New South Wales, Australia is full of stunning beaches – some of the best in the whole of Australia, and they all have a unique charm.
From the iconic shores of Byron Bay to the secluded gems along Booti Booti National Park and the beaches all the way down the South Coast, they make for great stops along any NSW road trip itinerary.
Here are the best beaches in NSW, Australia:
BEST BEACHES IN NORTHERN NSW, AUSTRALIA
1. Dreamtime Beach, Tweed Heads
Located on the Tweed Coast in Northern NSW between Fingal Head Beach and Kingscliff Beach, Dreamtime Beach is a stunning beach, and often listed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the whole of Australia.
Dreamtime Beach is a paradise for those seeking solitude and peace and quiet compared to the nearby busy Gold Coast beaches less than a 30 minute drive away. That being said, the waves here are very rough so pay attention here.
Plus, the incredible Fingal Head Causeway and Fingal Head Lighthouse are just a short stroll away and an absolute must visit.
2. North Belongil Beach, Byron Bay
Byron Bay is known for it’s stunning lively beaches. However, for a laid-back and quieter alternative to Byron’s main stretch, venture to North Belongil Beach.
Here you can go horse riding on the beach with Zephyr Horses – it’s an incredible experience and was one of our favourite things to do in Byron Bay!
3. Clarkes Beach, Byron Bay
The vibrant heart of Byron Bay, Clarkes Beach boasts iconic surf, golden sands, and a lively atmosphere.
There are also so many water activities to do in Byron, from kayaking with the dolphins to snorkelling with the leopard sharks (nearby Julian Rocks is one of the best shark dives sites in the world!), to jumping on a surfboard at The Pass and riding the waves!
4. Wategos Beach, Byron Bay
Accessible via a scenic drive or walk from Byron Bay’s town center, Wategos Beach offers a serene escape with the stunning Cape Byron Lighthouse in the distance, creating a postcard-perfect setting for beachgoers.
Wategos Beach has a lovely vibe – pop into Raes on Wategos for a drink or some lunch!
5. Tallow Beach, Byron Bay
A long, pristine stretch ideal for solitude seekers, Tallow Beach is located south of Cape Byron and offers stunning views. It is also a great place to get photos of Byron Bay Lighthouse – situated on Cape Byron which is the most Easterly point of mainland Australia.
Tallow Beach is a secluded beach and is great for those in search of a quiet coastal walk away from the bustling crowds – but the waves are very rough here and there is no lifeguard on duty so pay attention at all times.
6. Shelly Beach, Ballina
A family-friendly spot with calm waters, Shelly Beach in Ballina is perfect for snorkelling and picnics. An easy walk from Lighthouse Beach, this beach offers a relaxed atmosphere and the chance to explore the coastal marine life in its crystal-clear waters.
7. Convent Beach, Yamba
Yamba is a lovely town with several beaches that are definitely worth exploring. This town is dubbed the new Byron Bay, and there are so many things to do in Yamba.
Convent Beach in particular, offers gentle waves, golden sand, stunning views and a vibrant local atmosphere.
Whether you’re a surfer catching waves or a sun-seeker enjoying the laid-back ambiance, Convent Beach captures the essence of coastal living on the north coast of NSW.
8. Angourie Point Beach, Angourie
A surfing gem, Angourie Point Beach boasts consistent swells and a breathtaking natural setting. Accessible via a scenic drive from Yamba, this beach is renowned among surfers for its reliable waves and the pristine beauty of its coastal surroundings.
When you’re in Angourie, make sure to also check out the Angourie Blue and Green Pools – a great place to cool off at on a hot day!
BEST BEACHES ON MID NORTH COAST, NSW
9. Crescent Head Beach
Known for its point break, Crescent Head Beach is a surf haven with a relaxed coastal charm. Whether you’re catching waves or enjoying the laid-back atmosphere, this beach, accessible by walking from the town center or parking near Killick Creek, embodies the essence of coastal living.
Crescent Head is a great place to kick back and relax and enjoy the vibes. There are also several nice places to visit close by to Crescent Head.
10. Flynns Beach, Port Macquarie
There are some really great beaches in Port Macquarie, and Flynns Beach is one of the most beautiful ones. As there are so many beaches in Port Macquarie, it means you can always find a quiet spot on the beach to enjoy!
11. Lighthouse Beach – Port Macquarie
Stretching for miles, Lighthouse Beach also in Port Macquarie is ideal for long walks and is the end of the 9km long Port Macquarie Coastal Walk.
You can also get some great views of Point Tacking Lighthouse from Lighthouse Beach, as well as admire the Watonga Rocks on the beach.
BEST BEACHES ON THE NSW MID COAST, AUSTRALIA
12. Seven Mile Beach, Booti Booti National Park
Remote and unspoiled, Seven Mile Beach in Booti Booti National Park is surrounded by lush coastal vegetation. Accessible through a trek in the national park, this pristine secluded stretch of sand is perfect for those seeking untouched natural beauty.
