The Central Coast, just an hour north of Sydney is a popular summer holiday and weekend retreat with patrolled surf beaches, coastal lakes and the broad expanse of the Hawkesbury River. The spectacular lakes and waterways are popular for watersports as well as being prolific fishing and prawning grounds, and are bordered by state forests and national parks.
 
The ridges and ravines of Bouddi, Brisbane Water, Ku-ring-gai Chase, Popran and Wyrrabalong National Parks provide opportunities for bushwalking and rock-climbing, with the rewards of magnificent views and numerous sites for Aboriginal rock art. The towns and holiday villages in this region are accessed via the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway, and offer a wide range of accommodation and eating options.