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 view of Nobbys Lighthouse at Nobbys Head, 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 Bear Making Event

    Monday 15 April 2019 to Thursday 18 April 2019 , Yamba

    Back again these school holidays. Join with Stufflers Bear Building to make your own furry friend for only AUD8. Bring down the family and make a Pawsome day of it. Find bears, animals and creatures to become a brand new keep sake. Also…

    15 Apr - 18 Apr
  2. Young Movers and Shakers

    Tuesday 16 April 2019 to Thursday 18 April 2019 , Port Macquarie

    Holiday fun for kids! A design and digital experience for the young movers and shakers to develop creative confidence and problem solving skills through STEAM – coding, animation and music making. Bring your own lunch, snacks and…

    16 Apr - 18 Apr
  3. Bluesfest

    Friday 19 April 2019 to Monday 22 April 2019 , Byron Bay

    Set in the beautiful hinterland of northern NSW, the Byron Bay Bluesfest is an internationally renowned blues and roots music festival held each year during the Easter long weekend. With more than 200 performances across various stages…

    19 Apr - 22 Apr
  4. Plunge Art and Culture Festival

    Friday 19 April 2019 to Tuesday 30 April 2019 , Grafton

    The plunge Art and Culture Festival is a month long program of events right across the Clarence Valley in northern NSW. From exhibitions, local art and craft, workshops, live music, theatre, film and shows there is something for everyone…

    19 Apr - 30 Apr
  5. Twilight Food Market - Coffs Harbour

    Friday 19 April 2019 to Friday 26 April 2019 , Coffs Harbour

    The Twilight Food Market is open every Friday (weather permitting) during NSW daylight saving months from October to April. Extending to the end of April. A family friendly food only market, diverse in multicultural cuisine and lots of…

    19 Apr - 26 Apr