New South Wales (NSW) is my home state, I was born in Sydney and have lived here for 25 years. Due to the grand scale of NSW (it is 4x the size of the UK, and slightly bigger than Texas) I have not been able to see everything in this state. It would be a challenge to any adventurer to visit all the reaches of NSW, and Australia.

This article is to share one of my favourite places – the north coast of NSW. The NSW north coast spans from Newcastle all the way to the Queensland border, and has idyllic beaches every stop along the way. The north coast can be explored in both warm and cold months, it’s up to you to decide.

Perks of winter

Ignore person yelling in background
Whale swimming by
  • Whale watching – whales start migrating to warmer water in the north during winter, so you can see whales on the coastline of NSW every year. This lighthouse was a great vantage point, and we saw a lot of whales on our trip
  • Low season – the north coast is most popular in the summer holidays, so it is cheaper and less busy in winter
  • Less crowds – more options for rentals, cheaper prices, less people to battle with on the beaches
  • Beat the heat – if you’re not a fan of high temperatures, touring the coast in winter could be for you

Perks of summer

  • Hot weather – for those that want to soak up some vitamin D, and spend their days in a swimsuit
  • Perfect water temperature – just right for those that want to spend their day in the ocean
  • Days lazing on the beach & true beach bum vibes – for all those beach bums out there, summer in Australia can’t be beaten
Treachery Camp, Seal Rocks

Some of my favourite places/beaches on the North Coast

Ti Tree Lake at Lennox Head – this town has everything, great food, a beach & a warm lake that is naturally dyed by the Ti tree that surround it. Soak in the aromatic water and truly relax

Forster-Tuncurry – a cute little town with great beaches, a good place for a family holiday & for fishing. Again dolphins like to frequent here

Seal Rocks – forests, wildlife, untouched beaches

Lighthouse Beach & Sugarloaf Lighthouse – one of my favourite beaches in all of Australia. It is almost always empty, amazing surf, clear water, white sand & sea life. We have seen a pod of dolphins & whales here before

South West Rocks – beaches, beaches, beaches, & whale watching

Coffs Harbour – the Big Banana, the beautiful beaches, the great food! The Lime Mexican Tapas Restaurant is amazing (I know you wouldn’t expect great Mexican cuisine in regional NSW, but trust me it’s great)

The Big Banana – touring Australia is not complete without seeing all the BIG things
Kangaroos at Trial Bay Gaol

Trial Bay Gaol – an old gaol/jail on the beach that is now overrun by kangaroos. You can camp at this jail now, it is quite a spooky experience. This area is full of wildlife too – we saw kangaroos, an echidna, and a tawny frogmouth

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital – get up close with cuddly koalas, here they nurse sick/injured koalas back to health. They aim to return them back to the wild if possible

Byron Bay, Nimbin & surrounding small towns – the northern rivers region is truly magical. I’ll be writing another article on this region soon !

How to get there/around and where to stay

It’s best to have private transport. Public transport is very limited in Australia and it will impede on your ability to visit all the beaches you desire.

There are multiple camping, caravan parks, motels, hotels and Airbnb options all along the coast. Some of the beautiful campsites we stayed at included: Trial Bay Gaol South West Rocks and Treachery Camp Seal Rocks.