11 of the Best Beaches in NSW to Set Foot On

11 Best Beaches in NSW, Australia

Growing up in NSW and having road tripped extensively both the north and south coast regions, I’ve been to most of the best beaches in NSW.

But coming up with a list of my favourite beaches is never easy.

We are spoilt for choice on the east coast and there is a beach for everyone whether you are looking for a family friendly beach, or to go surfing, swimming, walking, fishing, snorkeling, diving or even four-wheel driving.

Hitting the beach in summer is typically the best time of year, but in the quieter months many of these beaches are still spectacular and much less crowded.

So if I had to recommend a list of my favourite beaches in NSW that I have personally set foot on, below are my top eleven suggestions.

11 of the Best Beaches in NSW

1. Hyams Beach

Hyams Beach is famous. The Guinness Book of Records reports that Hyams has the whitest sand in the world. I didn’t know you could get sand whiter than at Whitehaven Beach in Queensland, but the sand at Hyams is definitely fine, soft and white.

Hyams is a quiet beach side town in the Jervis Bay region of south coast NSW, just 180km south of Sydney. It’s a great family beach and doesn’t have the highrise development like many north coast beaches. Be sure to finish off your visit by heading to the Hyams Beach Cafe for good food and coffee.

Hyams Beach, NSW, Australia
Hyams Beach
Hyams Beach, NSW, Australia
Hyams Beach

2. Red Rock Beach

We have done the Sydney to Gold Coast road trip many times but up until this year had never been to Red Rock Beach, and had actually never heard of it until a friend in Coffs Harbour recommended it.

Red Rock is about a 30 minute drive north of Coffs Harbour and is one of those hidden gems that is tucked away 6 km’s off the Pacific Highway. It’s a beautiful sweeping beach with an impressive headland and these red coloured rocks that lead you into to the crystal clear water.

Red Rock Beach, NSW, Australia
Red Rock Beach
Red Rock Beach, NSW, Australia
Red Rock Beach

3. Palm Beach

Palm Beach is Sydney’s most northern beach and possibly our favourite beach in the Sydney area. Scenically it’s incredibly beautiful with the golden sand stretching for 2 kilometres and the colours in the water move between spectacular shades of turquoise and aqua.

On one end is Barrenjoey Head where you can take an easy 1km bush-walk up to the old sandstone lighthouse for stunning views back over Palm Beach or across the Broken Bay region.

You don’t have the crowds you get at say Bondi or Manly Beach, and in winter it’s the perfect place to spot migrating humpback whales.

Palm Beach, Sydney, Australia
Palm Beach
Palm Beach, Sydney, Australia
Palm Beach

4. Greenfield Beach

Greenfield Beach is another pristine beach in the Jervis Bay region with that beautiful white powdery sand. Another family friendly beach perfect for swimming with clear aqua water and small waves, and it’s a top spot for a beach side BBQ.

And it’s here that you can start the sensational White Sands Walk which is one of our favourtie coastal walks in NSW.

Greenfield Beach, NSW, Australia
Greenfield Beach
Greenfield Beach, NSW, Australia
Greenfield Beach

5. Green Patch Beach

When I first set eyes on Green Patch Beach I was blown away. I’d never heard of this beach or Booderee National Park where it is located, and it was just as spectacular as Hyams in nearby Jervis Bay. Are you getting the hint yet that the Jervis Bay region has some amazing beaches?!

The water, whilst a little cool for swimming in September was clean and clear and the sand soft and beautiful to walk on. We spent two nights camping in the campground right on the beach which offers a real bush camping experience. Be sure to walk around the headland from Green Patch and explore the amazing Scottish Rocks.

Greenpatch Beach, NSW, Australia
Green Patch Beach
Greenpatch Beach, NSW, Australia
Green Patch Beach

6. Byron Bay

Byron Bay is that legendary beach side town on the NSW North Coast famous for surfing and an alternative lifestyle. If you’re a surfer, Byron actually has 5 great beaches to choose from but it’s Main Beach which sees most of the visitors walking, swimming and enjoying a beach side BBQ.

Whist at Byron, don’t miss the Lighthouse Walk to Australia’s most easterly point.

Byron Bay, NSW, Australia
Byron Bay
Byron Bay, NSW, Australia
Sunset at Byron Bay

7. Wategos Beach

Just around the corner from Byron Bay is beautiful Wategos Beach. This beach is protected by the headland which makes it an awesome beach for swimming AND riding a long-board with the gentle waves and long rides.

There’s a BBQ area to enjoy or make yourself up a picnic and sit on the beach admiring this picturesque location. You’ll also pass this beach on the coastal Lighthouse Walk, but if you have the time spend at least a few hours here.

Wategos Beach, NSW, Australia
Wategos Beach
Wategos Beach, NSW, Australia
Wategos Beach

8. Pebbly Beach

Located in Murramarang National Park on the NSW south coast, Pebbly Beach is probably most famous as the place to see wild kangaroos hopping around on the sand. They are used to human interaction and there’s a chance you can get up close and personal. Our kids loved it and the turn-off is about 10 kilometres south of Termeil.

Pebbly Beach is a popular camping area with a good surfing beach and bush walks within the park.

