6 Ways to see nature after dark

Tasmanian devils at night credit_aussieark
Tasmanian devils at night credit_aussieark
From adventures to see creatures that glow in the dark to easy after dinner strolls.
When the sun goes down and the stars come out there’s a whole different side of nature to see. Here are five of the best things to see and do on the Central Coast after dark.


We never know when the beaches are going to sparkle after dark but that just adds to the magic when they do. Bioluminescence has been spotted on the Central Coast at Macmasters Beach, Copacabana Beach, The Entrance and as far north as Norah Head. The spectacular display is caused by an algae bloom of plankton lighting up to create little galaxies of stars in the water and we’ll be sure to share when it happens next on the Love Central Coast Instagram so you can come and see it for yourself.


Another unpredictable but oh so pretty glow in the dark visitor, fireflies appear on the Central Coast for a few weeks around November and December each year. Fireflies, which are really glowing beetles, only light up for around an hour at dusk and are usually found in forests and mangroves. They’ve been spotted around Ourimbah, Holgate and Kulnura but you might get lucky and see them in lots of spots on the Coast so keep an eye out for moving lights in the trees.

Glow worms

The most reliable of our bioluminescent friends, glow worms are actually fungus gnat larvae, but we can see why people prefer their other name. Their pretty sticky webs can be found year round at Waterfall Springs Retreat and Sanctuary where guests who are spending the night can join an ATV tour to see them in their natural habitat. Fireflies can also be found at Waterfall Springs Retreat and you can ask your guide to take you to both viewing spots when they’re around.

bioluminescence at Norah Head
Norah Head
Credit: davesyd_
night sky with stars and small tent
Frazer Beach Campsite
Credit: camplogger

Terrigal Boardwalk

A relatively new addition to your after dark adventures, the Terrigal Boardwalk opened in 2021 and joins Terrigal Beach to Terrigal Haven. The accessible boardwalk is lit up at night and just a stone’s throw from the central village of Terrigal so you can get a gelato and go for an easy after dinner stroll or simply sit and listen to the waves. Look down and you may even spot stingrays gliding below or dolphins leaping in the waves.

Creatures of the night

A lot of Australian animals come alive when the sun starts to set and at the Wildlife Walkabout Park you can join a ranger on a spotlight walkabout adventure tour. This working wildlife sanctuary is a home for rescued, orphaned and disabled wild animals including Tasmanian devils, bilbies, quolls, sugar gliders, kangaroos, potaroos and more. As well as seeing animals in the bush you can also have a sleepover in an eco hut or glamping tent.

Star gazing

The Central Coast has lots of lovely dark spots where you can see the stars shine all the brighter when you leave that city light pollution behind. Kulnura is an Aboriginal word for ‘up in the clouds’ and at Paradise Botanical Gardens you’re around 370m above sea level and surrounded by 20 acres of native bush land. Spend the night in their cottage or get a group of friends together for a glamping getaway under the stars.  

Terrigal boardwalk at night saltyashterrigal
Terrigal Boardwalk
Credit: saltyashterrigal.png
Fireflies at night in Forest of Tranquillity Central Coast
Fireflies in Forest of Tranquillity

This article was originally authored by Amanda Woods, as part of a Love Central Coast grant project brought to you by Destination Central Coast, jointly funded by the Australian and NSW governments under the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund. To maintain accuracy, some editorial changes may have been made since publication.