13. Blueys Beach, Pacific Palms
Situated in Pacific Palms, Blueys Beach is another coastal paradise. This beach is favoured by surfers and beachgoers alike, providing a relaxed atmosphere. Plus there is also a section of the beach where you can let your dog off-leash!
14. Cellito Beach, Pacific Palms
Tucked away in the heart of Booti Booti National Park, Cellito Beach is a hidden gem accessible through a bumpy but scenic drive.
Renowned for its turquoise waters and pristine sands, Cellito Beach is often called one of the most beautiful beaches in New South Wales. Add to its hidden charm that it is rarely busy.
With its tranquil surroundings and vibrant marine life, Cellito Beach provides a perfect backdrop for a day of relaxation and exploration.
15. Boat Beach, Seal Rocks
Nestled within the charming village of Seal Rocks, Boat Beach is a picturesque beach favoured by surfers, as well as snorkellers who come to admire the marinelife.
The unique rock formations and crystal-clear waters make Boat Beach an ideal spot for underwater adventures and coastal picnics.
16. Lighthouse Beach, Seal Rocks
Offering breathtaking views of the iconic Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse, Lighthouse Beach in Seal Rocks is a postcard-perfect destination.
With sweeping coastal panoramas and golden sands, this is a stunning beach. Plus, you can drive your 4×4 on the beach here if you have the valid NSW National Parks Permit.
17. Zenith Beach, Port Stephens
Tucked between two headlands, Zenith Beach is a hidden treasure accessible via a scenic walk from the Tomaree Head Summit. With its turquoise waters and golden sands, this beach is a favourite among locals and visitors seeking a peaceful retreat.
The panoramic views from the summit – which can be reached in around 20 minutes walking, add an extra layer of allure to Zenith Beach, making it a must-visit destination for those craving a blend of coastal beauty and adventure.
18. Birubi Beach, Port Stephens
Stretching for miles along the coastline, Birubi Beach is a vast expanse of golden sands and is a must visit when in Port Stephens.
Famous for its towering sand dunes and camel rides, Birubi Beach offers an adventurous escape for adventure enthusiasts.
The expansive shoreline and rolling dunes make Stockton Beach a playground for beach lovers and thrill-seekers alike, whether you’re keen for sandboarding or dunebashing, or just want to watch the camels walking along the beach.
BEST BEACHES ON CENTRAL COAST, NSW
19. Caves Beach
Caves Beach in Lake Macquarie is renowned for its sea caves, which are really fun to explore whatever your age!
The natural beauty and calm waters also make Caves Beach an ideal spot for family picnics and seaside exploration.
20. Putty Beach
Nestled within the Bouddi National Park and at the start of the Bouddi Coastal Walk, Putty Beach is a beautiful untouched beach.
Surrounded by coastal bushland, Putty Beach offers scenic walking trails, making it a haven for nature lovers.
21. Pearl Beach
Pearl Beach is a hidden gem and in my opinion, the most under-rated beach in the whole of the Central Coast.
A calm retreat with a lovely village vibe, this is an ideal spot to go for a swim in the sea or rock pool, while the surrounding bushland adds a touch of natural beauty.
Pearl Beach is the perfect peaceful coastal escape, and despite it being small, there are plenty of things to do at Pearl Beach including the Patonga to Pearl Beach Walk, that offers absolutely incredible views.
BEST BEACHES IN SYDNEY, NSW
22. Palm Beach
Known as the setting for the iconic TV show “Home and Away,” Palm Beach in Sydney’s Northern Beaches offers a glamorous beach experience.
The golden sands and turquoise waters attract sunbathers and surfers alike, while the vibrant local scene includes trendy cafes and upscale dining. Palm Beach is a blend of natural beauty and coastal sophistication.
23. Station Beach
Station Beach, a few minutes walk on the other side of the peninsula to Palm Beach, is a lovely beach to visit.
Surrounded by lush bushland and providing stunning views across to Ku-Ring-Gai National Park, Station Beach is also one the best dog-friendly beaches in Sydney., and the starting point for the walk up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse which offers stunning views of the peninsula.
24. Whale Beach
A hidden gem in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Whale Beach is one of the quieter beaches in Sydney.
Whale Beach is a favourite among locals, while the surrounding cliffs add a touch of drama to the coastal landscape. At the southern end of Whale Beach is the rockpool, a great place to cool down.
25. Mona Vale Beach
Mona Vale Beach is a popular destination for families with its golden sands and vibrant atmosphere. The rolling waves attract surfers, and the nearby cafes and shops offer a variety of options for beachgoers.
With its lively energy and natural beauty, Mona Vale Beach is a coastal hotspot for both locals and tourists. The Mona Vale Rockpool is a must-visit when you’re here – it’s one of the best rockpools in Sydney and is truly a great place to go swimming!
