The Central Coast has something for everyone, from the remote hinterland bush to beautiful secluded beaches along the coast. Find the perfect itinerary for your next winter adventure, who said you have to wait until summer?

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Countries on which these adventures take place who have occupied and cared for these lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Hiking Bouddi National Park

Who:  For the hiker or lover of secluded beaches

How To Get There

Bouddi National Park is a beautiful coastal area about a 90 minute drive north of Sydney.


Bouddi Putty Trail

Bouddi Putty Trail

Things To Do

I first explored the area on the Bouddi Coastal Walk back in 2020 and was blown away by how scenic it was. While the hike is worth the journey on its own, the whole national park and surrounding area is full of activities.

Putty Beach and Trail

Putty Beach is a quiet beach at the southern end of Bouddi National Park. There are parking and picnic areas here which also mark the start of the Putty Beach Trail (listed as ‘Tessellated Pavement from Putty Beach Camping Area’ if you’re looking in AllTrails). The trail is only a short 2km out & back with the highlights being Putty Beach, the tessellated pavement, and the insane rock patterns all along the trail.


Bouddi Putty Trail

Bouddi Putty Trail

Bouddi Coastal Walk

From the Putty Beach Trail you can continue onto Gerrin Point Lookout and Bullimah Lookout if you are feeling up to it. There are quite a few stairs but the views are incredible. This also marks the first section of the Bouddi Coastal Walk from Putty Beach to Little Beach (approximately 14km return).


Bouddi Gerrin Point

Bouddi Gerrin Point


The full walk is amazing if you have the time, passing through the picturesque Maitland Bay and Bouddi Point before turning inland for a little while and emerging at Little Beach.


Bouddi - Maitland Bay

Bouddi – Maitland Bay

Maitland Bay

An alternative way to reach Maitland Bay is the Maitland Bay track, departing from the Maitland Bay Information Centre car park. This is a steep (especially on the way back) but well looked after track which takes you to my favourite beach in Bouddi National Park as well as the shipwreck of S.S. Maitland.

Go for low tide to be able to walk around the rock ledge at Bouddi Point and see parts of the shipwreck (as long as there isn’t a big ocean swell).

It’s a great secluded spot in winter for snorkelling, swimming, or just exploring the sandstone rock framing the beach. We were there at sunset and had the whole place to ourselves.


Bouddi - Maitland Bay

Bouddi – Maitland Bay

Little Beach

Little Beach is a gorgeous small cove surrounded by Bouddi National Park rainforest and located right on the beach. It can be accessed from the Coastal Walk or walking from Little Beach carpark. The short trail leads down to the rocky beach via the camping area. A very cute secluded beach perfect for a swim, snorkel, or a picnic on the grass nearby.


Little Beach campground, Bouddi National Park

Little Beach Bouddi National Park | Photo by John Spencer


Mount Bouddi Hike

The Mount Bouddi walking track offers a different shorter route to Bouddi Point. At 2.4km return it’s an easy out and back hike from Dingeldei / Mount Bouddi picnic area.

It’s super common to spot kookaburras and parrots along the walk through the bush before reaching the lookout with views over the coast of the national park and Maitland Bay. A lot of the trails connect if you decide to return the long way via Bouddi Coastal Walk, Maitland Bay track, and Strom Loop.


Mount Bouddi walking track

Mount Bouddi walking track | Photo by John Spencer


Lobster Beach

A small secluded beach perfect for snorkeling, kayaking, or paddle boarding. Lobster Beach is slightly further south than the others at Bouddi National Park and the short steep walk from the carpark (less than 1 km return) is enough to reduce the number of people you’ll find here.

Places to Stay

Putty Beach Campground

Camping at Putty Beach makes it easy to roam Bouddi at your own pace and explore as much as you like. With direct access to the beach the campsite is such a great spot – though you’ll need to book online if you want to stay here. The facilities are great with plenty of sheltered picnic tables, BBQs, and toilets.


Putty Beach Camp

Putty Beach Camp

Little Beach Campground

The campground is located right on Little Beach but the parking is 750m away, so you’ll need to carry all your gear in if staying the night. With only 6 tent spots it tends to book out, especially on weekends or holidays, so make sure you book ahead. There are picnic tables, toilets and BBQ facilities available for use but be sure to bring your own drinking water.

Tallow Beach Campground

Tallow Beach campground is another great option in the area, perfect to set up for swimming, surfing or bushwalking pretty much as soon as you step out of your tent. This one is only accessible by a 1.2 km gravel fire trail by foot from the carpark at Hawke Head Drive. While there are some toilets here there isn’t much else in terms of facilities so this is for the experienced campers or those wanting to get back to nature.


