Local Escapes

10 Dreamy Places To Stay On The Central Coast

By David Congram
1st Jun 2022

An infinity pool beside an architecturally designed home in Pretty Beach.

At a little over an hour out of Sydney, the Central Coast is an ultra-popular weekend getaway and, once you've visited once or twice, it’s not hard to see why. This vast catchment of coastline is home to stretches of stunning beaches, pristine waterways, beautiful bushland, and a signature laidback vibe you simply won't find in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. 

Whether you’re looking to luxuriate and relax, get adventurous and explore, hang with mates, or lock in a romantic escape, here we've pulled together a list of the best places to stay on the Central Coast. 

Pretty Beach House

Pretty Beach

Just 90-minutes north of Sydney, Bouddi National Park is the Darkinjung People’s paradise of rugged bushland and unspoiled beaches. Now it boasts one of the country’s most coveted bushland lodges—Pretty Beach House. The main guesthouse and additional pavilion feature world-class facilities including open-plan kitchen and dining, a sandstone open fireplace, guest lounge and library, open bar, wine cellar, private day spa, outdoor infinity pool, and poolside pizza oven for casual al fresco dining.

Book your stay here

The Little Black Shack

Mackerel Beach

The Little Black Shack, once an old fisherman’s shack, has been transformed into a private eco-retreat, and great news, it’s only an hour from the heart of Sydney. If it’s no roads, no cars and no shops you’re after, this beauty is perfect. Surrounded by bush, it's a mecca of relaxation. A weekend away at this cabin means you’ll get to soak up the bubbles in a giant stone bath, read a good book on the window box couch, warm up in front of the fireplace, crack some oysters, and down champagne at the sandstone terrace, go kayaking, bushwalk to Resolute Beach and even go fishing on the shoreline.

Book your stay here

Bells At Killcare

Killcare Heights

Bells at Killcare takes its cue from the famous coastal cottages of the Hamptons. Think wicker pool loungers, driftwood walls, and wide-striped navy awnings. With a range of suites and private villas on offer, the amenities at Bells include a multi-award-winning bar and dining, a luxurious day spa, a crystal-blue pool, and a range of available activities including coastal hikes, yoga and pilates, luxury cruising, and sailing, croquet, mountain biking and more.

Book your stay here

The Outlook Cabana


If you're after a romantic escape for two, The Outlook Cabana promises a carefree vibe and plenty of space. As well as its views across Avoca Beach, you have access to the property's 18-hectares of gardens filled with native flora and fauna and livestock grazing in the fields beyond. Located just a five-minute drive from Avoca or Terrigal, this fully-serviced home can sleep a maximum of four, with endless tourist activities and attractions nearby to keep everyone entertained—including wine tours, scenic mountain hikes, local markets, and more. 

Book your stay here

The Boathouse Patonga Hotel


From The Boathouse family, The Boathouse Hotel offers waterside accommodations located in the coastal village of Patonga, including one, two, and three-bedroom apartments for couples, families, and groups, along with an additional cottage. With water views of Patonga Bay’s fishing villages, this hotel and restaurant are rightfully renowned for embracing all the very best a beachside lifestyle has to offer. Do not forget to visit the hotel restaurant to sample the region’s best catches of the day.

Book your stay here

The Bay On The Central Coast

Catherine Hill Bay

A mere 1.5-hour drive from Sydney CBD, The Bay On The Central Coast is a convenient getaway escape like no other. Tucked away in the historic town of Catherine Hill Bay, this four-bed three-bath home has it all: a claw-foot bath? Check. A 2-minute stroll to the shoreline? Check. North- and east-facing balconies with ocean views? Check and check.

Book your stay here

The Vue


The Vue is a secluded two-bedroom studio, complete with an enormous 15m mineral lap pool and a panoramic view across Avoca Bay. You and your pals can live your best indoor-outdoor life, with large sliding doors, a roomy terrace, and BBQ facilities. Keen to get pampered? Enquire with your host for in-room massage and beauty treatments. 

Book your stay here

Kims Beachside Retreat

The Entrance

Each of the 34 rainforest bungalows at Kims Beachside Retreat is its own private getaway. With a smart cocktail bar, prime beachfront location, day spa services, private pools, outdoor hot tubs, and the golden shoreline of Toowoon Bay at your doorstep—this is a truly special spot. Kims Beachside Retreat also offers dog-friendly accommodations in select rooms for relaxing stays with your four-legged friends.

Book your stay here

Marramarra Lodge

Berowra Waters

Set on the peaceful Hawkesbury River,  Marramarra Lodge is the kind of place where you can kick back, soak up curated wines, spend an entire day lounging at the in-house day spa, partake in sunset canapes, take a helicopter ride to the Hunter Valley, or even frolic along on an oyster expedition. 

Framed by the stunning Marramarra National Park, this recently-built luxury lodge is only accessible by boat from Mooney Mooney and Brooklyn. You’ll kind of feel like you’re on your very own private island at Marramarra—the property caters exclusively to a max of 28 guests and when you book a stay here, you can expect an all-inclusive approach so you won’t have to worry about a thing.

Book your stay here

Artisan Estate


Artisan Estate is a 22-acre working pecan orchard complete with a self-contained farm stay-style guesthouse and glamping. Beneath the canopy of around 400 trees, Myra's Retreat features a private patio, BBQ area, and firepit overlooking the property's picturesque dam. For something more adventurous, book Artisan Estate's glamping tent

Book your stay here

Hungry? Check out the best restaurants on the Central Coast here. 

Image credit: Pretty Beach House, Pretty Beach House, The Little Beach Shack, Bells at Killcare, The Outlook Cabana, The Boathouse Group, The Bay On The Central Coast, The Vue, Kims Beachside Retreat, Marramarra Lodge, Artisan Estate

Editor's note: Urban List editors independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. Urban List has affiliate partnerships, so we get revenue from your purchase.

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