The best secret lookouts on the Central Coast
The secret spots worth seeking out on the Central Coast (but shh!)
These lookouts are off the beaten track and may take a little more effort to reach, but they’re more than worth it when you do finally see that rewarding, coastal vista...
These are just a few of the many scenic spots best known by Central Coast locals who love a bushwalk, trail run or dose of nature at its finest. Some of these you may recognise, but some are not so well known, take a little more effort to reach, but offer the ultimate reward - a view that will take your breath away.
This is Mother Nature in all her glory. Watch the whales during their annual migration, throw in a line and fish, catch a surf break, walk through the native red gum forest, spot local birdlife and explore rich Aboriginal heritage. It's a magical place lining the coast from Forresters Beach stretching up to Soldiers Beach. With a network of walking tracks, there are plenty of spots to park up and make sure you plan a picnic along the way. It’s about a 6km round trip from Crackneck Point Lookout to Wyrrabalong Lookout, with spectacular ocean views when you get there. You may even spot a hang glider launching from the cliff edge (Crackneck Lookout is a common take-off point), or a wild roo foraging close by at sunrise.
See Woy Woy Bay from this angle and it'll put the town centre of Woy Woy in an entirely new perspective. It's majestically scenic with an endless view across the expanse of Brisbane Water and Woy Woy Bay. Look southwest and you can see all the way to Mount Wondabyne, the highest point in Brisbane Water National Park. It’s a good idea to bring a pair of binoculars with several rare bird species living in the area. Try to find an endangered yellow-tailed black cockatoo flying overhead, as they are common residents of this protected landscape. You can also break out the pre-packed picnic with some tables available to take in the outstanding views before heading downhill to Umina Beach.
This is one of the sparkling gems of Bouddi National Park. And you can only get to it with a 15-minute bushwalk, making your way along the beautiful Maitland Bay Track. Maitland Bay is within a stunning arc of secluded coastline. When the forest walk opens out into Maitland Bay, you might notice the PS Maitland, shipwrecked in 1898, high and dry in the eastern corner of the shore at low tide. It’s worth taking your snorkelling gear for a dip in the pristine waters to meet some amazing marine life in this undeveloped haven on the Central Coast. When it’s time to leave, you can either head via the route back to Putty Beach, near Killcare, or up the short but steep Maitland Bay walking trail that starts from the parking lot at the old school Maitland Bay Visitor Centre.
The views here will make your eyes pop (and your camera snap happy!). Warrah Lookout allows guests to see for miles across Patonga, Broken Bay, the mouth of the Hawkesbury River, Barrenjoey Head in the distance perched on Palm Beach, and across the majestic Pacific Ocean. Eucalypts tower above, waves lap on shore below, all manner of seafaring vessels pass by. And in late winter to early spring, you can witness the fiery red bloom of the NSW state emblem, the Warratah. There are several ways to reach this lookout, including taking the Warrah Trig Road off Patonga Drive (it's a bit bumpy so fancy vehicles be prepared), or start from Patonga Beach or Pearl Beach and follow the hilly firetrail. One for those who enjoy a hike with an epic view in the middle.
Anywhere along the Bouddi National Park’s Coastal Walk is spectacular. But from Gerrin Point you get exceptional views of Maitland Bay and beyond (and below!). The lookout is an easy walk from the eastern end of Putty Beach, about 1.2km along the manmade boardwalk and up some stairs. You’ll find a bench built into the lookout giving you a nice place to chill out and soak up the scenery. This lookout is also one of the better spots to see migrating whales during season. You might like to bring a jacket as it can get a little windy and it’s a good idea to wear joggers or hiking shoes when you visit Bouddi, as despite being a well-managed route the ground is uneven in certain areas.
More hidden lookouts to...look out for
There are so many hidden lookouts to stumble upon across the Central Coast, we've captured some of the larger ones above, but if you fancy a trek slightly off the beaten track, these lesser know lookouts will not disappoint.
- Tea Tree Lookout - Munmorah State Conservation Area
- Allen Strom Lookout - Bouddi National Park
- Mount Ettalong Lookout - Brisbane Water National Park
- Captain Cook Lookout - Copacabana
- Marie Byles Lookout at Killcare Heights
- Mt Penang Sculpture Trail lookout
- St John Lookout - Katandra Reserve at Mount Elliot
- Yaruga Lookout - Rumbalara Reserve at East Gosford
Plan a luxury lookout picnic
One brilliant way to enjoy the great outdoors in luxury, is to pack the ultimate scenic picnic into your adventure. Several local businesses on the Central Coast have mastered the art of designing and delivering fancy picnics by our beautiful foreshores, in our national parks, and at some secret lookouts.
Try local luxury ECO-certified tour guides - Elixir Journeys - who do all the hard work for you by sourcing local produce, packing chairs, cushions, rugs, tables and treats, and venturing ahead of your hike into Bouddi National Park or Brisbane Water National Park to set the whole experience up for your group. Their savvy guides know some of the most hidden lookouts in the region, so will always endeavour to deliver an unforgettable private luxury picnic.
Phat Platter & Luxury Picnics also create stunning outdoor picnic displays in parks and reserves, featuring table, cutlery and seating for special occasions. They can set this up locations across the region - from Jenny Dixon Reserve near Norah Head, to Terrigal and beyond.
For more ideas, explore our ultimate guide to scenic Central Coast picnic spots.
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