The Entrance, New South Wales

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The Entrance
Central CoastNew South Wales
The Entrance.jpg
The Entrance
The Entrance is located in New South Wales
The Entrance
The Entrance
Location in New South Wales
Coordinates 33°20′50″S 151°29′46″E / 33.34722°S 151.49611°E / -33.34722; 151.49611Coordinates: 33°20′50″S 151°29′46″E / 33.34722°S 151.49611°E / -33.34722; 151.49611
Population 3,873 (2011 census)[1]
 • Density 2,770/km2 (7,170/sq mi)
Postcode(s) 2261
Area 1.4 km2 (0.5 sq mi)
LGA(s) Wyong Shire
Parish Tuggerah
State electorate(s) The Entrance
Federal Division(s) Dobell
Localities around The Entrance:
Tuggerah Lake The Entrance North
Tuggerah Lake The Entrance Pacific Ocean
Long Jetty Long Jetty Blue Bay

The Entrance is a district centre and town of the Central Coast region of New South Wales, Australia. It is part of the Wyong Shire local government area. At the 2011 census, The Entrance had a population of 3,873 people.[1]

The town occupies an area of land that is bounded by water on three sides. The Entrance gains it name from the channel that runs along much of its northern border that is the entrance to The Tuggerah Lakes. The Entrance has been a popular holiday destination for people since the first guest house was established in 1885.[2]

As a beloved "holiday playground of two cities" the area is currently experiencing strong growth with both new hotels including the Pullman Hotel at North Entrance and redevelopment of residential areas. The district's main tourist attractions are its beaches, lake and town centre. It is also suitably located for day trips to the Hunter Valley vineyards.


Settlements at The Entrance[edit]

It is believed Europeans first discovered it in 1796. It was found by Governor of Tasmania, Colonel David Collins, who had arrived on the First Fleet during the search for an escaped convict woman, Mary Morgan, who was said to be living with the Aborigines to the North of the Hawkesbury River.[3]

The area now known as The Entrance was occupied by Henry Holden in 1828. He occupied 640 acres (259 ha) and was bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the eastern side, Tuggerah Lake on the northern and western sides and extended all the way to the current Toowoon Bay Road. Holden named the property Towoon. In 1835 the deeds were issued to John Edye Manning and he sold the land for £200 to Thomas Cade Battley who renamed the property Terilbah.[4]

In 1850, ownership was transferred to the Taylor Family and it was referred to as Tuggerah Beach. The land remained privately owned until about 1900 when it was divided up among the twelve children of Richard Brown Taylor and Norberta Maria Gertrude (née Watkins). The Taylors donated land to the Roman Catholic Church, The Church of England and The Entrance Public School.[5] Many streets in the area are named after them including Taylor Street, Richard Street, Norberta Street and Victoria Street.[6]

On 15 December 1910, Karagi Receiving Office was opened. Karagi, meaning the entrance, was the Aboriginal name for the point on the south bank of the channel at the Pacific Ocean, a name which has since been officially adopted. On 1 June 1911, Karagi Receiving Office was designated a Post Office. The name Karagi was changed on 15 November 1911 and the name "The Entrance" was adopted.[7]


Bayview guest house

In 1889 the railway line was completed from Sydney to Newcastle[8] and tourism began to develop in the area during the late 19th century following the construction of several guest houses. The first guest house in the area was built at The Entrance North by Mr and Mrs Walter Denniss in 1885 and was called Dunleith Guest House. Bayview Guest House was the first to be opened in the Entrance and was opened in 1900[9] by Mr and Mrs Dening (née Taylor). Pinehurst Guest House was another that was constructed in 1903 by Les Taylor and was by far the largest at that time. By 1912, members of the Taylor family were operating four guest houses at The Entrance.[10]

In March 1920, 200 parcels of land were auctioned after it had become clear that the land in the township needed to be subdivided. Each block of land averaged a selling price of £60 to £80, although some blocks closer to the water sold for as much as £200. Immediately holiday houses began to be built rapidly. It also resulted in a total of 15 guest houses operating soon after, including Lakeside built by Rene Johnson (née Taylor) that was the most exclusive. Although competition was fierce, the guesthouses had high occupancy rates in the booming times.[11] Bayview Avenue and Ozone Street are both named after guest houses that were located at The Entrance.[6]

Despite the growth, the area was still isolated and access was restricted to a wagon on the bush track from Gosford or by a ferry from Wyong. The area was popular among fishermen and prior to 1908 the majority of boats that travelled to The Entrance used Tuggerah Jetty, the remains of which, still exists on the shore of Tuggerah Lake between the entrances to Wyong River and Ourimbah Creek. When Wyong River was dredged in 1908, the boats would take their catch into Wyong.


The construction of Wyong Wharf allowed greater access to The Entrance and the demand for ferry transport boomed. Numerous operators took advantage of the demand and ferry's such as Wyong, Waiwera, Loongana and Maheno were making regular journeys across Tuggerah Lake. In 1922, the bush track to Wyong was opened as a road. By the end of the nineteen-twenties the ferry's were rendered obsolete by buses that could reach The Entrance quickly and cheaply.[12]

Panoramic view of The Entrance Bridge

The Entrance Bridge links The Entrance with The Entrance North over The Entrance Channel as part of Wilfred Barrett Drive. It was originally a wooden single lane bridge with bypass bays and a traffic light that allowed traffic travelling in the opposite direction to pass.[13] It was opened in 1934. The original bridge was adequate until 1965 as it only served traffic travelling as far as The Entrance North.

