Waterworld: Best ways to explore the Central Coast’s waterways

Kayaking on Popran Creek, Photo by James Vodicka

Kayaking on Popran Creek, Photo by James Vodicka

Waterworld: the best ways to explore the Central Coast’s waterways
The Central Coast has an incredible network of waterways: here’s how to best explore them

From paddling up a creek to mastering the art of pedal-boating in a peaceful lagoon and heading out during winter for a spot of whale watching, there’s no better way to get to know the Central Coast’s amazing waterways than to head out on these bookable tours. Whether it’s a quiet ferry ride exploring the history of the region, picking your own oysters, or an adrenaline-fueled game of SUP ball, the huge network of aquatic arteries that connect the coast are best explored by water.

Hire and row boat and serach for platypus on Wyong River Central Coast NSW
Wyong River
Photo Credit @mel_ridley
Seal Terrigal Photo Crdit @Zeemerven
Photo Credit: @Zeemerven

Paddle Popran Creek

Hop in a kayak for a five-kilometre paddle down the serene Popran Creek in the Central Coast Hinterland, a waterway that winds through the bush and brush. Expect to see birdlife and kingfishers, bellbirds and cockatoos as you paddle with the tide. This experience is available through Glenworth Valley Wilderness Adventures.

Head out on an ocean tour

Whether it’s a day out sailing on Broken Bay with dolphins surfing the bow wave, or a sunset tour in search of seals, there are plenty of ways to get up close with marine life on a Terrigal Ocean Tours. Starting in May and running until early November, the company offers regular whale watching tours, which take place when the Humpbacks partake in their annual migration.

Search for platypus on the Wyong River

The platypus is one of the most elusive river mammals out there- and the best way to see them is by gently paddling along the Wyong River. Set out with a hired kayak or rowboat from the Wyong Milk Factory in search of the Platypus, as well as keeping an eye out for the birds of prey and reptiles that also call the Wyong River home.

James Vodkica SUP Bomabora Ettalong
Ettalong Beach
Photo Credit: James Vodicka

Watch the sunrise from a SUP

There’s nothing more beautiful than being out on the water at Sunrise. Bombora SUP Fit offers a variety of water based tours from their Ettalong Beach base. Along with Stand Up Paddle Board hire, SUP yoga classes and SUP Ball, they offer tours of the area around Brisbane Waterways, led by experienced guides.

Catch an oyster farm tour

The waters in and around the Central Coast are part of a vibrant seafood industry. Head out on the Hawkesbury River to visit an oyster farm run by three generations of the same family, who run tours to their famous oyster leases. Sydney Oyster Farm Tours also offer tastings, which allow you to slide waist deep into the water to taste oysters at a table set up in the river.

Explore the lakes

Established in 1927, The Entrance Boat Shed is a Central Coast icon, and one of the best ways to fish, prawn and explore Tuggerah Lakes. The business hires pedal boats and paddle boats, kayaks and SUPs, but is best known for hiring out motor boats and half cabin motor boats to explore the lakes, with no boating license necessary.

Peddle around Avoca Lagoon Central Coast NSW AquaFun
Avoca lagoon
Photo Credit: @aquafunavoca
Sydney Oyster Farm Tours Immerse Yourself Photo Credit @jessfaz
Mooney Mooney
Photo Credit @jessfaz

Aqua fun on the lagoon

Childhood memories are made on the bright pedal kayaks and giant novelty stand up paddle boards for four-to-eight people in the shallow, warm lagoon behind Avoca Beach. Pedal over to the small island or simply let the kids take control as you cruise in a sheltered waterway.

Discover the history of Brisbane Waters 

Brisbane Waters was once one of the major shipbuilding areas on the East Coast of Australia. History buffs keen to find out more about the legacy of the area can book a historian-led Brisbane Waters History Ferry Tour, a comfortable way to get to know the history of what was once one of the major shipbuilding areas of the East Coast.

James Horan Brisbane Waters aerial
Brisbane Waters
Photo Credit: James Horan

This article was originally authored by Shaney Hudson, 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.


Author Shaney Hudson grew up paddling in the waves around Woy Woy and paddling out at Copacabana Beach each summer.