7 Fun Central Coast Winter Activities
Whether you’re planning a winter getaway on the Central Coast or simply a day out, our beautiful region has so much more to offer than the 29 incredible beaches that we’ve become so well known for.
We’ve also got six picturesque National Parks, endless space for active couples, families and friends, and an abundance of fun things to do – from the sand, to the sea, and the countryside. We’ve done the round-up of our favourite Central Coast winter activities for the whole family to inspire your next adventure.
1. Outdoor Adventures
The Central Coast offers endless scope and space for outdoor adventures. Whether horse riding at The Outlook Riding Academy in Terrigal by the lake, mountain bike riding at Ourimbah State Forest with Central Coast Mountain Bike Tours or even heading further north to Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures for glamping, kayaking, quad biking, axe-throwing, abseiling and more – you’ll be spoilt for choice if you love the great outoors and a little adrenaline rush.
2. Whale Watching
The annual whale migration is well and truly underway, and the Central Coast offers plenty of incredible vantage points to view Humpbacks and other whales as they head north to warmer waters – from Norah Head, to Crackneck Point Lookout (Bateau Bay), Captain Cook Lookout (Copacabana) and The Skillion (Terrigal), there are several ideal vantage points to catch a glimpse of these gentle giants.
If you fancy getting up close and personal, we’d highly recommend Terrigal Ocean Tours who also run whale watching trips out from Terrigal Haven. You can catch whales through until around November, however your best chance at sightings is over the winter months as the whales head north.
3. Wildlife Parks
If you’re an animal lover, the Central Coast is proud to have two of Australia’s best wildlife parks within reach – and thankfully, they’re quite different – meaning both are well worth a visit.
The Walkabout Wildlife Sanctuary at Calga covers 170 acres of bushland (including an 80 acre exclusion zone that is free from all feral pests), and is home to over 180 native mammal, bird, reptile and frog species. It’s also the only Heritage-listed sanctuary in NSW, listed for protection as an ancient Aboriginal place.
Meanwhile, the Australian Reptile Park at Somersby is home to over 2000 animals, including the best and largest reptile collection in Australia. A highlight is the feeding of Elvis, the park’s 5-metre Saltwater Crocodile who is notoriously cranky.
4. Fine Dining & Harvest Trails
Over the last decade, the Central Coast has slowly turned into a gastronomic paradise. In 2022, six local restaurants have received a coveted chef’s hat in the Australian Good Food Guide Awards – Osteria il Coccia, Safran, L’Isle de France, The Wildflower @ Bells, Yellowtail and The Cowrie.
If you’re keen to go straight to the source, the local farmers markets in Gosford, Wyong and Long Jetty do a great job of showcasing local produce, whilst the Central Coast Plateau Farm Trail is also great to follow for a foodie road trip.
5. Visit Erina Fair
Whilst it probably seems a bit left-field to include a shopping centre on this list, Erina Fair is the perfect place to spend a rainy day. Boasting a newly-renovated Hoyts cinema complete with Xtremescreen, an ice skating rink with its own figure skating and ice hockey teams, as well as endless shopping and dining options, you can easily spend a whole day with the family at Erina Fair. You can also find their school holiday program here.
6. Go Hiking
The Central Coast is home to six stunning National Parks, dozens of nature reserves and large tracts of uninterrupted wilderness across its 1680 square kilometres. From hidden beaches to secret waterfalls and swimming holes, rainforests to bush tracks, there’s plenty of opportunities to get out into nature.
Our top picks are the Bouddi Coastal Walk (incredible coastline), The Girrakool Loop Track (waterfall central) and the Patonga to Pearl Beach Walk (be sure to stop at Warrah Lookout). Whilst pets aren’t allowed on these National Park trails, be sure to check out Strickland State Forest if you’ve got the dog/s in tow, too.