Ultimate Guide to Kayaking Central Coast
In this ultimate guide to kayaking in the Central Coast of NSW, our team will talk about their experience in the region. We'll discuss our favourite locations and what you may find there.
Travelling to the Central Coast region of NSW
The Central Coast in New South Wales consists of all the coastal towns between Sydney and Newcastle. Technically the region is from the northern side of the Hawkesbury River, west to St Albans, and north to the southern banks of Lake Macquarie. The Central Coast is a trendy area for residents of Newcastle and Sydney to spend their holidays.
Gosford is considered the central hub of the entire region, and as it is located on the Brisbane Water section of Broken Bay, it makes for an ideal stopping point on your kayaking adventures. If you prefer a smaller town, you can stay in The Entrance, Tuggerah, Lake Haven, Patonga, or any place that offers you a close spot to the water. There are many kayaking opportunities on the Central Coast, and we'll cover some of the best available.
While Lake Macquarie is a part of Newcastle, it is such a massive part of the region it'd be hard not to mention it. Lake Macquarie is the largest coastal saltwater lake in Australia. The lake covers an area of around 110km2, which gives you plenty of room to explore or drop a line and see what you can catch for dinner.
Lake Macquarie is the perfect place to take your kayaks and look for native wildlife, as state and national parks surround the region. There are plenty of towns along the shoreline, and that gives you the chance to pull up and grab some lunch.
There are plenty of launching points available in Lake Macquarie. We often stay in Bonnells Bay, and we use Bonnells Bay Boat Ramp, Sunshine Boat Ramp, and Morisset Park Boat Ramp.
If you have the family in tow, then staying in Tuggerah is the perfect place to holiday. You can go kayaking and fishing in nearby Tuggerah Lake and then hit the other attractions when your arms are tired from paddling. You'll find there is everything for all family members, with Treetops Adventure, Strickland state Forest, Amazement Fun Park, Slam Factory (indoor skate park), and the Central Coast Brewery.
Tuggerah Lake is very popular for most water sports, as the waters are calm and reasonably shallow (average depth of 2.4m). The lake is popular with kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders of all skill levels.
There are many places you can go to launch a kayak into the lake. Emergency Boat Ramp and Toowoon Bay are ideal if you want to paddle in the open sea. Otherwise, you can use Chittaway Point Boat Ramp or Wyongah Boat Ramp if you're planning to stay on the lake.
If you're looking for a peaceful kayaking adventure, heading down the Wyong River will provide you with over 13km of pristine scenery. The river offers a moderate paddle, and it is available at all times of the year. There are many native animals in the river, with people reporting regular sightings of turtles, water dragons, and platypus.
In the upper section of the river, you'll come across a range of fallen trees, making it challenging for some people. If you'd prefer to skip the trees, you can stay in the downstream area. The downstream section is wider and reasonably free of debris and obstacles; it is better suited to people learning to kayak. You can launch from Tacoma Boat Ramp or Wyong River Weir.
The northern side of the Hawkesbury River is as far south as the Central Coast region stretches. The river offers an outstanding number of places to explore on your kayak. There are several guided tours you can take to explore all the beautiful waterways on offer.
The Hawkesbury River is a popular spot for all types of water sports, but as there are many inlets and creeks to explore, you're sure to find some peaceful paddling. You can take your rods and gear for a fantastic fishing experience, as you enjoy reeling in fish while being enveloped in the natural bushland setting.
You can launch from several points along the river, and our favourites include Patonga Creek Boat Ramp or Deerubbin Boat Ramp.
Why you should kayak Central Coast in NSW
Kayaking in the Central Coast is highly accessible for anyone living in the two major cities of New South Wales. The region is only a half-hour drive from Newcastle and 1-2 hours drive from Sydney.
You can explore the beautiful bridges that cross the waterways, such as the Rip Bridge, and camping is available in the river systems and lakes. There are many national parks, which allows you to explore the area and discover the many native creatures in their natural habitat.
If you're looking to camp overnight in the region, you'll find an impressive number of options. The camping sites include spaces in national parks, or you can book into any tourist parks operating on the Central Coast.
You can experience remote beaches in the area, with some only being accessible by boat. If you're looking for more to do after you finish kayaking for the day, then you have the choice of many restaurants in the region.
FAQ for kayaking Central Coast
Where can I kayak on the Central Coast NSW?
In addition to the places mentioned here, you can kayak on the beaches and in the open sea. Sea kayaking is a very popular pastime and perfect for keeping fit. Most rivers and creeks are open for kayaking. However, if you're not experienced with unknown waterways, it may be best to stick to popular kayaking runs.
Is it safe to kayak in Sydney Harbour?
You can kayak in Sydney Harbour, but Central Coast is a better option if you're looking for a quieter time on the water. When kayaking in Sydney Harbour, you need to be mindful of large boats and make sure you keep out of their path.
Do you need a licence to use a kayak on a river?
Licensing is not required to use a kayak in NSW. If you're new to kayaking, you can hire a kayak in the Central Coast region and buy a kayak when you're comfortable with the sport.
Is kayaking good for keeping fit?
Kayaking is excellent for keeping you fit. You can go at your own pace, and the activity is very low impact. As with all exercises, make sure you don't overdo it and keep within your limits.
What time of year is best for kayaking?
If you're kayaking on the Central Coast, kayaking is available at any time of the year. Winter temperatures average at 7-16oC, and summer is 15-26oC. In the summer, the region is busier, but you'll be more comfortable on the water with warmer weather.
How much does it cost to get into kayaking?
Kayaking is a reasonably cheap sport to get into. You can find kayaks suitable for all types of budgets and sizes. You may find a kayak second-hand, but as the materials used have a limited life (based on hours spent outside), you'll often get better value out of buying one new.
How do you fish while kayaking?
When you're choosing a kayak for fishing, buying a very stable one is your best option. You'll find that most kayaks are very well suited to being used as a mobile fishing platform. A sit-on-top style of kayak is better for fishing as it allows you to move about freely. You can also stand on a sit-on-top kayak, and that allows for better casting and reeling.
Is it worth buying a kayak for fishing?
A fishing kayak provides a lot of value compared to boating or land-based fishing. Kayaks are silent, and they are ideal for targeting fish species that are scared off by noise, such as Bream. A kayak is highly manoeuvrable to get in and out of tight spaces, which means you can go places that many boats cannot. Kayaks are also much cheaper than boats, highly transportable and easy to store.
Where can I buy kayaks on the Central Coast?
At Kayaks2Fish, we have an assortment of different kayaks for you to choose from. There are single and double kayaks or sea kayaks if you prefer to go in the open ocean. If you plan on using the kayak for fishing, you can buy a pedal kayak and save your arms for casting.
After choosing your kayaks, you can look through all the accessories on offer and see what extras will improve the overall experience. All our kayaks come with a seat and paddle, but you can upgrade these if you prefer. To help with transporting your kayak, you should buy a set of kayak roof racks for your vehicle.
All our kayaks can be shipped directly to your home, or you can collect them from our outlet in Newcastle or Sydney. At Kayaks2Fish, we are happy to help if you need any advice on how to get the most out of your new kayaks.