The Central Coast has long been a weekend destination for Sydneysiders (it’s just an hour’s drive north of the city), but more and more interstate visitors are giving the region some much-deserved attention, too. Between seaside towns and hinterland getaways, there’s plenty to explore on the food, drinks, activities and nature fronts. Best of all, there are plenty of options for where to rest your head – here are some of our picks.

Kalakau House, Forresters Beach

Sleeps 8 / from $943.20 per night / three-night minimum The private deck and mineral infinity pool have a picture-perfect vantage point of the sunset over the ocean, but this home’s got more than just a pretty view. The luxe abode also has both indoor and outdoor fireplaces, plus floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Forresters Beach and private access down to it.

The Silver Bark Loft, Pearl Beach

Sleeps 8 / from $875.50 per night / two-night minimum A few minutes from the beach and right on the lagoon, this sustainably designed award-winning house is kept minimalist to let nature do all the talking. The loft-style upper floor has the bedrooms and an office, while downstairs there’s a large kitchen and dining area that opens out to the outdoor deck, plunge pool and backyard.

Solina, Ettalong Bay

Sleeps 8 / from $564 per night / two-night minimum Solina, meaning “little sun”, is a mid-century modern oasis overlooking Brisbane Waters. The striking house is an Aussie interpretation of iconic southern California beach houses, with clean lines framing a view of Ettalong Beach. The beach is easily accessible from the house, with local shops, restaurants and cafes just a stroll away.

Luxury Studio Villa, Long Jetty

Sleeps 2 / from $160 per night Just a few minutes’ walk from Toowoon Bay Beach, this small but luxe gem has an airy, high ceiling, a snazzy bathroom with a skylight, a private outdoor area, and a barbeque available upon request. The town of Toowoon Bay is nearby, along with seaside parks, cafes and fish’n’chip shops.

Patonga House, Patonga

Sleeps 8 / from $450 per night / two-night minimum Another home with a heated plunge pool and view, Patonga House overlooks the surrounding national park, beach, Hawkesbury River and bushland. The deck also has a panoramic sauna and open-air shower, while inside you’ll find four bedrooms, a kitchen and a cosy lounge area.

Nest at Blue Bay

Sleeps 2 / from $210 per night / two-night minimum This exquisitely designed retreat is all white weatherboard walls and timber floors, with dashes of Spanish Mission influence – it’s bright, airy and perfect for summer (although there’s a fireplace if things get nippy). There’s also a large freestanding tub, a private deck and a kitchenette, plus Blue Boy and Toowoon Bay are both short walks away.

The Stables, Holgate

Sleeps 2 / from $200 per night Set on 2.5 acres deeper inland than the other beachy properties on this list, The Stables is a secluded retreat in semi-rural NSW, just a 10-minute drive from Terrigal and Avoca. Completely private with sprawling views from the north deck, the house also has an indoor-outdoor bathroom (with a round bath that fits two) so you can soak as birds chirp overhead.

Tumbi Orchard, Tumbi Umbi

Sleeps 4 / from $288 per night Nestled within a thriving hobby orchard, this hillside cottage invites you to unwind and stay a while. There are valley views from both the deck and the bath, with a fireplace to keep you warm and a barbeque for summer nights. The hosts also serve seasonal fruit and provide herbs from their own harvest.

Pearl Beach Loft, Pearl Beach

Sleeps 4 / from $300 per night / two-night minimum Set back from the street, this award-winning small home is a good base for a couple, friends or family. There’s a cosy bedroom overlooking the garden and an open-plan living space, plus a balcony and sunny terrace with a barbeque and outdoor tables. It’s also just 400 metres away from the local cafe and restaurant.

Additional reporting by Kai Page and Matt Shea

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