North Coast surf beaches

Highlights

Discover great surf breaks on the spectacular NSW North Coast, home to some of the longest wave rides in Australia and a deep surfing culture. There are many world-famous surfing spots along the coast, including Newcastle, Crescent Head, Yamba-Angourie, Lennox Head, Ballina and Byron Bay.

  • Nambucca Heads, North Coast
  • Surfest, Newcastle 2014

Great North Coast surf beaches

Want to catch waves on some of the world’s best surf breaks? Then head for the NSW North Coast’s legendary point breaks and some of the longest rides in Australia. With pristine waters, awesome waves, temperate climate and fabulous beaches, you can enjoy an endless summer all year.

You’ll find iconic North Coast point breaks in National Surfing Reserves at:

Many more excellent surf beaches are dotted along the beautiful stretch of coast, including in magnificent protected wilderness such as Iluka Nature Reserve. You can explore a small pocket of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests on the Iluka rainforest walking track.

In some national parks you can combine surfing and camping. Diamond Head is between Forster and Port Macquarie. For colonial heritage and curling waves, Trial Bay Gaol is in Arakoon National Park, near the South West Rocks. You can pitch a tent at Black Rocks between Iluka and Evans Head.

For an unforgettable surfing road trip, the Legendary Pacific Coast Drive winds north from Sydney to Byron Bay and The Tweed. On the minimum four-day journey, you’ll weave through national parks, towns and rolling green hinterland, with many tempting surf breaks and beaches along the route.

Or join a memorable surfing safari departing from Sydney, with the likes of Surfaris and Mojosurf. You’ll meet new friends while learning how to surf at great beaches. And whether you’re a novice, intermediate or advanced surf, you can also enrol in various surf schools sprinkled along the coast.

The North Coast is home to more accessible surf beaches than any other coast in Australia. Seaside accommodation options are available for various budgets. In major coastal towns such as Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and Byron Bay, there are plenty of delicious cafes and restaurants.

Enjoy NSW beaches by following these safety tips

Surf Life Saving

Always swim between the red and yellow flag; 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 beaches by visiting beachsafe.org.au.