Central Coast and Newcastle

The NSW Central Coast and Newcastle offer a wide variety of nature based activities and destinations. Stockton beach, with its towering sand dunes and coastal brush is waiting to be explored. Brisbane Water National Park and Dharug National Park preserve large tracks of untouched wilderness. They are a treasure trove of plants, animals, and important aboriginal sites.

The region is also home to many great land based whale watching spots including:

Nobby’s Headland (Newcastle)

Nobby’s Headland used to be 62 metres high but after years of quarrying it is only half the height it once was. The rock was used to build the harbour breakwater. There is a lighthouse at the top which was built in 1857 and guides ships into Newcastle harbour.

Location and Access

Located on Newcastle’s southern headland, drive to the end of Nobby’s road. The walk to the tip of the headland is around 1.5 km return.

Fees

No fees apply

Facilities

There is a car park and walking trail at the headland.

Top Experiences

•    Whales and dolphins can often be seen from the headland
•    Great spot for jogging and walking.

Wybung Head (Munmorah SCA)

Munmorah State Conservation Areas rugged coastline makes a fine site for water sports, coastal walks with magnificent ocean views and wildflower displays in spring

Location and Access

Wybung Head is located in Munmorah State Conservation Area (115 km north-east of Sydney, 41 km north of Gosford via Elizabeth Bay). To get there, drive off the Pacific Highway and then onto Wybung Head road.

Fees

Vehicle entry fees apply

Facilities

•    A short walk begins at the end of Wybung Head Road, taking you to the top of a ridge and a large clearing with sweeping ocean views.
•    Interpretative signage provides information on whales and other marine animals.

Top Experiences

Launch a boat from the ramp at Elizabeth Bay or swim and surf at a variety of beaches (surf beaches are not patrolled, except Frazer Beach which is patrolled in Christmas and Easter holidays).

Crackneck Lookout (Wyrrabalong NP)

Located on the south side of Wyrrabalong National Park, Crackneck lookout provides an excellent opportunity to view whales.

Location and Access

Wyrrabalong National Park is located 110 kilometres north of Sydney. The park is split into two parts, one on each side of The Entrance. To get to the north section, go north from The Entrance via Wilfred Barrett Drive. To reach the south section of the park (where Crackneck Lookout is located), drive along Bateau Bay road, which is off The Entrance Road. Then park at the end of Hilltop Street, Bateau Bay.

Fees

No fees apply

Facilities

•    Crackneck Lookout has picnic facilities.
•    The entire Coastal walking track offers spectacular views and excellent whale watching opportunities.

Top Experiences

You can walk along the rocks from Bateau Bay to Forresters Beach when the seas are calm and the tide is low. This return journey of about 6 km passes over boulders and close to a unique grey mangrove colony growing on the rock platform.

Gerrin Point (Bouddi NP)

Gerrin Point lookout provides breathtaking views across Bouddi National Park marine extension to Maitland Bay, backed by the tall forests of the Grand Deep.

Location and Access

Gerrin Point lookout is on the Coastal Walking Track, north of Putty Beach. To get there, follow the walking track for approx 1.2 km from Putty Beach and enjoy spectacular views north and south.

Fees

Vehicle entry fees apply

Top Experiences

•    The lookout is excellent for sightseeing, whale watching, birdwatching, and photography.
•    Snorkeling at Maitland Bay: Maitland Bay is a protected crescent-shaped bay which is popular for swimming and provides snorkelling excellent snorkelling conditions.

Box Head (Bouddi NP)

The Box Head lookout provides panoramic views of the Tallow Beaches, Broken Bay, Lion Island and Sydney's northern beaches.

Location and Access

End of Hawke Head Drive Killcare. Here the walk starts (1.5 km medium grade)

Fees

Vehicle entry fees apply

Top Experiences

The Box Head walk starts from the park boundary at the Tallow Beach gate on Hawke Head Drive. Hawke Head Drive is a fire trail but is accessible to vehicles up to this point (approx. 1750 m from the intersection of Hawke Head Drive and Nukara Avenue). Follow the fire trail around, ignoring the first track on your right, which leads to Lobster Beach.

Water based whale watching activities

Once you have explored the many land-based whale watching opportunities that this region offers, you may want to go on a whale and dolphin watching cruise tour.

  • NSW Government
  • National Parks & Wildlife Service NSW