Tourist Drive 33: Official guide for a hinterland adventure
All you need to know to embrace a taste of the Central Coast hinterland
Take the road less travelled along the scenic, historic Tourist Drive 33 route through the Central Coast's western bushland
The Central Coast route of Tourist Drive 33 provides the perfect road trip for a day or overnight stay, pit-stopping at hidden gems, artisan estates and embracing the lesser-known lush hinterland.
Breathe deeply and feel yourself unwind as you and the crew meander through national park on foot, tracing the path of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Great North Road and Convict Trail, or follow alongside it via the Old Pacific Highway and Tourist Drive 33. This is a stunning route to enjoy by bike or road trip, with some amazing stops along the way via Mooney Mooney, Mount White, Somersby, Calga, Glenworth Valley, Peats Ridge, Mangrove Mountain, Kulnura, and Yarramalong.
From pecan forests to emerald pools, fine food delis to the destination's ECO-Certified nature retreat, you'll discover a difference side to our region here. Tourist Drive 33 connects you to all that is truly special - and the hidden secrets - of the western edges of the NSW Central Coast. Starting north of Sydney, here's your guide to Tourist Drive 33...
Soak up village charm with these pit-stops
Broken Bay Pearl Farm - tours and jewellery shop
Browse the Shellar Door of Broken Bay Pearl Farm or join a pearl farm experience to discover the story of our locally grown pearls. Explore the incredible local marine wilderness where iconic pelicans and abundant fish are a living display of our thriving waterway ecosystem, and meet the pearling team who will share their knowledge of the intricacies of pearl farming.
Sydney Oyster Farm Tours - Mooney Mooney immersive experiences
Make sure to visit this family-owned and operated oyster farm offering immersive culinary oyster farm tours - take a boat ride out to the oyster leases, learn about the evolution of sustainable farming, and see the current cultivation methods used to bring you the beautiful Sydney Rock and Pacific Oysters loved along the coastline.
Hawkesbury River Oyster Shed - seafood with a view
This small local oyster farm supplies produce right from the source, farming the freshest, highest quality oysters from the Hawkesbury River region and serving them up by the water, an ultimate view, with a glass of BYO bubbly if you choose from the nearby Mooney Mooney Club.
Mooney Mooney Club - lunch stop
Nestled on the shores of the Hawkesbury River, with views across to Brooklyn, you’ll find the tranquil setting of Mooney Mooney Club. The Club boast its own wharf facilities so you can take full advantage and call in by boat for lunch, dinner and drinks or even stock up on takeaway food and beverage supplies.
On the backroads where the dedicated cyclists and motorbikers roam, you'll find a wonderful saddlery-cafe-restaurant-plant nursery all in one on Ashbrookes Road, plus a much more stripped back roadside cafe along the Old Pacific Highway. With this road encased by national park, it is a truly scenic leg of the Tourist Drive 33 journey.
Saddles Mount White - fancy cafe, restaurant & plant nursery
Artisan saddler, Heath Harris is the inspiration behind Saddles, a gourmet destination restaurant and bakehouse operated by Cameron Cansdell and Hayley Hardcastle. The restaurant's philosophy celebrates our wild yet beautiful landscape, and the magical flora and fauna that call our Hinterlands home. Highlights on the dining menu include a selection of house-made charcuterie, savoury pastries, salads inspired by the onsite garden, roast Little Hill farm chicken, local seafood.
The Old Road Cafe - no frills pit-stop cafe
The Old Pacific Highway has a popular pit-stop - The Old Road Cafe - offering all day breakfast and 'Old School' hamburgers. The Old Road Cafe often attracts modern, rare and exotic motorcycles and cars, and is also popular with cycle touring groups braving the hinterland hills.
Greenmans on the Hawkesbury - riverside camping
Self-contained accommodation for groups of up to 14 in 'The House', or caravan and camping plots with river views. Little luxuries of staying here include a pool, wharf for fishing and boat ramp if you're on that kind of trip.
