North Coast beaches

The NSW North Coast presents an idylic stretch of beautiful rugged coastline, thriving surf culture and a hinterland boasting the world's largest expanse of subtropical rainforest.

  • Tallows Beach, Byron Bay
  • Town Beach, Port Macquarie

Best beach holiday on the North Coast

Belongil Beach

Stretching from Newcastle to Byron Bay, encompassing fantastic headland and some of the best surfing and swimming beaches in the country, including BallinaLennox Head, and Angourie Beach, the NSW North Coast is the perfect spot for holidaymakers and adventure seekers. Accessible via the Legendary Pacific Coast Drive, the North Coast offers prime surfing and swimming conditions for all abilities.

Several of the beaches in the area became popular for their Aussie surf counter-culture in the 1960s and still maintain their iconic status. Check out the spectacular coastline of Pacific Palms, a lush, eucalypt-forested area bordered by Boomerang Beach and Blueys Beach, two of the NSW North Coast's top surf beaches. Visit Main Beach at Byron Bay for white sand, patrolled swimming areas in summer and top surfing conditions.

The waves at Lennox Head are consistently ranked amongst the country’s best for experienced surfers. Declared a National Surfing Reserve in 2007 and stretching over 7.2 km, the right-hand point-break at Lennox Head is one of Australia’s most famous waves. Other surfing highlights include Broken Head, Angourie Beach and The Pass at Byron Bay. Former world champion Mark Richard has been quoted as saying Angourie has ‘the best right hand point break in Australia’.

Beginners looking to develop their skills can find a range of surf schools at NewcastleSawtellCoffs HarbourScotts HeadBallina and along the quieter beaches at Byron Bay.

Swimming can be enjoyed on the calmer shores at Brunswick Heads, while other water activities like canoeing, snorkelling and fishing are best along the isolated beaches at Ballina. More adventure activities ranging from 4WD tours on the sand dunes, horse riding, quad biking, dolphin and whale watching, and even camel rides, can be found at Port Macquarie.

Several excellent snorkel and dive sites can be found off the coast at places like Solitary Islands Marine ReserveFish Rock Cave at South West Rocks and Cape Byron Marine Park.

Enjoy NSW beaches like a local by following these simple beach safety tips

Surf Life Saving

Always swim between the red and yellow flags. Surf lifesavers have identified this area as the safest spot to swim in the water. It's also a good idea to always swim with a friend.

Make sure you read any safety signs at the beach and you are always welcome to ask lifeguards for more safety advice. If you find yourself needing help in the water, stay calm and attract attention.

Check conditions before you go and find a patrolled beach by visiting