Slow travel guide: Re-awaken to the Central Coast

People on a clifftop overlooking Bouddi
People on a clifftop overlooking Bouddi
Take a moment to find out what slow travel on the Central Coast has to offer the soul
Peel off the layers holding you back on your next Central Coast journey

Slow down to experience the Coast’s way of life, and leave with a thumbprint on your soul. This slow travel guide is all about helping you be present in your moments on the Coast, like a big hug you’re fully embracing.

Let nature, and the people living and breathing it, set the tempo for your slow travel experience. Ease into this slow travel guide seeking out slow, sustainable ways for you to travel purposefully.

What is slow travel?

Slow travel is an approach to travel that emphasizes connection: to local people, cultures, food and music. It relies on the idea that a trip is meant to educate and have an emotional impact, in the present moment and for the future, while remaining sustainable for local communities and the environment.

Break away from the glitter, glamour, and selfies of touristy bucket lists and instead 'go your own way' on your next visit to the Coast. Get to know locals, and what nature has to offer on a refreshing adventure of the NSW Central Coast.

The natural beauty of the Central Coast, close proximity to Sydney and Newcastle, and the region’s passion and dedication to slow and sustainable travel, plug right into the zeitgeist.

Central Coast Surfers
Macmasters Beach
Cave sites
The Coast’s natural abundance sets the tempo

More than half of our region is abundant with nature, while twenty five percent is protected national park making the Coast the ultimate destination where you can deviate from mainstream and discover something special.

As we all look for ways to recalibrate how we travel – ways to slow down and truly soak in and safeguard our environment in favour of buzzing here, there, and everywhere in the name of box ticking – it's easy to realise the Central Coast has been doing many things right all along.

Diverse dining, stay, and adventures as unique as their natural settings provide all the inspiration needed in an unhurried itinerary that’s main objective is to slowdown, reconnect and to escape reality for a little while.

Find a beach for every mood with 41 to choose from that line the coast: surf a break to lose yourself in a wave, or laze like a starfish in a rock pool watching the clouds go by. And when you’re feeling energised from your slow high, you can hike your choice of five national park’s trails that lead to clifftop vistas and hidden waterfalls.

Learn what all these natural elements mean to locals, and connect with them the way we do. Your experience is also supported by a breadth of cultural experiences driven by a community of makers and creators all sharing and inspiring the creative spirit.

Eco-friendly tourism ethos

It’s perhaps no surprise that tourism is evolving in harmony with the environment. In 2021, the Central Coast was the only New South Wales finalist to feature on the global stage in the 2021 Top 100 Destination Sustainability Stories list, and this year, we hope to achieve international ECO Destination certification with the aim to nurture your story, and the story of generations after us.

Glamping with Simple Pleasures
Tiny Home
Engaging the senses
Slow stays

Many operators have embraced sustainable and responsible practices, creating more conscious ways to explore the region. Whether it’s a luxe glamping spot, chic farm stay, tiny house or architecturally designed cabin you’ve got in mind, you’ll find slow and unique stay options on the Central Coast for you to experience slow living. 

Bells at Killcare farm to table
Slow food

Slow travel origins are from the slow food movement. We are what we eat, right? Our slow food guide showcases local restaurants that are passionate about their menu items and regionally sourced ingredients, taking advantage of the Coast’s rich soils and ocean to feature organic and free-range produce and quality seafood.

There are also plenty of culinary education experiences available in our slow food guide, to learn about local produce, farming techniques and ancestral cooking methods.

Kayaking on the Central Coast
Make your journey matter
Slow experiences

Broaden your horizons, get lost and find yourself again through a unique experience – you’ll find a deeper cultural exchange when you explore your surroundings through a local’s eye.

Pick a few slow travel-based things to do in line with your own interests and values, and find connection to the local community and culture through personal first-hand information.

Open yourself up to new cultural experiences, like a guided walking tour or workshop with Girri Girra Aboriginal Experiences, or a guided cultural tour on Darkinjung Country by a local Elder. Learn the ancient craft of Blacksmithing and take something home you’ve made from the Artisan Estate workshop. Experience the Central Coast’s vibrant art gallery trail. Explore local art destinations, and marvel at magnificent original pieces, or even purchase your own artwork to take home and add to your curated collection from a lifetime of travel memories and holiday feels.

The Central Coast’s ECO experiences will also have you exploring spectacular waterways and wildlife with operators that have a commitment to sustainable practices and provide high-quality, nature-based tourism experiences that will help you to learn more about yourself and the world around you.

Markets by the waters edge
Cultural experiences

The Central Coast makers and creators including our vibrant live music scene regularly gather for festival extravaganzas with some of the biggest annual events on the calendar being Harvest Festival, Lakes Festival, ChromeFest, Relish on the Coast, and Flavours by the Sea.

For your monthly opportunity to meet our makers and creators and enjoy local musicians you can also pencil in Avoca Beach Markets for a visit on the fourth Sunday of each month.     

Stretching your mind can be beneficial to adopting a more open mind. To help you choose wisely, do your research. Live like a local through any one of our all-inspiring Local Guides and who knows, you might just run into one of them.

Whether a hinterland or a coastal experience is in order, the slow travel movement on the Central Coast will help you take a step back, connect, and have a unique experience.

We’re looking forward to your next visit when you leave a traveller, rather than a tourist.

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