Central Coast (New South Wales)

Central Coast (New South Wales)
Central Coast
New South Wales
Population: 297,956[1] (9th)
Density: 168.6/km² (436.7/sq mi)
Established: 2005
Postcode: various
Coordinates: 33°17′57″S 151°11′32″E / 33.29917°S 151.19222°E / -33.29917; 151.19222Coordinates: 33°17′57″S 151°11′32″E / 33.29917°S 151.19222°E / -33.29917; 151.19222
Area: 1767 km² (682.2 sq mi)
Time zone:

 • Summer (DST)



State District:
Federal Division:
Tuggerah Lake as viewed from Craigie Park in Kanwal. The Entrance is also visible in the distant background.

The Central Coast is an urban region in the Australian state of New South Wales, located on the coast north of Sydney and south of Lake Macquarie.

The Central Coast has an approximate population of 299,000 making it the third largest urban area in New South Wales and the ninth largest urban area in Australia.[1] Geographically, the Central Coast is generally considered to include the region bounded by the Hawkesbury River in the south, the Watagan Mountains in the west and the southern end of Lake Macquarie in the north.

Politically, it is administered as two local government areas; City of Gosford and Wyong Shire. In September 2006, the NSW Government released a revised long term plan for the region that sees the Central Coast classified as a regional city, along with Wollongong and the Hunter Region, with the largest regional city in the area being Gosford.



In 1811 the Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, gave the first land grant in the region to William Nash, an ex-Marine of the First Fleet. No further grants were made in the area until 1821.[2]


The region is a network of towns that have been linked in recent years by expanding suburban development. The main urban cluster of the region surrounds the northern shore of Brisbane Water and includes the Coast's largest population centre, Gosford, stretching east to the retail centre of Erina. Other major commercial "centres" on the Coast are Wyong, Tuggerah, Lakehaven, The Entrance, Terrigal, and Woy Woy. Large numbers of people who live in the southern part of the region commute daily to work in Sydney. The Central Coast is also a popular tourist destination, and a popular area for retirement. As a result, the cultural identity of the region is distinct from that of the large and diverse metropolis of Sydney as well as the Hunter region, with its mining, heavy industry and port. On 2 December 2005, the Central Coast was officially recognised as a stand alone region rather than an extension of Sydney or the Hunter Valley.[3]


The Central Coast region has a humid subtropical climate, with warm to hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters. Rainfall is spread evenly throughout the year but mildly more frequent during Autumn.


The Australian Bureau of Statistics considers the Central Coast to be part of the Sydney Statistical Division. However, it also identifies the Central Coast as the Gosford-Wyong Statistical Region. At the 2006 census the population of this region was 297,956.[1] The most populous suburb in the Wyong Shire is Bateau Bay with a population of 11,599.[4]The most populous suburb in the City of Gosford is Umina Beach with a population of 15,392.

Future issues

In recent years the Central Coast's main issues have centred around sustainable development and creation of local employment as the population of the region expands rapidly. High-rise development has been at the centre of many disputes as well as an ongoing water supply issue.

Water restrictions on the Central Coast currently stand at Level 3, Level 5 being the highest. The water supply system on the Central Coast is the third largest in NSW, after Sydney and the Hunter. Water is supplied from three dams. Mangrove Creek Dam is the largest, with smaller dams at Mardi and Mooney Mooney. A project is currently underway to link Mardi Dam to Mangrove Creek Dam. This will boost total dam storage levels, speed up drought recovery and help protect the Central Coast against future periods of drought. The Mardi-Mangrove Link project is an initiative of Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils with Australian Government funding of $80.3 million through its Water Smart Program. This Mardi-Mangrove Link is complemented by a pipeline that can transfer water from the Hunter to boost supplies when needed. As part of WaterPlan 2050, the long term water supply strategy for the Central Coast, a permanent desalination plant and recycled water will be considered as future water supply options if another prolonged drought occurs.

Environmental issues have also been a hot topic particularly with the quality of the lakes and waterways in the region. The Tuggerah lakes system has been plagued with weed growth and polluted stormwater runoff. The opening of the lake to the ocean is located at The Entrance however due the very small amount of water travelling through the entrance, it provides virtually no tide nor flush out any considerable storm water.

There have also been recent issues about the creation of a rugby league team (Central Coast Bears) in the National Rugby League competition. These efforts were rejected in 2005 in favour of Queensland's Gold Coast region but are likely to resurface in the near future when the governing body of rugby league once again considers new applications.