26. North Curl Curl Beach
Nestled between headlands, North Curl Curl Beach is another family-friendly beach, plus there’s a dog section of the beach here too.
With its natural beauty and laid-back atmosphere, North Curl Curl Beach is a hidden gem. The rockpool here is one of the most unique rockpools in Sydney’s Northern Beaches – with a giant rock in the middle!
27. Freshwater Beach
Steeped in history as the site of the first documented surfboard riding in Australia, Freshwater Beach is a great place to relax.
The golden sands and rolling waves attract surfers and swimmers, while the nearby cafes and shops offer a variety of options for beachgoers. Freshwater Beach is a vibrant coastal destination with a rich surfing heritage.
28. Manly Beach
The location for the start of the famous Spit to Manly Walk, Manly Beach is a must-visit when in Sydney. It’s an iconic destination with a really lively atmosphere.
The most popular way to get here is via the scenic ferry ride from Circular Quay.
Manly Beach is a favourite among locals and tourists alike, while the bustling Corso offers shopping and dining options.
29. Chinamans Beach
A hidden stunning beach located not far from Spit Junction, Chinamans Beach is never crowded. This is definitely one of my favourite beaches in Sydney – the views are stunning and the water is calm as it’s a harbourside beach.
30. Balmoral Beach
Nestled within the upscale suburb of Mosman, Balmoral Beach is a favourite for families and those seeking a peaceful escape. Balmoral Beach is known for its upscale dining options, adding a touch of luxury to the coastal setting.
31. Rose Bay Beach
Situated along the sparkling waters of Sydney Harbour, Rose Bay Beach offers a tranquil escape with city views. Rose Bay is also the start of the Hermitage Foreshore Walk – a lovely harbourside walk connecting Rose Bay to Watsons Bay.
The gentle waters and sandy shores make it an ideal spot for picnics and water activities, while the nearby cafes provide delightful options for beachgoers. Rose Bay Beach is a picturesque destination with a touch of urban charm – plus there’s a great dog beach here too!
32. Shark Beach
Nestled within the Nielsen Park, Shark Beach is named so because of the shark nets for added safety.
The calm waters and shady picnic areas make it an ideal spot for families, and the nearby Nielsen Park Cafe is a great place to go for a coffee or some food. Plus, you can get some really great views.
33. Kutti Beach
A hidden gem within Sydney Harbour and Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs Beaches, Kutti Beach is one of Sydney’s hidden beaches, that comes with stunning city views! The entrance is via a narrow gate at the end of a residential street – blink and you’ll miss it!
The small sandy cove and calm waters make it an ideal spot for quiet relaxation, away from the crowds.
34. Camp Cove Beach
Camp Cove Beach is a lovely little beach that’s popular with the locals.
There is a boat shed here, as well as a really cute beach shack here serving food and drinks that is one of the most Instagrammable spots in Sydney!
35. Bondi Beach
Known worldwide as an iconic Australian destination, Bondi Beach is the ultimate Australian experience.
Known as the busiest beach in the world, and full of beautiful people – the vibes here are great. Plus the bustling promenade offers a variety of dining and shopping options.
Bondi Beach is a vibrant hub of beach culture, combining natural beauty with a lively atmosphere. Enjoy a dip in the Bondi Icebergs, go for a surf, relax on the beach, enjoy a delicious lunch, or do the famous Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk.
36. Tamarama Beach
Tucked between Bondi and Bronte, Tamarama Beach provides a more secluded coastal experience if you’d prefer something a bit more quieter.
The small intimate cove and turquoise waters make it a favourite with the locals. Tamarama Beach is a hidden gem with unique character, offering a tranquil escape along the iconic Bondi to Coogee coastal walk.
The waves here are big, so be prepared!
37. Bronte Beach
Situated along the scenic Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, Bronte Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sydney, complete with a stunning ocean pool known as the Bronte Baths Ocean Pool.
You’ll also find the Bronte Bogeyhole here at low tide – a perfect swimming spot for the little ones that’s protected from the waves.
The sandy shores and consistent waves make Bronte Beach a popular spot for surfers and families alike. With its relaxed atmosphere and stunning coastal views, this really is a stunning destination.
38. Coogee Beach
Located at the southern end of the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, Coogee Beach also has a really vibrant coastal atmosphere.
The expansive sandy shores and family-friendly vibe make it a favourite among locals and visitors. Coogee Beach is known for its lively promenade, offering a variety of cafes, bars, and restaurants, so be sure to check them out!
You can also continue the walk south from Coogee to Marboubra Beach.
39. Oak Park Beach, Cronulla
Nestled within the Sutherland Shire, Oak Park Beach in Cronulla is a beautiful beach with a relaxed vibe and a lovely ocean pool.
