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North Coast

Highlights

North Coast beaches

Whether you love body-surfing or serious wave riding, swimming in safe, shallow waters or long beach walks, the beaches of the North Coast are just about perfect. This is the most accessible coastline in Australia, with national parks, nature reserves and headland lookouts.

Must Do

About the North Coast

On the scenic North Coast of NSW, you'll discover a hinterland of lush river valleys and a coastline of sparkling uncrowded beaches that are easy to get to along the Legendary Pacific Coast touring route. The North Coast has some of the best, and most well known, beaches in Australia at Byron Bay, Lennox Head, the Mid North Coast with Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie, Port Stephens and Newcastle.

North Coast holiday choices are many and varied. You can tackle the vast sand dunes of Stockton Beach, north of Newcastle, by 4WD or go scuba diving at Solitary Islands Marine Park, off the coast at Coffs Harbour. Hiking through forests, thousands of years old, in World Heritage-listed Dorrigo National Park is a real adventure as is being part of the alternative vibe at famed Channon markets on the scenic, meandering drive to Lismore.

Whale watching is also popular at many locations along the North Coast. During their northern migration, most whales come within 3 km of the NSW coast so you can see them from headlands and lookouts in national parks. Some popular spots on the North Coast are Cape Byron State Conservation Area, Bundjalung National Park (Iluka Bluff), Yuraygir National Park (Angourie Point), Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve (Coffs Harbour), Hat Head National Park (Smoky Head), Tomaree National Park (Tomaree Head at Port Stephens) and Wyrrabalong National Park (Crackneck Lookout).

Whale-watching tours are also popular on the North Coast. You'll find a wide range of tours on offer from Byron Bay whale watching, Coffs Harbour and Port Stephens. Most humpback whales in NSW waters are actively migrating so there are strict guidelines about disturbance by vessels that could affect the animals. Humpback whales and southern right whales migrate along the NSW coastline throughout June and in the first week of July, and return southwards from around September to November.

Local areas

  • Ballina Area The laid back towns of Ballina and Lennox Head have great beaches, famous waves, cafes, cycle ways and more.
  • Byron Bay Area Lush hinterland, sparkling beaches, popular beach culture, great shopping and lively events calendar.
  • Clarence Coast Grafton is on the banks of Clarence River with endless outdoor adventures and great surfing beaches.
  • Coffs Harbour Area Adventure sports, world-class golf courses, art galleries,cafés, & plenty of exciting events.
  • Forster & Taree Area With superb beaches, the Manning River and Great Lakes, this region is dominated by water sports.
  • Kempsey Area This historic river town is close to national parks and majestic beaches such as Crescent Head.
  • Lake Macquarie Area Linking the lake, beaches and mountains are more than 90 villages, with great surfing and heritage towns
  • Lismore Area Famous for its World Heritage-listed rainforests and national parks, alternative lifestyle and festivals
  • Newcastle Area A vibrant cosmopolitan city perched between a working harbour and beautiful beaches.
  • Port Macquarie Area The Hastings River flows into the Port Macquarie sea, national parks'region,surf beaches,coastline.
  • Port Stephens Area Golden beaches, a beautiful bay and plenty to do; surfing,kayaking, bushwalking, and dolphin-watch cruises.
  • The Tweed Area Enjoy a beautiful coastline and sub tropical climate, stunning resorts and great dining in style.

Explore North Coast

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