Beaches and Surf
Discover great beaches
North or south, you’ll discover some of the best surf beaches in the world along the spectacular NSW coastline. You can even fly from Sydney to Lord Howe Island, a World Heritage area off the NSW North Coast, and relax on soft white sands and snorkel or dive among colourful fish on coral reefs.
If you want to learn to surf, there are plenty of accredited surf schools on the north and south coasts. Join a surf safari on a tour from Sydney and meet new friends. For another memorable experience, take a road trip on the Grand Pacific Drive or the Legendary Pacific Coast to great beaches.
World-class surf and beaches in NSW
From some of best surf in the world to a World Heritage-listed island with idyllic sandy beaches, New South Wales enjoys beautiful beaches along its coastline and on Lord Howe Island. You’ll even find delightful beaches inside Sydney Harbour, one of the finest natural harbours.
The mainland coastline of NSW stretches more than 2,000 km and features hundreds of beaches, including the world-famous Bondi Beach and Manly Beach, where the first world surfing championship was held in 1964. Some of the best surf beaches are on the South Coast and the North Coast.
With all that choice, you'll find the right beach for a surfing weekend, a surfing road trip or a fun-packed 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.
A register of the best Australian surfing beaches is kept by the National Surfing Reserves and following NSW beaches are on the list:
The Farm and Mystics, on the South Coast;
Cronulla, in Sydney’s south;
Maroubra, in Sydney’s south;
Manly and Freshwater, in Sydney’s north;
One of the best ways to get to the beaches on the South Coast is to take the Grand Pacific Drive, a 138 km touring route south of Sydney that travels over the Sea Cliff Bridge, a marvel of engineering, and along the coast past the gorgeous beaches of Wollongong to the Farm and Mystics Beach. Venture farther south for more splendid beaches including some of the whitest sands in the world at Hyams Beach in Jervis Bay, a haven for dolphins and seals. There are plenty of places to stay on the South Coast.
North of Sydney is the Legendary Pacific Coast, a gorgeous touring route through national parks, verdant hinterlands and along splendid coast to great surfing spots such as Merewether, Crescent Head and Lennox Head.
Experience the exceptional surf culture of the North Coast and ride the waves at Lennox Head. Admire the natural surroundings of Tallow Beach which is a scenic bridge between Cape Byron State Conservation Area and the Broken Head Nature Reserve. Enjoy excellent snorkeling and diving off beaches within the Solitary Islands Marine Park in Coffs Harbour.
Check out the waves on the South Coast at National Surfing Reserve beaches such as The Farm and Mystics within Killalea State Park. Explore one of the many rock pools scattered along Wollongong's coastline, including those at Austinmer Beach. Discover some of Jervis Bay's most beautiful beaches on the easy hour-long White Sands Walk.
Visit Sydney's most iconic beach, Bondi Beach, for turquoise waters and great waves alongside Bondi's characteristic lively atmosphere. For a more secluded Sydney experience, Milk Beach offers views of the city to its few visitors. Get on a surfboard and enjoy the legendary surf at Palm Beach, Manly Beach and Maroubra Beach.
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 www.beachsafe.org.au.