10 Instagram-worthy spots on the Central Coast

child on tree bridge thumbnail
child on tree bridge thumbnail
The Central Coast is an increasingly popular spot for creatives to explore, and they’re finding our region’s finest features for 'The Gram'. Here's their essential hit list...
To make your next Insta-inspired adventure more colourful (and easy to plan), we've scanned through thousands upon thousands of images to sum up the Top 10 Insta-worthy spots in our beautiful region of New South Wales.

As a region steeped in nature, with five national parks filled with Indigenous carvings and paintings, waterfalls, caves, mountains, stunning lookout points and hiking trails, connecting to 87km of prime eastern coastline for surfing, paddling, fishing and boating... the Central Coast is a natural playground just 90 minutes north of the big city of Sydney.

Add to its natural beauty the emerging talent of makers and creators illustrated in the region's boutique businesses – from honey-makers to artisan bakers, potters and poets, to pearl shuckers and botanical distillers.

While exploring the Central Coast you’ll also find a growing number of eateries serving paddock to plate produce, fresh from the local hinterland foodie bowl, plus several ecotourism experiences from north to south – including climbing into eucalyptus canopies, diving to explore a shipwreck, or meeting marine wildlife up close.

Wow. We did say there's a huge range of choices when it comes to Central Coast photography locations! You’ll love ticking off each of these top photo spots - just don't forget your camera and remember to tag us and #LoveCentralCoast to be featured!

aerial of scenic coastal lighthouse
Norah Head Lighthouse
Image: From Above Images
instagrammable food from bakery bouffant terrigal
Bouffant Bakery, Terrigal
Image: Isaac Tseng
1. Sunrise at Norah Head lighthouse

As one of the Central Coast’s most popular icons, the Norah Head Lighthouse is a go-to spot for a great Instagram shot. Located at the northern end of the region, the historic lighthouse offers an amazing vantage point to experience sunrise across the coastline, which is available to you on any clear day of the year.

The reserve surrounding the lighthouse also includes some of the region's most beautiful beaches including Soldiers Beach and Cabbage Tree Harbour. If you take your togs, towel and tucker for the day, the lighthouse also makes an incredible backdrop to a photo from the sandy shores below.

Following sunrise, pop into the quaint centre of Norah Head village for a hot cup of joe, with options including The General StoreRise Mofo in nearby Toukley, or the Village Café Noraville.

2. Foodie trail Insta-experience

The Coast is filled with a buffet of opportunities for foodie photography. From ice cream served in a novelty sink, to gin cocktails served in a Fragrant Garden, there is a trail of Instagrammable eateries each with something unique to devour, once you've taken the perfect photo of course.

In the south, there is The Boathouse Hotel Patonga who not only serve aesthetically beautiful meals, but their outdoor dining terrace overlooks the start of the Hawkesbury River and Palm Beach, making it one of the most Instagram worthy spots on the Central Coast. To the north, you can't go past Daily Dough Co. at Wyong Milk Factory precinct, who bake fresh doughies daily in all the colours of the rainbow.

For more inspiration, check out this itinerary on The Coast's most Instagrammable food experiences.

woman on steps to secluded beach
Maitland Bay
Image: @sophiejkennedyx via Instagram
woman and dog hiking across forest bridge
Strickland State Forest
Image: @stacebrog via Instagram
3. Paddle in paradise at Maitland Bay

You may have seen the stunning Maitland Bay or Tallow Beach pop up on your Insta feed before, and been mistaken that it was the Whitsundays in Queensland. But there are actually a few secluded spots within the Bouddi National Park that prove the Central Coast can also feel like paradise. The key with these two beaches is that they are accessible on foot only, cutting out all those who aren't ready to immerse themselves in nature.

The crystal-clear water and natural beauty of the marine park and surrounding bushland of the Bouddi Peninsula provides you with a breathtaking landscape to photograph. Whether you take the easy Box Head trail to see the complete panorama across to the Northern Beaches and Broken Bay, or take the trail to visit Maitland Bay and its historic shipwreck - there's a wanderlust photo waiting to be created here every minute.

For more inspiration, check out Bouddi National Park.

4. Cross a forest suspension bridge

Visit one of Australia’s oldest arboretums - Strickland State Forest to discover an exceptionally diverse range of forest habitats. This includes wildflowers and dry woodland in its north, tall eucalyptus trees on its slopes, and lush rainforest in its southern reaches. Combined, this is a green playground for the budding photographer! And if you have a doggo, it's also one of the most exciting dog-friendly places to explore in the region!

While the entire forest and its walking trails provide a unique hiking experience, it's the lush rainforest sections that are most Instagram worthy, with the light flooding through from the canopy. But you must seek out the famous suspension bridge. Head out along the Arboretum Loop Trail for the views, and strike your best angle and pose on that bridge.

