On the twelfth day of “Coastmas” my true love gave to me… twelve Coastie beaches, eleven swimmers swimming, ten surfers surfing, nine boogie boarders, eight bodysurfers, seven sandcastles, six squawking seagulls, five golden sunsets, four fishermen, three pelicans, two turtles and a paddleboarder on a calm sea.
It’s summer time, which means beach time on the Central Coast.
With a stunning coastline stretching from Patonga in the south to Budgewoi in the north, there are endless beautiful beaches to enjoy these summer holidays.
Here’s our twelve beaches of “Coastmas” to give you some sun, sand and surf inspo this summer. Consider it a virtual stocking filler. Happy beaching!
A sleepy seaside hamlet on the southern end of the Coast, Pearl Beach is one of our fave places to spend the summer. Home to a smooth cove of sand that looks out to Box Head and Lion Island, a classic ocean pool, a millionaire’s row of beachfront property, and the newly hatted Pearls on the Beach restaurant, it oozes coastal chic.
EAT/DRINK: If you haven’t already – make a date with Pearls, it’s seriously good seaside fare.
Looking out to Lion Island and beyond, Ocean Beach offers a striking vista from any angle. Families, dogs, paddleboarders and surfers (when there are decent waves) are all welcome on this long beach which joins up with Umina Beach to form one of the most picturesque stretches of sand on the Coast.
EAT/DRINK: Grab a coffee and some takeaway from Umina Point General Store, have a drink with a view at Margarita Daze or satisfy your meat craving at Sounds on West.
From Lobster Beach around to Tallow, Putty, Killcare and Little Beach and further north to secluded Maitland Bay, Bouddi National Park is fringed by beautiful beaches. Most – except for Putty and Killcare – are a walk through bushland or along the coastal walk so a swim is well and truly earned by the time your feet touch the sand.
EAT/DRINK: For something classy, Stefano Manfredi’s Bells is located in Killcare; Hardys Bay is home to a few cute cafes including the Fat Goose or pack a picnic to enjoy on the beach.
With bronzed sand, blue-green seas and a perpetual pounding of whitewash, MacMasters and Copacabana are a pair of classic Coastie surf beaches that appear to form one long golden beach overlooking Allagai Bay. They spring to life in summer with a colourful kaleidoscope of beach towels, umbrellas, tents and the familiar red and yellow of surf lifesavers.
EAT/DRINK: It’s hard to go past LooLoo for a good brew so check out her Coffee Shack at Macs or grab an ice cream or snack from one of the takeaways on Copacabana’s Del Monte Pl.
Ever-trendy Avoca Beach opens its arms to a flurry of holidaymakers in summer. Its glistening shores are perfect for a surf or a sunbake and the neighbouring lake offers quintessential summer fun with paddleboarding, kayaking and paddleboats – not to mention the fab monthly markets and chic cafes that are the heart and soul of the suburb year-round.
EAT/DRINK: The Point Cafe has an unbeatable view overlooking the beach but there’s also Like Minds and Bombini en route to the beach.
Terrigal is one of the hottest suburbs on the Central Coast in summer. Its picturesque beach is perfect for paddleboarding, surfing and swimming and it’s surrounded by cool cafes, bars, shops and restaurants when it’s time to take a break from the sun.
EAT/DRINK: Pocket Bar or Rhondas is our tip for a handcrafted cocktail, Bella offers good coffee and healthy snacks and Reef is the place to take it up a notch.
Where the bush meets the sea, Bateau Bay beach is a wild and little-known piece of our Coast. A real locals haunt, the crescent shaped beach is pretty as a picture, and sits snug amongst a thick wall of bush.
EAT/DRINK: Grab a coffee or a juice at Cafe Mocha – we hear they also do a mean pig on a spit.
Surrounded by picturesque pines, Toowoon Bay is a petite and peaceful cove just south of The Entrance. A little off the beaten track, it has a boutique feel to it and thanks to its calm waters, is popular with paddleboarders, as well as weddings.
EAT/DRINK: For something a bit special, Kim’s backs onto the beach or grab a cuppa at Two Birds a couple of streets back.
One of the hottest tourist destinations in the State, let alone the Coast, The Entrance is abuzz in summer. From its resident pelicans to fish’n’chips and seaside rides, The Entrance is a hit with families. Its iconic beach and baths are a popular place for a refreshing dip in the hotter months.
EAT/DRINK: Coffee lovers will enjoy a Tobys Estate at the Burrow Coffee House and The Entrance Hotel is a good spot for a tipple and some seafood.
A golden expanse stretching more than 6km, Tuggerah is one of the longest beaches on the Central Coast, closing the gap between The Entrance and Norah Head. Accessed via a scenic bush-lined and wood-planked walkway at the back of the Pullman, its secluded location makes it a good pick for some privacy when other beaches are getting busy.
EAT/DRINK: Pick up some fish’n’chips at The Entrance en route.
The water is crystal-clear, which is probably why Soldiers Beach is one of the most popular swimming spots on the Coast. Over summer, its fine sand is often peppered with colourful umbrellas and its inviting teal-green waters fill with swimmers and bodyboarders searching for some respite from the heat.
EAT/DRINK: The Ark at Norah Head is a great brunch or lunch spot.
Budgewoi Beach is located at the nothern tip of the Central Coast. The seemingly endless strip of creamy sand and foamy waves is perfect for long walks, with the Coast’s iconic Norah Head Lighthouse standing sentinel nearby.
EAT/DRINK: As the name suggests, Barbershop Espresso – in nearby Toukley – makes a mean espresso.