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. ANZAC Day Lismore

    Event dates to be confirmed: April 2019 , Lismore

    Returned and Services League of Australia - City of Lismore Sub Branch ANZAC Day committee wishes to invite the community to Lismore's ANZAC Day March and Services, commemorating the fallen from Gallipoli and all other subsequent wars…

  2. Paint pARTy Bean Bar Cafe Taree

    Friday 26 April 2019 to Friday 29 November 2019 , Taree

    Paint, sip and have a great time at Bean Bar Cafe. You don't have to be good at art to take their fun class! It's a great experience to explore acrylic paint on canvas. Arrive at 5.45pm to get your seat, order a drink and get ready to…

    26 Apr - 29 Nov
  3. Stroud Show

    Friday 26 April 2019 to Saturday 27 April 2019 , Forster And Taree Area

    Come and experience a real country show. The Stroud A H and I Association - now the Stroud Show Association Inc - began its life in 1922 to promote and display the produce of the rich Karuah Valley. Every year since then, traditionally…

    26 Apr - 27 Apr
  4. Bonny Hills Artists Easter Exhibition

    Friday 26 April 2019 to Sunday 28 April 2019 , North Haven

    Twelve Bonny Hills artists have grouped together to run an annual Easter exhibition at Wauchope Bonny Hills Surf Lifesavings Club. All of these artists have met through their art and are members of the Hastings Valley Fine Arts Society…

    26 Apr - 28 Apr