The Entrance on the NSW Central Coast

The Entrance is one of the closest spots to Sydney that begins to offer a true feeling that you're removed from the busy city, with its defining great lake and clear beaches. The Entrance is located half way between Newcastle and Sydney. Its only an hour trip from Sydney and can be a great spot to spend  short weekend break away. Search for Holiday Accommodation at The Entrance here.

It's a well-noted stop-off for a picnic - a hit with the kids because of the pelicans that flock around the town and get an official feeding every afternoon.

The Entrance Tourist Information

The Entrance is a marine marvel 90 mintues drive from Sydney on the sunny Central Coast, with award winning beaches, The Entrance channel and Tuggerah Lakes make this an ideal place for the fishing enthusiast.

The Entrance is a popular family holiday destination that offers activities and annual events on the foreshore during School Holidays and weekends. The kids will love the aquatic playground and giant chess board whilst you relax in the alfresco cafes and restaurants.

The Entrance is a popular holiday centre surrounded by lagoons, lakes and beaches, near the strip of land that separates the ocean from Tuggerah Lake 99 km north of Sydney, population 2,800



The Entrance was originally known as Karagi, meaning ‘entrance’ or ‘doorway’ in the language of the local Aboriginal people who occupied the land prior to white settlement in the 1820s. Chinese fishermen established a fishing base around this time, and a timber industry also developed. Tourism began with completion of the Sydney to Newcastle train line in 1889 and Sydneysiders came here for fishing, bathing and walking. 

In 1796 shipwrecked fishermen landed on the coast. They were fed by the local Aborigines who guided them most of the way home. When they returned to Sydney they told of a white woman living amongst the indigenous peoples and this resulted in an excursion to find the woman. The search party became the first Europeans to discover Tuggerah Lake. 

The first European settler was Henry Holden who, in 1828, selected 260 ha at Picnic Point. Thomas Batley took up land in 1836. Chinese fishermen established a base in the late 1820s at what is now Toowoon Bay (still known to some as Chinamans Bay). There they cured and smoked their fish and sent them to Queensland, back to China and, later, to the goldfields. They settled at Picnic Point after the goldrushes were over. This area was also a loading point for locally cut timber.

The last Aborigine to frequent Tuggerah Lake on his bark canoe was Billy Fawkner who died in 1875. He was known as 'the last of the Brisbane Water blackfellows', the remainder of his tribe killed by disease and dispossessed of their land.

Tourism got under way in the late 19th century with a new emphasis on health and leisure in the culture and the completion of the rail line from Sydney to Newcastle in 1889. Sydneysiders began to travel by launch from the train station at Wyong or from Sydney direct by seaboat, to fish, bath and walk in the area. A holiday camp was established at Toowoon Bay in the early 1890s and the first guesthouse in the area opened at North Entrance in 1895.

The first school opened in 1915 and the first church was built in 1926. Growth remained slow until the 1920s but, in that decade, The Entrance became a popular tourist spot for people drawn by the fishing and beaches. The first bridge linking the two sides of the channel was erected in 1934. The Entrance has been a particularly popular tourist destination since the freeway was built in the 1960s.

Anglers will find the area good for flathead, whiting, bream, blackfish and prawns. The sea-wall adjoining the boatshed near the bridge is a good spot for blackfish. Surf fishing from November to April yields jewfish, whiting and tailor.

The lake is the principal coastal lagoon of an interconnected 80 sq km lake system. At its northern tip a narrow channel separates it from Budgewoi Lake which is joined, at its north-eastern corner, to Lake Munmorah. Tuggerah Lake is about 12 x 8 km in diameter. The three lagoons are separated from the Pacific Ocean by long, narrow peninsulas but share common access to the ocean at The Entrance. Less than 2 m deep on average, shark-free and fed by small streams such as Wyong Creek the lakes are ideal for waterskiing, canoeing, sailing, rowing and sailboarding. The lakes and foreshores were cleaned up and restored in the late 1980s. Tuggerah Lake is also ideal for anglers. Blackfish, whiting, mullet, snapper, bream, flounder, tailor, flathead, jewfish, tarwhine and crabs can all be caught from the foreshores. Prawns are usually plentiful in mid-summer and can be snared at night with a lamp and net by wading into the shallows.

Why go to The Entrance

With its cosmopolitan atmosphere and attractive town centre, The Entrance is one of the prettiest towns on the Central Coast. 

The area is known for its huge pelican population, and every day at 3:30 pm the pelicans assemble to be fed at a special ramp on the ocean side of the bridge.

The region’s beaches are world-class, while the lake at its back door is ideal for water-skiing, canoeing, sailing, rowing and sailboarding. Fishing from the ocean beaches or lakes is always popular and prawns can be caught on midsummer nights.