Beautiful Coastal Towns in New South Wales

Sunsets are particularly spectacular in the coastal town of Forster
Sunsets are particularly spectacular in the coastal town of Forster | © Kevin Haines / Alamy Stock Photo
New South Wales lies on the east coast of Australia, home to the sprawling metropolis of Sydney, as well as dozens of fabulous towns peppered along its coast. While these seaside hubs all share one thing in common (unspoiled stretches of golden sand overlooking the blue waters of the South Pacific Ocean rapidly spring to mind), Culture Trip’s local insiders bring you their favourites, so you don’t have to choose.

Yamba

Architectural Landmark
Yamba
© Camila Se / Alamy Stock Photo

Yamba is small, at least by Australian standards – it’s home to only 6,000 inhabitants. But, with its size comes a laid-back beach vibe that’s characteristic of sleepy surfer towns. Time moves slower, which should give visitors enough of a window to explore its 11 beaches, experience the world-class surf breaks, boat along the Clarence River (where sightings of bottlenose dolphins are common) and visit the Yamba water park. The camping sites here provide visitors with plenty of bonfire and stargazing opportunities, though there is no shortage of nature-inspired accommodation elsewhere – the Pacific Hotel Yamba, for example, sits slap-bang on a bluff overlooking Yamba Beach. Recommended by local insider Angharad Jones

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Blueys Beach

Natural Feature

Blueys Beach packs all the environmental charm of a beach that’s basically unspoiled with a threadbare, rustic village to back it up. Located in the Pacific Palms area, Blueys Beach is isolated – a Pacific paradise in which to get lost (and switch off). From beach-house rentals to a handful of luxurious hotels and camping sites, visitors are welcome all year round. If surfing’s up your alley, you’re in luck: the waves on Blueys Beach are known for their swells, and locals flock here for an adrenaline rush. Lookout points include Boomerang Point, which offers sweeping vistas of the beach below. Recommended by local insider Angharad Jones

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Avoca

Architectural Landmark
A view of Avoca Beach in New South Wales, Australia
© Bruce Palme / Alamy Stock Photo

Avoca Beach is located on the Central Coast of New South Wales and is a hub for water sports. Surfers, paddle boarders, kayakers and snorkellers take to the ocean, while the town itself offers a vast array of venues, including boutique shops, chic restaurants and a picture theatre from the 1940s. Every fourth Sunday of the month, the Avoca Beachside Market takes place with locals setting up hundreds of food stalls, art collections and clothes and jewellery stalls. Recommended by local insider Angharad Jones

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Vincentia

Natural Feature, Architectural Landmark
Hyams Beach, NSW, Australia-March 31, 2018: People enjoying the sunny weather at Hyams Beach with fine white sand, a charming seaside village.
© Constantin Stanciu / Alamy Stock Photo

In the Shoalhaven region on the South Coast, Vincentia is a pretty seaside town perched on the shores of the Jervis Bay Marine Park. From the world-famous white sands of Hyams Beach, stretching all the way to the dazzling blues of Collingwood Beach, it’s any tourist’s idea of paradise. At any time of the day, snorkellers and boaters will be privy to views of dolphins, whales, the weedy sea dragon and blue devil fish. Orion Beach is also one of Vincentia’s best-kept secrets, and the White Sands Walk can be enjoyed on foot or by bicycle. Recommended by local insider Susanna Smith

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Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair), Accessible (Blind), Accessible (Deaf), Dog Friendly

Atmosphere:

Scenic, Outdoors, Instagrammable, Peaceful

Forster

Natural Feature, Architectural Landmark

Forster is a coastal town and popular holiday resort located in the Great Lakes region of the Barrington Coast. It hosts a number of white-sand beaches, but the breakwater between Main Beach and Pacific Palms is perhaps the most popular thanks to the high number of dolphin and whale watching cruises (as well as scuba diving courses). Driving past Forster will take you to the Booti Booti National Park, located on a chunk of land between the lake and the sea and inundated with tropical forest. Bird lovers, bring your binoculars: rainbow lorikeets, pelicans and yellow-faced honeyeaters are all glimpsed on the regular. Recommended by local insider Susanna Smith

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Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly, Accessible (Deaf), Accessible (Wheelchair), Accessible (Blind), Dog Friendly

Atmosphere:

Peaceful, Scenic, Instagrammable, Photo Opportunity
These recommendations were updated on July 30, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.