5 historic Central Coast towns to explore for the Australian Heritage Festival
Town-hop the Central Coast during Australian Heritage Month to immerse yourself in local history
From the Coast’s rock ‘n’ roll era to our oldest homestead, take a step back in time via tours, exhibitions and story walls to explore our diverse local heritage…
Kicking off on World Heritage Day, you’re invited to experience the diverse stories of yesteryear through a series of Central Coast-wide interactive experiences. As part of the Australian Heritage Festival, which runs from 19 April through to 19 May, several historic decals have popped up in the town centres of Wyong, Toukley, Budgewoi, Gosford and Woy Woy.
These unique visual displays are designed to tour you through the rich cultural heritage each of these places holds in its history, forming an important part of its identity today. Your adventure into the past to celebrate Australian Heritage Month on the Central Coast can include guided walking tours and even a photography exhibition of the Coast’s 60s and 70s rock ‘n’ roll scene.
So park up in your choice of the featured town centres, grab a fresh coffee and pastry, and head out on a Central Coast inspired heritage trail this month. Who knows what amazing local secrets you might unearth…
Where will I find the Central Coast heritage story walls?
If you are visiting or live in any featured heritage Central Coast town centres, you can stop by one of the newly installed decals detailing stories of the area, found in the following locations:
Wyong – at Wyong Train Station
Toukley – at Toukley Library
Budgewoi – at Halekulani Hall & laneway
Gosford – at 70 Mann Street, Gosford
Woy Woy – at Woy Woy Train Station overpass bridge & Woy Woy Oval Forecourt
Experience the soundtrack of the Coast via rare photographs at Gosford
Relive the glory days of Australian Rock and Roll with a rare photographic exhibition hosted at the Gosford Parkhouse (across from Gosford Library in Kibble Park), from Monday 19 to Friday 30 April.
Stunning performance photographs of legends such as Dinah Lee, Digger Revell, Johnny O’Keefe, Little Pattie, Sandy Scott and many more are available for the public to view, courtesy of a fantastic collection shared by late Gosford photographer, Les Allen.
Back in the 1960s and 70s, Les Allen took photographs of almost every performance of every artist who played at the Central Coast Leagues Club, many who went on to become musical legends, plus some essential one-hit-wonders.
The special collection is preserved by Central Coast Libraries and truly captures the raw energy of the sixties and seventies on the Central Coast, when Bandstand was a thing and rock ‘n’ roll made us feel alive!
Catch a guided Wyong Town Centre Heritage Tour
Take a step back in time in the town centre of Wyong over 100 years ago. As part of Australian Heritage Festival, the local Wyong Family History Group are hosting 90-minute guided walking tours for people wanting to immerse themselves in local history.
A lot has happened in Wyong since it was first established in 1887, and the tour provides the perfect snapshot of what life was like for locals throughout the last century. Starting from Albert's Cafe next to Wyong Train Station, the tour passes several of the town’s key historic buildings en-route.
The trail follows a path along the Pacific Highway, before heading up Alison Road and finishing on Margaret Street at the Post Office. Your knowledgeable guides will also have rare photographs of early Wyong to hand, plus the stories behind them to share, making the free tour a truly unique experience for history buffs or true travellers who want to soak up the story of a place!
Free COVID-safe heritage tours will run on the below times - tours are limited to 15 people - BOOK NOW
- Tuesday 20 April 11am-12.30pm
- Sunday 2 May 11am-12.30pm
- Tuesday 11 May 11am-12.30pm
- Sunday 16 May 11am-12.30pm
Take the self-guided Wyong Heritage Walk
Keen to tour on your own terms? Too easy. There is a self-guided Wyong Heritage Walk available around the town centre, with signposted stops to help you step back into the shoes of locals in the 19th century.
Stop by Alison Homestead for a trip back in time, to 1825, exploring Wyong’s first homestead. Housing the Wyong District Museum and Historical Society, this historic building is a treasure trove of memorabilia, photos, furniture, household items, machinery and tools inspired by Wyong’s early settlers. The museum is open Sunday through to Thursday, and the site also hosts weddings, functions and events, with a Men’s Shed, plant nursery and BBQ facilities on site.
There’s also plenty of places to stop for lunch along the way! This includes hearty homemade pies at The Lunchbox Wyong, plus fresh coffee and brunch menus at Duck Duck Moose and Glee Coffee Roasters, or travel a few minutes to the Wyong Milk Factory precinct featuring a cafe, tavern, Thai restaurant, cheese factory, chocolate factory and much more to explore.