destination NSW

Beaches and surf


Surfing at Byron Bay

Iconic Byron 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 coastline stretches 1590km with a grand total of 892 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’s 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
Surfing at Main Beach

North Coast Beaches

Experience the exceptional surf culture of the North Coast and ride the waves at Main Beach. 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 Reserve in Coffs Harbour.

Stand up paddleboarding in Jervis Bay

South Coast Beaches

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.

Palm Beach, Sydney

Sydney Beaches

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.