Kayaking and Paddle Boarding Central Coast, NSW: A Guide

Kayaking and Paddle Boarding Central Coast, NSW: A Guide

If you are looking for a fun and relaxing way to explore the beautiful Central Coast of New South Wales, kayaking and paddle boarding are two of the best options. The Central Coast has many stunning waterways, from calm lakes and lagoons to scenic rivers and bays offering a variety of paddling experiences for all skill levels. Whether you want to enjoy the wildlife, the views, or the adventure, there is a spot for you. Here are 10 of the best places for kayaking and paddle boarding on the Central Coast.

1. Brisbane Water

Paddlers like this big water area because it has many options for all skill levels. You can start your kayak or paddle board from places like Woy Woy, Davistown, or Gosford and see many islands, small bays, and beaches. You can paddle in the Narara Creek with mangroves on the sides or go to the open water of Broken Bay if you want more challenge. Brisbane Water has many birds, fish, and sea animals, so you might see pelicans, cormorants, dolphins, and even whales.

  • Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • Water Type: Inlet
  • Access: Various launching points along the coast
  • Trail: Brisbane Water National Park near Gosford on the central coast offers a variety of walking tracks, cycling routes, and fishing spots. The park also protects historic Aboriginal rock engraving sites.

Note: The best times to visit this trail are April through October.

Brisbane Water

2. Terrigal Lagoon

Terrigal Lagoon located near Terrigal Beach is a perfect place for beginners and families to learn and practice kayaking or paddle boarding Central Coast. The lush vegetation surrounding the lagoon offers a peaceful escape from the busyness of the beach. You can launch your kayak or paddle board from the Terrigal Lagoon Reserve, which also has facilities for picnics and a playground. You can paddle around the lagoon and enjoy the scenic hills and ocean views. Alternatively, you can cross the sandbar and explore the rock pools and caves along the coast.

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Lagoon, calm and shallow water
  • Access: Terrigal Beach
  • Trail: Serene waters and proximity to the beach make it ideal for newcomers

Note: This end of the beach has views south to Terrigal and the Skillion and north to the headland at Forresters, which is less frequented, and the Wamberal section is dog friendly. If the lagoon is open and flowing out to sea, you can continue to the south end of Terrigal Beach.

Terrigal Lagoon

3. Avoca Lake

Avoca Lake is the perfect spot for those seeking a calm and picturesque place to go kayaking or paddle boarding. You can easily launch your own equipment or rent some from Avoca Lake Foreshore Reserve. If you're feeling adventurous, you can paddle through the narrow channel connecting Avoca Beach to the lagoon (as long as the tide is high enough). The lagoon boasts crystal clear waters and a sandy bottom, and it's home to various birds, such as black swans, ducks, and herons.

  • Skill Level: All levels
  • Water Type: Lake with high tides
  • Access: Avoca Beach
  • Trail: The North Avoca Lake Walk is a 3.1-mile out-and-back trail that is generally considered easy and takes an average of 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete.

Avoca Lake

4. Tuggerah Lake

Tuggerah Lake is one of the largest and most diverse lakes on the Central Coast, offering various paddling opportunities for all levels. You have multiple launch points for kayaking or paddle boarding along the Central Coast, including The Entrance, Long Jetty, Chittaway Bay, and Berkeley Vale. Each location offers a unique opportunity to explore various segments of the picturesque lake. You can paddle along the shoreline and enjoy the views of the mountains, the bridges, and the towns, or venture into the open water and experience the wind and the waves. You can also paddle into the Wyong River or the Ourimbah Creek, which are tributaries of the lake, and discover the wetlands and the wildlife.

  • Skill Level: All levels
  • Water Type: Lake with wind and waves, sometimes.
  • Trail: Tuggerah Lake offers a 5.1-mile loop trail popular for running and walking and a 16.4-mile loop trail great for hiking, mountain biking, and running.

Note:

  • The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash.
  • Don't forget your sunscreen on a sunny day, as there are plenty of unshaded parts of this walk.

Tuggerah Lake

    5. The Entrance

    A well-liked vacation destination on the Central Coast where both the lake and the sea can be enjoyed is the Entrance. You can launch your kayak or SUP from the Picnic Point Reserve, where you can also find a boat ramp, a jetty, and a playground. You can paddle along the channel connecting the Tuggerah Lake and the Pacific Ocean and watch the famous pelican feeding every day at 3:30 pm. You can also paddle under the bridge and into the ocean, surfing the waves or paddling along the coast.

    • Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate
    • Water Type: Inlet
    • Access: The Entrance Beach
    • Trail: The Natural Entrance Trail at Carlsbad Caverns is a steep 1.25 mile trail that descends 750 feet underground.

    Note:

    • The ideal period to explore this trail is from May to June.
    • Avoid slipping on the slick clay slopes because of the mud, with many ups and downs.
    • You can see turkey, raccoon, and deer tracks, and even an owl sleeping on a tree…

    The Entrance

      6. Ettalong Beach

      Ettalong Beach is a beautiful beach on the southern end of the Central Coast, where you can enjoy the views of Lion Island and the Barrenjoey Headland. You can launch your kayak or paddle board from the Ettalong Beach Foreshore Reserve, where you can also find a boat ramp, a jetty, and a playground. You can paddle along the beach, admire the scenery, or head to the Box Head for more challenging conditions. You can also paddle across the water to Umina Beach or Pearl Beach, which are also great spots for paddling.

