Situated between the glittering blue waterways of Tuggerah Lake and Budgewoi Lake, Toukley is a tranquil hideaway with big attractions in every direction. Once a small 19th century cedar-growing hamlet, this town is today known as something of a traveller’s gateway to golden beaches, lakeside pleasures and coastal adventure. You’ll also find friendly locals, great shopping and lively bars and restaurants. Base yourself here and you’ll barely need to move to find enclosed bays, expansive waterways and great memories. Here are some of the best things to do in Toukley.
The Beachcomber Hotel & Resort
Known as ‘The Beachie’ by the locals, this much loved waterfront venue is an iconic destination. Decorated in ‘Hamptons-style’ decor, there are several bars and eateries to choose from, each overlooking a sparkling view. You’ll enjoy a varied menu, with everything from a rotisserie area to wood-fired pizza and a dedicated taco bar. Settle by the blue and sip a wine, beer or cocktail.
Only a short drive along Main Street will deliver you to a host of beaches. In fact, Toukley is surrounded by so many beautiful beaches you can pick your experience, from lakeside family fun to top ocean-front surf. Make sure to always check beach conditions before you go. Some of our favourites are:
- Cabbage Tree Harbour – a sheltered bay at picturesque Norah Head. Patrolled in summer, it’s perfect for families with a rockpool the kids will love.
- Canton Beach – a nearby lakeside beach on Tuggerah Lake, Canton Beach is ideal for kids with a fully-fenced toddler park and playground.
- Soldiers Beach – a pristine, white sandy beach popular with surfers and beachgoers, Soldiers Beach is patrolled from September to April.
- Lakes Beach – a little further north, this popular beach is patrolled in the summer and has a dog-friendly off-leash section.
- Hargraves Beach – a hidden gem of The Entrance with fascinating natural rock formations to explore, though not patrolled in summer.
The magnificent saltwater lakes area of Tuggerah Lakes, a wetland system of three interconnected coastal lagoons, has enough outdoor recreation to wipe away any cobwebs. Enjoy a fun day out on the water at The Entrance Boatshed, where you can hire stand up paddle boards, canoes, kayaks and even open motor boats – no boat licence required. You can also hire fishing tackle and purchase bait for a relaxing afternoon’s angle.
Grab your bike and explore the scenic Tuggerah Lakes Cycleway, a family-friendly 12km shared pathway that follows the lakeshore from The Entrance around to Chittaway Bay. Make sure to stop and walk out along the 100-year old Long Jetty, NSW’s longest at 351m, that stretches right out into the lake.
Bringing the vibrant favour and colour of Mexico to the Central Coast, the Mexicoast Cantina doesn’t disappoint. You’ll find a great range of beer and cocktails to match your burritos, fajitas or ‘plato fuerte’, and the decor will transport you to the other end of a sunkissed Pacific Ocean.
You’ll find plenty of interesting boutique shops to browse in Toukley – and this little town also punches above its weight in the area of locally made fashion. Browse Mairzy Doats for a great range of Australian-made casual wear. You’ll also find more accessories at Chikita Boutique. For a range of flavour, sample some of NSW’s best regional produce at the Forest Fruit Market.
Norah Head Lighthouse
Built in 1903, the historic Norah Head Lighthouse is a must-see for visitors to the area. Book a guided tour and hear fascinating tales from our maritime history, and enjoy sweeping birds eye views from the top – keeping a lookout for whales. Stretch your legs on the Nature Walk that loops around the beach below and back.
Wyrrabalong National Park
Explore natural rainforest, diverse wetlands and stunning red gum forest in the magnificent Wyrrabalong National Park. Enjoy wildflowers and ocean views on the popular The Coast walking track near Bateau Bay, which follows the clifftop for 3km. Crackneck Point Lookout is ideal for whale watching from May to November, with spectacular views over The Entrance and Shelly Beach. Thrill-seekers can also go tandem paragliding over the national park.
Toukley Golf Club
The lakeside Toukley Golf Club is the perfect place to tee off – a unique 18-hole championship course set amongst spectacular natural beauty, overlooking scenic Budgewoi Lake. Known as the friendliest golf club on the Central Coast, the club shares its home with a diverse range of native birds and animals, including the eagle featured in the club’s logo. Relax over lunch afterwards and enjoy panoramic views over the greens and surrounding bushland.
How do I get to Toukley?
Situated halfway between Sydney and Newcastle, Toukley is easy to get to. Just over an hour’s drive and around 100km from both, you can easily drive here on the M1. You can drive via hire car from Sydney or Newcastle airport, which both receive flights from across Australia, and also catch regular train services from Sydney to Wyong Station, followed by regular buses from Lake Haven Centre. There are also bus services which leave from Gosford.
Where to stay in Toukley
Situated by the water, The Beachcomber is a great place to relax and enjoy Toukley’s delights. You’ll find a range of options, from ‘Poolside’ to ‘Waterview’ and ‘Urban Deluxe’, and enjoy plenty of comforts while you rest here, with luxurious amenities, bars and restaurants at your disposal.