Central Coast (New South Wales)
New South Wales
|• Density||168.6/km2 (436.7/sq mi)|
|Area||1,767 km2 (682.2 sq mi)|
|Time zone||AEST (UTC+10)|
|• Summer (DST)||AEDT (UTC+11)|
The Central Coast has an approximate population of 320,000, growing at 1% p.a. making it the third largest urban area in New South Wales and the ninth largest urban area in Australia. 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 New South Wales 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. Subsequently a new junior Ministerial post was created in State Parliament. As of April 2011 the Minister for the Central Coast is The Hon. Chris Hartcher, member for Terrigal.
The region has been inhabited for thousands of years by aboriginal people. The local Guringai and Darkinjung people were some of the very first aboriginal people to come in contact with the British settlers. Indeed an aboriginal man from the region named Bungaree became one of the most prominent people of the early settlement of NSW. He was one of the first aboriginal people to learn English and befriended the early governors Phillip, King & Macquarie. Macquarie later declared Bungaree "The King of the Broken Bay Tribes". Post settlement decease and disruption reduced the numbers of tribespeople. 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.
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.
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 once considered the Central Coast to be part of the Sydney Statistical Division. However, after its regional statistical reforms it now identifies the Central Coast as its own Statistical Region Level 4. At the 2011 census the population of this region was 312,284. The male population is 150,702 and the female population 161,482 and the median age is 41.
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 large number of primary and secondary school institutions.
The Central Coast has three broadcast translators across the region, located at Bouddi (between Killcare & MacMasters Beach), Gosford & Wyong (Forresters Beach). Due to the Central Coast being part of two different television licence areas, these translators carry stations from both the Sydney and Northern NSW licence areas.
In total eight television stations service the Central Coast:
- ABC New South Wales (ABN)
- SBS New South Wales (SBS)
- Seven Sydney (ATN)
- Nine Sydney (TCN)
- Ten Sydney (TEN)
- Prime7 Northern NSW (NEN) - Seven Network affiliate
- NBN Television Northern NSW (NBN) - Nine Network affiliate
- Southern Cross Ten Northern NSW (NRN) - Network Ten affiliate - Only available from Wyong translator
Each station broadcasts a primary channel and several multichannels. Subscription television service Foxtel is also available via satellite.
The Central Coast has a rich array of local radio stations. The three large commercial stations being 107.7 2GO, Star 104.5, 101.3 SeaFM, all being part of syndicated national networks. The ABC has an outreach station on 92.5 FM that operates a locally produced mid-day show from 11am to 3pm weekdays, outside this it broadcasts Sydney programming from ABC 702 AM. The community radio station CoastFM 96.3 has a considerable following as does Radio Five-O-Plus 93.3 . A 24 hour Country music station TodayCountry94one is based in Gosford and broadcasts online and in syndication across the country. It also has a Christian radio station rheema fm on 94.9fm In most locations on the Central Coast, Sydney and Newcastle radio stations can be received at reasonable levels particularly on the AM band.
The Central Coast is not serviced by its own daily newspaper and has fleeting attention from the Sydney and Newcastle dailies. The major publication of the region is the twice weekly Central Coast Express Advocate, published by News Limited's News Local. It's distributed free of charge on Wednesdays and Fridays in the style of suburban free newspapers. A series of free local fortnightly papers have grown in popularity over time. The Peninsula News services the southern part of the region centred around the Woy Woy area. The Gosford Community News services the Central Gosford region and the Wyong Chronicle services the northern part of the region. The regional sporting paper Grandstand services the entire region. All are published by a local independent publishing house, bucking the trend in declining newspaper sales. In addition a popular monthly business publication Central Coast Business Review has been sold and published for over 20 years.
The area has two operating theatres. Laycock Street Theatre, located in North Gosford, has a proscenium arch configuration and seats 392 patrons. The venue also contains a multi purpose space suitable for conferences, board meetings, annual general meetings, cabaret and small musical acts. The resident amateur theatre group which currently contribute 5 shows a year is the Gosford Musical Society. Peninsula Theatre is positioned in Woy Woy just south of Gosford. The theatre's configuration is somewhat unusual whereby it is a 124 seat amphitheatre. The resident amateur theatre group is the Woy Woy Little Theatre Company, currently supplying a season of 4 shows per year. Both theatres are operated by Gosford City Council. In addition to these, the Wyong Shire Cultural Centre will soon replace the current Wyong Memorial Hall which is used mainly by Wyong Musical Theatre Company and Wyong Drama Group.
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 Football and compete in the A-League. The Mariners, the regions' most popular team, are the reigning A-League champions from the 2012/13 season. They were grand-finalists in the first A-League 2005-06 season, in the A-League 2007-08 season The Mariners play out of Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium at Gosford and in the A-League 2010-11 season were top of table Premiers. Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium is the largest stadium on the Central Coast with a capacity of 20,059. As well as hosting all the Mariners home games, several National Rugby League (NRL) and Super Rugby 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.
The Central Coast 'Oxygen' 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. 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. 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.
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. 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.
The Central Coast is serviced by an extensive an burgeoning road system. A combination of bus and rail providing limited public transport options for locals. The region also has a number of taxis operated by Central Coast Taxis. Transport has been a constant issue for the region and has been cited as high a priority over the last 20 years in regional plans and priorities by local, state and federal government agencies, with incremental investments largely in road infrastructure.
- 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. From January 2013 it will officially now be part of the M1 Pacific Motorway. The freeway provides the most important road link between Sydney, the Central Coast, Newcastle and the Hunter Region. Since December 2009 the F3 freeway is three lanes in each direction for 43 kilometres between Wahroonga and the Kariong Interchange 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.
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 the Central Coast & Newcastle 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 line are (from south to north):
- Woy Woy
- Point Clare
- Niagara Park
Trains terminate at both Gosford and Wyong stations which are also utilised by long distance services.
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 numerous black spots exist, due to the topography and remoteness of some parts of the region. Telstra has a limited 4G service offering around Gosford. And only Telstra's NextG network has a broad coverage over the entire 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.
NBN: The region was selected as one of the early roll out regions for the National Broadband Network's fibre to the premise installation which will offer stable speeds of 100/40 Mbit/s down/up load respectively. Two Points Of Interconnect (POI) are located in the region at Gosford and Berkley Vale exchanges. The regional rollout will radiate out from these two super exchanges. Services in areas around the two POI are due to be available from July 2013.
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 to the north, Westfield Tuggerah.
Other smaller local shopping centres that are further away from the large centres include Woy Woy, Umina, Kincumber, Gosford, Bay Village and Lake Haven.
- ^ These figures are the distances from Sydney and Newcastle to Gosford, the major population centre in the region.
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- Regional Development Australia Central Coast
- Gosford City Council
- Wyong Shire Council
- Central Coast Tourism
- Central Coast Mariners