North Coast

Discover the natural beauty, incredible wildlife and rich heritage of the North Coast of NSW, Australia. Relax on uncrowded beaches, go kayaking with dolphins and whales, explore the striking volcanic hinterland, walk in UNESCO World Heritage rainforest, and savour freshly caught seafood.

Newcastle is NSW’s second-largest city. Enjoy a vibrant cultural scene and Merewether Beach, one of several iconic National Surfing Reserves on the North Coast. The heritage is intriguing, too. Fort Scratchley is Australia’s only coastal fortification to fire upon a World War II enemy naval vessel.

Coastal aerial of Fort Scratchley Historic Site and Nobbys Beach in Newcastle

You’ll find wonderful things to do and see all along the coast, such as the sea caves at Caves Beach or Port Stephens’ dolphins. In Greater Port Macquarie is the Koala Hospital and Timbertown, a heritage theme park. There are national parks to explore and pretty beachside reserves for family picnics.

Whale watching is popular between May and November. Vantage points are dotted along the beautifully rugged coastline, or get up close on a boat cruise. The commonest encounters are humpbacks, the stars of the annual migration because they leap out of the water and roll in the air.

The Coffs Coast is another adventure paradise and home of the Big Banana, one of Australia’s iconic ‘big things’. Go snorkelling in the Solitary Islands Marine Park with Jetty Dive Centre. Nearby is the World Heritage-listed Dorrigo National Park, where the Skywalk takes you above rainforest canopy.

A humpback whale breaching near Tacking Point Lighthouse, Port Macquarie

There are many more outdoor adventures, from bushwalking to kayaking on wild rivers in the Clarence Valley, diving with grey nurse sharks off South West Rocks, surfing world-famous point breaks and skydiving. In Byron Bay enjoy the thrill of kayaking near whales, dolphins and turtles.

Accommodation options suit various budgets, from camping and caravanning in beachside holiday parks and national parks to beach houses, hotels, luxury resorts and hinterland retreats. When planning your holiday, check out the eclectic events calendar for festivals, markets and shows.

Getting to the North Coast is easy by road, rail or air. The Legendary Pacific Drive is a magnificent touring route between Sydney and Tweed Heads, winding past national parks and state forests as well as towns, villages and stunning beaches. Below you’ll find an interactive map for the drive.

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO STAY

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Events

  1. Yamba Triathlon

    Sunday 18 November 2018 , Yamba

    Say yes to Yamba - the chillest tri on the coast! Bring your mob, grow your mo' for Movember and get active together. They've got your multi-fun vibe covered with a Fun Run, McDonald's Kids Tri, and Tempta/Sprint Triathlon. Early Bird…

    18 Nov
  2. Respect All Markets Cooranbong

    Sunday 18 November 2018 to Sunday 21 April 2019 , Morisset

    The Respect All Markets Cooranbong held in Cooranbong Park from 9am to 2pm each third Sunday of the month hosted by Southlake Business Chamber and Community Alliance. With an overall theme of respecting all – the environment,…

    18 Nov - 21 Apr
  3. New Black Shades

    Sunday 18 November 2018 , Newcastle

    New Black Shades are an alternate 90’s influenced pop/rock Band from Newcastle on the east coast of Australia. Growing up in the small surf town of Redhead in the 90’s, the boys have always had riffs running through their blood with the…

    18 Nov
  4. Jason Wing - The Presence of Absence Exhibition

    Sunday 18 November 2018 to Sunday 02 December 2018 , Port Macquarie

    The Presence of Absence is a new exhibition by Sydney-based artist Jason Wing, who strongly identifies with his Chinese and Aboriginal Biripi heritage. This exhibition was developed during his residency at the Glasshouse Regional Gallery…

    18 Nov - 02 Dec