For more information, visit the Forestry Corporation website.

colourful wall mural
Green Tangerine, Long Jetty
two kids play around stick hut on beach
Lobster Beach
Image: @veggiesandme via Instagram
5. The 'Welcome to Long Jetty' wall mural

The suburb of Long Jetty showcases everything to love about the Central Coast lifestyle – beach and lake, art and fashion, bakeries and bars, cafes and culture. This is probably why it's now got an attractive Newtown-by-the-Sea feel, helped along by a series of colourful street art.

The ‘Welcome to Long Jetty’ mural located on Thompson Street is an essential part of the Long Jetty experience. The vibrant, triple swirl ice-cream toned artwork is extremely Insta-worthy, collectively created by artists Dan Coy, Brent Smith and Nathan Pickering. Make sure you grab a mate to take the best photo of you and the mural, capturing the whole scene from the roadside.

Explore the top things to do in the Long Jetty neighbourhood

6. Soak up the serenity of Lobster Beach

One of the most perfect spots on the Central Coast to escape from the daily grind is Lobster Beach. This super-secluded, picturesque bay is located on the Bouddi Peninsula, and is a great spot for swimming, fishing, boating... and capturing great Instagram photography of the Broken Bay panorama.

Once you reach Lobster Beach - which is only possible on foot or boat - set up a towel, picnic and admire the view, choose which beach to feature. There's Umina, Ettalong, Ocean Beach, Pearl Beach and even Lion Island. And guess what? You can see - and snap - them all! 

kid with kangaroo
Australian Reptile Park
Image: @sophie.the.brave via Instagram
people paddling in waterfall
Brisbane Water National Park
Image: @twosometravellers via Instagram
7. Selfie with a free-range Kangaroo

It's amazing that just north of Sydney there are several opportunities to meet native wild animals on the Central Coast. Without meaning any offence to Koalas, which are also super cute and amazing at selfies, Kangaroos are also a great child-friendly option for a meet, greet and pose.

There are two places on the Central Coast to meet local Kangaroos and safely snap a cheeky selfie. The Australian Reptile Park at Somersby, just off the M1, offers a picnic area for visitors shared with the residents free-range macropods. The animals here are very relaxed and friendly, with a designated 'human-free zone' to retire to if they've had enough photo shoots for the day.

Alternatively, the Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park at Calga offers 80 acres of bushland filled with free-roaming Kangaroo, Wallaby, Emu and even Turkeys. The best time to visit is morning or late afternoon, when the roos get their daily feeds from a ranger, who is often happy to help you arrange a photo with the wild animals.

8. Visit a bushland waterfall after the rain

The Central Coast has a handful of incredible waterfalls hiding in its lush national parks and forests. One of the best and most convenient to visit for some beautiful landscape photography is Somersby Falls. This rainforest has a short but steep 500m walking track down to the bottom of the falls, where locals will often swim in warm weather.

If you arrive on the weekend and find the parking lot is already quite busy, you can easily move on to visit nearby Girrakool picnic area and walking track, which also offers a stunning waterfall along a walking loop trail - Piles Creek Loop - with amazing view points and even charming stepping stones across the top of the fall that are super photogenic.

woman at lookout over river
Warrah Lookout, Brisbane Water National Park
Image: @davidjames__photography via Instagram
long jetty at dusk
Long Jetty
Image: @kumijono via Instagram
9. Secret lookout on the Pearl Beach to Patonga track

Both Pearl Beach and Patonga feature a joint walking trail that connects the two southern suburbs of the Coast, following the Great North Walk through the beautiful red gums of Brisbane Water National Park. Almost perfectly between these two worlds sits an epic lookout across the Hawkesbury known as Warrah Lookout, near the trig point.

An extra tip for this Instagrammable location is to visit during winter, when the stunning late-winter bloom of the Waratah flower will be on display, and this walk is one of the best places in the national park to see these fiery-red flowers come to life each year.

10. Snap a magical sunset across Tuggerah Lakes

No visit to Long Jetty is complete without experiencing the breathtaking sunset views of Tuggerah Lakes and The Long Jetty. Head to the foreshore before dusk with your picnic blanket and bask in the late afternoon sun. Walk the entire 351 metres (a 700m round trip!) of The Long Jetty, stretching right out into Tuggerah Lake, and spot wetland wildlife along the way.

The Tuggerah Lakes foreshore picnic tables and BBQ areas are most popular at sunset. Whether you're enjoying an outdoor get together with the family or an Instagram influencer aiming to get the best pic possible, those magical pink, purple and apricot hues of a Central Coast sunset create one of the most beautiful photo opportunities in the entire region.

Share the love

Do you have a fresh suggestion for a top Insta-worthy spot or hidden gem on the Central Coast? We'd love to see it!


Simply get in touch here with a few lines about it, or when sharing your love for the Central Coast, tag #LoveCentralCoast and mention us on Instagram and Facebook for a chance to be featured.