Aimee O'Keefe

23 Best Central Coast Beaches for a Day Trip | Man of Many

One of the most popular Central Coast beaches amongst Sydney folk, Avoca Beach has something for everyone. There is a killer swell for surfers, a rock pool for the kiddies and a rock platform for fisherman. There are also plenty of cafes, shops and restaurants nearby. It’s no secret why the beach is so popular- it is also one of the first stops off the M1.

1. Avoca Beach

Foresters Beach is a long, sandy beach that is part of the Wyrrabalong National Park. There are plenty of rocks and reefs which makes it a great spot for avid surfers and snorkelers. Towards the south end of the beach is also a good spot for fishing, so bring your snorkel, your fishing rod and a book- you could be here all day.

2. Forresters Beach

A hidden gem, Spoon Bay is located in the Wamberal Lagoon Nature Reserve and is one of our favourite Central Coast beaches. It is secluded enough that on most days, it will be close to empty- perfect for a relaxing beach day. The beach is surrounded by tall gum trees and there are lots of native creatures wandering around, keep an eye out!

3. Spoon Bay

Surrounded by the stunning Wyrrabalong National Park, Pelican’s Beach is a true oasis within the Central Coast. Hidden amid bushland, expect to have most of the beach to yourself, despite some keen surfers. The sand seems to stretch on forever and offers spectacular views out onto the lower Central Coast.

4. Pelican’s Beach

Put on your walking shoes, because to get to this beach in the Bouddi National Park you have to trek, but it’s worth it. The 1 km walk is steep but beautiful, and the crystal-clear waters you are met with at the end is the perfect post-hike reward. This empty beach is so well preserved it is unlike any other, secluded and divine. Don’t forget to pack some snacks and soak up the fresh air.

5. Maitland Bay Beach

The vibrant Terrigal is another favourite among city-slickers looking for a brief escape from Sydney and is also a popular holiday destination. Shadowed by pine trees and a busy café strip, the golden sand and stunning headland are an appealing option for those looking for another bustling, exciting location that isn’t Sydney.

6. Terrigal

The tranquil beach and charming town of Killcare is the ideal secluded escape not too far from Sydney. Nestled within by the Bouddi National Park, the beach is surrounded by plenty of walking trails and cycling tracks for you to enjoy post-swim or pre-swim!

7. Killcare

A favourite with board riders, Soldiers Beach is just a short journey south of the historic Norah Head Lighthouse. We love Soldiers Beach for its pristine white sand, calm waters and stunning rock platform near the lighthouse. Don’t worry about packing snacks, the surf club has a kiosk that will have you sorted.

8. Soldiers Beach

1.5 km of pristine coastline, Shelly Beach is one of the most attractive of the Central Coast beaches. Perhaps our favourite thing is the part of the area that allows dogs, or the dunes that are perfect for running or rolling down, or the surf- we can’t decide!

9. Shelly Beach

This spot may not be the one where the song originated from, but in our eyes- it’s even better! A popular surfing and swimming destination not too far from Sydney, there is also a whale viewing platform. If you’re lucky you could spot some whales and dolphins if you visit between late May and early August.

10. Copacabana

One of the most beautiful golden sand Central Coast beaches, Putty Beach’s calm waters will have you at the pinnacle of relaxation. The water is perfect for floating and if you have some time up your sleeves, this beach is also the starting point for the Bouddi Coastal walk. There is even a camping ground if you decide you want to stay the night!

11. Putty Beach

Macmasters is a cosy spot between Bouddi National Park and Copacabana on the Central Coast. The spectacular area has an ocean pool perfect for swimming laps or for you to escape the rough waters. There is plenty nearby, so a trip here is the perfect excuse to grab a coffee and some takeaway to enjoy on the sun.

12. Macmasters

You’re bound to be captivated by this beautiful, small beach on the NSW Central Coast. It’s a local favourite for fishing and snorkelling, with countless spots for you to try out. The region is hidden in the southern section of the Wyrrabalong National Park, which means it’s secluded and surrounded by plenty of coastal walks.

13. Bateau Bay

Conveniently located a 5-minute drive from The Entrance, Toowoon Bay is a protected beach that is known for its calm waters and relaxing vibe. This means it’s a great beach to bring the kids, or your paddle-board if you’re just a beginner. Picnics are also a great idea here- with plenty of grass areas and picnic tables so you don’t end up chewing on a sand sandwich!

14. Toowoon Bay Beach

Another one of the Central Coast’s best-kept secrets, Frazer is conveniently hidden behind the Munmorah State Conservation Area. As a result, the location is completely undisturbed. The perfect spot to relax and recharge, this hotspot is also connected to a campground and a lagoon, so there’s plenty for you to do to keep busy.

15. Frazer Beach

Wedged in between three cascading cliffs, Timber Beach is a small beach with a big personality. The narrow stretch could be something out of the Portuguese coastline and requires quite the adventure to get to the sandy oasis. You will have to walk down a track that starts at Timber Beach Lookout and climb down a (slippery!) rock wall where the track meets the apex of the beach.

16. Timber Beach

The less popular cousin to Terrigal, Wamberal is one of our favourite Central Coast beaches. If you need a break from the excitement happening in Terrigal, Wamberal is a slower, quieter spot. The stretch of sand seems endless- perfect for those long, romantic coastal walks.

17. Wamberal

A popular holiday destination, Umina is also a great spot for a day trip. Umina is calm and collected, great for the kiddies or a relaxing day. Not far from the beach is the town, which has a variety of cafes and shops for you to explore after you’ve had a bit too much sun.

18. Umina

Ettalong is perhaps the best of the Central Coast beaches if water sports are your thing. The calm waters are perfect for boating, kayaking and paddle-boarding. The best part is if you do fall off, the water is just as pleasant to swim in! The location also has a stunning view of Wagstaffe, directly in your eye line.

19. Ettalong

A true gem amongst the iconic Central Coast beaches, Patonga is accessible by car or ferry. If you find yourself in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, you can easily jump on a relaxing ferry ride to Patonga from Palm Beach. The area is stunning, and we suggest stopping for lunch at the Boathouse here.

20. Patonga

A shiny pearl amid the sandy Central Coast beaches, this long stretch of sand will make you feel miles away. The area was named after the pearl size quartz pebbles that were commonly found on the beach. Surfers steer clear, the waves are dumpy so you won’t get lucky here, but it’s perfect for swimming or fishing off the rocks at the south end.

21. Pearl Beach

Another beach buried in the leafy webs of the Bouddi National Park, Little Beach is private and quaint. The beach is only accessible by a 10-minute walk through the gum trees. Once you reach the end, you will be met with a hidden little patch of sand that hopefully, you can claim all to yourself!

22. Little Beach

Fancy camping by the beach? Tallow has you sorted. The Beach is perfectly tucked away within the Bouddi National park and will greet you with 400 metres of sandy heaven. Set between two headlands, it’s the perfect beach if you want to feel like you’re passing by a sunny day on a remote island.

23. Tallow

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