There are several lovely beaches in Cronulla all connected by the Cronulla Coastal Walk.
BEST BEACHES IN ILLAWARRA SHOALHAVEN, NSW
40. Burning Palms Beach
Accessible by car and a scenic walk through the Royal National Park, Burning Palms Beach is a stunningly beautiful and secluded beach.
You’ll pass the beach as you’re walking to the iconic Figure Eight Rock Pools in Royal National Park, so it’s a great place to stop off and cool down as it’s a long walk!
41. Surf Beach, Kiama
Located in the charming coastal town of Kiama, Surf Beach is a great place to relax and enjoy the views.
42. Honeymoon Bay
Nestled within the Beecroft Weapons Range along the Jervis Bay coastline, Honeymoon Bay is accessible by car during weekends only, and offers a secluded coastal oasis away from the crowds.
It’s a beautiful semi-circular beach that has very calm waters, perfect for families.
There is also the option to camp here overnight if you book in advance, which makes for a magical experience! Plus, you may even be lucky to see kangaroos here like we were!
43. Myola Kite Beach
Located near Huskisson in Jervis Bay, Myola Kite Beach provides a unique coastal experience for water sports enthusiasts. The expansive sandy shores and consistent winds make it an ideal spot for kiteboarding and kite surfing.
You can either reach here by car, or via the short boat ride from Huskisson. You can also kayak or paddleboard across, just watch for the boats and rips!
44. Blenheim Beach
Nestled near Vincentia in Jervis Bay, the quiet and secluded Blenheim Beach is a hidden gem full of natural beauty and breathtaking views of the coastline.
Surrounded by green bushland and home to beautiful white sands and turquoise waters, there is also a whole world underneath the water at Blenheim Beach! Don your snorkelling mask to look for stingrays and other marinelife.
The clear waters and gentle waves make Blenheim Beach an ideal spot for a quiet day by the sea, away from the crowds.
45. Greenfield Beach
Also located in Jervis Bay, Greenfield Beach is another stunning beach with beautiful soft white sand.
The clear waters and lush surroundings make it an ideal spot for nature lovers and beachgoers.
46. Hyams Beach
Renowned for its pristine white sands, Hyams Beach offers a world-famous coastal experience. Plus, Hyams Beach holds the Guinness World Record for the whitest sand in the world, making it a must-visit destination for beach enthusiasts!
The crystal-clear waters and powdery sands make it an ideal spot for sunbathing and swimming.
Jervis Bay is known for its spectacular beaches, but Hyams Beach is without a doubt the cherry on top.
Whether you want to explore the beaches by doing a Jervis Bay cruise or doing the White Sands Coastal Walk, one thing for sure is that these beaches are incredibly stunning and are absolutely some of the best in NSW and infact the whole of Australia!
47. Green Patch Beach
Nestled within Booderee National Park just a few kilometres from Hyams Beach, Green Patch Beach offers a pristine escape.
Renowned for its tranquil atmosphere, turquoise waters, fine white sands and abundant birdlife, Green Patch Beach is a nature lover’s paradise, perfect for a day of relaxation.
Plus, if you go snorkelling you may be able to spot some baby octopus here on the southern end of the beach by the rocks!
You may even be able to spot kangaroos on the beach here if you arrive early enough – there are so many kangaroos in Jervis Bay after all!
48. Murrays Beach
Murrays Beach is another stunning hidden gem in Jervis Bay Territory.
Known for its crystal-clear waters and surrounding bushland, the peaceful ambiance and picturesque scenery make Murrays Beach an idyllic spot for a quiet seaside retreat.
Plus, head to the nearby Murrays Beach boat ramp to spot the resident stingrays at sunset!
49. Cave Beach
Also located in Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay, Cave Beach is another great spot to visit to see the resident kangaroos! You’ll find the kangaroos on the grass before you reach the beach.
Cave Beach is a real unspoiled gem, and has some really dramatic caves. Popular among surfers and nature enthusiasts, Cave Beach offers a unique coastal experience away from the crowds and is a must-visit when you’re in the area!
BEST BEACHES ON SOUTH COAST NSW
50. Tathra Beach
Nestled in the coastal town of Tathra, Tathra Beach offers a picturesque setting with its long stretch of golden sands, clear waters and vibrant sunsets.
Tathra Beach is a favourite among locals and visitors seeking a classic beach experience. Enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere surrounded by cafes and amenities.
Catrina is a Travel Writer, SEO Specialist and ex-Flight Attendant based in Sydney, Australia. She has visited 85 countries and lived in several – including Italy, Australia, United Arab Emirates and England. Her work has been featured in a variety of popular travel publications including Fodors, Escape, Australian Traveller and Bear Grylls, as well as several international aviation and travel companies. The majority of her work however features on her own website – 24hourslayover.com where she has written over 500 travel articles!