Only five weeks after Governor Phillip and a party of officers established a settlement at Sydney Cove, they travelled north and made the first colonial observations of the area we now know as Gosford. Phillip was impressed by the dramatic natural landscape he encountered, writing that it was “rocky and . . . covered in timber; [with] large trees which grow on the summits of mountains.” Given that these observations were made over 200 years ago, it’s remarkable that they still hold true. The fact that much of Gosford’s natural landscape remains intact is due to the relatively slow pace of development that occurred in the colonial period. Early settlers found it difficult to access the area, and it was not until the 1820s that a colonial settlement was successfully established. Gradually, the market gardening and forestry industries grew, as did the local population. The consolidation of Gosford occurred in 1887; the opening of the rail line between Gosford and Sydney led to a surge in local development. Today, Gosford is one of the administrative, retail and commercial hubs of the Central Coast. What makes it so special is the fact that the sandstone gorges, wooded valleys, and expansive waterways that caught Phillip’s eye can still be seen.
Real Estate & Design
Gosford’s centre has grown substantially in recent years and it now offers a great range of units. Many apartments have been recently constructed and offer excellent views over Gosford’s waterways. Good-value properties are not limited to the suburb’s apartments: Gosford also offers villas and townhouses. Although they are increasingly hard to find, there are still some freestanding houses in the suburb which are ideal for families.
Restaurants and Cafés
Gosford offers a great range of cafés and restaurants. Its retail district is home to many of them, with numerous cafés and takeaway outlets located in the food court in the Imperial Mall. A number of cuisines are represented, including casual Indian, Thai, Chinese, Italian and Lebanese restaurants. Great casual dining is on offer locally. The Central Coast Leagues Club offers patrons an amazing set of dining choices: the club has a fabulous Tepanyaki restaurant, and elsewhere you can still get a great roast. Iguana Joe’s Bar and Restaurant in neighbouring East Gosford offers food with views.
Sport, Fitness and Recreation
Gosford must boast one of the highest ratios of parks to people on the East Coast. Both Rumbalara and Katandra Reserve offer locals huge green spaces. The landscape in both reserves is dramatic - Katandra Reserve in particular is characterised by plunging sandstone rockfaces and tall stands of trees. Together, these reserves give locals great places to walk, run and cycle. Of course, there’s no shortage of water in Gosford either. The magnificent waterways of the Central Coast provide residents with incredible opportunities for sailing, canoeing and kayaking, and Gosford boasts its own large deepwater double boat ramp. Swimmers and surfers are also spoilt for choice: the Central Coast is defined by its great beaches, many of which are a short drive from Gosford’s CBD. Gosford is also home to teams in both the national football (soccer) and rugby competitions, with the Bluetongue Stadium now home to the Central Coast Mariners. Those of us who aren’t quite eligible for a spot on the Mariner’s benches need not despair. Netball, basketball, cricket, tennis, rugby and athletics are all played widely within the Central Coast, and competitions often cater for children as well as adults
Some of city’s remaining colonial buildings are located in Gosford City, which is bound by Presidents Hill, Rumbalara Reserve, Mann Street and the waterfront. Local historians have established a walking tour which highlights those buildings that remain from the colonial period, and also points out the location of those that once stood here.
In addition to being one of the key administrative centres of the Central Coast, Gosford offers some of the region’s handiest shopping precincts. Residents of Gosford are really spoilt by the convenience of the shopping on hand; Gosford provides a post office, newsagencies, pharmacies, grocery stores, DVD/video stores, supermarkets, butchers and bakeries. Large retail centres are also located here, including the Imperial Centre Mall and Gosford Town Shopping Centre. And let’s not forget the boutiques and specialty stores located in the William Street Mall.
Schools, Education & Institutions
Gosford is home to many of families with school aged children and a wide range of childcare and educational services are available. Several long daycare centres and preschools cater to the under-fives, including the Gosford Cubbyhouse Occasional and Long Day Care Centre and the Gosford Community Childcare Centre. Gosford is also home to a well-regarded primary school, Gosford Public. Located on Mann Street, the school boasts after-care facilities. Secondary students are extremely well-catered for. Gosford High School - the region’s only selective school - is located on Racecourse Road. Henry Kendall High on Faunce Street is one of the Central Coast’s largest secondary schools and also offers a curriculum from year seven to 12. Neigbouring Gosford is also home to a number of private secondary schools. Locals also have excellent access to tertiary education; Gosford is home to one of the Central Coast campuses of the Hunter Institute of TAFE, with the other at nearby Ourimbah. The University of Newcastle also has a campus at Ourimbah.
Distance from the CBD & Transport
Residents of Gosford - obviously - have the central business district in their doorstep. In addition, they also enjoy excellent access to suburbs located in the Central Coast. Gosford is home to a rail way station which is on CityRail’s Sydney – Newcastle rail line. This service provides access to locations along the Central Coast with stations located at Woy Woy, Koolewong, Tascott, Point Clare, Narara, Niagara Park, Lisarow, Ourimbah, Tuggerah, Wyong and Warnervale. This line also provides regular services to Newcastle, which is 90 kilometres to the north and Sydney, which is 80 kilometres to the south. A number of private bus companies also operate routes in and around Gosford. Both Busways and Red Bus provide links from Gosford to neighbouring suburbs and beyond.