The Central Coast has a campus of the University of Newcastle located at Ourimbah. There are three campuses of the Hunter Institute of TAFE located at Gosford, Wyong and Ourimbah. The Central Coast has a wide range of primary and secondary school institutions. Notable schools include: Gosford High School, the only selective high school in the region, and many private primary and secondary schools which include:

  • Brisbane Water Secondary College
  • St Edwards Christian College
  • Central Coast Grammar School
  • Green Point Christian College
  • St Philip's Christian College
  • Central Coast Rudolf Steiner School
  • Central Coast Adventist School
  • Lakes Grammar - An Anglican School
  • Wyong Christian Community School K-12
  • MacKillop Catholic College K-12




These are local stations only. In most locations on the Central Coast, Sydney and Newcastle stations can be received at good levels.

Television The Central Coast has three Broadcast translators across the region, located at Bouddi (between Killcare & MacMasters Beach), Gosford & Wyong (Forresters Beach). These translators carry national broadcasters ABC & SBS, commercial broadcasters Seven, Nine & Ten from Sydney, and regional broadcaster NBN Television with another version of Channel Seven. Southern Cross Ten is only available from the North Wyong TV translator.

In addition to ABC1, SBS One, Seven (Sydney relay), Nine, Ten, NBN, Seven (Regional) and Southern Cross Ten; new digital-only channels have commenced broadcasting across the region. They include One HD, ABC2, ABC3, ABC News 24, SBS Two, 7Two, 7mate, GEM, GO! and Eleven.

Digital transmission of these channels is available from all three TV translators.[5]

Subscription Television service Foxtel is also available via satellite.

Newspapers The Central Coast is serviced by one twice-weekly newspaper. The Central Coast Express Advocate, published by News Limited's News Local, is distributed on Wednesdays & Fridays. It is delivered to the resident's doorsteps free of charge.

Newspapers from Sydney and Newcastle including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun-Herald, The Newcastle Herald, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and National Newspapers such as The Australian Financial Review and The Australian are also available.


Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, New South Wales, is the current home of the Central Coast Mariners.

In addition to local sporting leagues, the Central Coast is attempting to become a national sporting force with several teams competing in national leagues. The most notable of these is the Central Coast Mariners who play [[Association Soccer and compete in the A-League. The Mariners, the regions' most popular team, were grand-finalists in the first A-League 2005-06 season, in the A-League 2007-08 season [6] The Mariners play out of Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium at Gosford and in the A-League 2010-11 season. Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium is the largest stadium on the Central Coast. As well as hosting all the Mariners home games, several National Rugby League (NRL) and Super 14 games have been held there.

The Central Coast Rhinos is another team that plays in the Australian Ice Hockey League. The team have played out of Erina Ice Arena at Erina Fair, which is the Central Coast's only ice rink. The Rhinos have played in the previous three seasons finishing 8th in 2005, 7th in 2006 and 6th in the 2007 AIHL season.[7]

The Central Coast 'Oxigen' Crusaders are the elite senior basketball program of the Central Coast region incorporating the Gosford City Rebels and The Entrance Lakers junior associations with their successful junior representative programs acting as the breeding grounds and feeder programs of the Crusaders senior teams. Their home 'national class' basketball stadium is located in Terrigal.

Several attempts have been made to have teams enter other national competitions. The most notable of these was the attempt to enter the Central Coast Bears as the 16th team into the NRL.[8] This attempt was financed by a consortium led by John Singleton, but the Gold Coast Titans were ultimately successful. The Northern Eagles, a merger of NRL clubs Manly-Warringah and North Sydney began their tenure playing half of their games at Gosford, however within three years the team was solely playing back at Brookvale. South Sydney were also unsuccessfully approached to play out of Gosford, despite the few games that are played on the Central Coast attracting large crowds.[9] The Central Coast Storm rugby league team play in a number of NSWRL lower grade competitions in rugby league, and the Central Coast Waves rugby union team plays in the Shute Shield. Most recently, the Central Coast Rays rugby union club who competed in the ill-fated Australian Rugby Championship's only season late in 2007, called Bluetongue Stadium home.

The Central Coast has numerous sporting ovals, golf courses, skate parks, tennis courts and swimming pools that are open to the public. Attempts are underway to build a series of bicycle paths. A velodrome is also open to the public at West Gosford. National parks on the Central Coast have a large range of walking paths and mountain bike trails. Water sports like sailing, rowing and water skiing are popular activities on the Central Coast lakes. Attempts are being made to attract pro golf tournaments to Magenta Shores (a new resort north of The Entrance), and plans are being considered to sink the wreckage of HMAS Adelaide off the coast for divers.[10]


Tourism and visitor information

The Central Coast is a big magnet for tourism, located just a short day-trip away from Sydney makes it an ideal destination. Places such as Terrigal, Ettalong and The Entrance are extremely popular with tourists, and this is evidenced by an increase in major hotels in the region, such as Mantra, Oaks and Crowne Plaza resorts all thriving.

