Beaches and Surf

Discover some of the most beautiful beaches in the world in NSW. The coastline stretches for over 2,000km and is dotted with hundreds of picture-perfect spots for swimming, surfing, snorkelling and sunbaking. From Duranbah Beach in the north to Nadgee Beach in the south, there’s a stretch of sand for everyone.

Aerial of people enjoying a sunny day at Town Beach in Port Macquarie, North Coast

North Coast

Byron Bay is one of the world’s most famous seaside towns and you’ll find more than a dozen gorgeous beaches scattered around it. Surfers will want to hit the waves at National Surfing Reserves in Lennox Head, Angourie and Crescent Head. The sleepy Coffs Coast region has more than 30 beaches to choose from.

On the golden beaches around Port Stephens, you can try sandboarding, quad biking, camel riding and four-wheel driving, as well as a huge range of water sports. In Newcastle, you’ll find another National Surfing Reserve at Merewether. Follow the Bathers Way walk along the coast to visit the city’s best beaches and ocean pools.

Central Coast

Just a short trip north of Sydney, the Central Coast offers a string of beautiful beaches running from Norah Head to Avoca. Surfers will want to head for Tallow Beach in the Bouddi National Park or the reef breaks at Toowoon Bay. Soak up the beach village vibe in Terrigal, then walk along the white sand and paddle in the rock pool.

The quiet beaches around Killcare are some of the Central Coast’s best-kept secrets – try calm Lobster Beach for snorkelling, beach-hop along the Bouddi Coastal Walk or set up camp near Putty Beach. At The Entrance you can choose between the ocean, the clear waters of Tuggerah Lake and two ocean baths.

Father and son enjoying a morning surf at Glasshouse Rocks in Narooma, South Coast

South Coast

The unspoilt South Coast is a beautiful spot for a beach break. Illawarra is famous for its ocean pools, with more than a dozen dotted along the coastline. Catch a wave at The Farm and Mystics, two surf beaches that are part of a National Surfing Reserve at Killalea. Kiama’s beaches are great for families and first-time surfers.

In Jervis Bay, follow the White Sands Walk past some of the most spectacular beaches in the State. At the southern edge of NSW, the Sapphire Coast has powder-soft sands and deep blue seas where you can go swimming, surfing, snorkelling, kayaking and beach fishing. Keep an eye out for whales from September to November.

NSW Beach Safety

Enjoy NSW beaches by following these safety tips

Always swim between the red and yellow flags; surf lifesavers have identified this area as the safest spot to swim in the water. It's also a good idea to always swim with a friend.

Pay attention to the advice of the lifesavers and safety signs. Visit SharkSmart to understand any potential risks in the area you are swimming. You are always welcome to ask lifeguards for more safety advice. If you find yourself needing help in the water, stay calm and attract attention. Check conditions before you go. You can also find patrolled beach by visiting

North and South Coast Beaches