Avoca Beach (including Copacabana) Popular holiday resort and surfing destination on the Central Coast Located 95 km north of Sydney via the Newcastle Freeway, Avoca Beach is a popular holiday resort and surfing area towards the southern end of a continuous stretch of residential Avoca Beach coastline from MacMasters Beach in the south to The Entrance in the north. In recent times the Avoca Beach area has become a popular holiday retreat for the wealthy residents of Sydney's North Shore. Its wooded hills and quietness (it is on a road which does not go anywhere) is seen as ideal for family holidays and outings where the emphasis is on beach activities. Once occupied by the Awabakal Aborigines the first European land grant in the vicinity was that of Irish army officer John Moore, who had left his homeland under a cloud. He received a 640-acre grant in 1830 which he called Avoca and he built a house on a ridge overlooking Avoca Lake, just to the west of the beach. He planted cereals, fruit and grapes. In 1836 he was charged with cattle theft but was acquitted. He journeyed to the goldfields in the 1850s and, while he was away, his house burned down. Tom Davis leased the whole of Avoca in the late 19th century in order to exploit the timber. He transported the logs via tram to the mill at Terrigal. Tramway Rd in North Avoca follows part of the old route. Things to see: Avoca Beach Avoca Beach is a lengthy, pleasant and popular beach enclosed at either end by rocky headlands. It is considered a major surfing beach though the surf at the northern end is considered to be for the more experienced. There is a surf lifesaving club. The beach is also ideal for fishing and its length makes it Avoca Beach from North Avoca good for beach walking and exercise. Avoca Lake Just behind the beach is Avoca Lake, which is quite large and essentially in two sections, separated by the Avoca Drive bridge. A narrow arm extends south of the bridge while, on the northern side it spreads out to the west, the north and east to the beach. Bareena Island sits in the middle. North Avoca lies to the north and east of this northern section of the lake. On the eastern side of the bridge is J.F. Hazlett Park which is a pleasant spot for a picnic or barbecue. Copacabana Beach Turn off Avoca Drive into Cape Three Points Rd and follow it south until it winds into Copacabana Drive. As it bends to the right turn left into Pampas St then left into Simone Place which runs along the length of Copacabana Beach, another popular surfing and holiday beach which is patrolled. Captain Cook Lookout Follow Simone Place north along the beachfront then take the road to the right (Del Monte Place) which leads up the steep headland known as First Point. A signposted side road leads to the carpark for the Captain Cook Lookout which lies at the end of a short path. A cairn bears a plaque which MacMaster's Beach explains that, when offshore in 1770, Cook, looking south along the coastline, found it distinguished by three prominent headlands which he named, imaginatively, First Point, Second Point (Mourawaring Point at the southern end of MacMasters Beach) and Third Point (Bombi Point south of Little Beach). The three are readily discernible from the lookout which is one of the best on the coast. Not only are the views to the south excellent but it is possible to look north beyond Avoca Beach to the oddly shaped headland known as The Skillion at Terrigal. Cockrone Lagoon and MacMasters Beach Cockrone Lagoon lies just behind the beach. A pleasant family spot for a swim or paddle its eastern neck almost reaches to the beach and then expands westwards effectively dividing the hinterland in two. Thus while it is Looking across Cockrane Lagoon possible to walk all the way along the towards Copacobana from MacMaster's Beach beach, to circumvent the lagoon and access the southern residential section it is necessary to return to the top of Copacabana Drive, turn left into Cullens Rd, follow it west for over 4 km into Kincumber and then turn into The Scenic Rd, heading south-east for 4 km. Hence the southern section has been given a separate title - MacMasters Beach . Avoca Art Gallery If you are heading towards Kincumber you may wish to stop in at Avoca Art Gallery. It is just over a kilometre west of the roundabout, along Avoca Drive, to the right. They are open from Thursdays to Sundays, 11-6 and every day in the school holidays, contact (02) 4368 2017.