Looking for things to do in Avoca Beach in Central Coast NSW? Or, looking for your next weekend getaway from Sydney? Avoca Beach has it all!
Avoca Beach is a proper little gem right near Sydney! Just a 1h30m drive away from Sydney CBD, this slice of paradise has all of the laid back vibes, and beach town feels similar to Byron Bay, with fantastic cafes and restaurants as well as loads to see and do.
You’ll find everything you need to know for having a fantastic day trip from Sydney! If you’d prefer to spend the weekend here, we’ll include where to stay, the best Avoca Beach restaurants, beaches and activities in the area.
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Where Is Avoca Beach?
Avoca Beach sits in between Macmasters Beach and Terrigal Beach in the Central Coast NSW. It’s a 1h30m drive from Sydney CBD so it makes a great day trip or weekend getaway from the city. Perfect for families, couples or friends looking for some time out, you’ll find plenty to do here to keep you busy.
Avoca Beach Highlights
We love Avoca Beach for its laid back vibes, beautiful beach and cool things to do in the area. Some of our personal highlights include the Avoca Beach Picture Theatre, Aqua Fun at Avoca Lake, the incredible scuba diving opportunities, hiking in the nearby Bouddi National Park and visiting the nearby Terrigal and Long Jetty.
The Central Coast has a lot to offer for everyone, so let’s get this guide started so you can plan your trip from Sydney!
Best Things To Do In Avoca Beach, Central Coast
1. Best Beaches In Avoca
We’ve got to start with the best beaches in the Central Coast so you can organise which one to spend your time at!
Avoca Beach is famous for it being a beautiful 1km beach! Some of our favourite beaches nearby include MacMasters Beach (which is great for families and swimming) and the quieter Little Beach in Avoca.
Little Beach is just a 10 minute walk from the car pack through the bush, but it was so beautiful and almost deserted that we stayed there for the day.
2. Learn To Surf With Central Coast Surf School
Welcome to some of the best surfing in NSW! If you’ve ever wanted to learn to surf or need an activity to do in Avoca, check out the Central Coast Surf School. This is a great opportunity to build your confidence in the water without feeling intimidated by the other surf beaches in Sydney!
3. Dive The Ex-HMAS Adelaide
Did you know Avoca beach has one of the only military dive sites in NSW called HMAS Adelaide? After serving in the Gulf War, this war vessel is now 32 metres deep just 1.8km off the beach.
This ship was actually deliberately placed here for diving purposes as well. You must be an advanced diver and show your certificate to participate in this excursion. Check out Pro Dive to tick off one of the best dive sites in NSW.
4. Visit The Plankton In Terrigal Beach
The Ruins in the nearby Terrigal might be a surfing beach in the daytime, but it really comes alive at night time when the plankton appear. Who knew there were even plankton in NSW? What a sight this would be to be seen in a star filled sky!
If you’re looking to find information about seeing the bioluminescence in Terrigal, check this Facebook page which has the most up to date sightings of plankton in Australia.
5. Captain Cook Lookout
Make sure you make an effort to go to the Captain Cook Lookout point unsurprisingly named by Captain Cook himself. It’s a 10min drive from Avoca Beach over to Copacabana Beach, where to find this viewpoint. If you’re visiting between June/July or Oct/Nov, you might have a chance of spotting the whale migration!
6. Aqua Fun at Avoca Lake
You’ll have great fun at Australia’s largest selection of pedal boats, kayaks and stand up paddle boards at Aquafun, in Avoca Lake. Perfect for families or big kids at heart like us, I’d be surprised if you didn’t have fun here!
7. Avoca Beach Picture Theatre
The Avoca Beach Picture Theatre is not only one of the most beautiful cinemas in Australia, it has won loads of awards and even voted one of the Top 20 Cinemas of the World by BBC a few years back! It’s also won the award for the best regional cinema in Australia countless times too. Make sure you make an effort to visit this family-run cinema as it’s easily one of the best attractions on Central Coast.
8. Avoca Beach Twilight Markets & Sunday Markets
We loved the Twilight markets in Avoca, which are held on Saturdays from 4pm (I think they could only be once a month).
If you miss them, you might be in luck to find the Sunday markets held 4th Sunday of each month from 9am-2pm. Expect Byron vibes and great live music and delicious food.
If you’re heading to Terrigal, check out the Greedy Guts Market on the second Friday of every month.
9. Avoca Beach Antiques
If you fancy a nosy around the shops, check out Avoca Beach Antiques on Avoca Drive. This long-lasting store showcases the Central Coast’s largest collection of antique jewellery.
