Five great walks on the Central Coast, NSW

February 24, 2019 / By Shelley Ann Morgan

The Central Coast Peninsula offers some spectacular walks around Patonga, Pearl Beach, Umina Beach, Ettalong Beach and Woy Woy. There’s something for everyone, and here are a few of my favourites! 

1. Patonga to Pearl Beach (3 km one way)

Perhaps the most popular walk in the area is the Patonga to Pearl Beach Walking Track, and for good reason. This bushland pathway in Brisbane Water National Park, feels a world away and when you arrive at Warrah Lookout, you are met with the most spectacular views overlooking the Hawkesbury River and Broken Bay - across to the Pacific Ocean, Barrenjoey Headland, West Head, Cowan Creek, Juno Point and Patonga. Surrounded by lush bushland foliage the track consists of dirt pathways, sandstone and timber steps, a management trail, and the last leg of the walk is on the lovely quiet streets of Pearl Beach - ending at the iconic Pearl Beach General Store and Cafe.

Add in a bit of variety and catch a ferry or bus from Pearl Beach back to Patonga (check bus timetables beforehand). The walk is a great activity for families who enjoy the outdoors as there are places to eat and swim at both ends. However, make sure you take sufficient water, snacks, sunscreen and hats for the walk. There is also the Crommelin Native Arboretum at Pearl Beach that offers a 20 minute easy, quiet and pleasant stroll through well-preserved native bushland. Crommelin Native Arboretum is also accessed via the quiet streets of Pearl Beach, and offers a 20 minute easy, quiet and pleasant stroll through well-preserved native bushlands.

2. Warrah Lookout (20 Minutes)

For those looking for a shorter walk and want to capitalise on the views, the track from Warrah car park (Warrah car park is accessed via a short dirt road) to Warrah Lookout provides well-maintained steps, sandstone and dirt pathways. Up the steps at the car park is Warrah Trig Station’s concrete pillar and is one of the many trig points used in the local area for surveying and mapping. While this is an easy 20-minute walk to the lookout, with some ascending steps from Warrah car park, the downhill steps to the dirt pathway and lookout - will provide a challenging ascent back to the car park, depending on your fitness level. 

3. Ettalong Beach Ferry Wharf to Ettalong Beach - the Box (10 minutes) 

Enjoy an easy and short walk along the Ettalong and Umina Beach foreshores. You can access the start of the walk from Ettalong Beach Ferry Wharf (Palm Beach ferry service), this pathway will take you to The Box on the Water restaurant, a 10 minute walk. If you’re taking the children, they may not venture beyond the playground equipment and beach adjacent to the Box, as this area not only provides a fabulous waterfront restaurant (including a kiosk) and play area, but this is the place to swim - these shallow waters are a lure for young children. 

4. Ettalong Beach Ferry Wharf to Umina Beach - Margarita Daze (3 km) 

If you decide to try the 3 km walk to Margarita Daze, after you walk past the exercise equipment near the playground area at Ettalong Beach, you can choose to follow the pathway straight ahead or access the sandy beach and follow the shoreline, and enjoy the views across to Lobster Beach, Box Head and Lion Island. You might even spy the Ettalong to Palm Beach ferry making its way towards Barrenjoey Lighthouse. The first point of interest is Ocean Beach Life Saving Club (further along the beach is another surf club and Jasmine Greens cafe, a ten minute walk), the Ocean Beach Surf Club kiosk is a great spot for a quick coffee and snack, and if you prefer to have lunch or an evening meal, Margarita Daze is opposite (the pathway ends here) and is the perfect place where you can also enjoy a cocktail overlooking the tranquil ocean. 

5. Woy Woy Waterfront Walk (2.2 km return)

For another postcard-perfect, yet easy waterfront walk, try walking from Fisherman’s Wharf to Lion’s Park in Woy Woy. The cycle and walkway is a pleasant and suitable for prams, pushchairs and wheelchairs. If your schedule permits, 3.00 pm is pelican feeding hour at Fisherman’s Wharf, or visit Woy Woy Memorial Park along the way. Families looking for fun opportunities with the little ones will enjoy the scenic surrounds and plentiful birdlife, including friendly pelicans and ducks. Also, ending the walk at Lion’s Park allows children tp take full advantage of the playground, play equipment and pathways. This is a perfect spot for a picnic and is also an easy starting point for walking this picturesque peninsula walks in the other direction.

Top Photo Credit - Ian Morgan

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