By the end of 1965 the traffic flow over the old bridge at The Entrance increased to such an extent the structure was under constant repair.[3] Work began on the current two lane, concrete structure on 17 July 1967 after a successful tender by Transbridge Pty Ltd. The bridge was opened to traffic on 20 December 1968 and officially opened by the Premier of New South Wales, the Hon. Robert Askin on 18 April 1969.[14]

The Entrance is serviced by Red Bus Services, and the town is the major terminus, with several routes terminating and beginning in Torrens Avenue. Generally, Red Bus Services run every 30 to 60 minutes from 5am to 12am.[15] The depot for The Entrance Red Bus was on the corner of Denning Street and Blue Bay Road until the early 1980s, the site became the "St. Tropez" building.


Pelican feeding at The Entrance

The Entrance Cinema is a well-known local icon. It is located on the corner of The Entrance Road and Bayview Mall. The cinema was opened as The Prince Edward Theatre in 1934 and was immediately popular due to the fire that burnt the other cinema in The Entrance, the Wintergarden Theatre in the same year. The Prince Edward Theatre closed in 1977 but was reopened in 1981 when it was purchased and converted into a smaller cinema. A second screen was added in 1988.[16] The cinema achieved notoriety in 2006 when it refused to screen the film, The Da Vinci Code as it was contrary to the owner's beliefs.[17]

There is a history walk along the main street and the ocean front boardwalk. This identifies with both text and photos important historic sites in the town. It is ideally suited for school groups to understand 20th century social and environmental development.

In 1999, The Entrance waterfront was named 'The Pelican Capital of Australia' by Wyong Shire Council to coincide with the opening of a pelican feeding platform as part of the waterfront redevelopment. The daily practice attracts 20,000 visitors annually. The Entrance is the perfect place for fishing. There are many species of fish that can be found in the area such as whiting, flathead, bream, and blackfish.[18]

Notable People[edit]

Commercial area[edit]

The Entrance town centre is located predominately along The Entrance Road, extending from Dening Street (named after the original owners of Bayview Guest House.[19]) to The Entrance Bridge.[6] Lakeside Shopping Centre (previously called Lakeside Plaza) containing a Coles supermarket and the post office, is located on the corner of The Entrance Road and Dening Street. The main street of the town (The Entrance Road) has approximately 200 shops, banks and services. Most stores are independent retailers, with only a small number of chain stores in the town. RMS, legal, medical, the library, and political offices are also located within the town. Medicare is co-located with Centrelink in Torrens Avenue. At the northern end of the main street the stores focus on the needs of tourists with fashion, cafes, and restaurants.

Carparks for ca. 2000 cars are located throughout the town including Lakeside Shopping Centre, Theatre Lane, Ocean Parade, and Coral Street.

Wyong Shire Council has an office in the town.

The Entrance has two pubs located on The Entrance Road, these being the newer "The Lakes", opened in the 1940s, and the original "The Entrance" opened in the 1920s. Both contain original architectural features.

Golden Gate Cafe[edit]

A classic Australian milk bar, having opened to serve patrons to the Price Edward Cinema. It features a number of characteristics including booth seating, mirror displays, sweet & lolly counters. It has been operated by "Johhny" and his family for decades. Most children from the town would have memories of getting bags of lollies from Johnies either after school or before seeing a movie. It is an important cultural aspect to the town.

Mardi Gras[edit]

To celebrate the start of the summer tourist season, on the first full weekend in December, The Entrance holds its annual Mardi Gras festival. The first Mardi Gras was held in 1950. Mardi Gras is a major event of the town and district for the year. The festival is named Mardi Gras after the spirit of the carnevals and Mardi Gras of Europe. The event contains a number of events including fun runs, concerts, fire works and displays. The highlight is the parade. This contains numerous floats from local organisations.

Clubs, Sport, and Leisure Facilities[edit]

The Entrance is fortunate to have a broad selection of sporting, both organised and casual, facilities. This includes The Entrance Ocean Baths - a three pool salt water complex with free access all year around. Taylor Park is the main playing field in the town hosting cricket matches. The Entrance beach has one of the oldest surf clubs in the region, housed in a art deco building overlooking the beach. The Entrance Skate Park at Picnic Point allows free access to a purpose built skate board area. The Entrance Cycle & Walking track, is a concrete path starting in at Picnic Point allowing for off road cycling alongside the lake. Fishing and boat ramp facilities are located at Picnic Point. The Entrance Memorial Park is located at the heart of the town and features a band stand with stunning views across the channel and lake. The park is home to the town Christmas tree, festooned with coloured lights every December.

1st Tuggerah Lakes Scout Group is the local Scout Troop. Established in 1932, they have a rich history and tradition of supporting children and young people in the town. They have a large, modern, group headquarters located in Baden-Powell reserve.

