- Destination NSW
Surfers at Merewether Beach in Newcastle
Children running into the surf at Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay

Beaches and surf

  • Couple at Curl Curl Ocean Pool, Sydney
  • The Farm beach at Killalea State Park, Illawarra


Surfing at Byron Bay

Iconic Byron Bay takes in a cluster of surf beaches to the north and south of Cape Byron, the most easterly point in Australia. If you love surfing, you'll enjoy the lively surfing counter-culture here as well as great waves and plenty of opportunities to learn to surf in a beautiful environment.

Must Do

Beaches and surfing in NSW

If a world championship competition for the best beaches was held, New South Wales would have to be disqualified on grounds of unfair advantage. The State's mainland coastline stretches 2,007 km and features almost 900 beaches, including Sydney's famed harbour and ocean beaches and seven of Australia's National Surfing Reserves.

With all that choice, you're bound to find just the right beach for a surfing weekend, a surfing road trip or a fun-packed beach holiday with the kids. World-famous surf breaks attract keen surfers from around the globe but there are also plenty of beaches where you can learn to surf with an accredited surf school.

If you'd like to tick off the NSW beaches on the National Surfing Reserve list, you'll find them on the North Coast at Angourie, near Yamba, at Crescent Head, north of Port Macquarie, at Lennox Head, north of Ballina (Near Byron Bay) and including the world-famous Lennox Point break.  Merewether Beach is one of Newcastle's iconic surfing beaches, with the reserve stretching two kilometres along the spectacular coastline.

On the South Coast is Killalea National Surfing Reserve with The Farm and Mystics beaches located within the Killalea State Park, near Shellharbour. The state park features 250 hectares of pristine coastal reserve with some of the best surfing beaches on the south coast.

In Sydney, Cronulla Beaches National Surfing Reserve is one of southern Sydney's premier surf spots while Narrabeen National Surfing Reserve is a popular surfing beach on Sydney's northern coastline.

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

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 ready 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

Stay safe at the beach