Ettalong Beach And Resort, New South Wales Australia
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Central Coast Overview

Drive out of Sydney heading North on the F3 Freeway and soon the suburbs give way to eucalyptus bush and sparkling water inlets and you're entering the beautiful Central Coast. Stretching from lovely Brooklyn, perched on the edge of the Hawkesbury River, with it's glorious marina and scrumptious fresh seafood restaurants to Budgewoi, which overlooks its own lake, it's an area of great natural beauty and understandably popular with holiday makers from the city.

With its closest villages only an hour from Sydney, the Central Coast is an obvious choice for a weekend break or longer holiday. Many of the inland settlements nestle in untouched sub-tropical rainforest and places like Ourimbah are a great location to get out into the bush and explore the majesty of the State Forest. Gosford is the Central Coasts major town and is blessed by some lovely beaches leading onto the Brisbane Waters. Being a harbourside town, it has some great swimming beaches, perfect for families with young children, as well as some good fishing spots. It is also only a short drive from the Australian Reptile Park where you can find out about snakes and lizards, get as close as you dare to spiders and watch a show with Eric the one-legged crocodile (and learn how is lost his limb!). It's a wonderfully fun and educational day out for the whole family. Woy Woy is another place on the fishing, and boat, fanatics map and is good place to stock up on supplies if you're continuing on to a caravan park or holiday house up the coast.

Sitting on the edge of the Brisbane Waters, Ettalong is a pretty seaside town with a wonderful beach. Once a sleepy little village, it's become more of a holiday destination in recent times due to the construction of the Ettalong Beach Resort. Apart from great beaches and some lovely cafes and restaurants, Ettalong is also home to the independently run Cinema Paradiso. The Ettalong Markets, which are open on Saturdays and Sundays, are also well supported by eager tourists.

Moving north along the coast, MacMasters Beach and Copabana Beach have fantastic ocean views and some wild surf, for those who like to take to the waters on a boogie or surfboard. The beach is golden and gorgeous and it's a popular place to rent a holiday home, with plenty to choose from. Avoca Beach lies between a couple of headlands and is another well-loved spot for sailors, swimmers, fisherman and surfers. There is also Avoca Lake, just back from the main beach, which offers calmer waters on days when the sea is rough.

Terrigal is the main coastal hub of the Central Coast and is a busy holiday town a half hour or so's drive from Ettalong. Book ended by the Bouddi National Park on one side and the ocean on the other, Terrigal has something for everyone. The beach is ideally positioned to get maximum sun baking hours and is famous for it's surf. However, if sand and sea are not really your thing, there are also some exhilarating coastal walks in the locale and some great lookouts to be enjoyed. Terrigal has some wonderful shops ranging from the cheap and cheerful to the swish and expensive. It also has top-notch restaurants, along with numerous cafes.

Other premium beaches on the Central Coast include Forresters Beach, which has clear blue ocean or freshwater swimming pools, depending on your preference. Shelly Beach is one of the areas many patrolled beaches, making it a clear favourite with families on holiday. At the mouth of Lake Tuggerah, The Entrance is a breath-takingly beautiful place, famous for its friendly pelicans, boat hire, fishing, surfing and cycling tracks. Norah Head has a lovely white lighthouse, which is a popular location for weddings, whilst Budgewoi has sheltered lake waters suitable for small children.

The Central Coast is a fabulous holiday destination. There are so many wonderful beaches, bushwalks and National Parks to explore, so many shops to investigate and restaurants to sample, so many sports and activities to try. And the accommodation choices are almost endless. Places like Ettalong and Terrigal offer top end, resort accommodation. You'll find holiday rentals from rustic beach shacks to deluxe holiday homes on every beach. If you prefer to holiday under canvass, there are loads of campsites dotted around, with the National Parks offering some particularly attractive sites to pitch a tent. Or if you like a little more comfort there are plenty of caravan parks, many complete with holiday cabins.

One visit to the Central Coast is never enough!