Newcastle - Beaches and Surfing


Australia's biggest surfing festival

Enjoy fantastic waves and white sandy beaches on the spectacular Newcastle coastline, including at the iconic Merewether Beach. Surfest is Australia’s biggest surf festival and is held every February. You can learn to surf or hone your skills with Surfest Surf School.

  • Bar Beach, Newcastle
  • Surfest Newcastle 2014, North Coast

Beautiful beaches of Newcastle

With world-class waves, Australia’s largest surfing festival, and towering sand dunes, Newcastle and surrounds are perfect for outdoor adventure. You’ll be amazed by the sandy beaches and families will enjoy swimming in protected ocean pools, such as the art deco Newcastle Ocean Baths.

Picnic tables and barbecue facilities are available in parks and reserves adjacent to a number of beaches, including Dixon Park Beach and Nobbys Beach. Nobbys and Bar Beach are patrolled all year. For an exhilarating coastal walk, take the Bathers Way trail and enjoy breathtaking views.

Newcastle Beach, North Coast

Both Newcastle Beach and Merewether Beach attract surfers chasing the perfect wave. Merewether is one of Australia’s iconic National Surfing Reserves. The waves helped shape the stellar career of Mark Richards, who won the world surfing championship four times. NSW’s second-biggest city celebrates its beach lifestyle and surfing culture with Surfest, a festival and competition.

Whales migrate in their thousands along the Newcastle coast between May and November. Join Nova Cruises on a whale-watching cruise to spot majestic humpbacks swimming and frolicking in the sparkling Pacific Ocean off the coast of Newcastle, just two hours' drive north of Sydney.

A short drive north of Newcastle is the Worimi Conservation Lands, home to the largest moving coastal dunes system in the Southern Hemisphere. For an exciting adventure, explore the towering dunes and shipwrecks on a tour with Sand Dunes Adventures, Port Stephens 4WD or Quad Bike King.

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

Surf Life Saving

Always swim between the red and yellow flag; 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.

Pay attention to the advice of the lifesavers and safety signs. Visit SharkSmart to understand any potential risks in the area you are swimming. 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. You can also find patrolled beach by visiting

  1. Bogey Hole

    Bogey Hole

    Take a dip in the Bogey Hole, which was cut into ocean rocks by convict labour in 1819. You will realise the convicts amazing achievement when you see the waves crashing into the pool.The Bogey...

  2. Dixon Park Beach

    Dixon Park Beach

    Dixon Park Beach has Council Lifeguard Services provided Monday to Saturday during swimming season and volunteer members of Dixon Park Surf Lifesaving Club providing beach patrols on Sundays during the swimming season...

  3. Merewether Beach

    Merewether Beach

    Merewether Beach, home of four times World Surfing Champion, Mark Richards and Malibu Surfboard Riding Champion, Martin McMillan. No doubt this is part of the reason that Merewether Beaches National Surfing Reserve...

  4. Newcastle Beach

    Newcastle Beach

    Newcastle Beach has a reputation for being one of the best surf locations in Australia and is a favoured spot for board riders wishing to catch that perfect wave off Newcastle Point. Lifeguard Services are...

  5. Surfest

    Friday 10 February to Sunday 26 February 2017, Newcastle

    Surfest is the largest surfing festival in Australia.The best professional male and female surfers in the world travel to Newcastle, NSW to compete for the much cherished Mark Richards 'MR' trophy on...

    10 Feb -26Feb

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