Wyong

Wyong (including Warnervale, Yarramalong, Kulnura, Bucketty, Jilliby and Dooralong)
Major service centre on the Central Coast
Wyong is located 92 km north of Sydney, 19 km north of Gosford and 12 m above sea-level. It is the administrative centre of Wyong Shire and, as such, a good base for an exploration of Tuggerah Lake (5 km west) and of the beautiful Yarramalong Valley to the west.

Wyong is an indigenous word said to mean either an edible yam or 'place of running water'. The inhabitants prior to European colonisation were reputedly the Darkinjang tribe, a subgroup of the Broken Bay tribe. They occupied the area from Wollombi and Putty in the west, south to the Hawkesbury and east to the coast including the areas around Brisbane Water and Tuggerah Lakes. They camped at Tacoma and in the Yarramalong Valley. By 1860, only two were left at Yarramalong and both were dead by 1870. The last Aborigine to frequent Tuggerah Lake on his bark canoe was Billy Fawkner who died in 1875.

The first European settler in the area was William Cape who received a 1000-acre grant in 1825, bordering on Jilliby Creek to the west. The headmaster of Sydney Public School he was assigned a convict to do the heavy work on the property. Each of his two sons received grants nearby and one of those properties, on the future townsite, was named Wyong Hill or Wyong Place. Cape was an unpopular man who was ultimately shot by Aborigines.

Timbergetters were drawn to the Yarramalong and Dooralong Valleys by the stands of cedar. Indeed, Yarramalong is said to mean 'place of cedar'. Getting the timber to Sydney proved difficult.

As traffic increased between Gosford and Maitland, Matthew Oldbury opened an inn at Wyong Creek crossing. Settlement really got under way along Wyong Creek in the 1850s with the sale of small allotments which attracted small farmers. The first school opened at Wyong Creek in 1883.

However it was the completion of the Sydney to Newcastle railway in 1889 which really started significant expansion and development. As a result of the new line The Royal Hotel was established and the first post office was opened.

The railway also enabled the growth of the timber industry with an immense demand for railway sleepers and the transportation to ship it. Resorts began to emerge around Tuggerah Lake from the turn of the century, with buses and ferry services and daily access via Wyong which became the commercial and administrative centre of the area.

Subdivision occurred in the 1920s and 1930s as people took up land that was cheaper than that at Sydney or Newcastle and built weekenders.

After World War II, retirees began to settle in Wyong. The opening of the freeway in the 1960s and the electrification of the line contributed to the growth of a large commuter community. Wyong Shire was created in 1947.

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Things to see:

Alison Homestead
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
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.

Lookout
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.

Chittaway Point
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.

Horseriding
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.

Central Coast Motel
Cnr Pacific Hwy & Cutler Dve
Wyong NSW 2259
Telephone: (02) 4353 2911
Facsimile: (02) 4352 1975
Rating: ***

Royal Hotel
Pacific Hwy
Wyong NSW 2259
Telephone: (02) 4352 1012

The Dam Hotel/Motel
Cnr Pacific Hwy & Minnesota Rd
Wyong NSW 2259
Telephone: (02) 4392 3333
Rating: **

The Grand Hotel
110 Pacific Hwy
Wyong NSW 2259
Telephone: (02) 4352 1508

Dooralong Lodge Resort
941 Dooralong Rd
Wyong NSW 2259
Telephone: (02) 4351 2611, 1800 025 635

Warners Lodge Guesthouse
Boyce Ave
Wyong NSW 2259
Telephone: (02) 4352 1161

Central Coast Mobile Village
Cutler Dve
Wyong NSW 2259
Telephone: (02) 4351 2773

Homeland Caravan Park
Johns Rd Wyong North
Wyong NSW 2259
Telephone: (02) 4352 1874

Meander Van Village
18 Boyce Ave
Wyong NSW 2259
Telephone: (02) 4352 1371

Jilliby's Restaurant
Dooralong Lodge 941 Dooralong Rd
Wyong NSW 2259
Telephone: (02) 4351 2611

Ru's Chinese Rendevouz
120 Railway St
Wyong NSW 2259
Telephone: (02) 4353 2494

The International Brasserie
Wyong Golf Club Pacific Hwy
Wyong NSW 2259
Telephone: (02) 4352 1999

Wan Wah Chinese Restaurant
44 Pacific Hwy
Wyong NSW 2259
Telephone: (02) 4352 2191

Wyong Coffee Lounge
313 Wyong Plaza
Wyong NSW 2259
Telephone: (02) 4351 1196

Wyong District Rugby League Football Club Dining Room
Arizona Rd
Wyong NSW 2259
Telephone: (02) 4392 2938

Wyong Golf Club Restaurant
Pacific Hwy
Wyong NSW 2259
Telephone: (02) 4352 1999

A La Carte-Cafe
9 Alison Rd
Wyong NSW 2259
Telephone: (02) 4352 1849

Rainbow Cafe
108 Pacific Hwy
Wyong NSW 2259
Telephone: (02) 4352 1560

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