March 11, 2020 / By Nicole West
On a warm, sunny day, what could be better than exploring the sparkling beaches that decorate the Central Coast? Pop a crystal clear ocean pool into the mix and you don’t even have to worry about the surf conditions.
Whether you’re craving a relaxing float or looking for a safe spot for the little ones, here’s where to go to get your fix of picturesque beach pools.
Lined by towering Norfolk pines, Avoca Beach provides a picture-perfect backdrop for a beach day. Along the curving, 1.7-kilometre swath of sand, the southern end hosts a crystalline rock pool that’s simply divine for lazy swimming and explorational splashing for the kids, while you kick back on the sand. Hop in and out from the calm to the surf, or head over to the coastal lagoon for a pedal boat ride.
When you’re waterlogged, there’s a playground for a picnic, as well as cafes and restaurants for a bite. If you’re feeling more adventurous, take a surfing lesson or discover the artificial reef on a dive tour. It’s created from the shipwreck, Ex_HMAS Adelaide and only 1.8 kilometres off the coast.
Macmasters and Copacabana Beach
Named after a Scottish family that settled in the area in 1855, Macmasters Beach sits on the magnificent Bouddi Peninsula. This lovely rock pool was built in the 1960s, specifically for kids to swim safely in the pounding surf. Swim in peace behind the wall and watch the show as surfers tackle the swell out the back.
Nearby, Copacabana Beach features a ring of rocks with sheltered waters, named the ‘Mavis Pool’ after the wives of the pool-builders. Feel free to bring your furry friend here, as dogs are allowed off-leash on one section. When hunger strikes, soak up the ocean views from the Barefoot Cafe, then take a bushwalk through the Bouddi National Park.
A long-time favourite of celebrities, the beautiful residences of Pearl Beach are made to blend into the stunning natural scenery. As you drive down the winding Pearl Beach Drive, Mount Ettalong accompanies you to the golden sand and the peaceful, 25-metre rectangular ocean pool at the southern end. It’s the perfect spot to chill out, cool off and take in the lush scenery.
For a dash of glamorous beach house dining, treat yourself to a gourmet meal at Pearls on the Beach. Walk off an indulgent dessert at the Paul Landa Reserve or while checking out the wetlands, vast grassy areas and wildlife at the Crommelin Native Arboretum.
The iconic Skillion characterises ritzy Terrigal Beach, a cosmopolitan seaside hang out where natural beauty collides with adventures and trendy dining. Tucked into the cliffside, this charming ocean pool offers gorgeous views along the beach and a tranquil haven for a dip.
Take the kids to the Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre to learn all about the creatures that live in rocky homes along the coast.
Walk beneath the shade of idyllic Norfolk Pines on the vibrant Esplanade and pop in for a coffee at the Bellyfish Cafe. For afternoon tipples, head to the rooftop at Mumbo Jumbos. Walking and cycling trails let you zoom around Terrigal to make the most of this holiday haven.
When you want an abundance of choices with your rock pools, pack your bags for The Entrance. This family-friendly playground offers Ocean Pools that include a 50-metre lap pool, a 22-metre pool and a children’s wading pool to delight every type of swimming desire. More aquatic fun awaits at Vera’s Water Garden with colourful fountains surrounded by sea creatures.
Make sure you time your trip to coincide with the pelican feeding at 3:30pm each day in Memorial Park. Bring your bikes. or hire them from the Visitor Information Centre, to explore the Tuggerah Lakes Cycleway. At the end of the day, tuck into a seafood feast at The Waters Edge.
We think you should know: The Weekender's travel guides are independently written by real travellers. We do not receive any money from, or have a sponsorship arrangement with, any of the entities listed in, or referred to in this article.