Oceania > Australia > New South Wales > Central Coast (New South Wales) > Lower Central Coast
The Lower Central Coast, mainly composed out of Gosford; is one of the local government areas of the Central Coast, along with Wyong. The local government area takes in some of the most spectacular and tourist friendly areas of the coast, lakes and bushland. However, the Gosford town centre (near the railway station) has to compete with major shopping malls in the surrounding suburbs, and great beach areas only a short distance away. As a result the town is a little lifeless on a weekday, catering mainly to the office crowd. On a weekend and public holidays, it can be totally dead, with the visiting crowds in The Entrance or Terrigal, the local shoppers in Erina mall, and just the pie shop in the main strip for food, and the pokies of Central Coast Leagues for entertainment.
The Lower Central Coast includes the towns of Gosford, Wamberal, Avoca, Copacabana, Forrester's Beach, McMaster's Beach and Terrigal.
Many residents of Gosford commute to Sydney daily, hence transport links with Sydney are good. However, they are very crowded in peak times (evenings, 5PM-7PM leaving Sydney) on weekdays as most of them are commuter oriented. The area is also a popular holiday spot, so travelling north from Sydney at the beginning of any New South Wales holiday period will be difficult.
Gosford is less than one hours drive north of Sydney's North Shore on the M1 Pacific Motorway leaving Hornsby. There are a number of exits that will take you into the area: the major one is the A49 exit.
Gosford is also about an hour's drive south of Newcastle on the Pacific Motorway.
If you are already in the Central Coast, you can get to Gosford by the private bus company, Busways; this serves all of the Central Coast. Buses are usually very clean, and some are air-conditioned. A Busways depot is in Gosford, where you can pick up a timetable. Alternatively, you can ask a bus driver for a timetable. Major bus stop have timetables on them. Public holiday bus services follow the Sunday timetable. When you see the bus coming, signal to the driver by looking at the driver and raising your hand and stand away from the road.
Transport for NSW has trains from Sydney's Central, Strathfield, Epping and Hornsby stations half hourly for Gosford and Wyong during the day, and more frequently in peak commute hours. Trains from Newcastle and Wyong come from the other direction.
The Palm Beach Ferry runs hourly from Palm Beach in Sydney's Northern Beaches during the day, ending at about 6PM. It travels to Wagstaffe in the south of the Gosford area in about 25 minutes, and to Ettalong in about 40 minutes.
- Bouddi National Park
- Brisbane Water National Park
- 1 Somersby Falls, Somersby Falls Rd, Somersby (8 km (5.0 mi) NW of Gosford, drive or taxi as there's no public transport available). Seeing the waterfalls in their full glory involves a picturesque walk down into the valley. There are three tiers of falls (top, middle and bottom) though the topmost is not very substantial. The path to the middle falls is safe with the stairs having railing all the way down. The descent to the bottom tier however, requires you to descend on shaky, rocky slabs which are often slippery and not always stable. It may be risky for the elderly or others with health and fitness concern to tread on these rocks. In any case, make sure to wear shoes with good grip. Once there, it’s only a 300 m walk to the bottom. Looking at the falls and using the accompanying picnic area are both free. Parking right next to the falls costs $8. Parking further out on the road is free though you'll have to walk bit more.
- 2 Wondabyne. Famed for its sheer remoteness, Wondabyne, surrounded by a river called Mullet Creek is the site of the only railway station in Australia that has inaccessible road access. (There are roads but they do not connect to the outside) A number of "squatter" houses along the creek are still used for fishing.
- 3 Edogawa Commemorative Garden, 36 Webb St, East Gosford, ☏ . Daily 9:30AM-4PM. A gift from Gosford's sister city Edogawa, the Japanese garden is a popular spot for people to relax and find their zen. Children will have fun playing with the ducks and koi in the ponds. You are allowed to feed the koi with food purchased from the shop inside. Entry to the garden is free. Bags of fish food to feed the koi are $1 each.
