North Coast Beaches
From deserted coves of white sand perfect for sunbaking to bustling villages set metres from the sea and some of the world’s top surf breaks, the North Coast of NSW offers visitors every type of beach holiday. Try fishing, kayaking and snorkelling, or follow walking trails along empty beaches where national parks meet the ocean.
Swimming and surfing
All along the coast you’ll find beaches you can have to yourself – just roll out your towel and relax for hours. Stay for lunch too. There are barbecue facilities in reserves by many beaches, like Fingal Bay Beach in Port Stephens, Flynns Beach in Port Macquarie, Jetty Beach in Coffs Harbour and Wategos Beach in Byron Bay.
World-class surf beaches dot the coast, with the perfect wave for every surfer. The famous National Surfing Reserves can be found in Newcastle, Crescent Head, Lennox Head and Angourie, which is south of Yamba. There are plenty of surf schools and surf tours to get beginners out on their board.
On coastal walks, you’ll traverse kilometres of spectacular beaches and hike through littoral rainforest to headlands for jaw-dropping views. There’s everything from short walks to multi-day hikes where you can sleep at campgrounds along the way, such as in the Yuraygir National Park.
The best coastal walks on the NSW North Coast include:
- Coastal walking track and Caves Beach near Swansea
- Bathers Way in Newcastle
- Cape Byron walking track in Byron Bay
- Solitary Islands coastal walk on the Coffs Coast
- Yuraygir coastal walk between Yamba and Wooli
- Aboriginal Cultural Ways in Ballina
- Booti Hill Lakeside walking track near Pacific Palms
- Port Macquarie coastal walk in Port Macquarie
Wildlife and whales
Then there’s the creatures you’ll see: from kangaroos leaping along the beach, to whales breaching just offshore – there are plenty of humpback whales swimming past between May and November. In some beachside national parks, such as Tomaree in Port Stephens or Bongil Bongil on the Coffs Coast, you might even glimpse a koala.