Kingscliff is a sleepy surfing and fishing village on the far NSW North Coast that’s emerged as one of the state’s best coastal escapes. Located just south of the bustling Gold Coast, it’s the ideal beach retreat for visitors who like sophistication with their sand and sunshine.

Aerial over Cudgen Creek break walls, Kingscliff in North Coast

Hit the beach

Located in The Tweed, Kingscliff is part of one of Australia’s most picturesque coastlines. It’s ideal for beautiful beaches, whale watching and fun water sports like fishing and surfing. You can also join a snorkelling tour and swim with green sea turtles.

Kingscliff Beach is a stunning stretch of sand just beside town it curves all the way from the breakwater at Cudgen Headland in the south (where the Cudgen Creek flows into the ocean) to Dreamtime Beach at Fingal Head, in the north.

For boardriders, there are world-class beach breaks and Cudgen’s reef creates a legendary right-hander. The Australian Longboard Surfing Open is held at Kingscliff every year, attracting surfers and spectators for one of the biggest World Surf League longboard events in Australia.

Couple enjoying the fruit tasting at Tropical Fruit World, Duranbah

Things to do in Kingscliff

With consistent waves, learning to surf is easy with In2surf Surf School, Salty Girls Surf School or Watersports Guru, which also offers kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, snorkelling tours and a special program for kids aged seven to 12. The snorkelling tour visits Cook Island Aquatic Reserve, just offshore.

You can hire beach bicycles from Kingscliff Cycle Centre, then ride along the coast in search of dolphins and whales. The vantage point of Fingal Head, a 30min ride north of town, is one of the best spots and you’re almost guaranteed to see dolphins every day.

Paper Daisy restaurant located within boutique hotel Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach

Eat and drink

You’ll find tasty places to eat along Kingscliff’s main streets, including the beautifully renovated 1932 Kingscliff Beach Hotel, acclaimed seafood restaurant Fins and one of Australia’s best regional Greek restaurants, Taverna. Just south of Kingscliff are more top restaurants including Spice Den in Casuarina and Paper Daisy at Cabarita Beach.

Sample fresh regional produce at the Kingscliff Markets, held on the second and fourth Saturday of the month. Families will also love a visit to nearby Tropical Fruit World where there are rare exotic fruits, such as chocolate pudding fruit, and wandering kangaroos.

Getting there and where to stay

Getting to Kingscliff is easy. It’s around nine hours’ drive from Sydney or 80min from Brisbane. You can fly into the Gold Coast Airport, a 15min drive away, or into Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, one hour away. Accommodation options include camping and holiday parks right on the beach, luxury spa resorts and chic boutique hotel Halcyon House in nearby Cabarita.

Explore one of Kingscliff's best hotels - Halcyon House