      • Skill Level: All levels
      • Water Type: Inlet
      • Trail: An easy 1.8-km trail near Central Coast, New South Wales, takes approximately 21 minutes to complete.

      Ettalong Beach

      7. Woy Woy Bay

      If you are interested in paddle boarding, there is another option to consider. A secluded and peaceful bay on the western side of the Brisbane Water allows you to enjoy the beauty of nature fully. You can launch your kayak or paddle board from the Woy Woy Bay Wharf, which has a boat ramp and a picnic area. Once you're on the water, you can explore the bay and its many coves, islands, and mangroves. You'll have the opportunity to observe various birds, fish, and crabs. If you're feeling adventurous, you can also paddle to Blackwall Mountain or Phegans Bay, which are both nearby.

      • Skill Level: Intermediate
      • Water Type: Bay with waves and winds
      • Trail: Near Central Coast, New South Wales, there is a 6.9-km loop trail of moderate difficulty. This trail is ideal for birdwatching and paddle sports, and it is unlikely that you will encounter many other people while exploring.

      Note: Try paddling up into Waterfall Bay, where several nice spots exist to stop for a snack break.

      Woy Woy Bay

      8. Budgewoi Lake

      Budgewoi Lake is a shallow and sandy lake on the northern end of the Central Coast, where you can enjoy the sun and the breeze. You can launch your kayak or paddle board from the Budgewoi Foreshore Reserve, where you can also find a boat ramp, a jetty, and a playground. You can paddle around the lake and enjoy the views of the Toukley Bridge, the Norah Head Lighthouse, and the Munmorah State Conservation Area. You can also paddle to the Colongra Lake or Lake Munmorah, which are connected to the Budgewoi Lake by channels. It's a fantastic destination for anyone exploring paddle boarding Central Coast.

      • Skill Level: All levels
      • Water Type: Shallow lake with calm water
      • Access: There is access to the water via the boat ramp that is conveniently close to the car park. Highlights of this route include Ocowolrolong Point and Orooaloo Point.

       

        9. Wyong River

        The Wyong River flows into Tuggerah Lake, a picturesque and meandering body of water that offers a diverse and adventurous paddling experience. You can set off on a kayaking or paddle boarding adventure from the serene Wyong River Foreshore Reserve. This idyllic spot boasts not only a boat ramp and a welcoming jetty but also a charming picnic area perfect for a day out. As you paddle upstream, you'll be greeted by the tranquil beauty of rural and forested landscapes. Keep your eyes peeled for a delightful array of wildlife, including an array of birds, playful kangaroos, and curious wallabies, adding a touch of magic to your aquatic exploration You can also paddle downstream and enjoy the urban and coastal areas, where you can see many boats, houses, and bridges.

        • Skill Level: Intermediate
        • Water Type: River with soft waves
        • Trail: The Wyong River offers an 8.2-mile out-and-back trail that is great for paddle sports.

        Note:

        • This is a vast lake with diverse wildlife in the surrounding area.
        • The best times to visit this trail are March through November.

        Wyong River

        Note:

        • Upstream, numerous fallen trees in the river create an adventurous obstacle course that requires climbing over, crawling under, or maneuvering around them. About 1km upstream after the Jilliby Creek joins the Wyong River.
        • Downstream, the river seems to have widened, and there isn't much debris floating in the water. Therefore, this part of the river is much easier and more suitable for beginners.

        10. Cockrone Lagoon

        This is a small and hidden lagoon on the eastern side of the Central Coast, where you can enjoy a quiet and peaceful paddle. You can launch your kayak or paddle board from the Cockrone Lagoon Reserve, where you can also find a boat ramp and a picnic area. The lagoon is surrounded by bushland and has clear and calm water, making it a great spot for wildlife watching. You can paddle around the lagoon and see many birds, such as kingfishers, kookaburras, and egrets.

        • Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced
        • Water Type: Lagoon with calm water
        • Trail: Suitable for those seeking a challenge and remote paddling. Discover 6 stunning hiking and walking trails at Lagoon Valley Park/Pena Adobe Park, including 2 easy trails suitable for families.

        Cockrone Lagoon

        SUPing and Kayaking at the Same Time with iROCKER

        If you love both stand up paddle boarding and kayaking, you don't have to choose between them. With the iROCKER SUP to kayak conversion kit, you can quickly transform your paddle board into a kayak and enjoy the best of both worlds. The kit includes everything you need to convert your SUP into a kayak: Kayak Seat, Kayak Blade, and Kayak Cushion. Simply attach the seat, the cushion and the blade to your existing paddle and board, and you're ready to go. Whether you want to explore calm waters or ride the waves, you can switch between SUPing and kayaking in a splash with iROCKER.

        SUPing and Kayaking at the Same Time with iROCKER

        Summing Up!

        Kayaking and paddle boarding are two of the most enjoyable and rewarding ways to explore the Central Coast of NSW. Now that you have an overview of the fantastic kayaking and paddle boarding Central Coast, NSW, you might wonder if there's a way to enjoy both activities simultaneously. Well, you're in luck! With iROCKER's innovative kayak conversion kit bundle, you can effortlessly transform your paddle board into a kayak, unlocking a world of possibilities.


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