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Mount Ettalong Lookout: Experience The Best Views Over The Central Coast

mount ettalong lookout pearl beach
Photo by Wander. ©

Discover the stunning views of Pearl Beach and Umina from Mount Ettalong Lookout

If you’re looking for a breathtaking view of the Central Coast of New South Wales, Mount Ettalong Lookout in Pearl Beach is a must-visit destination. It provides some of the most spectacular views of the over Umina Beach and Pearl Beach.

The scenic lookout offers panoramic views of the surrounding area and is an ideal spot to snap some Instagram-worthy photos. Some other areas that can be seen from the lookout are Lion Island, Box Head, Brisbane Water National Park and Bouddi National Park.

The lookout was originally used as a fire lookout in the early 1900’s, where a tower at the summit was used to help detect fires in the surrounding bushland. The tower has since been removed, but the lookout remains a popular place to visit for locals and tourists.

Mount Ettalong Walking Trail

The Mount Ettalong walking trail is approximately 1.4km long. There is one main trail that extends the entire length of the mountain and heads to the top lookout and another main lookout. Both of the viewing platform provide great views from different angles.

There are some smaller unfenced areas in between which offer amazing opportunities to soak in the view and take some stunning photos. The trail is conveniently marked with ‘lookout’ signs along the way.

With the walk being just over a 1km round trip and only gentle hills, it’s a lovely short walk and an easy track to tackle with children. There are a few unfenced views along the way, so it’s always best to be careful around any unfenced viewpoints with young children.

There are a few tracks that lead to the lookout, so if you’re into hiking or would prefer a longer walk, it’s worthwhile checking out the Patonga to Pearl Beach walking trail.

Pearl Beach Lookout

The Pearl Beach lookout provides great views towards the south over Pearl Beach. It’s such an enjoyable experience sitting on the large sandstone boulder rock platform and watching the waves below.

Each time we have visited, we’ve noticed the waves have always had a similar pattern where they look like they’re churning, similar to a washing machine – it’s mesmerising to watch, especially later in the afternoon as the sun begins to set.

From the Pearl Beach lookout, you’re able to see Lion Island. On a clear day, you are able to see distant views of Sydney and Barrenjoey Lighthouse. It’s an amazing spot to visit during sunset or late afternoon.

Looking out towards the south pacific ocean
Photo by Luke Brown

Mount Ettalong Lookout

The lookout is a fenced lookout with views over Umina Beach and Ettalong. From this viewing platform, you’re able to see out towards Box Head and Bouddi National Park. This is lookout is found at the eastern end of Mount Ettalong.

At the top there is a metal compass plaque that shows the distance to other major landmarks.

Best time to visit

The walk up to Mt Ettalong lookout is just over a 1km round trip and is a mostly shaded walk, which offers great protection on a hot and sunny day. This makes walking up there in hot weather bearable, which means it’s suitable to tackle at any time of the year.

It is particularly stunning to see the sunset over Pearl Beach from the lookout, so our recommendation would be to go later in the day if you are able to. The lookout is open at all times so viewing early morning is also possible.

a lovely short walk takes you to some fantastic fenced lookout platforms

Getting there

The Mount Ettalong Lookout is located in the Brisbane Water National Park, about a two-hour drive north of Sydney. It is easily accessible via car, and there is ample parking available near the lookout.

If heading from Umina Beach, follow Mount Ettalong Road around the hairpin bend and onto Patonga Drive. A few hundred metres from the hairpin corner, you’ll notice a large water tank on the left-hand side (If you get to Pearl Beach Dr you’ve gone too far).

Patonga drive pearl beach
Photo by Joel Henry

There is a car park located near the large water tank. From there you are able to follow the trail to the top of Mt Ettalong lookout.

It’s also not too far to carry some supplies from the car and enjoy a picnic, either at a picnic table along the way or setting up a picnic rug at some of the unfenced lookouts.

Proposed Development

In 2020, the Central Coast Council put together a master plan to improve Mount Ettalong lookout. Their goal is to make the area more appealing and safer for the public to visit.

In recent years, the fenced lookouts have been closed due to safety issues. The master plan suggests that the Council are proposing they build a safer viewing platform.

Any of these proposed works will make the walk even more appealing for the community, so we hope this is something that comes to fruition to make the area safer for those visiting. To our knowledge, any proposed works are yet to commence.

You can find the plans here: Mt Ettalong Masterplan.

You can access an Interactive Map of the proposed improvements here: Central Coast Council Interactive Map – Ettalong Reserve

The walk leads passed a number of fenced and unfenced lookouts

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