The regional tourism body is known as Central Coast Tourism and manage the three accredited Visitor Information Centres located in the area. These are located in the Mt Penang Parklands at Kariong, in Memorial Park at The Entrance and also on Mann Street in Gosford.


The Central Coast has two large public hospitals with Emergency departments. Gosford Hospital is the largest and has 460 beds, Wyong Hospital is located at Kanwal and has 274 beds. In addition to this there is a small public hospital in Woy Woy and Health Care Centre at Long Jetty.[11] The largest private hospital on the Central Coast is North Gosford Private. Brisbane Waters Private in Woy Woy and Berkeley Vale Private are also major healthcare providers. The region has 21 aged care facilities. The Ambulance Service of NSW has seven ambulance stations on the Central Coast located at Bateau Bay, Doyalson, Ettalong, Point Clare, Terrigal, Toukley and Wyong.[12]


The Central Coast is serviced by an extensive road system as well as a combination of bus and rail providing public transport for the population. The region is also has a number of taxis operated by Central Coast Taxis.


Sydney Newcastle Freeway

The main access to the Central Coast by road is by the 127 kilometres (79 mi) Sydney-Newcastle Freeway that carries the designation National Highway 1, known to most as the F3 Freeway. The freeway provides the most important road link between Sydney, the Central Coast, Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.[13] Since December 2009 the F3 freeway is three lanes in each direction for 43 kilometres between Wahroonga and the Kariong Interchange[14] and from Tuggerah and north to Beresfield, the freeway is two lanes in each direction. The freeway is then three lanes in each direction between Tuggerah and Peats Ridge, where a small 8 kilometre section leading to the Kariong interchange is again two lanes.

Central Coast Highway

The roads that link Kariong with Doyalson (Pacific Highway, Dane Drive, Masons Parade, York Street, George Street, The Entrance Road, Oakland Avenue, Coral Street, Wilfred Barrett Drive, Budgewoi Road and Scenic Road) became known as the Central Coast Highway from 9 August 2006.[15]

The Central Coast's roads are maintained by both local councils as well as several state roads, however, due to the relatively large geography, maintenance issues often arise.


The western suburbs of the Central Coast are serviced by CityRail's Newcastle & Central Coast line. The rail line is primarily used to provide mass transport for those that commute to Sydney and as such services are most frequent during peak commuter times (typically one hour before in the morning and after in the evening in comparison to Sydney peak times due to the distance). Gosford station is the central station on the line connecting with most bus services as well as taxis.

Central Coast stations on the CityRail network are (from south to north):

Trains terminate at both Gosford and Wyong stations which are also utilised by the far-reaching CountryLink network.


The Central Coast has no government-owned bus service, instead it is serviced by three separate private operators. The private bus operators in the region are Busways which has depots at Kincumber and Charmhaven, Red Bus Services and Coastal Liner Coaches. All companies serve their own individual areas covering almost all areas of the region rarely overlapping.

Busways operates services using Tuggerah, Erina and Gosford as central points. In the south services cover as far south as Woy Woy, Umina, Ettalong and Pearl Beach/Patonga, and also stretch out to Kincumber, Erina, Avoca and Terrigal in the east. Occasional services are conducted to Kariong in the west. Busways' northern services cover from Gosford and north to Tuggerah (through the Narara Valley and Ourimbah), then continue north to Wyong via Tuggerah, which in turn services the northern section of Lake Haven, Charmhaven, Gorokan, Toukley, Noraville Budgewoi, Buff Point and San Remo. Further services also utilise routes including Blue Haven, Gwandalan, and as far north as Swansea and Charlestown in Lake Macquarie. As of February 2008, Busways now have more than 50 wheelchair accessible buses in its fleet.(17 at Charmhaven, 33 at Kincumber)

Red Bus Services operates services mainly between Wyong and The Entrance as well as The Entrance and Gosford, although some services do reach Ourimbah and Wyong Hospital at Kanwal. Their services also operate to West Gosford, Wyoming, Holgate, Matcham, Point Frederick and Springfield. Although most services operate to/from Wyong Hospital via Berkley Vale and Westfield Tuggerah, one service (Route 29) operates from Bay Village to Wyong Hospital via The Entrance, Magenta Shores, Toukley, Gorokan and Lake Haven. Red Bus have around 25 buses that are suitable for wheelchairs.

