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10 Best Central Coast Bushwalks NSW

These Central Coast bushwalks of New South Wales offer a stunning array of hiking trails for outdoor enthusiasts. The trails take you through lush forests, along rugged coastlines, and offer beautiful views of the surrounding landscapes.


Central Coast Bushwalks

Here are 10 of the best bushwalks in the Central Coast region of NSW.

For more good ideas on hiking in Australia take a look at this guidebook Lonely Planet Best Day Hikes in Australia.


Bouddi Coastal Walk

The Bouddi Coastal Walk is a popular coastal hiking trail located in Bouddi National Park. This scenic trail offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and lush coastal bushland and is easily one of the best Central Coast bushwalks.

Bouddi National Park is located approximately 90 kilometres (56 miles) north of Sydney, making it easily accessible for day trips or weekend getaways from the city.

The Bouddi Coastal Walk is approximately 8 kilometres (5 miles) one way, starting from Putty Beach in the south and ending at Macmasters Beach in the north. You can choose to hike the entire trail or select sections based on your preferences and fitness level.

The trail typically begins at Putty Beach, a picturesque spot for swimming, picnicking, and surfing.

The secluded beach of Maitland Bay can be accessed via a side trail and is known for its pristine beauty.

The Gerrin Point Lookout Offers panoramic views of the coastline and is an excellent spot for whale watching during the migration season (June to November).

Little Beach is a hidden gem with clear waters and ideal for a refreshing swim.

The trail concludes at Macmasters Beach, known for its long stretch of golden sand and inviting surf.

The Bouddi Coastal Walk is considered to be of moderate difficulty. While it’s not extremely strenuous, there are some steep sections and uneven terrain, so wearing appropriate footwear and being prepared for variable weather conditions is essential.

The time it takes to complete the trail can vary depending on your pace and the stops you make along the way. It generally takes around 3 to 4 hours to hike the entire length one way.

There are picnic areas, toilets, and parking available at both Putty Beach and Macmasters Beach, making it convenient for visitors.

Highlights: Spectacular coastal views, beaches, and diverse flora and fauna.


Patonga to Pearl Beach Walk

The Patonga to Pearl Beach Walk is a beautiful coastal hike located and offers stunning views of the coastline, beaches, and lush bushland.

Location: The Patonga to Pearl Beach Walk is located in the Central Coast region of New South Wales, about 1.5 to 2 hours’ drive from Sydney.

Distance: The walk is approximately 3.6 kilometres (about 2.2 miles) one way, making it a relatively short but scenic hike.

Difficulty: The trail is considered to be of moderate difficulty. While it’s not particularly long, there are some steep sections and uneven terrain, so wearing appropriate footwear and taking care while hiking is important.

Highlights:

Stunning Coastal Views: The walk offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the rocky coastline, making it a popular spot for photography.

Bushland: You’ll pass through lush bushland and can enjoy the sights and sounds of Australian flora and fauna.

Beaches: Both Patonga Beach and Pearl Beach are picturesque, and you can take a refreshing swim or relax on the sandy shores.

Wildlife: Keep an eye out for native wildlife, including birds, lizards, and potentially kangaroos.

Highlights: Coastal scenery, beachside paths, and a scenic ferry ride.


Somersby Falls Walking Track

Somersby Falls Walking Track is a popular and picturesque trail located in the Somersby area of the Central Coast region. It is known for its beautiful waterfall and lush rainforest surroundings and is one of the best Central Coast bushwalks.

Location: Somersby Falls is located approximately 1.5 hours’ drive north of Sydney, making it a popular day trip destination.

Distance: The track is a relatively short loop, approximately 1.2 kilometers (about 0.75 miles) in length, making it suitable for a leisurely walk.

Difficulty: The Somersby Falls Walking Track is considered an easy walk suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. The path is well-maintained and mostly flat, with some gentle inclines and steps.

Highlights:

Waterfalls: The main attraction of the walk is the beautiful Somersby Falls. There are several cascades and pools along the track, with the largest waterfall being the most impressive. The falls are especially stunning after heavy rain.

Rainforest: As you walk along the track, you’ll be surrounded by lush subtropical rainforest, which is home to a variety of plant and animal species.

Picnic Areas: There are picnic facilities near the entrance to the track, making it a great spot for a family outing or a peaceful picnic by the falls.

Highlights: Beautiful waterfalls, lush rainforest, and birdwatching opportunities.


The Great North Walk (Central Coast Section)

Central Coast bushwalks, river and trees.

The Great North Walk is a long-distance hiking trail in New South Wales, stretching from Sydney to Newcastle. The Central Coast Section of the Great North Walk covers the portion of the trail that passes through the Central Coast region.

Location: The Central Coast Section of the Great North Walk traverses the Central Coast region of New South Wales, which is situated between Sydney and Newcastle. It’s a part of the larger Great North Walk, which extends over 250 kilometers from Sydney to Newcastle.

