The Entrance, an hour-a-half’s drive from Sydney and Newcastle, is situated on a narrow strip of land next to which Lake Tuggerah flows into the ocean. As such, inhabitants of The Entrance enjoy access to both a pristine coastline and an intricate lakes system and visitors have plenty of water-based attractions to choose from. On the eastern side of town, Wyrrabalong National Park boasts a whole host of natural attractions for travellers to explore. And in town, visitors can take part in The Entrance’s thriving market culture. A number of holiday rentals boast water views and are located within easy reach of everything The Entrance has to offer.
As you would expect from a community surrounded by bodies of water, travellers and locals have access to a wide array of aquatic activities. In the summer, the lake system of Tuggerah, Budgewoi and Munmorah is ripe for fishing. Bring your own gear or hire some from the bait and tackle shops in town. Bream is known to swim through these waters. Before fishing, please take note of the protected species you could catch and are legally required to return to their habitat unharmed. (The Entrance’s official website has further information on the subject.)
Aside from fishing, prawning is another popular pastime at The Entrance. Head over to the mouth of Tuggerah Lake on summer evenings and bring the whole family, as the shallow, crustacean-filled waters are safe for little ones to wade through. If fishing and prawning aren’t of interest to you, you can enjoy a number of water sports, rent out a boat for the day, or simply relax on safe, patrolled The Entrance beach as the kids splash around in the waves. Lastly, don’t forget to attend a pelican feeding at Memorial Park, every day at 3:30pm.
Once you’ve had your fix of waterfront fun, you can discover the Central Coast’s breathtaking scenery on foot, with various bushwalks available to visitors. You can’t miss Wyrrabalong National Park, which offers numerous cliff-side trails and coastal paths, letting you take in panoramic ocean views. The park stretches for 5km both north and south of The Entrance and benefits from marked paths for easy orientation. Hike or drive up to Crackneck Point Lookout, a popular spot for whale watching due to uninterrupted ocean views. If you have more time, drive 21km north of town to the Munmorah State Recreational Area, where additional bushwalks can be undertaken. Your efforts rewarded with equally sumptuous sea views.
Even shopping at The Entrance involves being outdoors- and close to the water. The Entrance Waterfront harbours a number of restaurants, takeaway joints and fashion boutiques, as well as a children’s playground. This area makes for a nice stroll, especially in the warmer months, as you can stop at one of the delicious ice cream shops and enjoy a cold treat only steps from the beach. Each Sunday, Marine Parade turns into an open air arts and crafts market, where you can purchase locally made souvenirs against an ocean backdrop. And throughout the weekend, you can buy fresh produce at the Waterfront Plaza and Bayview Avenue farmers’ markets- a great alternative to eating out if you’re staying in a holiday rental with a kitchen.
History and culture buffs may wish to spend some digging beneath The Entrance’s surface. A great place to start uncovering the area’s heritage is Nora Head Lighthouse, built in 1903. Visit on your own or as part of a tour to learn about the region’s maritime history and the ships that capsized in the bay. Be sure to bring your camera, because the lighthouse benefits from 360 degree views over the coast and hinterland. Alternately, to find out more about marine life inhabiting the waters around The Entrance, spend some time at the Shell Museum, conveniently situated within Dunleith Tourist Park. If you’re travelling to the Central Coast in September, do not miss the Gathering of the Clans in the neighbouring town of Toukley, a large Scottish festival with bagpipes, a parade, outdoor theatre, arts and crafts stalls and plenty of family-friendly activities.
With summer highs of 24C and winter days reaching 17C, the Entrance provides an ideal escape for visitors no matter the season. Thanks to the Central Coast’s moderate climate, many activities, like the ever-popular pelican feeding, run year-round. If you’re looking for a holiday buzzing with action, be sure to visit in the summer or during school holidays, when The Entrance is at its busiest. But if you prefer a restful break surrounded by natural beauty, just jump in the car and head to The Entrance whenever you feel like it!