Newcastle beaches and surfing

With some of the best waves in the world at beaches which fringe its CBD, Newcastle on the NSW North Coast is the perfect place for a sunny getaway. There are long sandy beaches which run for miles and miles, vast sand dunes, coastal walking tracks and protected ocean pools perfect for families.

Surfing action at Surfest Newcastle on Merewether Beach


Both Newcastle Beach and Merewether Beach attract surfers chasing the perfect wave. Merewether is one of Australia’s National Surfing Reserves, a register of iconic surfing spots. The waves helped shape the career of Mark Richards, a four-time world surfing champ, as well as other surfing heroes like Luke Egan and Matt Hoy.

These legendary waves are perfect for beginners too and you can learn to surf year-round Surfest Surf School and Newcastle Surf School. Each February, NSW’s second-biggest city celebrates its beach lifestyle and surfing culture with Surfest, Australia’s largest surf festival.

Man diving into Merewether Ocean Baths in Newcastle

Ocean pools

Take a dip with history at the Bogey Hole, the oldest ocean pool on the east coast of Australia. It was cut into the rocks by convicts in 1819. The Newcastle Ocean Baths are famous for their beautiful art deco pavilion and the huge Merewether Ocean Baths are the largest complex of their kind in the southern hemisphere.

People enjoying a walk along Merewether Beach in Newcastle

Beach activities

There are picnic tables and barbecue facilities in parks and reserves at a number of beaches, including Dixon Park Beach, Nobbys Beach and Stockton Beach, which is the longest beach in NSW. The giant sand dunes along Stockton Beach are popular for 4WD enthusiasts. And the ocean teems with fish.

You’ll find more coastal adventures along Stockton Beach in the Worimi Conservation Lands, home to the largest moving coastal dunes system in the Southern Hemisphere. Explore the dunes and shipwrecks in the area with Sand Dunes Adventures, Quad Bike King and Port Stephens 4WD.

Another way to experience the Newcastle coast is the Bathers Way, a scenic 5km walk from the historic Nobbys Head Lighthouse via Merewether to Glenrock State Conservation Area. You can spot humpback whales from vantage points between May and November. For an even closer look, take a whale-watching cruise with CoastXP or Nova Cruises.


Newcastle Airport

Fly into Newcastle Airport

Newcastle Airport is only 25km from the city centre. Choose from a range of transport services on arrival, including car rental, limousine and door-to-door shuttle buses. Public buses operate from the airport to the city, Stockton Ferry Wharf, Nelson Bay, Greenhills and Raymond Terrace. There are also public transport options to the Hunter Valley. Please check the timetable.

Newcastle Airport offers direct flights to and from east coast cities and Adelaide.

Jetstar flies direct to and from Melbourne, the Gold Coast, and Brisbane. QantasLink operates direct flights to and from Brisbane. Virgin Australia flies direct to and from Brisbane and Melbourne. Link Airways operates direct flights between Canberra and Newcastle three days a week. FlyPelican operates direct flights to and from Adelaide, Dubbo, Mudgee, Ballina-Byron Bay, Canberra and Sydney. Regional Express also flies to and from Sydney.

Discover Newcastle Beaches