11 of the Best Central Coast Beaches

  • Mums & Bubs

While we adore Sydney's beaches, we also love venturing further afield—particularly to the laid-back, beachy shores of nearby Central Coast beaches. 

Bursting with family-friendly beaches and coastal charm, a day trip or weekender to this beautiful area is a no-brainer for a fun summer activity. Add these top Central Coast beaches to your summer bucket list, and get ready for the good times and tropical vibes. 

11 of the Best Central Coast Beaches

1. Copacabana Beach

The best Central Coast beaches
Copacabana Beach

Offering the perfect balance of tranquillity and excitement, Copacabana Beach is renowned for being a great swimming and surfing beach.

Kids will love exploring and swimming in the rockpool at the northern end of the beach or splashing about in the lagoon's shallow waters. A small skatepark and playground, plus proximity to cafes make this a popular all-rounder with families! 

Location: Del Rio Drive, Copacabana

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2. Bateau Bay Beach

Bateau Bay Beach
Serene and sheltered, Bateau Bay Beach is a must-visit on the Coast. 

The idyllic village of Bateau Bay is a paradise for those who love the great outdoors and engage in all of the adventures it has to offer.

Swimming, bushwalking, snorkelling, fishing, bird-watching, and whale-watching are all popular pastimes of Bateau Bay locals and visitors. The beach is wonderfully secluded, nestled in between two headlands, which makes for a sheltered, quiet and peaceful experience.

For families venturing to this popular hotspot, the rock pools and calmer waters offer plenty of entertainment for young ones. If you've got slightly older kids who enjoy long walks, Bateau Bay is backed by Wyrrabalong National Park, which offers one of the best bushwalks on the Central Coast.

Location: Reserve Drive, Bateau Bay

3. Avoca

Avoca Beach
Avoca Beach

Probably the most popular and well-known of Central Coast beaches, Avoca is brimming with cool cafes, cute shops, and plenty of things to do for families.

The beach is a sought-after holiday spot, it's great for swimming, surfing, and soaking up some serious holiday vibes. Avoca has a gorgeous rock pool at its southern end and is adjacent to Avoca Lake, where plenty of watersport adventures await!

Location: Avoca Drive, Avoca

4. Macmasters Beach

The best Central Coast beaches
The rock pool at Macmasters Beach. Source: Destination Central Coast.

Macmasters Beach is a highlight of the Central Coast - quiet, serene, and perfect for an all-day play and picnic session with the kids.

The water is great for younger ones, and the ocean pool is very toddler-friendly. There's also a cafe situated at the foot of the bushland, which means your caffeine and snack needs are well and truly covered!

Location: 100 Marine Parade, Macmasters Beach

5. Pearl Beach

The best Central Coast beaches
Pearl Beach

Central Coast beaches don't get much more pristine than Pearl Beach.

This beautiful spot is home to generally calm waters and is the perfect family-friendly beach. The nearby playground, shops, cafes, and picnic spots make it a great place to head for an easy, breezy day in the sun!

Location: Coral Crescent, Pearl Beach

6. Terrigal Beach

The best Central Coast beaches
Dolphins swimming at Terrigal Beach. Source: Destination Central Coast.

A bustling town with plenty going on, Terrigal Beach is surrounded by restaurants, cafes, boutiques, and lively nightlife.

The wavey conditions at Terrigal Beach make it a great one for visiting with older kids, and you can enjoy surfing, kayaking, snorkelling, fishing or scuba diving while you're at it. The rock pool at the southern end is perfect for little paddlers.

Location: Ocean View Drive, Terrigal

7. Toowoon Bay

The best Central Coast beaches
Let the minutes show; family-friendly beaches don't come much better than this one. 

Renowned for its stunning teal-coloured water, Toowoon Bay has to feature on any list of the best Central Coast beaches. 

The water is calm, and the beach is patrolled, making it a firm favourite among locals and visiting families alike. The barbecue facilities, kiosk, and playground situated behind the beach make it an absolute winner in our books!

Location: Bff Bay Road, Toowoon Bay

8. Umina Beach

Umina Beach
Umina Beach

A firm favourite among beginner surfers thanks to its small, steady waves, Umina Beach is a great place to while away a day on the Coast.

A large playground (the largest on the Coast, in fact!) and cafe ensure plenty of entertainment, while the monthly Umina Beach Markets make the perfect excuse to visit. 

Location: Ocean Beach Rd, Umina Beach

9. Patonga Beach

Patonga Beach
Patonga Beach

A charming destination for a family day trip, Patonga Beach is a great spot for bike riding, bushwalking, fishing, and kayaking.

The renowned pub and cafe, the Boathouse Hotel, also makes Patonga a huge drawcard for families—water, activities, fresh air, a playground and a pub; what more could you need?!

Location: Patonga Dr, Patonga 

10. Shelly Beach

Shelly Beach
Shelly Beach

Beautiful clean water, pristine sand dunes, and great surf conditions combine to create the stunning Shelly Beach, a favourite among locals and visitors alike.

Shelly Beach is a popular beach to head for a picnic, with elevated views and plenty of space on offer. Eateries at the Surf Live Saving Club make it the perfect destination for a family day trip!

Location: Shelly Beach Rd, Shelly Beach

11. Ghosties Beach

Ghosties Beach Cave
Ghosties Beach is famous for its enormous sea caves. 

Somewhat of a hidden beach on the Coast, Ghosties Beach is a little trickier to get to than most Central Coast beaches, but 110 per cent worth it!

Renowned for having some of the clearest waters on the Coast, some of the whitest sand, and some of the biggest sea caves, Ghosties Beach is one to add to your beach bucket list asap.

Ghosties Beach is located in the Munmorah State Conservation Area, which makes getting to Ghosties a little bit of an undertaking. Drive into the Munmorah State Conservation Area and head towards the Moonee Beach walking trail. The walking trail will take about 20 minutes to get you down to Moonee Beach, and from here, head to the southern end of the beach, and you'll find Ghosties just over the sand dunes - enjoy!

Location: Elizabeth Bay Dr, Lake Munmorah

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