Ecotourism on the Central Coast

aerial view of green tree-linedroadway shaped in a u-bend

Our journey toward sustainability

As a destination, the Central Coast offers superb natural beauty alongside a great sense of freedom, space and connection to the land. Locals and tourists, makers and creators who explore our region and call it home are all shaped in some way by its unique natural environment – so how can we protect it for future generations? The answer lies in a destination-wide approach to ecotourism led by internationally recognised Green Standards. 

reptile park koala joey in tree

Central Coast joins Top 100 List

The 2021 Top 100 Destination Sustainability Stories List stars the Central Coast as the ONLY New South Wales finalist in this respected international competition!

ECO Destination Certification

The ECO Destination Certification program assures travellers that certified destinations are backed by a strong, well-managed commitment to sustainable practices and provide high-quality, nature-based tourism experiences.

In September 2020, the Central Coast was one of 8 bushfire-affected destinations successfully awarded with a valuable place on Ecotourism Australia's two-year ECO Destination Certification program, fully funded by WWF-Australia's Wildlife & Nature Recovery Fund. The current goal is to achieve certification by mid-2022.

timeline flowchart Central Coast ECO Destination journey

Why pursue ECO Destination Certification?

Achieving ECO Destination Certification will recognise the Central Coast as a world-class destination for sustainable, nature-based tourism. It will highlight the Coast's commitment to quality and sustainable practices, which many of our businesses share at the core of their operations. It will give conscious travellers a clear snapshot of the best eco-friendly experiences, attractions and accommodation the Central Coast has to offer.

The Green Travel Guide
The Central Coast features in the NEW Green Travel Guide, a trusted resource for planning an environmentally-friendly holiday filled with sustainable experiences.

Central Coast eco-experiences

The Central Coast is proud to be the home of six ECO Certified tourism operators plus another 9 ECO Certification applicants currently on their journey! These dedicated, locally-run businesses are leading the way for our region's ecotourism potential, offering amazing, quality ecotourism experiences for locals and guests alike.

You can easily plan your own eco-adventure of the Central Coast with our long list of nature-based, eco-conscious options below.

15 Must-try ecotourism experiences...

Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre, Terrigal
Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre, Terrigal (ECO certified)
Since 2009, the CCMDC sustainably educates, protects and explores the Central Coast marine environment. A family-friendly educational experience where children can explore, learn and interact with the world under the waves through interactive tours.
TreeTops, Ourimbah State Forest
TreeTops, Ourimbah State Forest (ECO certified)
Outdoor, adrenalin-pumping Adventure Park for kids and adults, featuring the world’s longest rollercoaster zipline, Crazy Rider, scale a Eucalyptus tree with Vertical Challenge, or bounce around in the canopy with Networld.
Aquafun Avoca Lake, Avoca
Aquafun Avoca Lake, Avoca (ECO certified)
Australia’s largest selection of modern, human-powered water crafts to explore the beautiful expanse of one of the Coast’s tranquil waterways - Avoca Lake. Hire from a fleet of easy to use pedalboats, single and double kayaks and stand-up paddle boards.
Noonaweena, Kulnura
Noonaweena, Kulnura (ECO certified)
Accommodation for couples, families, groups and special events on scenic Tourist Drive 33. Inspired by the Aboriginal word for ‘resting place in the bush’, Noonaweena is a luxury nature retreat set high in the hinterland with sweeping national park views.
Elixir Journeys (ECO certified)
Private and small-group nature-based experiences with a generous touch of luxury. Experience energising soft-adventure in the Coast's national parks with a fabulous catered food & wine picnic for an effortless escape to nature.
iris lodge alpacas
Iris Lodge Alpacas, Jilliby (ECO certified)
Iris Lodge Alpacas offer a popular Breakfast with Alpacas experience and family-friendly Alpaca Farm visits. Guests have the opportunity to experience life on their farm in the Central Coast hinterland with their playful resident animals.
walkabout wildlife park
Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park, Calga (ECO applicant)
Meet native Aussie wildlife and hike through Heritage-listed bushland. This 180 acre working wildlife sanctuary looks after a diverse community of wild, rescued & vulnerable animals, with ranger talks, accommodation, night tours & virtual tours available.
Canton Beach Paddleshack (ECO applicant)
A family-owned and operated business offering kid-friendly and dog-friendly paddleboard, kayak and kiteboarding hire, lessons and sales on the shore of Tuggerah Lakes.
Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures (ECO applicant)
Escape the city for an unforgettable adventure whether it's horse riding, abseiling ridges, laser skirmish in the bush, kayaking in Popran National Park or glamping with horses in the valley.
Grace Springs Farm, Kulnura (ECO applicant)
Experience life on a sustainable, regenerative farm via special tours and workshops. Grace Springs Farm produce chemical free, grass fed dairy beef, pastured eggs, chemical free veggies, garlic and honey.
Jake Cassar Bushcraft Tours (ECO applicant)
Jake Cassar is a Central Coast Bushcraft teacher, tour guide and youth mentor specialising in edible, introduced and medicinal wild plants. Jake's immersive bushcraft courses & tours are guaranteed to change the way you look at the Aussie bush forever.
Terrigal Ocean Tours (ECO applicant)
Spot whales, dolphins and seals in the wild. Enjoy a 40 to 60 minute scenic cruise along the Central Coast's pristine beaches and bays on a high performance Eco Tour vessel with Terrigal Ocean Tours.
Rocky Trail Entertainment (ECO applicant)
One of the major mountain bike events promoters in Australia based right here on the Central Coast! Be a #rockytrailracer at their family-friendly annual events hosted at the Ourimbah State Forest: the Shimano Mountain Bike Grand Prix & Fox Superflow.
Bombora Ettalong Beach SUP (ECO applicant)
On the stunning shores of Ettalong Beach experience everything SUP including Stand Up Paddle classes, SUP Pilates, SUP YOGA, SUP Ball, SUP Tours, Corporate events and even birthday parties.
sydney oyster farm tours in water experience in mooney mooney
Sydney Oyster Farm Tours, Mooney Mooney (ECO applicant)
Sydney Oyster Farm Tours offer immersive culinary oyster farm tours one hour from the city in Mooney Mooney. This is a family owned oyster farm operating for over 15 years, offering luxury tourism experiences with sustainability at its heart.