The Entrance District Cricket Club, founded in 1912, has become an extremely strong force in Central Coast cricket, both on and off the field. The development of juniors which commenced in the 1970s, the business-like approach of the club’s administration including corporate sponsorship, the coaching programs and the ability of the club to have the right mix of youth and experience on the playing field, have combined to see the club take out premierships throughout the grades as well as being Club Champions on a number of occasions.

Church Services[edit]

Churches in the town provide services to Catholic (Our Lady of the Rosary), Anglican (All Saints), Uniting, and Presbyterian (St. Andrew's) faiths.


Within The Entrance town there is a one state public primary school, The Entrance Public School. It is a K-6 school, having been established in November 1915 with an enrollment of 10 students. Previously a split site school, with the infants located on Oakland Avenue, it has been amalgamated into a single site with new buildings since the early 2000s. The school covers the district from North Entrance to Shelly Beach. The school colours are yellow and green, with a motto of "Onward & Upward". The school includes students who would have previously been educated at The Entrance North Public School (TEN PS), which was closed in the 1989 due to low enrollments. The school colours were red and white.

Glenvale Special School is located at The Entrance North, on the former grounds of TEN PS. It is a dual campus school, with a main campus at Narara near Gosford. The school colours are blue and white.

The Entrance High School was opened in 1970 and is located at Shelly Beach. The school colours were red and green. It has since become the senior campus for Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College.

Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School was located within the church grounds from 1952 until the 1990s. The school was a split site school from the 1970s when the infants school, "The Little School", was located on Shelly Beach road. The sites switched in 1987 with the primary school moving to Shelly Beach and the little school moving to the church grounds at The Entrance. The school is now located K-6 at Shelly Beach as a function of The Entrance Parish. The school colours are blue and gold.

St. Peter's Catholic College is the parish secondary 7-12 school for Our Lady of the Rosary. It is located in Tuggerah. The school colours are red, green, and blue. Two of the main people who actively pursued the creation of the school were Father Reynolds (PP 1953-1980) and Father Brogan (PP 1979 - 1990s), Parish Priests at OLR The Entrance for many years.


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "The Entrance (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "". Waldorf Apartment Hotel: The Entrance. Retrieved 2006-09-11. 
  3. ^ a b "". Who Found Tuggerah Lake?. Retrieved 2006-07-18. 
  4. ^ Pratt, Eileen (1978) Place Names of the Central Coast. Brisbane Water Historical Society and The Entrance and District Society. p49
  5. ^ "". The Taylors Come To Town. Retrieved 2006-07-25. 
  6. ^ a b c "". Sign Posts To History. Retrieved 22 August 2006. 
  7. ^ "The Entrance". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "". Australian Heritage Council - Australia's Transport and Communications 1788-1970 (Chapter 5: The Railway Age, 1874-1970). Retrieved 4 October 2006. 
  9. ^ Stinson, Edward. A Pictorial History of the Wyong Shire: Volume 1 1979. Wyong Shire Council. ISBN 0-9595599-0-6. Page 142.
  10. ^ "". Tourism. Retrieved 2006-08-21. 
  11. ^ "". Holiday Cottages. Retrieved 2006-08-21. 
  12. ^ Stinson, Edward. A Pictorial History of the Wyong Shire: Volume 1 1979. Wyong Shire Council. ISBN 0-9595599-0-6. Page 29.
  13. ^ "". Historical Sites. Retrieved 2006-08-22. 
  14. ^ Pry, Kathryn. Fenton, Joan. History of Wyong Shire: 1947-1997 1997. Wyong Shire Council. ISBN 0-9587443-0-0. Page 113-114.
  15. ^ "". Bus Route Index. Archived from the original on 2006-08-21. Retrieved 2006-09-12. 
  16. ^ Pry, Kathryn. Fenton, Joan. History of Wyong Shire: 1947-1997 1997. Wyong Shire Council. ISBN 0-9587443-0-0. Page 221.
  17. ^ "". Da Vinci Code Banned Already. Retrieved 2006-07-04. 
  18. ^ Callaghan, Paul (2 November 2006). "Why these tourism stars deserve tough love". The Central Coast Sun Weekly (Newcastle Newspapers). pp. 1–2. 
  19. ^ "". Shopping. Retrieved 2006-09-12. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Edward Stinson (September 1980). A Pictorial History of the Wyong Shire: Volume 2. Wyong Shire. ISBN 0-9595599-1-4. 
  • Edward Stinson (1994). A Pictorial History of the Wyong Shire: Volume 3 (second edition). Wyong Shire. ISBN 0-9595599-3-0. 
  • Edward Stinson (May 1983). A Pictorial History of the Wyong Shire: Volume 4. Wyong Shire. ISBN 0-9595599-4-9. 
  • Edward Stinson (October 1984). A Pictorial History of the Wyong Shire: Volume 5. Wyong Shire. ISBN 0-9595599-5-7. 
  • Edward Stinson (April 1988). A Pictorial History of the Wyong Shire: Volume 6. Wyong Shire. ISBN 0-9599520-2-0.