Coastal Liner operate limited route bus services around the Westfield Tuggerah, Wyong, Wyee, Hamlyn Terrace, Woongarah, Warnervale, Dooralong and Jilliby. Routes 10 (Tuggerah-Wyee via Hue Hue Road and Wyong), 12 (Tuggerah-Jilliby via Dicksons and Mandalong Roads) and 13 (Tuggerah-Dooralong via Jilliby Road) all operate only on weekdays with limited services. Route 11 is the most popular service, Linking Lake Haven with Warnervale via Hamlyn Terrace and Woongarah. This service on weekdays occasionally extends to Westfield Tuggerah and Wyong Station via Hue Hue Road. Coastal Liner also currently has 2 wheelchair buses.


The Central Coast falls entirely in the fixed phone 43xx xxxx region and is classified Regional 1 for billing. Fixed-line telephone service is universally available. GSM and 3G mobile services are available from Optus, Telstra and Vodafone. Though only Telstra's NextG network has broad coverage in the region.

ADSL and good quality fixed-wireless broadband services are widely available - however, significant blackspots continue to exist. High speed ADSL2 is available at most exchanges through Telstra, though few other providers exist, leading to an expensive high speed broadband offering for the region.


The Central Coast is home to Erina Fair, the largest single level shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere and the largest non-metropolitan shopping centre in Australia. It provides many of the areas amenities such as restaurants, cinema, fast food and shopping. Another large shopping centre exists in the north, Westfield Tuggerah. It is a two story centre, with the bottom story reaching 1 kilometer in length.

There are also other smaller shopping centres that are further away from the large ones, such as Woy Woy, Kincumber, Gosford, Bay Village and Lake Haven.


  1. ^ These figures are the distances from Sydney and Newcastle to Gosford, the major population centre in the region.


  1. ^ a b c Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Gosford-Wyong (Statistical Region)". 2006 Census QuickStats. http://www.censusdata.abs.gov.au/ABSNavigation/prenav/LocationSearch?collection=Census&period=2006&areacode=1156&producttype=QuickStats&breadcrumb=PL&action=401. Retrieved 2008-05-07.  Map
  2. ^ Bennett, F. C.: "The Story of the Aboriginal People of the Central Coast of New South Wales", page 9. Brisbane Water Historical Society, 1968.
  3. ^ "Geographical Names Register Extract: Central Coast". Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. http://www.gnb.nsw.gov.au/name_search/extract?id=MnqwBKrXMn. Retrieved 2008-05-07. 
  4. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Bateau Bay (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. http://www.censusdata.abs.gov.au/ABSNavigation/prenav/LocationSearch?collection=Census&period=2006&areacode=SSC13011&producttype=QuickStats&breadcrumb=PL&action=401. Retrieved 2008-05-07. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "ccmariners.com.au". Central Coast Mariners: History. http://www.ccmariners.com.au/default.aspx?s=history. Retrieved 2006-11-10. 
  7. ^ "rhinos.com.au". Central Coast Rhinos Ice Hockey. http://www.rhinos.com.au/. Retrieved 2006-11-10. 
  8. ^ "Central Coast door ajar for Sydney club". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2004-12-07. http://www.smh.com.au/news/League/Central-Coast-door-ajar-for-Sydney-club/2004/12/06/1102182228899.html. Retrieved 2006-11-10. 
  9. ^ "ccmariners.com.au". Central Coast Mariners: Stadium Info. http://www.ccmariners.com.au/default.aspx?s=stadiuminfo. Retrieved 2006-11-10. 
  10. ^ "expressadvocate.com.au". Central Coast Express Advocate. http://www.expressadvocate.com.au/. Retrieved 2006-11-01. 
  11. ^ "health.nsw.gov.au/areas/ccahs/". Central Coast health: About Us. Archived from the original on 2006-11-02. http://web.archive.org/web/20061102061312/http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/areas/ccahs/hmo/about.html. Retrieved 2006-11-12. 
  12. ^ "ambulance.nsw.gov.au". Ambulance Service of New South Wales: Map of ambulance stations across NSW. Archived from the original on 2006-10-29. http://web.archive.org/web/20061029215823/http://www.ambulance.nsw.gov.au/about/map.html. Retrieved 2006-11-12. 
  13. ^ "Sydney-Newcastle (F3) Freeway". Ozroads. http://www.ozroads.com.au/NSW/Freeways/F3/f3.htm. Retrieved 2006-07-06. 
  14. ^ http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/constructionmaintenance/majorconstructionprojectssydney/f3widening/index.html F3 Freeway Widening, RTA. Retrieved on 19 July 2007
  15. ^ "Kariong to Doyalson". NSW Roads and Traffic Authority. 2008-01-23. Archived from the original on 2008-01-02. http://web.archive.org/web/20080102183007/http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/constructionmaintenance/majorconstructionprojectsregional/centralcoast/kariong-doyalson.html. Retrieved 2008-05-07. 

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