Best Central Coast bushwalk if driving up from Sydney
Piles Creek Loop – 4km circuit / 2.5-3 hours
Bask in spectacular scenery on the drive from Sydney by taking the Old Pacific Highway. For a little decadence en route, pop into the Broken Bay Pearl Farm at Mooney Mooney, the most southern producer along the Central Coast Makers Trail.
Our recommended bushwalk starts at Girrakool Picnic area in Brisbane Water National Park. Piles Creek Loop is resplendent with waterfalls, caves and lookouts. Although it is a challenging trek, this is truly one of the best Central Coast bushwalks, and a wobbly walk across an old suspension bridge will be forever etched in your memory. Piles Creek Loop connects with the 250-kilometre Great North Walk, so pay attention to the signs unless you’re feeling particularly energetic!
After your bushwalk, enjoy a delicious savoury or sweet treat at the Chocolate Factory café, only a short drive away in West Gosford. Within walking distance of the Chocolate Factory, you can even stretch your legs along the Brisbane Water Cycle and Walking Trail with its stunning scenery and bird life.
THE coastal bushwalk of the Central Coast
The Coast Walking Track – 6km return / 2.5-3 hours
With 80 kilometres of stunning coastline, it really is difficult to pick the best Central Coast bushwalk along the coastline itself. Picnic and photo opportunities, wildflowers and whale watching make the breathtaking Coast Walking Track our award winner! It’s no coincidence that hang gliders flock to the launch points along this track.
The full 3-kilometre trail meanders along the coast from Wyrrabalong Lookout to Bateau Bay Beach. For a shorter Central Coast bushwalk, park at Crackneck Lookout. Panoramic views, surf and crashing waves seem to be at every turn, while information boards give a great excuse to stop for a breather and nature education.
While exploring this end of the Coast, Wyong’s Little Creek Cheese Factory and Outlet is not to be missed. Salivate over gin cheddar, gold-medal haloumi and creamy goat fetta to name just a few of their spectacular cheeses.
Railway to rainforest bushwalk but it’s OK to cheat
Rumbalara and Katandra Reserves – 11km return / 4-6 hours or shorter circuits
Stretching from Gosford railway station to the rainforest in Holgate, this 11-kilometre return bushwalk is not for the faint-hearted. Fear not, there are many shorter Central Coast bushwalks set within Rumbalara and Katandra Reserves, the shortest being just 125 metres long.
A popular bushwalk with the Central Coast locals is the 5-kilometre Katandra Reserve Explorer circuit in Holgate. The sublime ecosystem of Seymour Pond and a magnificent Strangler Fig will give nature lovers a thrill. Holgate is also home to Firescreek Botanical Winery where unique wines are created from fruit, flowers and native botanicals.
If your boots were not made for walking…
Perhaps you want to enjoy a short Central Coast bushwalk, simply as an excuse to indulge in a gastronomic lunch or to appease little legs. If so, these bushwalks are for you.
Girrakool Loop Track – 2km circuit / 30 minutes – 1 hour
Girrakool Picnic area (above) is the gateway to Girrakool Loop. Views of waterfalls and Aboriginal rock engravings make it a rewarding little Central Coast bushwalk after a drive from Sydney.
MacMasters Beach to Little Beach – 3.4km return / 1-2 hours
This bushwalk within peaceful Bouddi National Park has some steep sections, but a beach at either end is the reward. Join the track near the Surf Life Saving Club at MacMasters Beach. For a shorter family-friendly bushwalk, park in Grahame Drive for a 15-minute amble to Little Beach. If you become inspired to explore further, the Bouddi Coastal Walk also covers Maitland Bay and Putty Beach in this secluded area of the Central Coast.
Visitors to the Central Coast are spoilt for choice with so many spectacular bushwalks. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or a fine weather stroller, your mind and body will thank you for the opportunity to explore NSW’s best coastline and natural wonders!