- 4 Gosford Regional Gallery, 36 Webb St, East Gosford, ☏ . Daily 9:30AM-4PM. The art gallery hosts both local and international exhibitions in a variety of styles. There is a small shop within the gallery that sells local artworks, books, ceramics, and other related items. Entry is free though donations are welcome.
- The Australian Reptile Park is one of the best wildlife parks in Australia and is 3 km from Gosford in Somersby. This park is situated amongst bushland and attracts many tourists and locals. It has many Australian animals including crocodiles, snakes, wombats, Tasmanian devils, kangaroos and emus, which are not fenced! There are also daily crocodile and bird shows. To get there by public transport get a taxi from Gosford station. There is no local bus service to the park. Some tour coaches operate.
- The Australian Rainforest Sanctuary at the Forest of Tranquility is a true rainforest in Northern Sydney suburbs, with true humid climate, nice walks, wallabies running around and rare birds occasionally showing up. $12/adult.
- Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures, 69 Cooks Road, Peats Ridge, NSW (20 min drive from Gosford), ☏ . Glenworth Valley has many outdoor activities to participate in. Horse riding, kayaking, quad biking, and abseiling are the main activities, but others are offered. You can usually do up to two in a day, one in the morning and another in the afternoon.
- Wamberal beach. Considered one of the best on the NSW east coast
- Forrester's Beach. Renowned for its clear seawater and truly breathtaking view. If you are not particularly enthused by saltwater, freshwater swimming pools are available in facilities around the beach. Golf courses and mini golf courses, tennis courts, bowling, and shopping facilities are also available in the area. The national park is also close to the beach.
- 1 Pelican Feeding, 129 The Entrance Rd, The Entrance NSW 2261. The town named itself 'The Pelican Capital of Australia' in 1999, with a specially constructed platform with daily feeds.
- 2 The Entrance Winter Blues & Jazz Festival, Memorial Park, The Entrance NSW 2261.
- 1 Lakeside Shopping Centre, The Entrance Rd. M-F 7AM-8PM Sa-Su 7AM-10PM.
Whilst the centre of Gosford doesn't offer a lot of interesting shops, there are two large shopping centres nearby. Buses from Gosford and most areas of the Central Coast travel regularly (albeit not always so frequently) to Erina Fair, which contains many mid-range clothing shops, hairdressers, coffee shops, newsagents, department stores, shoe shops, fast food outlets, restaurants and bookshops. There is also a library, gym, cinema and ice rink on the grounds. A similar shopping centre is found at Tuggerah although it is smaller and has less facilities than at Erina Fair.
- GPK Erina.
- 1 Golden Gate Cafe, 195 The Entrance Rd, The Entrance NSW 2261, ☏ .
- 2 The Lakes Hotel, 201 The Entrance Rd, The Entrance NSW 2261, ☏ . Pub and Hotel from the 1940s
As in many populated coastal areas of Australia, there are many homeowners who rent their houses to holiday makers on a weekly basis. As a guide, a four-bedroom house might rent for a short term price of $700-1500 per week. Local real estate agents usually organise the holiday rentals.
- Galaxy Motel, ☏ . Part of Gosford RSL.
- Apollo Resort Wamberal, 871 The Entrance Road, Wamberal, ☏ . Apollo Resort Wamberal has resort-style accommodation at Wamberal. It is set on five acres of tranquil gardens and surrounding bushland.
- Forrester's Resort Wedding and Conference Centre, 960 The Entrance Rd, Forresters Beach, ☏ , fax: . A scenic hour's drive from Sydney and set on two acres of tropical gardens. Best rates on official website start at $85.
- 1 The Entrance Hotel, 87 The Entrance Rd, The Entrance NSW 2261, ☏ .
- Gosford doesn't have much to offer travellers, so getting out of Gosford is likely to be on the minds of those who find themselves in the town. Luckily the Central Coast region has some lovely beaches and coastal resorts, including Terrigal and The Entrance.
- Travel to Sydney's Northern Beaches on the Palm Beach ferry and go walking in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.