February 16, 2023
11 mins Read
Whether you want to sleep under the stars or under premium linen, in a boutique hotel or a holiday house, somewhere with panoramic views or with eco credentials, here is the very best of Central Coast accommodation.
For a classic Central Coast holiday, where days are filled with sun, sand and sea, these stays with views of the beach will complete the experience.
Splendid in Art Deco style with arched windows, a grand winding staircase, chandeliers, and a stunning pool at the centre of it all, the Crowne Plaza is a characterful hotel that has everything you need at your fingertips. There’s the elegant monochrome-hued Lord Ashley Bar, buzzing Terrigal Beach House bistro and beer garden, and the tranquil Endota Day Spa, to name a few. Guest rooms are simple in design, many with epic beach views.
Best for: Families, nightlife and dining
Location: Directly across from the popular and family-friendly Terrigal Beach, right in the heart of town, this hotel is uber convenient to shopping, dining and drinking.
From studio suites for two to the three-bedroom penthouse with a private jacuzzi, the Mantra at Ettalong is a great choice for families and larger groups. The hotel has beautiful water views, a coastal design, a large swimming pool, and is above Ettalong Diggers RSL for casual eats and entertainment.
Best for: Families, relaxing
Location: Overlooking Broken Bay, where boats and yachts gently sway in the breeze, this hotel is a short walk into the quiet village of Ettalong Beach. There’s also a scenic walk along the waterfront to neighbouring town Umina Beach.
For 134 years Kim’s has been a favourite hideaway for city folk, even rockstars and music icons – The Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson, for instance, are past guests thanks to its secluded location. There are 34 simple bungalows and villas, some with front-row views of the beach, others nestled in the tropical gardens.
Best for: Beachfront, secluded stays
Location: Right on the sands of Toowoon Bay, you can’t get any more beachfront than Kim’s. It’s also walking distance to the tiny village of Toowoon Bay where you’ll find a collection of shops and eateries, including excellent coffee at Flour & Co.
Whether luxury is your middle name or you want to splash out for a special occasion, these Central Coast stays will please the most discerning of guests.
This luxurious boutique hotel has long drawn in visitors for its elegant accommodation offering. It has 25 Hamptons-style cottages that range from studio-style suites to two-bedroom options that sleep four, an intimate day spa that specialises in indigenous-inspired treatments using native products, and an award-winning on-site restaurant that is under the guidance of lauded restauranteur and chef Sean Connolly.
Best for: Romantic stays, pampering
Location: Tucked away on an acreage of manicured gardens, just five minutes from Killcare Beach, Bells at Killcare is a secluded stay to get away from the busyness of life.
Made up of just four exquisitely designed pavilions, only eight lucky adult guests can stay here at any one time. Anchored by the main house, with a kitchen and dining room, wine cellar, guest lounge and infinity pool, a stay at Pretty Beach House is all-inclusive of meals (cold and hot breakfast, seasonal lunch and degustation dinner), an open bar with premium beverages, wi-fi, in-room movies and bike hire.
Best for: Ultra luxury, all-inclusive
Location: This exclusive stay is hidden among Angophora trees, perched high up on a hill in Pretty Beach, just outside of Bouddi National Park
With one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, as well as a stand-alone cottage, The Boathouse at Patonga has accommodation for up to 10 guests. Each apartment is styled in the signature Boathouse coastal aesthetic with pops of bright colours and features a kitchenette or kitchen, while the bright and airy cottage, which is next door to the hotel, has a yard with a plunge pool and barbecue area with a fireplace.
Best for: Relaxing, groups
Location: Located above the bustling hotel of the same name, these apartments are a stone’s throw from Patonga Beach.
Perfect for having everything you need at your fingertips, these Central Coast resorts make like a home away from home.
There is a whole range of accommodation options from studio apartments to deluxe three-bedroom self-contained villas at Pullman Magenta Shores, making it easy for groups to travel together. There is an on-site restaurant and casual bar dining, with high tea a popular weekend event. Guests can chill out in the day spa and have the opportunity to play on the private championship 18-hole golf course.
Best for: Golf, groups
Location: Set back from Magenta Beach, this modern resort is located within Wyrrabalong National Park, just north of The Entrance and south of beautiful Soldiers Beach and Norah Head Lighthouse.
Surrounded by green landscapes and tranquil lagoons, families and groups can choose from self-contained one- to three-bedroom apartments; there are also guest rooms for couples and singles, all simple in design. The resort has a restaurant and wine bar, a day spa, and keeping active is easy with an award-winning golf club, a heated indoor pool and outdoor pool, a gym, tennis courts and a playground for the kids.
Best for: Golf, families
Location: A short drive from Wyong town centre and Tuggerah Lake, this sprawling resort feels a million miles away.
