Travel With 365 Care
Are you itching to travel again? With the alarming level of border uncertainty, we thought we would travel locally again this edition and take you just north of Sydney to NSW Central Coast; where beautiful beaches meet pristine national parks and sparkling waterways.
You can explore the area’s natural treasures on outdoor adventures, meet native animals at popular wildlife sanctuaries, sample local food, and discover a thriving arts scene.
After all, we live in the most spectacular tourist destination on Earth. There is nowhere in the world quite like Australia, and now is the perfect time to discover everything on offer in our own backyard.
After chatting with the locals and researching on Google, we have come up with a list of recommendations that we hope will entice you to visit the Central Coast.
Central Coast Beaches
You will find water at every turn on the NSW Central Coast beautiful beaches, scenic bays and tranquil lakes.
It is easy to see why these glittering waterways make the Central Coast a popular destination for day trips, beach holidays and water sports.
There are beachside cafes and restaurants, too.
The Central Coast Council have a suite of beach wheelchairs available for both the local community and visitors to the region. Beach wheelchairs are available for use across the Central Coast from the south to the north at the following patrolled beaches:
- Avoca Beach
- Copacabana Beach
- Killcare Beach
- Lakes Beach
- Macmasters Beach
- Ocean Beach
- Shelly Beach
- Soldiers Beach
- Terrigal Beach
- Toowoon Bay
- Umina Beach
- Wamberal Beach
There are three models of beach wheelchairs including the Sand Cruiser (available at all above locations), plus the Hippocampe and Water Wheel (at selected suitable locations).
Contact Central Coast Council (Monday to Friday) on 1300 463 954, contact the individual Surf Life Saving Club or call us and we can help arrange a beach wheelchair for you.
The Central Coast has a number of perfect picnic spots, and what’s better, many of them cater for non-picnickers! Gone are the days of only being able to sit on that red and white blanket on the ground, as most of the sites now have more modern amenities such as tables and chairs, clean toilet blocks and BBQ facilities with easy access for wheelchairs, walking frames and those on walking sticks.
But if you still like to picnic the ‘old fashioned way’ there are plenty of grassed areas near spectacular waterfalls, bright fields of wildflowers or lookouts above the ocean to unfurl your blanket.
Here are a number of favourite picnic spots:
- Somersby Falls picnic area in Brisbane Water National Park
- Mount Bouddi picnic area in Bouddi National Park
- Ironbark picnic area in Popran National Park
- Bateau Bay picnic area in Wyrrabalong National Park
- Elizabeth Bay or the Palms in Munmorah State Conservation Area
On the Central Coast you can find everything from artisan produce at seaside markets to quirky gallery gifts.
The Entrance Market is a produce market that’s a hub for the local community. It’s held on Saturdays in the waterfront Memorial Park near where the pelicans gather to feed.
The charming Wyee Markets are also in the northern Wyong area, held on the second Saturday of the month in the grounds of Wyee Community Hall. The Avoca Beachside Markets, in pretty Avoca Beach, are held on the fourth Sunday of the month at Heazlett Park near sparkling Avoca Lake, a tranquil lagoon behind the gorgeous beach. You’ll find more than 100 stalls, local artists, delicious food and live music.
The Bouddi Gallery in Killcare, located near the beautiful Bouddi National Park, ensures indigenous artists and their communities directly benefit from all sales. From here, you can also visit ancient rock engravings in the surrounding wilderness.
The Central Coast offers creative and cultural experiences, from music festivals to touring concerts and exhibitions at The Art House in Wyong.
Why not press pause to admire the iconic prints at Ken Duncan’s Gallery and the Gosford Regional Gallery, too, where quality art is for sale in the gallery shop.
Next to the Ken Duncan Gallery is Kew Dining. You can enjoy all the delights of a traditional high tea for $55 pp, served Tuesday and Saturday at Kew, served on the terrace overlooking the lush green valley.
Central Coast Park
Only 60 minutes from Sydney or Newcastle, the Australian Reptile Park is the centrepiece attraction of the Central Coast. Look out for Australia’s first “Big Thing” – Ploddy the dinosaur, visible just before the Gosford exit heading north on the M1.
Many Australian and overseas visitors are familiar with some of this country’s famous giant roadside icons such as the Big Banana at Coffs Harbour, the Big Pineapple on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and the giant merino ram at Goulburn. Few realise, however, that the first of these landmarks to be constructed was ‘Ploddy’.
