Central Coast (New South Wales)
The Central Coast is a peri-urban region in the Australian state of New South Wales, located on the coast north of Sydney and south of Lake Macquarie.
The region is a network of towns that have been linked in recent years by expanding suburban development. The main urban cluster of the region surrounds the northern shore of Brisbane Water and includes the Coast's largest population centre, Gosford, stretching east to the retail centre of Erina. Other major commercial "centres" on the Coast are Wyong, Tuggerah, Lakehaven, The Entrance, Terrigal, and Woy Woy. Large numbers of people who live in the southern part of the region commute daily to work in Sydney. The Central Coast is also a popular tourist destination, and a popular area for retirement. As a result, the cultural identity of the region is distinct from that of the large and diverse metropolis of Sydney as well as the Hunter region, with its mining, heavy industry and port.
The region has been inhabited for thousands of years by aboriginal people. The local Guringai and Darkinjung people were some of the very first aboriginal people to come in contact with the British settlers. Indeed an aboriginal man from the region named Bungaree became one of the most prominent people of the early settlement of NSW. He was one of the first aboriginal people to learn English and befriended the early governors Phillip, King & Macquarie. Macquarie later declared Bungaree "The King of the Broken Bay Tribes". Post settlement decease and disruption reduced the numbers of tribespeople. In 1811, the Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie gave the first land grant in the region to William Nash, an ex-Marine of the First Fleet. No further grants were made in the area until 1821.