Artisan Estate - glamping & blacksmithing workshops
An experience of a lifetime can be found under the beautiful pecan tree forest at Artisan Estate. Frolic among the natural landscape with a picnic lunch in the orchard. In the afternoon, listen to the birds sing, and watch the glorious sunset as you roast marshmallows over your own firepit. Stars sparkle above as night falls on the estate and your glorious ready-to-go tent awaits. Settle in for the night. Awaken to the majesty of the orchard at sunrise, accompanied by visiting wildlife.
Artisan Estate also offer something completely unique to their guests - Blacksmithing Classes. With no experience needed you can learn the fundamentals of blacksmithing as a heritage craft and make a special souvenir to remember your hinterland adventure.
Australian Reptile Park - conservation education & entertainment
Perhaps one of the more well known stops near Tourist Drive 33 is the Australian Reptile Park, which many will first recognise when driving up from Sydney by sighting the giant yellow dinosaur on the roadside, Ploddy! This animal park is home to exotic reptiles from Australia and around the world (including Komodo Kingdom!), plus a variety of Australian native animals to meet up close including echidnas, wombats and blue-tongue lizards. Enjoy their famously entertaining live educational shows, themed exhibits to tour, and behind the scenes experiences for kids and adults alike.
Triple Two Cafe - roadside pick-me-up
Located just minutes from The Australian Reptile Park, Girrakool Loop Track, Somersby Falls and the M1 exit, Triple Two Cafe is a brilliant place to stop during a road trip for a fresh hot bite to eat with epic wraps, glorious coffee and tempting sweet treats.
Girrakool Picnic Area and walking tracks - hiking adventures
Looking for a place to picnic? Girrakool picnic area is well equipped with free barbecues, picnic tables and plenty of parking. The picnic area is also the starting point for two great walking trails - the easy Girrakool loop walk that takes you past Aboriginal rock engravings, through forest and past waterfalls. Or try the more advanced Piles Creek loop walking trail. This challenging walk passes through diverse landscapes including rainforest, grassy woodlands, waterfalls, casuarina forest and cave-like rocky overhangs for roughly 4km return trip. Climbing steeply, perfectly positioned lookouts offer the chance to rest and take in the exquisite NSW Central Coast bushland, and as you cross the scenic Piles Creek suspension bridge, pause to soak up serene views in all directions, feeling a million miles from the city hum.
Coachwood Nursery - quaint plant shop
If you're lucky enough to be travelling through during one of Coachwood Nursery's public 'Open Days', you'll be treated to a special showcase of their large collection of rare and collectible succulent plants. As a business founded on the Central Coast over 44 years ago, they have unique plants for sale, an extensive range of dried native and exotic flowers and foliage, and even some edible plants!
Somersby Gardens Estate - hinterland stay
This secluded picturesque 50 acre property established in 2005 offers accommodation for up to 10 adults in one group. A reality check in relaxation, explore two acres of award-winning native gardens, and bask in the stunningly presented ambience of this unique place to stay on the Central Coast.
Mt Penang Gardens & Parklands - free entry and sculpture trail
Take a detour onto Central Coast Highway to wander through the diverse curated gardens at Mt Penang, with Waterfall Cafe on site for refreshments or refuelling. 10 individual areas make up the manicured gardens, including Misty Mountains, Aquatic, and the impressive Bottle Trees. Head over the footbridge to explore and tour the sandstone Wondabyne Sculpture Trail that has been relocated to the area.
Calga is a special landscape, with hanging springs and bordered by Popran National Park, within which there are many bushwalks to explore the western edges of the Central Coast. There is also a very special Heritage Listed Aboriginal Cultural Landscape in Calga, accessible only by visiting the wildlife sanctuary, where the staff are more than happy to tell the powerful story of the site.
Australia Walkabout Wildlife Sanctuary
Follow the turnoff to Darkinjung Road and visit this special working wildlife sanctuary, which is extremely family-friendly and cares for and protects hundreds of rescued, orphaned, unreleasable, disabled and retired animals. Meet native Australian locals such as the Koala, Wombat and Echidna, watch as free-roaming Kangaroos, Wallabies and Wallaroos hop around the grounds - you might even spot a Tassie Devil, Sugar Glider or a Bilby. Guests are welcome to bring a picnic and enjoy it within the fenced areas of the sanctuary before venturing out to explore the loop walk and meet resident animals.
