Crescent Head

Crescent Head is a surfing paradise on the Macleay Valley Coast. The world-famous point break here is one of the longest rides in Australia. You’ll also discover beautiful sandy beaches and splendid national parks for bushwalking, camping and whale watching. Fishing and boating are popular, too.

The easy-going seaside town on the mid NSW North Coast is 4h 45min drive north of Sydney and less than six hours south of Brisbane. The surrounding towns and villages including Kempsey, Gladstone and South West Rocks are all within easy reach, and Port Macquarie is only 50 minutes’ drive south.

Two men enjoying golf at Crescent Head Country Club, Macleay Valley Coast.

Accommodation options suit various budgets, from beachside campgrounds and a holiday park to motels and holiday houses. In the Goolawah National Park and neighbouring Goolawah Regional Park are beachside camp sites where you can pitch a tent or park your camper trail or caravan.

Crescent Head is one of Australia’s iconic National Surfing Reserves. A big drawcard with long-board riders is the consistent wave. ‘One of the longest and most classic right-hand point breaks in Australia,’ the National Surfing Reserves’ website says. The Malibu Classic is held every May.

Bring a board or hire one in town and enjoy waves on either side of the Head, including at Killick Beach, Goolawah Beach, Big Hill Beach and Racecourse Beach. The southern end of Killick is in the surfing reserve. You can learn to surf or brush up your skills with Surfaris, which has a surf camp.

Surfer carrying a longboard at sunset, Crescent Head

Other things to do include bushwalking, swimming and fishing in the coastal national parks. To the south are the Goolawah and the Limeburners Creek national parks, where significant Aboriginal cultural heritage sites date back thousands of years. To the north is the Hat Head National Park.

The Big Hill Rainforest walking track is a moderately challenging 1.4km loop in the Limeburners Creek National Park, named after the lime created in colonial times from burning oyster shells. The headland on the walk is a great vantage point for spotting whales between May and November.

Other whale-watching spots are Crescent Head lookout and Little Nobby Point. A short stroll from Little Nobby is the Crescent Head Country Club’s picturesque six-hole golf course, with magnificent ocean views. You can stroll from the club to Killick Beach, via a footbridge over pretty Killick Creek.