With a magnificent coastline, the NSW North Coast enjoys gorgeous beaches and world-famous surf breaks. Relax on uncrowded stretches of soft sand. There are great spots for beach fishing and barbecues. At Wategos Beach, in Byron Bay, you can spot the resident dolphins riding the waves.

  • Swimming at the Beach, Macleay Valley Coast
  • Port Stephens Beach, NSW North Coast

Beach holiday fun on the North Coast

Enjoy the delights of beautiful beaches along the NSW North Coast. You'll find plenty of things to do, from swimming and surfing to kayaking and snorkelling. Or simply roll out your towel and relax. Beach fishing is popular too, with bait-and-tackle shops offering tips on where the fish are biting.

There are marvellous coastal trails, such as the Port Macquarie coastal walk in Port Macquarie and the Solitary Islands coastal walk in Coffs Harbour. You’ll stroll over sandy beaches, through rainforest and up to headlands for spectacular views and the chance to spot whales from May to November.

Barbecue facilities are available at some popular North Coast beaches including:

World-class surf beaches dot the magnificent coast, which is easily accessible along the Legendary Pacific Coast driving route. There are accredited surf schools and surf camps, such as Surfaris in Crescent Head. The annual Surfest in January and February is Australia’s biggest surfing festival.

At towns and popular beaches along the coast you can hire equipment, including surfboards, kayaks, bodyboards and even beach umbrellas. For snorkelling and diving, enjoy amazing underwater tours of the Solitary Islands Marine ParkFish Rock Cave at South West Rocks and Cape Byron Marine Park.

In stunning protected coastal wilderness are gorgeous, secluded beaches. For golden sands and sapphire waters, visit Pelican Beach is in Wyrrabalong National Park near Lake Macquarie. You’ll find many places to unwind and cast a line on pretty Tallow Beach, in Arakwal National Park in Byron Bay.

Along the coast, accommodation options suit various budgets and are available near lovely beaches. In some national parks, camping sites are next to beaches. For an off-road adventure, traverse a beach and an estuary at low tide to get to Pebbly Beach campground, in Yuraygir National Park.

Enjoy NSW beaches by following these 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 beaches by visiting

  1. 2UP SUP - Stand Up Paddle Boarding

    Experience your very first lesson stand up paddle boarding with Newcastle's highest certified and qualified SUP instructors. Or perhaps you wish to enjoy a beautiful Newcastle Harbour Tour with photos provided as you...

  2. Airforce Beach

    One of the most popular beaches on the north coast, Airforce Beach is patrolled during the summer holiday period. It has fairly consistent surf with the best wave direction being from the east northeast. Easy walking...

  3. Angourie Back Beach

    Go-to option for locals and visitors when the springtime Northerlies blow in. This south facing beach turns the cruel northerly to its advantage and is loved for it.It is accessed either by walking from the...

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