5 Stunning Coastal Walks to Explore This Weekend

The Central Coast is one of the most beautiful spots in NSW for a coastal walk. Hidden beaches, coastal rainforests, clifftop panoramic views and a multitude of national parks – it’s all on our doorstep.

Whether you prefer a picnic by the water, a trail run through the bush or a morning of whale spotting, we’ve done the round up on the Coast’s best spots for a walk this weekend.

Words by Jacqueline O’Neill, Images supplied. (Image: Love Central Coast)

1. Bouddi National Park

A favourite for camping, swimming and fishing, Bouddi National Park is home to endless wildlife and wildflowers, significant Aboriginal sites, and one of Australia’s first marine protected areas. Many of the trails are suitable for both cyclists and walkers, with sweeping views and sea breezes in abundance.

The Bouddi coastal walk provides some of the best ocean views we’ve seen and boasts boardwalks to help protect parts of the area’s valuable ecosystems. The walk itself runs from Putty Beach to MacMasters Beach, and will take you past tranquil Maitland Bay. Whilst it takes several hours to complete in full, you can also park at Putty Beach and walk the (extremely picturesque) first part of the board walk within around half an hour.

2.  Terrigal Esplanade, Haven & Skillion

If getting your socks dirty on a national park trail is not quite your thing, a great option for a friendly stroll can be found nearby in Terrigal. Parking your car at the surf club, grabbing a coffee at Freestate Cafe or Oceanhaus and hitting the esplanade is a perfect way to start a day.

With a boardwalk now linking the southern end of the esplanade with Terrigal Haven, you can head towards the Skillion to take in the perfect 360 degree views of Terrigal and even take your furry friend to the off leash dog area along the way. On the way back, Cove Café offers one of the best seats in the house for breakfast or lunch, and the ground level of Crowne Plaza offers many boutiques and galleries if you’re feeling partial to a touch of shopping.

Image credit: Jim Picot Photography

3.  Catherine Hill Bay & Surrounds

A State Heritage Listed historic mining village, Catherine Hill Bay features a beautiful patrolled beach that been named twice as one of ‘Australia’s 101 Best Beaches’. An ideal spot for surfing, swimming and fishing, you’ll also notice relics from the area’s mining history, the iconic former coal-loading jetty and its quaint 19th-century miners’ cottages that mark the oldest continuous settlement in the City of Lake Macquarie. Both the jetty and beach are ideal for a long walk and a picnic.

Catherine Hill Bay from the air.

4. Pearl Beach to Patonga

Heading further south, you’ll find the beautiful Patonga to Pearl Beach walk. In Brisbane Water National Park, this coastal trail follows the Great North Walk through forests of red gums and banksia. Whichever end you choose to start at, bring your swimmers and a towel to finish off this two hour walk with a dip. A lunch or dinner at The Boathouse Hotel in Patonga offers the ideal post-walk feed, or if you are after a quicker option, Warrah Lookout can be reached via a quick stroll on Doyles walking track.


The Boathouse Hotel @ Patonga

5 . The Coast Walk & Crackneck Lookout

Whether it’s to watch whales in winter, to swim, surf and snorkel in summer, or to venture through the gorgeous wildflower displays in spring, Wyrrabalong National Park has plenty to offer visitors throughout the year. The Coast walk is an easy 3km trail that runs through a narrow strip of forest from Bateau Bay south to Forresters Beach, right through the heart of Wyrrabalong.

Crackneck lookout is a perfect mid-way stop, and can also be accessed by vehicle if you’re after a great view without the hike. Several spots along the walk offer incredible coastal vistas that are also great for a picnic with the family.

Image credit: National Parks NSW

Finally – if visiting any of these spots, be sure to only leave footprints behind. Where applicable, also be sure to pay the appropriate national park access fees. These help our rangers look after our environment for future generations.

Hannah Evans