The Central Coast has an abundance of lush landscapes, rugged bays, hidden valleys and scenic outlooks, making it an ideal playground for hiking enthusiasts. If you’ve already conquered the best hiking tracks Sydney has to offer, it’s time to head north and discover our pick of the seven best hiking trails on the Central Coast.
Beginning near Patonga boat ramp, the moderately challenging hike is three kilometres one way and takes you on a scenic climb through Brisbane Water National Park. Warrah Lookout is a great place to stop for breathtaking views of Broken Bay and the Hawkesbury River. The refreshing turquoise waters of Pearl Beach signal the end of the trail and an opportunity to stop off for a swim.
Where: Patonga to Pearl Beach
Time: 1.5-2 hours
Another sublime walking track that takes in the magnificence of the Brisbane Water National Park, the eight-kilometre track navigates an abundance of diverse landscapes including rocky escarpments, lush rainforests, waterfalls and native bushland. Beginning at the Girrakool picnic area, you’ll follow the deep gorge at Piles Creek up to the iconic suspension bridge.
Where: Girrakool Picnic Area
Time: 2.5-3.5 hours
A refreshing dip in the Emerald Pool awaits you at the end of Hominy Creek Walking Track. Shaded by eucalyptus trees and with views of Popran National Park, the five-kilometre circuit is a tranquil escape. Push yourself a little further and continue on to the 248 Trail to reach the Mount Olive Lookout and reward yourself with magnificent views of Popran Valley.
Where: Ironbark Picnic Area
Time: 2.5-3.5 hours
Iconic, yet gruelling, the Great North Walk is not for the faint hearted. Stretching for an impressive 250 kilometres from the Sydney CBD to Newcastle, the extensive track covers several national parks including Brisbane Water National Park. The Central Coast portion of the track runs for 34 kilometres and is characterised by rocky landscapes, rainforest canopies, native wildlife, and impressive water vistas.
Where: Brisbane Water National Park
Time: 1-3 days
For an easy-going introduction to Central Coast hiking trails, Box Head Track is a great place to start. At just over three kilometres, the relaxed walk is less about endurance and more about Bouddi National Park’s natural landscape. From breathtaking views of the Tasman Sea to the abundance of native birdlife and mountainous outlooks, Box Head Track is a great excursion for all fitness levels.
Where: Hawke Head Drive Car Park
Time: 1 hour
Stretching across eight kilometres of rugged coastline from Putty Beach to MacMasters Beach, the Bouddi National Park Coastal Walk is the perfect snapshot of scenic Central Coast. Traversing beaches, boardwalks, rainforests, and secluded bays, the moderate hike is known as one of the best coastal walks in Australia. Don’t miss a spectacular photo opportunity at Gerrin Point Lookout or the chance to spot some migrating whales.
Where: Bouddi National Park
Time: 3.5-4.5 hours
An ambitious 28-kilometre track near Wiseman’s Ferry, the Devines Hill Loop is a Heritage-listed walk that covers Old Great North Road, Thomas James Bridge, Hangmans Rock, Devines Hill and other historical remnants from the 1800s convict era. Located in Yengo National Park, the strenuous track is a popular venture for experienced hikers and mountain-bikers.
Where: Yengo National Park
Time: 6 hours