered beach that is the perfect spot for a picnic or a pretty dip in the waters of Broken Bay. Looking to explore further? Take the steep walk down to Tallow Beach or stop in for a dip at Little Beach  ̶  another quaint cove surrounded by rainforest and Bouddi National Park.

Lobster Beach, Box Head

For more beautiful beaches that you need to visit, be sure to check out our list of the best beaches on the Central Coast

13. Places to Explore on the Central Coast: Admire the Beautiful Edogawa Commemorative Garden

Hiding away amongst the 22 hectares of the Gosford Regional Gallery precinct, the Edogawa Commemorative Garden is equal parts beautiful and majestic. Its Japanese landscaping offers a zen vibe, and the koi pond, Japanese teahouse and numerous pathways provide a tranquil setting.

36 Webb Street, East Gosford

Made your way through all the places to explore on the Central Coast and want to know other ways you can make the most of your next trip? We suggest booking in dinner at these popular restaurants, swimming at the best beaches along the coast and making your way through our extensive list of the best things to do on the Central Coast.