The Entrance is a pretty weird name for a place, right?
This seaside location isa popular holiday spot in theCentral Coast region of New South Wales, and is where the ocean water travels in and out of Lake Tuggerah (hence the name). Aside from having a handful of really nice beaches, The Entrance is also known for having a colony of friendly pelicans and for being a family-friendly destination.
I’ve visited this spot multiple times with my family, as a couple, and on my own, and I’ve always found that there’s plenty of activities to keep me occupied no matter what I’m in the mood for.If you’re looking for a laid-back destination to explore on the NSW Central Coast, here’s my suggested itinerary for a perfect day out at The Entrance!
Where to stay at The Entrance:
We stayed at Oaks Waterfront Suites for two nights to make the most of our full day at The Entrance. The location of this hotel is unbeatable with direct access to the foreshore promenade. There’s also free 24 hr parking in the lot behind the hotel.
We found the room to be clean and spacious, though the view was pretty average from our standard room which looked back towards the concretemulti-story carpark! If you book a room at this hotel, I’d definitely suggest splashing out on one with a window that faces the ocean.
A great way to begin is to take a morning walk along the waterfront, starting at The Entrance Historic Carousel and ending at The Entrance Surf Lifesaving Tower. This path will take you alongside The Entrance Channel where the lake inlet meets the Pacific. You’ll likely spot pelicans and other birdlife frolicking on the sand bars, and breathe in the salty air as it floats in from the ocean.
Next, head to nearby Long Jetty for brunch. This spot has boutique clothing stores, vintage + antique shops, as well as some great food options–The Glass Onion Society and Modern Organic are my fave spots to get brunch here. Also be sure to get a photo of the fabulous ‘Welcome to Long Jetty’ mural on the corner of Thompson Street and Central Coast Hwy.
Afterwards, take a walk out to see the ‘actual’ Long Jetty that juts into the lake from the Foreshore Reserve (and yes, it is long!). While you’re there, check out some photos of the old jetty supplied by past residents and learn about the area’s history as a lakeside holiday destination on the erected signboards.
Take a dip at The Entrance Ocean Baths during the warmest part of the day. This public swimming pool is free to enter and has salt water fed into the baths by the ocean. I can confirm that swimming in this water feels incredibly revitalising and is much calmer (and less sandy) than swimming at the beach!
In the mid afternoon, head to Pelican Plaza on the foreshore for the daily pelican feeding at 3:30PM. Unfortunately this tradition has been temporarily paused for COVID-related reasons but it will undoubtedly start up again once the authorities give the go-ahead. The Entrance apparently claims the title of ‘The Pelican Capital of Australia’ so I guess that’s a fairly good reason to see these birds while you’re in town!
As the sun is getting low on the horizon, take a short drive north to Norah Head Lighthouse. We happened to be there while it was raining, but the lighthouse really is a neat place to visit on a nice day. In non-COVID times you can do a guided lighthouse tour to explore the interior, but for now just take in the Pacific Ocean views and walk along the wooden path that leads down to the rock pools and beach below.
For dinner, I highly recommend getting a modern Mexican meal at Los Dos Hombres. Rob and I ordered a guacamole to share then I had a main of cauliflower tacos while he munched on a veggie burrito. I was seriously impressed, and very full, at the end of the evening!The meals here are extremely good.
This joint is always busy so make a booking beforehand if possible. Also, this place is BYO so you won’t be able to order a margarita but you can take along some beer or wine from the nearby bottle shop to drink. We picked out some Corona beers to stick with the Mexican spirit.