In 1963 the Australian Reptile Park’s founder, Eric Worrell, decided to put the attraction on the map by commissioning the design and construction of one of his most ambitious projects, a 26-metre concrete replica of a giant dinosaur. The Australian Reptile Park has a range of different native animals. You can spend some ‘koala-ity’ time with the koalas, meet Mango and Macadamia the Boobook owl chicks, have a laugh with Coco the quokka over lunch or test your bravery and hold a massive python.
You can also meet Thumbelina, a tiny Feathertail glider and is the cutest little angel. Thumbelina likes to curl up and nap in the zoo keeper’s front shirt pocket. Did you know that feathertail gliders are the world’s smallest marsupials weighing only 15 grams and despite their size, have the ability to glide up to 25 metres from tree to tree? – amazing!
There are many amazing animals and so much to do at the park. You definitely do not want to miss the special room where funnel web spiders are milked to create life-saving antivenom. There have been 13 deaths from funnel web spiders in Australia. Since the development of the antivenom in 1981, no Australian has died from a funnel web spider bite.
The park relies on residents to capture and donate funnel web spiders. Currently the park is experiencing a shortage of spider donations. The shortage could be due to a number of factors, including the northern beaches lockdown over Christmas as this is an area where a large number of donations come from each year.
Last summer’s bushfires have also affected numbers. However, recent rain and warm weather have created the perfect conditions for the eight-legged housemates to move in across Greater Sydney.
Do You Want To Help Save Lives?
See how catching a spider is done safely.
It takes up to 150 spiders to make one vial of antivenom, so the more spiders the better!
Take Your Friends To The Park
The Australian Reptile Park is famous for its wildlife education talks and lots of up close and personal animal interactions making it the perfect day out.
The parks Super Seniors group packages cater to seniors’ groups aged 60+ years and includes:
- Entry to the Australian Reptile Park
- Morning or afternoon tea (tea/coffee, Anzac biscuits and lamington fingers)
- An exclusive animal experience
Book an unforgettable wildlife experience!
Cost: $30 per person
The majority of the Australian Reptile Park is accessible via wheelchair. Wheelchairs can be reserved prior to your visit by calling Reception on (02) 4340 1022.
The Australian Reptile Park offers free entry for carers accompanying a person with a disability when they present their NSW Companion Card. The person with a disability can enter the park at a discounted Concession rate.
Pelicans! Pelicans! Pelicans!
One remarkable thing to note on the Central Coast is the abundance of pelicans! They are everywhere and are certainly a majestic bird to watch with a wing span of up to 2.8 metres.
Another amazing wildlife experience is the daily gathering of Australia’s largest water birds at The Entrance. The Pelican Feed takes place on the waterfront at The Entrance each day and is one of the Central Coast’s most popular tourist attractions, entertaining and educating visitors and residents alike about the area’s own pelican colony.
It all started over 30 years ago by staff at the local fish shop, who would feed scraps to the pelicans each day. Then in 1996, Council built the feeding platform known as Pelican Plaza. They, in conjunction with the many sponsors and a wonderful team of volunteers, have made it possible to feed the pelicans whole fresh fish 365 days a year and make it the spectacle it is today.
The area caters for people that use a wheelchair. Join the flock at Memorial Park at 3.30 pm for the Pelican Feed.
Brisbane Water National Park, Bouddi National Park and Popran National Park make great starting points. You can take photos at viewing points along the way to the Somersby Falls accessible picnic area, with free barbecue facilities, and listen out for the chorus of birdsong in Wyrrabalong National Park.
Get some perspective at these spectacular lookouts:
- Warrah lookout in Brisbane Water National Park
- Gerrin Point lookout in Bouddi National Park
- Mount Olive lookout in Popran National Park
The Crackneck Point lookout in Wyrrabalong National Park is at the top of our list. You can uncover the secret of local whale watchers and surfers at Crackneck lookout. Make a beeline for this atmospheric lookout between May and August and you will see whales swimming past on their northern migration. You will also see local surfers that use the lookout to check out the wave conditions and this point is also a popular spot for hang gliding, so look up to the sky to see gliders drifting through the air.
The disability access level at the look out is medium. A 365 Care Carer can come with you and help you access the area. The carpark is conveniently located close to the lookout and picnic areas.
Remember if you want to visit any of these gems on the Central Coast, contact us now and we can arrange for a Carer to accompany you.
Remember to take lots of photos and share your experience with us.
Next time we will surprise you with another local destination to visit!