A Road trip to Central Coast: exploring Entrance, Port Stephens, Nelson Bay, Lake Macquarie, Redhead beach, discovering wildlife, watching dolphins, and some quite peace time.
My Aunt and cousin visited me from Adelaide, since she was coming from India, I wanted to plan a nice trip for her. Till now, I have mostly covered all the best road trips of NSW many times, but central coast was still remaining. So, this time I planned for a drive to some of the beautiful central coast beaches.
Best part is its just 2 hours drive, so one can plan a day trip, or a weekend plan which gives you enough time to explore the amazing sites that lies on central coast. I have been to many Dolphin and Whale cruises by now, being a travel guide, to my family and friends visiting from India or other places.
For the activities, I chose the Dolphin cruise, although I was very interested in Sand dunes snowboarding because its super sizzling on sand during Australian December. Also My aunty wasn't interested. Hence, Dolphin Cruise was apt choice. I booked an Airbnb at Valentine which is midway since everything was full due to the holiday season. And I think that was a really good decision, because I was able to leave on Friday after work and it was just 1.5 hours drive.
Sydney to Entrance to Valentine, NSW
Left around 6 after work on Friday – We made a stop at Entrance which is a huge lake and full of incoming Pelicans, I saw them for the first time and they are huge and attractive with their pink beaks and shaded wings. We enjoyed the sunset with the company of Pelicans and golden rays of sun over the water. This was truly mesmerizing and marked a great start to the oncoming trip.
Reached Valentine tree house around 08:00 due to heavy traffic on road. The host was awesome and was waiting to handover the keys. The place was in basement of the hosts and it was superb had all the amenities, and old cottage like interiors. The house had great positive vibes with small Feng shui, articles etc. We slept late after lot of gossip, obviously we were meeting after long time and my aunt and me both are always full of stories.
In the morning, we woke up late, prepared tea and went outdoors at the tree house. The surroundings of this place already made me morning pleasant. Such welcoming greens, then pond full of fishes decorated with, tortoise, crocodile and ducks around it.
Nelson Bay, Port Stephens, Lake Macquarie
We enjoyed our tea, got ready and left for Nelson bay.
Once there we bought 3 tickets of moon-shadow cruise for Dolphin watching departing at 01:30. My aunt was reluctant to go in the cruise as she has motion sickness, but later I convinced her, because this is something you can only find so easily in Australia, a chance to see Dolphins in their natural habitat and not in a zoo doing some show.
The boat was huge and we found some seats on the front deck which was perfect to spot the Dolphins and enjoy the waves. The sea wind, was so high I could barely stand or hold my camera somehow, I managed to tie my hair and got hold of my camera. We spotted many dolphins that day some in pairs some alone, coming from every direction and sometime from just below our cruise.
People were excited and shouting as and when they were jumping like in real shows. They felt encouraged and showed us some more jumps. The site was awesome. We passed many great landmark islands on the cruise for 2 hours and the journey was memorable and fun.
After returning we had late lunch followed by ice-cream and left for Port Stephens, the site was beautiful with so many ships on the deck, but I wanted my cousin to at least have a dip in water so we enjoyed the beach vibes for some time while he took a dip.
We went to Gan Gan Lookout and some other beaches on the way.
On the way back to Valentine we covered, Lake Macquarie.
Sunday we woke up around 09:00 got ready, had our breakfast and bid our farewell to the host. On the way I made a stop at redhead beach, and it was unexpectedly popular, we saw so many surfers enjoying the waves. This beach had particularly amazing rolling kind of waves, this time I really felt like jumping in the water and trying surfing the site was so welcoming. We enjoyed watching the sport for quite sometime and left for Central station as my aunty and cousin had to leave for Canberra.
Overall this was a really good weekend with family time and fun activities.