North Coast

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The North Coast of New South Wales brings the perfect mix of incredible national parks, marine life and the World Heritage Gondwana Rainforests. Its rich natural beauty will reward you with uncrowded beaches an iconic surfing spots. 

Depending on your travel style, the area is best navigated by road or rail however you can also fly directly into Newcastle. The road trip along the coastline gives you the freedom to go from national park to surfing all in the same day, and the Legendary Pacific Coast drive is a popular touring route running from Sydney to Tweed Heads. For a dedicated surf trip, follow the Pacific Coast driving route and stop through National Surfing Reserves located in Newcastle, Crescent Head, Lennox Head, Angourie (south of Yamba). The beauty of this road trip is that each day you can go from one world-class surf beach to the next all within 10 hours of each other.

Outdoor adventures are plentiful along this coastline, from bushwalks to diving with grey nurse sharks. Start your adventure in Newcastle, which is the second biggest city in NSW and two hours north of Sydney. Newcastle is a harbour city surrounded by eight beaches including Nobbys Beach and Stockton Beach - which is known for being the longest beach in NSW. Newcastle acts as a gateway to world-class wineries in the Hunter Valley too.

Next continue to Port Macquarie, set in the mid-north coast and located at the mouth of Hastings River. Here you’ll find even more picturesque coastline along with beachside reserves and picnic spots. Port Macquarie has 17 beaches and an incredible year-round climate. This coastal town is home to Billabong Zoo, a koala-breeding centre and is the perfect place for a koala encounter. 

All along the seaside, you’ll find many vantage points for whale watching, so keep an eye out as they begin to migrate from May to November. 

The North Coast is also home to South West Rocks, which is a hub for scuba divers. It is known as one of the world’s best dive sites with travellers flocking from all over the globe to experience the colourful marine life and shark encounters. Outside of the water, the Smoky Cape Lighthouse showcases views across the sea, and you can explore the areas colonial heritage at the 1886 Trial Bay Gaol too.

Continue your road trip north, and it just keeps getting better, leading you into the Northern Rivers, home to Byron Bay; the most easterly point of Australia. Renowned for its surf culture and unique laid-back vibe, it’s no wonder why Byron Bay is at the top of most travellers bucket list. Make the most of the many waterfalls across the hinterland and quirky surrounding towns like Bangalow and Brunswick Heads perfect for a day trip.

North Coast of NSW is indeed a beach lovers dream, whether it’s surfing or swimming or late afternoon walks on the beach, whatever your preference is, this stunning coastline is not one to be missed.