Tallow Beach campground, Bouddi National Park

Tallow Beach campground | Photo by John Spencer

Biking on the Central Coast

Who: For the avid biker or those keen for some scenic rides


Rocky Trail

Rocky Trail Fox Superflow, Ourimbah | Photo by Jon Odams


Things to Do

Cycle Long Jetty to the Entrance

A short and easy cycle between The Entrance and Long Jetty following a paved path across the Entrance Bridge and through Picnic Point. The 8.2km out and back route is shared and can be pretty popular on a nice day.


Long Jetty

Long Jetty mural


Ocean Baths at the Entrance

Cool off after your ride at The Entrance Ocean Baths, also referred to as The Grant McBride Baths, located on Ocean Parade. These huge ocean pools are heritage listed and worth checking out even if you don’t get in the water.

Cycle Around Budgewoi Lake

Starting at Slade Park on the outskirts of Budgewoi Lake you can either do the easy 17km out & back path OR the full 28km scenic loop. The loop is a more challenging option with a mix of paved paths, streets, and trails. You can also begin this loop from Wallarah Peace Park on the southern side of the lake. This is a shared path so be aware of people walking and running the track with you.

Munmorah Fire Trail Loop

There are many tracks in the Munmorah State Conservation Area; the best way to explore it is the Munmorah Fire Trail Loop. This 16km loop is a more challenging track through bushland on roads and firetrails passing Wybung Trig Lookout. There are trails connecting with opportunities to detour to one of the many beaches in the area on your ride. Start and end in Elizabeth Bay picnic area, making sure you stop in at Matts’ Dinner Takeaway just across the road for a big feed after you finish.


Munmorah State Conservation Area

Munmorah State Conservation Area

Cycle Gosford to Woy Woy

This track connects Gosford and Woy Woy via the Brisbane Water Cycleway. An easy scenic ride along the water’s edge for the most part makes an enjoyable and peaceful track. Start by parking at Yallambee Ave near Gosford before heading south for the 19.2km return trail.

The Best Single Day Road Trip

Who:  For those who love a packed itinerary or don’t have time to do a multi-day trip, you’ll be able to hit these options and be home in time for dinner

Things to Do

Wisemans Ferry

Drive north from Sydney into Wisemans Ferry, which is an area as well as an actual ferry. You’ll stop just near the Convict Road Kiosk to wait for the next ferry across the Hawkesbury River. It’s free and runs constantly so you don’t ever have to wait too long to get across.


Wisemans Ferry

Wisemans Ferry


Hike (or bike) Devine’s Hill via the Great North Road

Where you go next will depend on what you want to do, the Old Great North road is incredibly long and there are a tonne of trail options for both mountain biking and hiking.

I’d suggest turning left as you drive off the ferry to park at the Old Great North Road – World Heritage Walk and doing the Old Great North Road and Finch’s Line via Hangman’s Rock walk (8km out & back) trail.

This gives you a great insight into the history of the road as well as a doable walk with a few steep sections and some nice views along the way.


Finchs Line - lookout Mangrove - Old Great North Road Bike Ride


Lunch at Mangrove Mountain

Stop in at one of the cute food places you’ll pass driving along Wisemans Ferry road or head into Mangrove Mountain to grab some lunch. We stopped in at the Hub of Mangrove Mountain where there were a lot of food options as well as a little store for supplies.


The Hub Central Coast

The Hub


Explore Popran National Park

Nestled in the region’s famed Glenworth Valley, Popran National Park is an adventurer’s dreamland – from kayaking and mountain biking to hiking and even abseiling if you fancy a little pump of adrenaline.

Kayaking the waters of Popran or Mangrove Creeks you’ll explore some 4 kilometres of the stunning Hawkesbury foreshore, enjoying a spot of fishing or simply the peace of the paddle.

If you’re short on time, enjoy a hike up Mount Olive offering some of the best sunsets and sunrise views in the region. Enjoy an afternoon swim and relax by the river or explore the surrounding bushland keeping an eye out for native birds.


Mount Olive


Travel Back to Sydney

Driving back along the scenic Wisemans Ferry road to get the ferry back across the Hawkesbury River, ready to head home in time for dinner.

Or, if you’re not in a rush, why not pack your camping gear and spend the night at Mill Creek Campground before heading home?


Central Coast roadtrip

Central Coast roadtrip


Places to Stay

Mill Creek Campground

This serene grassy campground has great facilities and is surrounded by nature between the large trees and impressive cliffs.

It’s located just off Wisemans Ferry road in Dharug National Park and requires booking in advance. There’s a separate picnic area a bit further up the road and lots of trails start from here.


Mill Creek Campground

Choose Your Own Adventure

The Central Coast really has something for everyone if you know where to look. What’s more, you can explore the area on a day trip, or try a longer trip unique to the activities you enjoy.

After more? Check out Best Stops on a Central Coast Hinterland Road Trip for the ultimate road trip itinerary.