Ecotourism on the Central Coast

woman and man kayaking on the Central Coast

A vibrant, sustainable ecotourism destination

We’re immensely proud to be one of the first Australian ECO Destinations, certified by Ecotourism Australia and supported by WWF-Australia’s Wildlife & Nature Recovery Fund. We welcome you to immerse yourself in our community connected by culture, place, and a love of nature.

The Central Coast offers superb natural beauty alongside a great sense of freedom, space and connection to the land. Locals and guests who explore our region and call it home are all shaped in some way by our unique natural environment – so to protect it for future generations we’re now guided by this destination-wide approach to sustainability led by the internationally recognised Green Destination Standard.

Logos for Central Coast and ECO Certification

What's an ECO Destination?

As we have learnt through our ECO Destination journey – a good place to visit is a good place to live! Achieving ECO Destination Certification recognises the Central Coast as a world-class destination for sustainable, nature-based tourism. This achievement highlights the Central Coast's commitment to quality and sustainable practices, which many of our businesses share at the core of their operations. Our ECO Destination status gives conscious travellers a clearer choice of the best eco-friendly, nature-based experiences, attractions and accommodation the Central Coast region has to offer.

ECO Destination Certification is built on the globally recognised Green Destination Standard that certifies sustainable destination management practices, champions giving back to the community, and ensures cultural authenticity. Check out the commitment we've made to become an ECO Destination since 2020...

ECO journey flowchart

Explore our ECO Destination

As a destination, more than half of the Central Coast is national park, state forest, bushland, open space, nature reserves, beaches and waterways.

This includes some of New South Wales’ most popular nature-inspired experiences like Bouddi Coastal Walk, Ourimbah State Forest, Somersby Falls and the World Heritage Listed Convict Trail through Dharug National Park. We are also home to thousands of registered sites of cultural significance across the Central Coast.

Two men hiking through bush on the Central Coast

Sustainability Pledge

We encourage our community and our guests to tread lightly and go slow on the NSW Central Coast. We invite you to respect our slice of paradise on the east coast of Australia by checking out some simple 'house rules' via our Sustainability Pledge.

Woman in Brisbane Water National Park admiring a waterfall
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.

Embrace local eco experiences

The Central Coast is proud to be the home of 6 ECO Certified experiences plus another 6 ECO Certification businesses currently on their journey to certification! 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 ECO Destination with our long list of nature-based, eco-conscious options below... 

whale breaching water
Terrigal Ocean Tours (ECO Certified)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
bush tucker foraged in baskets
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The best bushwalks to experience nature on the Central Coast
In need of some bush medicine? Take a hike in the great outdoors of the Central Coast.
Ultimate Guide: NSW Central Coast’s most scenic picnic spots
From north to south, we've gathered some of the best grassy spots for a picnic on the NSW Central Coast.
3 Amazingly easy ways you can help keep the Coast green
Get involved in any of these three amazing everyday ways to keep the Central Coast region clean and green.
Cycling guide to tour the Central Coast
Ready for some people powered adventure? Get outdoors, take to two wheels and enjoy the best cycling routes across the region.
The coastal café crawl keeping our beaches clean
You’re invited to explore our coastal region sustainably with our eco-friendly café crawl inspired by Green Caffeen.
Paddling guide to SUP and Kayaking on the Central Coast
Unwind on a kayak or bring the 'cool factor' on an SUP
Waterside walks: Tour our most scenic shared pathways
From lakeside foreshores, picturesque promenades to beachside boardwalks, it's easy to take a self-guided tour of our region's beautiful waterways.
Where to find our destination’s hidden gems
A great opportunity to branch out of the ordinary and visit some of the Coast's lesser known (but truly remarkable) hidden gems.
6 Wild waterfalls to seek out on the Central Coast
Rain or shine, you can explore the natural beauty of these six Central Coast waterfalls.