The word ‘toukley’ is thought to originate from Indigenous language, possibly meaning 'many brambles', or that 'toukley ouckley' means 'rough on one side, smooth on the other', describing its two lakes. This town surely has a talent for word play, with several of its popular takeaway spots and café stops named purely to make you smile.
Get to know Toukley
Within this easily navigable town centre you will find a range of small businesses dotted along the Main Road, including modern cafés, bakery, fruit shop, barber and hair studios, fashion and homeware boutiques, takeaway stores, garden centres and bicycle and surfboard outlets.
Toukley also offers a sailing club, aquatic centre, skate park, tennis courts and golf club, alongside holiday resorts and nearby tourist park. The surrounding lakes and foreshores are ideal for water activities including waterskiing, canoeing, sailing, sailboarding, rowing or fishing, and double as one of the finest spots to take a sunset photo on the Coast.
Toukley Bucket List
What to do in Toukley
1. Rise and shine, or chill and chat
Rise Mofo is a peek-a-boo styled café created by seasoned industry professional couples Milani and Bates. Their menu is fresh and simple, and you can’t miss grabbing a photo in front of their bright yellow wall mural, happily stating ‘You’re always the best part of my day’. Pop in for a short back and sides at the award-winning Hearts and Minds Social, served with espresso coffee or craft beer. Or, if you only have time for a kerbside pickup Blackfinn Espresso can be found on Toukley's Main Rd serving coffee and treats to order.
2. Sneak in a sunrise swim
As Toukley is surrounded by enticing bodies of water, aqua enthusiasts are spoilt for choice. If you prefer blasting out laps for exercise, visit the 25-metre pool at Toukley Aquatic Centre. For a paddle in one of the Coast’s little known seaside gems, lay your towel on the shores of Cabbage Tree Harbour. Choose from Hargraves Beach or the SLSC patrolled Lakes Beach, with panoramic views out to the protected Bird Island best captured at sunrise.
3. Shop coastal essentials
Shop the nature-inspired collection of driftwood, off-white homewares, indoor plants and upcycled furniture at Coastal Road Interiors. Browse new surf supplies at Beachin Surf, who have been serving up the community fresh surf fashion, boards and knowledge for more than 30 years. Drop by Fade Nation for a fresh haircut from one of their barbers, smoothie bowl from their in-house café, or stylish outfit from their apparel section.
4. Corner cafés of neighbouring Noraville
To the east of Toukley is Noraville, a suburb named after historic Noraville House built by gold prospector Edward Hargraves, who also has the nearby beach as a namesake. Where Pandora Parade meets Main Road you’ll find two friendly local coffee shops. Breakfast awaits at the Village Café Noraville, served alongside locally roasted Glee Coffee and an abundance of indoor plants and pots. For a pick me up you’ll find also I’m Running Latte next door for a friendly laugh and lunch.
5. Picnic at Osbourne Park
A great local green space for a family picnic is Osborne Park, close by to Toukley Golf Course. Featuring a playground and boat ramp on the shore of Budgewoi Lake, this is a choice location for a day on the water coupled with family, food and fun hanging out on the foreshore.
6. Fishing at Hargraves Beach
Across Budgewoi Road, you’ll find a quiet coastal hangout without the summertime crowds. Hargraves Beach is a gem for local residents – especially the fisherman among them! This unpatrolled beach is a nice location for swimming too, but with no kiosk or showers its wildness comes as part of the package. Simply plan ahead and bring your own picnic, towel and embrace the salt and sand.
7. Playful art on Tuggerah Lakes
Although it’s technically based over the bridge in nearby Gorokan, Toukley Art Gallery have been exhibiting local artworks on the shores of Tuggerah Lakes since the 80s. The quaint local gallery space (once the area’s Tourist Information Centre), also houses a café serving Devonshire teas. This foreshore reserve is an idyllic spot to see the Pelicans on Budgewoi Lake, and there’s a wonderfully refurbished playground at Wallarah Point Peace Park for children to explore.
8. Bargain hunting at the Sunday Markets
Every Sunday, the local community host Toukley Markets featuring over 70 stalls showcasing items from Central Coast’s makers, creators and producers. Based at Toukley Shopping Centre Carpark on Canton Beach Rd, a morning browse can reveal bargains on everything from succulents to baby clothes, fresh fruit to raw honey. Also stop by Forest Fruit Market on Main Road, for plastic-free produce.
9. Casual lakeside dining
Lakeside dining can be pigeonholed as white table-clothed-premium-wine-list fancy, but sometimes all you crave is a simple, delicious meal. A meal where there’s zero judgement if you use the wrong fork or undo that top button – and Toukley delivers casual dinner options in spades. Mexicoast Cantina is a vibrant and tasty experience that can be found in the centre of town. For woodfired pizza try When in Rome, who offer tasteful vegan options too. For live tunes and an awesome burger bar, hot wings, pretzels and a tribute wall to craft beers, try 350 Bar and Kitchen on Main. Alongside local Thai, Mexican and Italian cuisine, you also have The Ary Toukley (formerly Toukley RSL Club), featuring ZIVA Eats & Pizza and a children’s play area.
10. Holiday Hamptons style
'The Beachie' is a Central Coast icon and in it's newly refurbished form is not to missed, stay the night and enjoy lakeside lounging and sunset cocktails at the exclusive pool club. With multiple eateries, bars and activities this waterfront venue will gave you wanting to stay on site all weekend.
Take a look at what is around the corner from Toukley
Toukley connects to the neighbouring villages of Noraville, Norah Head, Gorokan and Canton Beach, each with their own quaint centres lined with cafés, bars and boutiques to explore, alongside great accessibility to their lakes and beaches. Soldiers Beach offers some of the best surfing breaks on the Central Coast, with the waterfront Dunes by Dish available in the Surf Club. Nearby Cabbage Tree Harbour is an attractive bay enclosed by small rocky cliffs, featuring a boat ramp and beautiful ocean pool for paddling, with lunch options at Norah Head Patisserie or the General Store Café, and sunset cocktails at Johnny Tapas. Fancy a paddle on the expansive lake? Hire a SUP board from Canton Beach Paddleshack and stop for a break at Beach Parade Café.
A little taste of Toukley...