Distance: The Central Coast Section of the Great North Walk is approximately 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) long, making it a multi-day hike for most hikers.

Difficulty: The difficulty of this section varies, with some parts being relatively easy and others more challenging. It includes a mix of terrains, from coastal trails to dense bushland, and some sections may have steep ascents and descents.

Highlights:

Scenic Variety: This section of the Great North Walk offers a diverse range of landscapes to explore, including coastal views, eucalyptus forests, wetlands, and more.

Brisbane Water National Park: The trail passes through Brisbane Water National Park, which is known for its beautiful waterways, including the Hawkesbury River and Patonga Creek.

Wildlife: The area is home to a variety of wildlife, so keep an eye out for native birds, kangaroos, wallabies, and other animals.

Historical Sites: Along the trail, you may encounter historical sites and landmarks that provide insights into the area’s past.

Highlights: A long-distance trail offering diverse landscapes, including forests, rivers, and historic sites.


Girrakool Loop Track

The Girrakool Loop Track is a popular hiking trail located in the Brisbane Water National Park, which is part of the Central Coast region

This loop track offers a relatively short but scenic hike through lush bushland and provides access to the picturesque Girrakool waterfall making it one of the best Central Coast bushwalks.

Location: The Girrakool Loop Track is situated within the Brisbane Water National Park, which is approximately a 1.5 to 2-hour drive north of Sydney.

Distance: The loop track is approximately 2.4 kilometers (about 1.5 miles) in length, making it a relatively short hike that can be completed in about 1 to 1.5 hours at a leisurely pace.

Difficulty: The trail is considered to be of moderate difficulty. It includes some steep sections and stairs, so good footwear and a reasonable level of fitness are recommended.

Highlights:

Girrakool Waterfall: The trail leads to the Girrakool waterfall, which is a picturesque cascade surrounded by lush rainforest. It’s a great spot to relax and take in the natural beauty.

Scenic Views: Along the way, you’ll encounter various lookout points that offer scenic views of the surrounding landscape, including glimpses of the Hawkesbury River.

Wildlife: The bushland is home to a variety of native wildlife, so keep an eye out for birds, lizards, and possibly wallabies.

Picnic Area: Near the start of the trail, there’s a picnic area with facilities, making it an ideal spot for a pre-post-hike meal or snack.

Highlights: Aboriginal rock engravings, lush rainforest, and picnic areas.


Wyrrabalong National Park Coastal Walk

The Wyrrabalong National Park Coastal Walk is a stunning coastal hiking trail located on the Central Coast.

It offers breathtaking views of the coastline, pristine beaches, and the opportunity to explore the diverse ecosystems within Wyrrabalong National Park.

Location: Wyrrabalong National Park is situated on the Central Coast of New South Wales, approximately 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) north of Sydney.

Distance: The Coastal Walk is a relatively short track, measuring around 6 kilometers (about 3.7 miles) one way, so it’s manageable as a half-day hike.

Difficulty: The trail is considered to be of moderate difficulty. While it is not overly strenuous, there are some inclines, steps, and uneven terrain.

Highlights:

Coastal Scenery: The main attraction of this walk is the stunning coastal scenery. You’ll be treated to panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, cliffs, rock formations, and pristine beaches.

Wildlife Viewing: Keep an eye out for native wildlife along the way. You might spot seabirds, dolphins, and even whales during their migration seasons.

Bateau Bay Beach: The walk takes you to Bateau Bay Beach, where you can take a refreshing swim or relax on the sandy shores.

Bushland: The trail passes through beautiful bushland areas, offering a contrast to the coastal views.

Highlights: Stunning coastal views, whale watching (seasonal), and unique rock formations.


Brisbane Water National Park – Mount Wondabyne Summit

Mount Wondabyne is the highest point in the Brisbane Water National Park and one of the best Central Coast bushwalks takes you there. It is a popular hiking destination for those looking to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Location: Mount Wondabyne is situated within the Brisbane Water National Park, which is approximately 80 kilometers (about 50 miles) north of Sydney. The trailhead is accessible from various points in the national park.

Distance: The hike to the Mount Wondabyne summit is relatively short but challenging, with a round-trip distance of approximately 6-8 kilometers (about 3.7-5 miles) depending on your starting point.

Difficulty: This hike is considered to be of moderate to challenging difficulty. While the distance isn’t extensive, the ascent to the summit can be steep and demanding, so it’s best suited for hikers with a reasonable level of fitness and experience.

Highlights:

Panoramic Views: The summit of Mount Wondabyne offers spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the Brisbane Water, Hawkesbury River, and the Central Coast region.

Natural Beauty: Along the trail, you’ll pass through beautiful Australian bushland, which can be particularly scenic during the wildflower season.

Wildlife: Keep an eye out for native wildlife, including birds and possibly wallabies or kangaroos.