Pebbly Beach, NSW, Australia
Pebbly Beach
Kangaroo on Pebbly Beach, NSW, Australia
Pebbly Beach

9. Seal Rocks

If you are planning a Sydney to Brisbane road trip I highly suggest a stop at Seal Rocks, a quiet fishing village offering clear bays for swimming, snorkelling, boating and fishing. This beach is just perfect, and much quieter than your usual east coast beaches. Seal Rocks is also a great place to go camping.

And why not treat yourself to a few nights in a Lighthouse Keepers Cottage with amazing ocean views?

Seal Rocks, NSW, Australia
Seal Rocks
Seal Rocks, NSW, Australia
Seal Rocks

10. Bronte Beach

There are many great beaches in Sydney but another of our favourite’s would be Bronte Beach in the eastern suburbs. It’s a beautiful beach with a small main street giving it a great vibe.

We always stop at Bronte when we do the Bondi Beach to Coogee coastal walk and just love it as a family beach. The rock pool is awesome for the kids to swim in, the HUGE grass and BBQ area is a bonus for families, and there are no pubs nearby so no drunkeness and disorderly.

Bronte Beach, Sydney, Australia
Bronte Beach

 

Bronte Beach, Sydney, Australia
Bronte Beach

11. Bondi Beach

I always hesitate to put Bondi Beach on any list because as a beach it’s not one of my favourtie’s, but hey it’s Bondi and one of Australia’s most famous beaches and you should go there at least once!

Actually, the more I go there lately the more I appreciate it. It’s the starting point to our much loved Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, and I don’t think you could get any more Australian than learning to surf at Bondi.

The people watching is first class, and the views from Bondi Iceburgs as you sip on an afternoon beer are legendary.

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia
Bondi Beach

You tell us:

What beaches in NSW would you recommend?

Share in the comments section down below.

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Craig
Craig Makepeace is the founder of yTravel Blog and has been traveling the world since 2002, first with his wife Caz, and now with his two daughters. Get his free email series on the 4 best ways to reduce travel costs. Follow him on Google+

15 Comments on “11 of the Best Beaches in NSW to Set Foot On”

  1. Oh wow – there’s a few on there I’d never heard of. Definitely makes me want to go back to NSW!
    Beatrice recently posted..Street food in Montreal
    Beatrice recently posted..Street food in Montreal

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  2. I am definitely looking forward to visiting the Jervis Bay region for my birthday this year even more now! Bronte (love the natural rock pool) is definitely one of my favourite Sydney beaches along with Freshwater, Coogee and Balmoral – so many incredible beaches in Sydney!
    Katie @ The World on my Necklace recently posted..Uluru: That big red rock in the middle of Australia
    Katie @ The World on my Necklace recently posted..Uluru: That big red rock in the middle of Australia

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  3. Great list, Craig!

    My favourites are Treachery Beach, Palm Beach, Burning Palms, The Basin (Kuringai NP), Bateau Bay, Shelly Beach in Manly, Bronte and Hyams.

    I have a long list of favourites, but there are still so many NSW beaches I haven’t been to yet! Byron Bay is my dream NSW beach destination.
    Bonny recently posted..Bunker Bay
    Bonny recently posted..Bunker Bay

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  4. I haven’t heard of Burning Palms Bonny, where is that?
    Craig Makepeace recently posted..11 of the Best Beaches in NSW to Set Foot On
    Craig Makepeace recently posted..11 of the Best Beaches in NSW to Set Foot On

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    • Hi Craig,

      Burning Palms is south of Sydney in the Royal National Park. You can’t drive there, so the only access is down a longish walking track (with spectacular views).

      A few people live at Burning Palms in delapidated old shacks from the Depression era. One of the owners saw us walking past and invited us in to have a look, and everything in it was like a time warp from 60-70 years ago, because the residents of the shacks are not allowed to renovate the them at all and must abandon them once they fall to ruins.

      The actual beach is incredibly beautiful and remote, with big waves. From the other end of the beach you can walk along the base of the cliffs to these really strange rock pools that are very deep, crystal clear and perfectly circular in shape.
      Bonny recently posted..Snorkeling at Purdy Point, Coral Bay
      Bonny recently posted..Snorkeling at Purdy Point, Coral Bay

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  5. Thought we would throw a little joy and happiness your way.

    We are planning to start our own travel adventure in November and are busy prepping now. We hope to set sail soon.

    Mark and Cindy
    s/v Cream Puff
    http://www.creampuff.us

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  6. What a great wrap of beaches. Sitting here in cold WA the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk is something that I’ve put on my bucket list, and Seal Rocks with a stay at the Lighthouse Keepers Cottage has definitely piqued my interest too :)

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  7. Good choices. I would like to add Chinaman’s Beach at Evans Head and Broken Head beach. Both spectacular!
    Kathy Marris recently posted..Pillaging the Pilbara Coast
    Kathy Marris recently posted..Pillaging the Pilbara Coast

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  8. […] are no-gos. Whether you’re looking for a secluded oasis or a primo spot for whale-watching, check out 11 New South Wales beaches worth visiting–compiled by family bloggers who hail from…. […]

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  9. Hi Craig
    Thanks so much for finding all these lovely beaches for us. Some I’ve never been to but am looking forward to seeing them soon. I’m am rather lucky though that I live at Jervis Bay and yes have seen the whitest sand at Hyams Beach. It’s super squeaky as well when you walk on it. We sure do live in a wonderful country.

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  10. Melissa

    Love the list penned down here…thanks a lot:) My fav is Ofcourse the Bondi
    What abt Culburra beach Craig?

    Reply
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