Pet Owners Travel Guide to the Central Coast of NSW
The Central Coast of NSW
The Central Coast is a region of New South Wales that is around one hour drive north of Sydney. The area is popular with retirees and holiday makers and has a population of over 330,000.
I am one of the lucky ones that call the Central Coast home, and whether you are a resident or just visiting, there are plenty of awesome Dog Friendly things to do and see on the Coast, all of which I want to share with you right here.
I thought I would start with some Pet Friendly accommodation options first as if you are planning a visit you will most likely be starting here. This is not the entire list but a few awesome ones that I think tick the most boxes for pet owners.
Yattala Lodge - Yattalunga (South end of Coast).
The property has one Queen Bedroom with combined Kitchen / Living area. The lodge is fully self contained with cooking utensils, dining requirements, washing machine and linen supplied. There is a dog kennel in an enclosed yard and the property is a 5 min walk to the waterfront which is perfect for fishing, swimming and kayaking. There are boat ramps at Davistown or Saratoga both less than 5 mins drive. Dog friendly Terrigal and Avoca Beaches are a 15 min drive away, so too is Erina Fair shopping Centre where you will find anything you need as well as Cinema’s, Gyms and Restaurants.
The Lake Escape Cottage - Long Jetty (Middle of the Coast).
This one is great for families and active pets, Tuggerah Lake is at your doorstep which has 12kms of bicycle paths to explore and one of the coasts best dog beaches Nth Shelly is a two minute drive away.
The property is a renovated 4 bedroom house with sunny open plan living spaces, a deck and fully fenced yard. The main bedroom has a queen bed, two bedrooms a double and the third two sets of bunks sleeping upto 10 people.The kitchen is fully equipped but you will need to bring sheets and towels. The back yard is fully fenced, with full height fences on all sides, there is also a dog kennel, food & water bowls.
Lake House - Budgewoi (North end of the Coast).
This one is a Retro Family Home with a huge covered outdoor dining area and secure large pet friendly yard. It has direct access to Budgewoi Lake which is good for fishing, boating and exploring on the bike path with your fur buddy. Budgewoi Beach is also a few minute drive and is Dog Friendly.
The house has two equal sized bedrooms with queen beds and a large sunroom with two trundle beds for up to 4 kids. There is room for caravan and boat and jet-ski storage on both sides of the house. There is a TV, video and XBox plus heating/cooling air con in the main lounge area and ceiling fans throughout. Original 60’s kitchen with BBQ outside and ready for entertaining.
There is nothing better than a big open space to head specifically to wear your pooch out. Central Coast has a bunch of council owned parks that allow and encourage usage from pet owners. Here is a pick of my dogs favourite parks to go visit, but remember, they are shared with sports and non pet owners so be respectful of this and keep your dog under your control and please pick up their poop.
Tuggerah Oval is a full-fenced dog park, there are three massive fenced areas in this park along with an obstacle course and a few water stations.
Peppermint Park is located on Langford Drive in Kariong, this massive off-leash area has so much room to run.
Sensory Park is located on Showground Road in Lisarow, this popular dog park is fully enclosed, and has a two-gate entrance to make sure no sneaky pooches try to escape. There’s plenty of trees for the dogs to explore, and a drinking fountain with a water bowl.
Fagan Park is located on Brisbane Water Drive in Point Clare. It is a dog friendly park that is off leash and has supplied poo bags.
Oberton Street Reserve is in Kincumber The off-leash park is hidden away from the main road behind a line of trees, and extends into a safe section surrounded by houses and quiet streets with over 150m of reserve for them to explore.
If an endless stretch of soft white sand, rolling waves and a tennis ball is something that gets you and your best mates tail wagging then the Central Coast has you covered. There are plenty of awesome beaches that are fur buddy friendly … the list includes.
Nth Shelly Beach - One of the coasts best dog beaches, lotsa sand, dunes and rock shelves to play and explore.
Budgewoi Beach - Massive stretch of uncrowded beach to do your thing.
Wamberal Beach - Can be a little crowded but ends at a still water lagoon, lots of fun.
Avoca Beach - ANother one that can get busy, especially in the holiday season … the main beach has a designated off-leash area, there is also access to Avoca Lake which is great for swimming.
Macmasters Beach - This beach is Leash Free on the Beach but you need to leash up around the Lake.
There are also some great still water areas on the coast such as Tuggerah Lakes, Budgewoi Lake, Ettalong Beach and St Huberts Island.
If you want to be a little more adventurous and get off the paths and pavements there are some great places to take yourself and your dog “off-road”. Nothing beats the fresh air you get in a State Forest or National Park and the Central Coast has a couple of Dog friendly options for you to choose from.
Abbotts Falls Walking Trail (Olney State Forest) - This track is a relatively long one ,measuring in at around 6-7km in distance which starts from the Pines Picnic Area. The trail winds its way down through the rain forest and gullies of blue gums all the way to Abbotts Falls Lookout before looping back up to the Picnic Area. This track is a good one in summer as there are dammed pools where you and the pup can cool off and check out some Aboriginal carvings.
The Pines Walking Track - (Olney State Forest) - If you are after a shorter walk with your dog The Pines Walking Track is an excellent alternative at approx 1km long. The loop also starts from the Picnic Area and walks alongside Dora Creek under beautiful tall pine trees past a small rock pool before returning back to the picnic area. The Pines Picnic Area is also dog-friendly, so plan a post-hike feast with your fur baby.
Strickland Falls Track I Strickland State Forest - This short walk (approx 1.5kms) starts from the car park near the Banksia Picnic Area and ventures down past wildflowers, creeks, and tall eucalyptus trees to a small waterfall which is best viewed a few days after rain.
Arboretum Track I Strickland State Forest - This walk is a little longer at around 2 - 2.5kms but ventures past some of the oldest and most beautiful trees on the Central Coast including 150-year-old Australian Red Cedars, Bunyas and Hoop Pines. Like all forests, tics live there and are most active August to April. Strickland State Forest is also gated and open from sunrise to sunset only.
After all this exercise and play, both you and your fur baby will be in need of some serious refueling. Here is a list of places on the Central Coast where you will be welcomed with your pooches and be able to enjoy a tasty feed or grab a great coffee.
Bamboo Buddha - This Bali themed vegetarian cafe in Holgate is an absolute gem. You can take your pups in and enjoy the serenity and unique tasty fare that even impresses the meat eating folk and it is only 5 mins from Wamberal Dog Beach.
Flour & Co - This one is one of the most popular coffee joints on the coast and you will see why when you visit … the coffee is amazing. It is in Toowoon bay which is only minutes away from Nth Shelly Dog beach so drop in on the way or once you are finished. There are a few tables out the front where you can sit with your dog to enjoy the bakery food on offer.
Point Cafe Avoca Beach - If you want to enjoy a sit down meal with views of rolling waves this is your spot. Within walking distance of the Avoca Beach and Lake you can drop in for an all day breakfast following your adventure with the pups.
The Anchor Coffee House - If you are heading north to avoid the crowds then Budgewoi is your spot and after exploring Budgewoi Beach or the Lake the Anchor Coffee House is a perfect Pet Friendly spot.
I hope that at some point in your life as a pet owner that you get to experience the Central Coast of NSW, it is a truly remarkable area to live and visit.
If you do come to visit, remember that your dog's safety while travelling is paramount and you should have your dog's name and your contact details on their collar so they can be returned if adventuring away without you in an area they don’t know.