Whether your perfect beach is one of pristine serenity or a party on the sand, or somewhere in between, New South Wales has plenty to choose from. From top to bottom, the coastline is edged with stretches of golden sands, picturesque inlets and bays, and sapphire blue water.
Nature thrives here. The clear blue waters off some of these beaches are playgrounds for dolphins and, from May to September, magnificent whales can often be seen on their annual migration and resting on the way to Antarctica.
Let’s start in the south and move our way up the coast.
South of Sydney, the beaches around Eden on the Sapphire Coast, appeal to a lot of people because of the rugged cliffs and wide surf beach. Whale watching. However, there is little in the way of essential services for retirees.
Hyams Beach at Jervis Bay has the whitest sand in Australia according to The Guinness Book of World Records. Green Patch Beach at Jervis Bay also scores high and often has visits from wombats and kangaroos.
Batemans Bay, on the south coast, has dozens of beaches and is a popular retirement town.
The most recognisable names are Sydney’s Bondi and Manly, which are perfect beaches for those who enjoy having people around them. The atmosphere is lively, the crowd international and the facilities are geared for recreation.
Mid North Coast
Moving north, Merewether Beach in Newcastle is a beautiful beach, but the cost of living is also quite high in the city.
Zenith Beach and Anna Bay at Port Stephens are both are very distinctive – Zenith with its twin headlands and Anna Bay with wide expanses of sand dunes and Shoal Bay is a beautiful crescent of white sand.
Port Macquarie’s No Name Beach and North Shore Beach is an undisturbed stretch of golden sand that offers plenty of opportunities for solitude. Closer to town are a variety of beaches and the mouth of the Hastings River.
Coffs Harbour is known for its stunning beaches and for the dolphins that frolic just off the coast. Whales pass by from May to September and the fishing is excellent. Park Beach and Jetty Beach are close to the city of Coffs Harbour and popular with locals. Jetty Beach offers sheltered swimming and is a recreation hub with restaurants, bars and regular markets.
To the north and south of Coffs Harbour, there are golden stretches of beach, some with small settlements, golf clubs, nature reserves and children’s activities. Red Rock Beach, 30 minutes to the north, is a very quiet and beautiful, but has no services. Mylestrom to the south of Coffs Harbour is a long, quiet beach with the coastal rainforest and eucalypt scrub of Bongil Bongil National Park close to its shores. Look at Me Now Headland on Emerald Beach is home to eastern grey kangaroos and sea eagles.
Far North Coast
Further up the coast, Yamba is a picturesque place of inlets, lagoons and waterways. It has fascinating scenery, eleven beaches and offers whale and dolphin watching, but there is little in the way of services.
Byron Bay must be Australia’s trendiest town and Wategos is its most fashionable beach. The area has a lot to offer, but Byron is not for those on a budget.
Which is your favourite News South Wales beach?