Hidden gems: Coastal day trips

NSW’s Central Coast is rapidly turning into a fashionable and popular destination. While locals have known about the many hidden gems on the Central Coast for years, visitors to the area may be pleasantly surprised. Located within easy reach for day trips from Sydney, the Central Coast offers some beautiful country and coastal day trip options.

Here we share some of our favourite scenic drives in the Central Coast, NSW, taking in the coastline in the best possible way.

A coastal drive

28km might not sound like a long or satisfying drive, but it can be when you’re on the Central Coast! This beautiful coastal route is packed with attractions to visit and things to do.

First stop: Patonga

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Set out early and head to the south end of Patonga Drive, where you can enjoy a wonderful drive through bushland to reach The Patonga Boathouse. Overlooking the beach, this restaurant does a delicious breakfast, ideal to set yourself up for a day’s exploring.

This also puts you in the perfect location for a section of the Great North Walk that runs for 3km from Patonga Beach to Pearl Beach. Even if you don’t complete the whole route, you can enjoy some stunning views along the way.

Second stop: Umina Beach

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If you’re feeling in the mood for some water-based activity, head back along Patonga Drive in the direction you came. This will take you onto Mount Ettalong Road, leading to lovely Umina Beach, where you can enjoy some first-rate surfing and paddleboarding with Mana SUP.

Following this, you will probably have worked up an appetite! We recommend following the coastline north until you join The Esplanade at Ettalong Beach. Here you will find The Box On The Water, the ideal place to stop for a drink and a bite to eat.

Third stop: Killcare and Bouddi National Park

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If you drive over Rip Bridge, this will bring you to Killcare and into Bouddi National Park. If you haven’t already eaten, take advantage of a long lunch at Bells, Killcare. This famous restaurant is run by celebrity chef Sean Connolly, and the Sunday feast here is legendary!

Bouddi National Park coastal walk offers a wealth of natural beauty to enjoy. Start at Putty Beach and follow the Bouddi Coastal Walk if you want to see the ocean views to best advantage. Even if you don’t complete the walk, you will be met by stunning seascapes at every turn.
To complete the day, what could be better than enjoying a few cocktails as the sun goes down? The Lucky Bee is the ideal spot for dinner and drinks as you watch the setting sun. The perfect ending to a perfect day on the Central Coast.

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