As this sanctuary is located on Heritage-listed Aboriginal cultural landscape, bushwalks are available to see some of the important, protected sites for our local Aboriginal communities. Accommodation cabins, night tours (Wild Nights Out), and even virtual tours are also available on request - reach out to the Walkabout team directly to book yours.
Tourist Drive 33 meets the Old Pacific Highway, where you get the chance to descend into this valley hugged by mountains and waterways. Take Cooks Road down a winding dirt road to find Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures.
Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures
Escape the city for an unforgettable adventure at Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures. Choose to do a little or a lot, it’s up to you - take in the Valley's truly spectacular scenery on a guided horse ride along the private trails, zip along bush trails and around the purpose-built circuit on a quad bike, feel the rush of adrenalin as you descend a cliff face on an exciting abseiling adventure, take to the water on a guided kayak tour or go head to head with your mates in a round of laser skirmish amongst the bush. On site accommodation is available with eco cabins, glamping and camping options.
For something special, visit at dusk (4-430pm) when 200 or so horses are herded from the stables into the open valley for the evening. Running all at once, it's a beautiful site to behold and their gentle, happy neighing tops it off.
Travelling along Peats Ridge Road (which is part of Tourist Drive 33), you'll find the hinterland village of Peats Ridge and also entry points to Popran National Park. This produce-rich area has a lovely mix of fancy fine dining alongside casual local farmers markets with produce plucked fresh from surrounding plots.
Mountain Growers Market - fresh hinterland produce & cafe
A trip through the hinterland would not be complete without visiting the Mountain Growers Market. You'll find lots of locally grown produce, market stalls and delicious food all within the lovely grounds of The Barn, a perfect breakfast and lunch stop.
The Springs - for fine food and golf
Escape and unwind at The Springs. Surrounded by rural properties, Executive Chef Dan Capper sources local produce for his innovative farm to plate experience. "Weekends with Chef Dan" are an experience not to be missed. A changing menu created from what is sourced fresh and what gives Dan the inspiration to share his food with you.
The Bloom Barn - seasonal sunflower picking
As well as selling fresh flowers at the Gosford Farmers Market every Sunday, special events are held throughout the year where you can pick and cut your own bunch of fresh blooms from the gardens themselves. With a wide variety of flowers planted, including the every popular sunflower, it is not only a fantastic treat to take back to your home, but also an experience you'll remember enjoying for a long time.
Following George Downes Drive will connect you to Mangrove Mountain, and Central Mangrove via Wisemans Ferry Road. You can venture to find parts of the convict-built, UNESCO World Heritage Listed, Great North Road, which spans 240km. You will also find yourself driving near entry points to Dharug National Park, such as the Mill Creek campground and picnic area, which is rich in Aboriginal Places and Sites.
Fanelli Organics - farm shop
Owned and managed by Eden Fanelli and his partner Louise, Fanelli Organics is an ACO certified organic farm set on 45 acres of regenerated farmland. Try sunflower picking in summer, or pick your own oranges in winter. If you want to get your hands dirty, join an on-farm workshops , otherwise enjoy the fresh produce at a farm-to-table dinner or take away a certified Organic Fruit & Vegie Box.
Paradise Botanical Gardens - seasonal visits
You don’t have to travel to the busy centre of Sydney to immerse yourself in the beauty of a botanic garden. The sprawling Paradise Botanical Gardens is an eclectic haven of rare plants, ponds, sculptures and scenic meadows, with many plants curated from Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden. Meet property manager James Lutwyche who will share his passion for this hidden flora sanctuary on the Central Coast. Before turning up, pre-check their website for seasonal opening times and private appointments.
Mangrove Mountain Memorial Club - favourite local pub
A popular pub and rural golf course with a picturesque setting not far from Sydney. A great place for a family outing along the backroads of the Central Coast that holds a stellar reputation for its pub feeds, and is nearby to Mill Creek campground.
