Stretching more than 2,000 kilometres, the NSW coastline has plenty of beautiful beaches to spend a balmy summer day.
Although, they’re stunning regardless of the weather. We’ve narrowed down some of the best NSW beaches for you.
Bondi Beach, Sydney
I know what you’re thinking; when it comes to overrated NSW beaches, this one takes the cake. But if you can handle the crowd, it’s still worth a go. It has some of the best waves for surfing and one of the swankiest ocean-side pools, Bondi Icebergs. The Bondi to Coogee coastal walk is also a great attraction with spectacular vantage points as you go. There are also numerous hip restaurants and cafés to choose from for a light lunch or drinks to cool down after a hot day.
Manly Beach, Sydney
One of the best things about this beach is the trip there, which is most preferable by the Circular Quay public ferry. The 30-minute ride allows spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, as well as quaint houses all along the coastline. The beach itself is great for swimming as well as shopping, and there’s even an outdoor market every Saturday and Sunday.
Belongil Beach, Byron Bay
Often overlooked by tourists in favor of Byron Bay’s Main Beach, Belongil Beach is a quieter alternative with the same amazing waves and stunning vistas. A section of the beach just north of the seawall – The Wreck, as it’s commonly referred to as – is an old passenger steamship stranded in the surf that has now become a popular snorkeling spot. It also makes for great surfing, as it created a sheltered reef break with consistent swells.
Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay
The crystal clear waters of this secluded south coast beach are ideal for fishing, swimming, snorkeling, diving, and of course, pictures. The surrounding National Park also provides scenic bush views and close encounters with local wildlife, like native birds. It’s one of the most postcard-perfect NSW beaches, with sand so fine it squeaks as you walk.
Bronte Beach, Sydney
Located just a kilometer’s walk south of Bondi, it’s not too out of the way to go to this lesser-known beach. Clusters of rock create a natural sheltered pool, which makes it a favorite for parents with young kids. There is also a nice view of hillside houses, giving this beach a unique homey feel.
Coogee Beach, Sydney
Sometimes referred to as the smaller version of Bondi Beach, Coogee is also often packed with visitors. The tannish red rocks are a beauty, and naturally perfect for a photo ops with friends. There is also a lot of surrounding green space, ideal for a picnic or laying out in the sun without getting sandy.
Toowoon Bay, Central Coast
During the summer school holidays, a steady stream of cars make their way up the coast from Sydney, packed with families hoping to spend a week or two on the sunny Central Coast. With plenty of camping, holiday park and hotel accommodation around, it’s a great spot from travellers to escape to. But the locals love it year round. It’s a protected bay so the waves are always calm, making it a nice spot for SUP and kayaking too. Plus, Toowoon Bay Surf Club does excellent coffee and egg & bacon rolls.
Pebbly Beach, Shoalhaven
This beach is famous for its swimming kangaroos. Yes, you read that correctly. The local kangaroos will often come down for a dip in the water on a hot summer day or lounge around the dunes behind the beach. It’s one of the many NSW beaches with cabin and camping accommodation right near the shore. Part of Murramarang National Park, beach goers will also find plenty of hiking and MTB trails nearby.
Caves Beach, Swansea
Known for its network of sea caves at the southern end of the beach which can only be accessed at low tide, this beach is perfect for those who are tired of your typical beach day and are down to explore the cracks and crevices of rock formations.
Red Rock Beach, Yuraygir National Park
Located in Yuraygir National Park, this beach is an easy 30 minute drive from Coffs Harbour. Named for the red rock itself, the twenty metre high headland composed of 300 million year old jasper is a sight to behold from your spot on the sand.
Palm Beach, Sydney
Palmy, as the locals call it, curves 2.3 km from Little Head to Barrenjoey Head. It’s great for surfing at its north end and equally as great for more relaxed swimming at its south. The fish ‘n chips at the original Boathouse Palm Beach is a great choice after a long day in the sun.
Maitland Bay, Central Coast
This exclusive little slice of paradise is only accessible on foot (or by boat), which means the crowds are few and far between. Often, you’ll only be sharing the two-kilometre stretch of beach with a handful of other hikers. If you have access to a boat, the shipwreck just off the coast makes for a great snorkelling spot. The beach isn’t patrolled so swim at your own risk and always keep an eye on young ones.
These NSW beaches aren’t the only place to soak up the Aussie sun. To read about the best beaches in Queensland, click here.
If you still haven’t had enough of beaches for today, check out this article for the best beaches in Australia!
If flying is more your thing, have a look at the Rex route map to find the best beach destinations on offer.