Remote Feel: While relatively close to Sydney, the Mount Wondabyne hike can provide a sense of isolation and wilderness, making it a peaceful escape from city life.

Highlights: Panoramic views from the highest point on the Central Coast.


Top tip: If you want a good map for the area take a look at the Lonely Planet New South Wales & ACT Planning Map.


Piles Creek Loop Trail

The Piles Creek Loop Trail is a popular hiking trail located in the Brisbane Water National Park and another of the great bushwalks on the Central Coast.

This loop trail offers a scenic and moderately challenging hike through lush rainforest, alongside Piles Creek, and provides opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

Location: The Piles Creek Loop Trail is situated within the Brisbane Water National Park, which is approximately 80 kilometers (about 50 miles) north of Sydney. The trail is located near Woy Woy and is easily accessible from various points in the national park.

Distance: The loop trail is approximately 5.6 kilometers (about 3.5 miles) in length, making it a moderate-length hike that can be completed in a few hours.

Difficulty: The trail is considered to be of moderate difficulty. It includes some steep sections, creek crossings, and uneven terrain, so it’s best suited for hikers with a reasonable level of fitness and some hiking experience.

Highlights:

Piles Creek: The trail follows the Piles Creek, and you’ll have opportunities to enjoy the soothing sounds of running water and beautiful creek views.

Rainforest: The trail takes you through lush subtropical rainforest, providing a cool and shady environment, especially on hot days.

Bridges: You’ll cross several wooden bridges, adding a unique element to the hike as you traverse over water and steep gullies.

Wildlife: Keep an eye out for native wildlife, including birds, lizards, and possibly wallabies or kangaroos.

Highlights: Creek crossings, rainforest, and the opportunity to see wildlife.


Munmorah State Conservation Area – Birdie Beach to Ghosties Beach Walk

The Birdie Beach to Ghosties Beach Walk is a scenic coastal trail located within the Munmorah State Conservation Area.

This hike offers stunning ocean views, access to beautiful beaches, and a chance to explore the natural beauty of the area and is one of the best Central Coast bushwalks you can do.

Location: The Birdie Beach to Ghosties Beach Walk is situated within the Munmorah State Conservation Area, which is about a 90-minute drive north of Sydney, making it a popular day trip destination.

Distance: The hike is approximately 6 kilometers (about 3.7 miles) one way, making it a moderately long coastal walk that can be completed in a few hours.

Difficulty: The trail is considered to be of moderate difficulty. It includes some steep sections and uneven terrain, so good footwear and a reasonable level of fitness are recommended.

Highlights:

Coastal Scenery: The main attraction of this walk is the stunning coastal scenery. You’ll enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and the clear waters of the Tasman Sea.

Beaches: Along the way, you’ll pass by Birdie Beach, which is known for its natural beauty and is a popular spot for swimming and surfing. Ghosties Beach, at the other end of the walk, is also a picturesque location.

Wildlife: Keep an eye out for native wildlife, including seabirds, dolphins, and possibly whales during their migration seasons.

Picnic Areas: There are picnic facilities near the starting point of the trail, making it a convenient spot to enjoy a pre- or post-hike meal or snack.

Highlights: Pristine beaches, coastal cliffs, and birdwatching opportunities.


Popran National Park – Mount Olive Summit Track

The Mount Olive Summit Track is a hiking trail located in Popran National Park. This trail takes hikers to the summit of Mount Olive, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Location: Popran National Park is located approximately 90 kilometers (about 56 miles) north of Sydney. The Mount Olive Summit Track is within this national park.

Distance: The hike to the Mount Olive Summit is relatively short, with a round-trip distance of approximately 4 kilometers (about 2.5 miles). It can typically be completed in a few hours.

Difficulty: The trail is considered to be of moderate difficulty. While it’s not overly strenuous, there are some steep sections and uneven terrain, so good footwear and a reasonable level of fitness are recommended.

Highlights:

Panoramic Views: The main attraction of this hike is the breathtaking panoramic views from Mount Olive Summit. You’ll have the opportunity to take in expansive vistas of the surrounding bushland, Hawkesbury River, and the distant Blue Mountains.

Australian Bushland: The trail passes through beautiful Australian bushland, providing opportunities to appreciate native flora and fauna.

Wildlife: Keep an eye out for native wildlife, including birds, wallabies, and possibly goannas.

Highlights: Views of the Hawkesbury River, sandstone cliffs, and diverse flora.


Central Coast Bushwalks – Travel New South Wales

Before embarking on any bushwalk, ensure you are well-prepared with appropriate gear, maps, and knowledge of the trail conditions.

For more good ideas on hiking in Australia take a look at this guidebook Lonely Planet Best Day Hikes in Australia.


Leave No Trace principles to help preserve these beautiful natural areas when you are doing the Central Coast bushwalks. Additionally, check for any park or trail closures or restrictions, especially during fire danger seasons.

For more on travel in the region take a look at my guides to Australia.


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