10. 5 Lands Winter Walk
The 5 Lands Winter Walk is a spectacular 10km walk from MacMasters Beach to Terrigal Beach which occurs shortly after the Winter Solstice. You can start and end the walk from where ever you like on the track, but expect incredible coastal views as well as possible sightings of the humpback whale migration. You’ll also find various fun events near the surf clubs at every beach along the way!
More Things To Do In Central Coast
11. Visit Long Jetty
I couldn’t believe how it took me years to stumble across the cool hipster suburb of Long Jetty! Known as the Central Coast’s version of Newtown, expect to find cool street art, hip hair salons, cafes and vintage shops when looking for more things to do in Central Coast. Make sure you check out our Long Jetty Guide before visiting this hidden gem!
Although Terrigal Beach is just around the corner from Avoca Beach, it’s a hugely popular Sydney getaway packed with resorts and hotels. Make sure you check out our Terrigal Guide to discover the best things to do as well as loads of awesome places to eat in this beach suburb.
The Gosford Regional Gallery & Arts Centre might not have a permanent collection but they showcase local, national and international art from all over the world. The main draw card is the beautiful Japanese Garden pictured above. Come here to chill out and do something different if you’ve had enough of the beach for one day!
14. Distillery Botanica
Distillery Botanica in Central Coast is one of those proper little hidden gems. Open from Wednesday – Sunday from 10am-5pm, visitors are allowed to wander the stunning gardens and can pop into the cellar door to taste the onsite award-winning Moore’s Dry Gin, Distillery Botanica Gin and Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur. It’s located just a 12-minute drive out of Avoca at Erina.
15. Australian Reptile Park
The Australian Reptile Park is home to exotic reptiles from around the world where you can enjoy behind the scenes tours, live shows and themed exhibitions. This great family day out is located just 30 minutes from Avoca in Somersby!
16. Explore The Wonderful Beaches In Bouddi National Park
No trip is complete without visiting the wonderful Bouddi National Park in Central Coast. Home to some of the best beaches in New South Wales, you’d be crazy not to spend the day venturing to some of the awesome hidden gems in this National Park.
One of my all time favourite beaches near Sydney is located here called Maitland Bay. It’s absolutely stunning! Also venture around to Putty Beach and Tallow Beach if you have time.
And if you’re looking for more things to do in Avoca Beach, then you could actually head down to the gorgeous Pearl Beach and Patonga Beach and even jump on the ferry to Palm Beach from there for the day.
If you’re heading up to Central Coast from Sydney, you could stop by in Brooklyn in the Hawkesbury River and do the Riverboat Postman Cruise which we’ve done and loved. You can read our Guide for doing this fun and super affordable cruise here.
If you venture further down from Avoca Beach, you must pop into the beautiful Bouddi National Park, home to the stunningly beautiful Maitland Bay. You could also head on down to the beautiful Pearl Beach and Patonga Beach and even jump on the ferry over to Palm Beach if you wanted for the day!
Discover some of the best places to eat in Avoca Beach right here!
18. Best burgers in Avoca Beach: Oomph Cafe & Food Store
Expect an extensive menu including a selection of four burgers to choose from for lunch; the classic cheese burger, pulled pork, Chicken BLAAT and not forgetting the big beef burger. The big beef burger consists of the following; grass fed beef, German Butchery maple smoked bacon, free range egg, caramelized onion, Maffra cheddar cheese, house made tomato ketchup, beetroot, fresh tomato & mixed leaves on a Markus’ Brioche burger bun.
Look no further if you’re hoping to find the best burgers in Avoca Beach at Oomph Cafe & Food Store! Expect an extensive menu including a selection of four burgers to choose from for lunch; the classic cheese burger, pulled pork, Chicken BLAAT and not forgetting the big beef burger.
19. Best Cafe For Views: Point Cafe
Located underneath the Avoca Beach Surf Life Saving Club, Point Cafe is the place to come for some of the best views of Avoca Beach! Expect breakfast items like Bruschetta, eggs benny and brekkie bowls consisting of two poached eggs, rocket, potato, toasted pepitas, quinoa, tomato, feta, smoked salmon and dukkah.
Lunch items are heavily fish based but make sure you order the fish & chips. There are also other items on the menu like the moroccan chicken and a lamb wrap.
20. Best Healthy Cafe: Like Minds
Looking for a fantastic healthy cafe in Avoca Beach? Make sure you swing by Like Minds Cafe which is located just a stones throw from the water on The Round Dr. Expect lots of local produce and a menu full of to die for healthy options like falafel plates and homemade pasta.
21. Best Avoca Beach Restaurant: Shady Palms
Known as an eclectic surf shack, inspired by mid century Hawaii, Shady Palms is a hip restaurant in Avoca Beach. With a menu to match full of burgers and sharing plates, it’s the perfect place to come for some cocktails with your friends.