Wyong has several old buildings dating back to the 1890s and 1900s but the oldest house in the shire is Alison Homestead. Charles Alison settled in the area in the 1870s. He built the homestead in 1875 and extended it when he married the grand daughter of Blue Mountains explorer, William Cox. The property passed out of the family in the 1890s and was used for market gardening between 1898 and the 1970s.
The house, its old well and outbuildings are in reasonable condition. It is now an historical museum set amidst two hectares of lawns and gardens where there are picnic facilities. There is a guided tour through the seven rooms which are full of historical displays, including kerosene-powered toasters and irons, an Edison cylinder phonograph, dictographs, a 1922 washing machine and an interesting collection of old radios and telephones.
The museum is located at 51 Cape Rd in West Wyong. Look for the old fire engine on the lawn. The two enormous 1.5-ton anchors nearby were from the Suffolk, wrecked on Tuggerah Beach during a storm in 1859. The museum is open Wednesdays, weekends and public holidays from 12.00 - 4.00 p.m., contact (02) 4352 1886.
Woodburys Inn Park.
Continue west along Alison Rd. 900 m from Cape Rd is a pleasant section of parkland by the Wyong River with picnic and barbecue facilities. A cairn with a plaque explains:
Woodbury's Inn was established on this site about 1866 by Matthew James Woodbury as a private residence with accommodation for travellers using the Old Maitland Rd. It had a liquor license. The first known Catholic Church services in the district were held at the Inn, which was also the first post office in the area. After the town of Wyong came into being with the opening of the railway line in 1887 it was closed as an inn and became a private residence only for about the next seventy years. Because of its decayed and dilapidated condition it was demolished on 7-1-1978.
The Macadamia Nut Plantation
Continue westwards. The area between West Wyong and Yarramalong is characterised by studs and turf farms. At 1253 Yarramalong Rd, 6.4 km from the Wyong School, is a signposted turnoff (to the right) into the driveway of The Macadamia Nut Plantation. It is a short drive through this rather beautiful property to the office where there are nuts and a few other products for sale. They are open every day but Monday, contact (02) 4356 1170.
The Basin and Watagan State Forests
The Basin Camping Area within the Watagan State Forests. There are two outstanding walking trails from the site, the Rock Lily Trail (1.5 km) and the Lyrebird Trail (8 km). Walkers Ridge Rd ultimately runs into Watagan Forest Rd, a major artery for exploring the Watagans.
Koolang Observatory offers a walk-through, a 45-minute short day program and a longer two-hour session which is run both in the day and at night. Prices are reasonable and programs for school groups are a specialty.
Koolang has the largest privately owned public-viewing telescope in Australia. The sun can be studied in the day time though there is, of course, far more to see at night, if the weather is good. There are models, video displays and explanatory talks accompanying the two longer sessions concerning the solar system and astronomic technology.
The observatory can be opened at any time for groups if bookings are prearranged. Standard visiting hours are from 12.00 - 5.00 p.m. daily and most nights, contact (02) 4998 8216.
Within Wyong itself there is a lookout in a bush setting at Chapmans Hill. Turn west off the highway at the southern end of Apex Park, into North Rd, turn right into William St and left at its end into Crystal Crescent. This leads to lookout. The view from this site is partially obscured by trees and the trail leads to a higher spot where there is a survey trig and a better viewing position.
South of Tacoma is a promontory known as Chittaway Point which spans both sides of Ourimbah Creek as it makes its way out to the lake. It also has good views over the lake. Head south along the highway for 3 km to Tuggerah, turn left at the roundabout into Wyong Rd then left into Geoffrey Rd which leads you out to the point. There is a pleasant little park by the creekside at the end of Sunshine Ave (a short side-street to the right).
Proceed out to the end of the point. There are good views east to The Entrance, north-west to Tacoma and north over Tuggerah and Budgewoi Lakes to the stacks of Munmorah Power Station.
Smokey Mountain and Grizzley Flats Steam Railroad
Smokey Mountain and Grizzley Flats Steam Railroad offers a half-hour ride through 4 km of bushland along a 300-mm track. It is located at Mountain Rd, Warnervale, some 12 km north by road and is open on the first and last Sundays of the month and on most public holidays, from 11.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. They are closed from November-December. Contact (02) 4392 7644 for the NSW school holidays schedule.
The area west of Wyong has a number of horseriding establishments. There are two on Yarramalong Rd: The Marena Stud and Riding Academy, contact (02) 4352 1707 and (at no. 1311) Springfield Trails which has escorted rides through the state forests of the Watagan Mountains. Bookings are essential, contact (02) 4356 1148. Just beyond the Yarramalong shops Burning Creek Rd runs off to the left from Yarramalong Rd and there you will find Yarradene Lodge, contact (02) 4356 1155. Breckenridge Stables is located at 941 Dooralong Rd, contact (02) 4351 1285.
Great North Walk
The area west of Wrong is part of the route of the 250-km Great North Walk from Sydney to Newcastle, a 14-day walk taking in a wide range of environments and attractions, both natural and man-made. It can be broken down into smaller subsections. For more information contact the Dept of Lands on (02) 9228 6111.
Tours and Services
A number of operators will pick up clients from their homes, though this may depend upon whether there are sufficient numbers. Central Coast Kayak Tours will pick people up from most Central Coast train stations (there is also a daily coach service from Sydney), contact (02) 4381 0342. Meals are provided and no experience is necessary. Aeroflite offer scenic flights over the Central Coast for up to seven passengers, as well as charter flights. They depart from Warnervale aerodrome, just north of Wyong, contact (02) 4392 4199.
Alcheringa Tours at 20 Sierra Crescent, East Gosford, offer tours for small groups of varying duration into the local caves and national parks, contact (02) 4325 5966. It's Easy Tours organise luxury coach holidays with day tours of the Central Coast and out to Wisemans Ferry, contact (02) 4340 1037. Fresh Tracks Safaris specialise in 4WD tours of the Central Coast, the Hunter Vineyards and Aboriginal sites, contact (02) 4385 3024. Blunsdon Day Tours and Charters run mini-coach day tours around the Central Coast and other areas. They will pick you up by arrangement, contact (02) 4328 1317.