Avoca Beach is a coastal suburb of the Central Coast region of New South Wales, Australia, about 95 kilometres (59 mi) north of Sydney. Avoca Beach is primarily a residential suburb, which is now often considered part of the Greater Sydney area, but also a popular tourist destination. Avoca Beach village has a variety of restaurants and cafes as well as a post office, newsagent, pharmacy and mini-mart. Avoca Beach also has a historic cinema, a hotel, bowling club, motel and caravan park. It is located within the Central Coast Councillocal government area.
Avoca Beach is located on the Tasman Sea 17 kilometres (11 mi) east-southeast of the Gosfordcentral business district, and about halfway between Newcastle and Sydney, being about 95 kilometres (59 mi) from each. It is bordered to the north by the Bulbararing Lagoon, to the west by Saltwater Creek and to the east by the ocean.
On 4 January 1830, 640 acres (259 ha) of land in the area were promised to Irish army officer John Moore. However, the official deeds were not issued until 30 September 1839, due to the difficulty in surveying the land. He built a house opposite Bulbararing Lake (now known as Avoca Lake) and planted vines, cereals and fruit trees. He left the area in 1857 for the Victorian goldfields. In the late 19th century, Tom Davis leased the area in order to exploit local timber, which was transported by tram to a mill at Terrigal via what is now Tramway Road in North Avoca.
Avoca Beach in the 1950s
In the 1950s, commercial buildings began to be built and populated, including bakery, service station, butchery, mini mart, caravan park and the Avoca Beach Picture Theatre.
Residential development in Avoca Beach began during the 20th century, and the area subsequently became a popular holiday retreat with wealthy residents of Sydney's North Shore.
In February 2010, following the proposal to scuttle the frigate HMAS Adelaide off the beach as a dive wreck in late March, a resident action group was formed to protest against this. The group claims that the wreck will negatively affect surf conditions, tides, and littoral sand drift, and is concerned over the thoroughness of inspection and removal of dangerous materials and chemicals from the former warship, with the chance that marine life and people could be poisoned. An appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal three days before the planned scuttling date of 27 March led to a postponement of the plan until the residents' claims were investigated. The decision from the Tribunal, in favor of the project going ahead after further cleanup work, was handed down on 15 September 2010, and despite further attempts to delay, Adelaide was scuttled on 13 April 2011.
At the ABS2016 census, Avoca Beach had a population of 4,584 people. 76.4% of people were born in Australia. The next most common country of birth was England at 8.9%. 90.9% of people only spoke English at home. The most common responses for religion in Avoca Beach were No Religion 34.0%, Catholic 22.5% and Anglican 19.9%.
Avoca Beach residents had a median age of 41, compared with the median of 42 for the Central Coast local government area. Median individual incomes in Avoca Beach were above average for the region — $764 per week compared with $600 per week. The 2016 Census reported 1,527 occupied private dwellings, of which 83.3% were separate houses, and the median monthly housing loan repayment of $2,167 was well above the regional average of $1,750.
In 2020, Avoca Beach's median house price was $1,150,000 versus $940,000 for the Central Coast region. In 2008, Avoca Beach was listed as the fourth most expensive place to live in New South Wales, and the sixteenth most expensive in Australia, based on the sale of units that year.