Top Beaches in New South Wales
Featured destinations: Australia
Published 24 June 2016
New South Wales is a coastal paradise. It’s home to hundreds of beaches; some are all about swimming, others are ripe for relaxing and a select few boast a surf that is almost always up. It’s impossible to pick just one, but we’ve argued, discussed and racked our brains to pick eight of our favourites. Here are our top beaches in New South Wales:
Best for… wildlife lovers
Jervis Bay is teeming with quintessential Aussie wildlife – from a pod of resident dolphins that frolic here all year-round to kangaroos, wombats and wallabies on land. That’s not all either: you can spot rare animals from the comfort of white, pillow-soft sands that carve a shimmering path through aquamarine waters.
Best for… getting off the beaten track
Byron Bay is a New South Wales mainstay and, with more than a dozen beautiful beaches to choose from, it’s easy to see why. Whites Beach, at the south end of Broken Head, is one of our favourites. This hidden gem can be difficult to get to (pack your walking boots as well as your swimsuit – you’ve got a 15-minute trek along a dusty track and through rainforest ahead), but it’s worth the effort. Those who take on the challenge will be rewarded with one of Byron’s prettiest secret sands.
Solitary Islands Marine Reserve
Best for… snorkelling, diving and beach camping
Okay, so this one isn’t strictly a beach. In fact, it’s a 175,000-acre protected marine area where, in the right spot, diving and fishing is at its very best. The shores at Minnie Water are great for snorkelling, while Diggers Camp is perfect for those who want to pitch a tent beachside.
Best for… Sydney at its most secluded
The big beaches may be impressive, but none of them even compare to having your own hideaway. Milk Beach is Sydney at its most secluded. Away from the chaos of the city, it’s accessible by public transport, hidden behind the heritage-listed Strickland House and with uninterrupted views across the Sydney skyline.
Best for… people-watching
This Aussie icon may be busy with tourists, but it’s easy to see why. There’s that epic infinity pool at Bondi Icebergs, incredible whale-watching from the clifftops and, of course, world-class surfing. It’d be a crime to visit New South Wales, nay, Australia even, and not take in the smooth curves, fantastic waves and sun-drenched lifestyle that make up this well-known inlet.
Best for… rock pools
Austinmer is one of the most popular beaches in Wollongong, not just because of its beautiful sands and strong rips, but largely due to its two big rock pools. We’re not talking about the kind where you hunt for crabs and shells either – these are wave-fed relaxation pools, perfect for laid-back swimmers who want to greet the sunrise or sunset.
Best for… pearlescent sands
Move over Whitehaven: Hyams is home to the whitest sand in the world – or so that’s what the Guinness World Records tells us. It’s on the edges of Jervis Bay too, so you can stroll along sparkling white, super-soft sands in the morning before trying your hand at a whole host of water sports in the afternoon.
Best for… kangaroo sightings
On the edges of the Murramarrang National Park, Pebbly Beach is a beautiful, nature-filled spot, perfect for lazing on the beach. It’s also famous for its kangaroos – eastern greys love it here and are often photographed playing in the surf.