After a recent multi-million-dollar makeover, this lakeside resort has a fresh design that is inspired by the Hamptons. The contemporary rooms can sleep up to four adults, some with views of the lake and the pool club, where all the action happens, especially in summer. Dining includes the casual bistro, a semi-fine-diner and there’s regular live entertainment.
Best for: Nightlife and dining, lake views
Location: Perched on the shores of Budgewoi Lake, ‘The Beachie’ is a short drive from Norah Head Lighthouse and The Entrance.
The best way to experience the Central Coast is to live like a local, so what better way to do that than stay in one of these holiday homes?
Alaya is a dream for beach lovers: floor-to-ceiling views of the ocean and white sands, wraparound decks, open and airy, and contemporary in design. It has three levels, with five bedrooms sleeping up to eight guests, each with its own ensuites, a gas fireplace, heated pool and private cabana.
Best for: Beach views, luxury
Location: Located on Toowoon Bay beach, this house has direct beach access and is a short walk to the village, and close to Long Jetty, which is an urban hub of cafes and boutique shopping.
This eclectic studio is perfect for solo travellers or couples. It’s beautifully designed, filled with treasures and vintage-style features such as an old wood burner fireplace and clawfoot bathtub. There is one bedroom with a king-sized bed and a kitchenette, as well as a deck with a barbecue.
Best for: Cosy, beach
Location: This studio is located one block from Blue Lagoon beach, close to Bateau Bay for conveniences and beautiful Wyrrabalong National Park with its coastal walking track.
The Central Coast is a nature lover’s nirvana, so camping is an excellent (and affordable) way to soak up its beauty.
Whether you want to caravan, camp, or glamp, this holiday park has accommodation for all kinds of travellers. There are powered and unpowered sites, modern and well-equipped villas and cabins that sleep up to eight, safari tents with plush beds, and a ‘glamtainer’ that is less camping and more glam. There’s a café and kiosk on site, and amenities that don’t just cater to kids, but are made for them, thanks to its heated pool, jumping pillow, water park, go-karts, games room, playground and tennis court.
Best for: Families, beach access
Location: This holiday park is located on Umina Beach and is a short walk or drive into town. It’s also near the seaside town of Ettalong.
This is a great spot for boaties, with its location right on Tuggerah Lake and boat ramp. Fishing, paddle-boarding and kayaking are also popular activities, and kids will have fun at the playground and jumping pillow. Camping and caravanning are available in both powered, unpowered and ensuite sites or if you prefer cabins, there are one- and two-bedroom options.
Best for: Families, water sports
Location: On the shores of Tuggerah Lake, this park is also close to beautiful Soldiers Beach, Norah Head and Wyong.
The expansive 1500-hectare Bouddi National Park is a top spot to camp, with empty beaches, tranquil bushland, the picturesque eight-kilometre Bouddi Coastal Walk that traces its headland, native wildlife both on land and ocean, and more than 100 important Aboriginal sites found within (cultural tours are available). Campsites are located at Little Beach, Putty Beach and Tallow Beach, and are unpowered and basic, however all have toilets.
Best for: Seclusion, wilderness
Location: There are three campsites within Bouddi National Park, all with beach access. The national park is located closed to the town of Killcare.
In early 2022, the Central Coast was named an ECO Destination, by Ecotourism Australia and supported by WWF-Australia. Here are some of the best sustainable accommodation options.
Noonaweena is an ECO-certified stay that comprises four elegant lodges that can accommodate 32 guests. The property is solar-powered, self-sufficient with natural water and recycles grey water, composts green waste, and keeps chickens for eggs and even bees. It’s a great base to experience the hinterland region, where you’ll find places such as Somersby Falls and Treetops Adventure Park.
Best for: couples, seclusion
Location: In the leafy rural suburb of Kulnura, in the Central Coast Hinterland, this guesthouse is north of Peats Ridge and Mangrove Mountain.
Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures is the place to come to experience adrenaline-inducing activities such as quad biking, abseiling, laser skirmish and kayaking. It’s also the largest horse-riding centre with more than 200 horses. You can camp overnight here by the riverfront or stay in one of the luxury bell tents or eco-cabins, which are supremely comfortable with all the creature comforts as well as a woodfired hot tub. There is a café and essentials store on-site.
Best for: Adventure, seclusion
Location: Glenworth Valley is a sprawling 3,000-acre property located in the Central Coast Hinterland, about 30 minutes west of Gosford.
Nestled among 20 acres of bushland, Amani Eco Lodge is a place to completely switch off, which is made easy without wi-fi and TV. The house has been luxuriously designed with the Australian landscape as an inspiration, using sustainable and reclaimed materials, including vintage beams from Balmain’s old wharves. With separate wings for privacy, ample natural light, an open fireplace, a wood-fired hot tub and a firepit, getting back to nature has never been so delightful.
Best for: Seclusion, digital detox
Location: While it may seem remote – which is the whole point of staying here – this house is actually a short drive from Terrigal and Avoca Beach.
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