Strickland State Forest is the ecotourism gem of the Central Coast. Entry is at the top of Mangrove Road, Somersby. For a small day-use forest (293 square kilometres), Strickland contains an impressive diversity of flora and fauna: wildflowers, heath woodland, tall eucalypts and lush rainforest. Strickland was the site of the first government forest nursery (1886 - 1890) and national forestry training school (1920 - 1927). Remnants of native and exotic tree plantings established during those times, known as an arboretum, are among the oldest in Australia.
Picnic facilities are set in dry eucalypt forest and include picnic tables, a large all-weather shelter, fireplaces and toilets. Extensive and well-built walking trails feature cabbage tree palms, rainforest vegetation and meander through the arboretum. Strickland State Forest offers a tranquil and unique Australian forest experience.
Strickland State Forest is in the Hunter Central Coast Tourism Hall of Fame for ecotourism, having won gold three years running.