The sunny 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 walking tracks Sydney has to offer, it’s time to head north and discover our pick of the best Central Coast walks.
Best Central Coast Walks: Headland Nature Trail
Take a walk along the Headland Nature Trail to check out the Norah Head Lighthouse. The 2.2 kilometre walk takes in some of the area’s beautiful native flora and fauna. You can head back via the nature trail or alternatively if the tide is low, you can make your way down the stairs in front of the lighthouse and turn left. Take in the secluded beauty of Nimbin and Lighthouse Beaches before reaching The Rockpool Norah Head, from here you can make your way up the stairs which will take you back to the reserve.
Norah Head Reserve
Best Central Coast Walks: Patonga to Pearl Beach
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.
Brisbane Water National Park
Best Central Coast Walks: Mooney Mooney Nature Walk
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.
Girrakool Picnic Area, Brisbane Water National Park
Best Central Coast Walks: Wyrrabalong Coastal Walk
Make your way up to Bateau Bay's Crackneck Lookout and watch the whales cruise by during the winter months and enjoy the stunning views across Shelly Beach and The Entrance. From the lookout, you can head out along the three-kilometre Wyrrabalong Coastal Walk – either head north to Bateau Bay Beach through subtropical fauna-scape, or south to Forresters Beach with the scenic walk coasting the headline through Wyrrabalong Coastal Walk.
Wyrrabalong Coastal Walk
Best Central Coast Walks: Great North Walk
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.
Brisbane Water National Park
Best Central Coast Walks: Hominy Creek Walking Track
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.
Ironbark Picnic Area, Popran National Park
Best Central Coast Walks: Box Head Track
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.
Hawke Head Drive Carpark, Bouddi National Park
Best Central Coast Walks: Bouddi National Park Coastal Walk
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.
Putty Beach, Bouddi National Park
Best Central Coast Walks: Coast to Lake Walk
Taking in the beautiful sights of the coast, the lake and everything in between, this self-guided walk highlights the Central Coast's natural beauty. The 7.6km Coast to Lake walk covers The Entrance's main attractions and landmarks (great for day-trippers), while also providing exercise-lovers a solid sweat session with a view.
Best Central Coast Walks: Devines Hill Loop
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 Dharug National Park, the strenuous track is a popular venture for experienced hikers and mountain-bikers.
Dharug National Park
Loving our round-up of the best Central Coast walks? Be sure to check out our Central Coast content destination that has all the info you need to book your next weekend getaway up the coast.