The Hub of Mangrove Mountain - community cafe
At the centre of the Mangrove Mountain community, just a 25 minute drive from Gosford, The Hub of Mangrove Mountain is a village store and a cafe to be remembered. Using local farm fresh produce in all the cafe, takeaway and grocery food diners can choose to sit inside or alfresco under the trees.
Mountain Goat Trails - nature tours
This special offer only available during Harvest Festival on the June long weekend, explores a little more of modern agriculture, local farms and harvest trail initiatives. Experience the very best Mangrove Mountain and Wollombi Valley have to offer - from meeting local producers, visiting local farms, exploring convict sites and historic villages, to enjoying a signature Wollombi Valley Semillon or Shiraz.
At the height of the hinterland, sitting at 345m elevation, Kulnura is known for its orange orchards and can get quite chilly in the morning and winter season. As a hinterland border town for the Central Coast, overlooking Yengo National Park, it sits almost as far west as our region stretches, with a humble cafe, general store, park, petrol station - plus a few local gems you can't miss. Follow along George Downes Drive to find them...
Grace Springs Farm - farm life experiences
Grace Springs Farm is a small, sustainably focused, chemical-free farm on the Central Coast Plateau. See a cow being milked, collect the eggs, cuddle a chick or duckling and pat the sheep. This is a working farm (not a petting zoo) so you'll get a first-hand experience of life on a small farm.
East Coast Beverages - orchards
When Salvatore Lentini was picking oranges at his Central Coast farm back in 1965, how could he have known that his citrus fruits would still be providing amazing Australian fruit juice nearly 50 years later? Now into their third generation, this family owned and run farm offers farm gate experiences where you can explore the farm and purchase your own Eastcoast Juice direct from the door.
Noonaweena - ECO Certified nature retreat
This exclusive 100-acre property is a breathtaking blend of luxury and nature nestled in the Central Coast hinterland. Noonaweena has four elegant lodges that fuse seamlessly into the natural surrounds and have a focus on local organic produce giving you a unique taste of the Central Coast.
Waterfall Springs Retreat and Wildlife Sanctuary
This luxury boutique styled accommodation is nestled amongst 33 acres of serene and quintessentially Australian bushland. Each suite opens up to the outdoors with views from romantic spas and freestanding bathtubs, and a gas log fireplace in every suite only adds to the ambience of each room. Enhance your stay with a sanctuary or Glow Worm tour!
Leaving out of Wyong or entering via steep Bumble Hill Road, explore Yarramalong. You can follow Yarramlaong Road past turf huts serving coffee and bacon rolls, farmgates, horse-stud farms, fruit barns and village halls. Did you spot the alpacas grazing? The scenery transforms gradually into bushland, where platypus and wombat live elusively. Yarramalong is home to the first sawmill in the area's history (quite photogenic), and worth-a-look St Barnabas Church from 1885, just over Stephensons Bridge.
Regan's Fine Foods & Butchery - roadside deli
Tucked away in the Central Coast's beautiful Hinterland you'll find local provedore, Regan’s Fine Foods & Butchery. Regan's quality products speak for themselves with dry-aged beef, nitrate-free bacon, handcrafted confectionery, and easy, home-cooked takeaway meals.
Angel Sussurri - restaurant and manor house
Surround yourself with good food, good wine and good company at Angel Sussurri Restaurant and Manor House. A cafe, florist, general store, restaurant and antique shop. This once tired old Manor has been revived by local family parents Deborah and Terry, sisters Elizabeth and Aurora, and her husband Mathew. Now restored with love and coupled with a menu inspired by family recipes and fresh seasonal local produce, it is a must stop nearby Tourist Drive 33.
Treetop Adventures - outdoor eco-fun
Where Yarramalong Road meets Ourimbah State Forest find just off Red Hill Road the Central Coast's ECO Certified tree canopy experience - Treetops - ideal for families and couples up for a laugh, there's various safe rope and climbing courses in the eucalypts to tackle.
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