Beautiful Coastal Towns in New South Wales, Australia

These coastal towns in New South Wales offer stretches of golden sand and a laid-back atmosphere
These coastal towns in New South Wales offer stretches of golden sand and a laid-back atmosphere | © CreativeFire / Getty Images
Photo of Elena Alston
20 August 2020

New South Wales lies on the east coast of Australia, home to the sprawling metropolis of Sydney, as well as dozens of fabulous towns along its coast. These seaside hubs all have one thing in common – stretches of golden sand overlooking the blue waters of the South Pacific Ocean – so it can be hard to narrow down your choices. To help you out, Culture Trip’s local insiders bring you their favourites.

Yamba

Architectural Landmark
Map View
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 petite 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’s no shortage of nature-inspired accommodation elsewhere. This apartment, for example, sits directly on the oceanfront with unsurpassed views. Accommodating up to six guests, it has two levels – one cascading down onto the rocks and another with a deck where you can enjoy the scenery. Recommended by local insider Angharad Jones

Blueys Beach

Natural Feature
Map View
© martin berry / Alamy Stock Photo

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. For a unique stay in the area, book into this coastal treehouse, where you’ll get ocean views and an open timber deck reaching out into the treetops. With three bedrooms, it’s a great pick for a group of friends or couples who want to relax together. Recommended by local insider Angharad Jones

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  • Avoca

    Architectural Landmark
    Map View
    © Manfred Gottschalk / 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. Consider booking a stay at Sandy Corner, a two-bedroom beachfront and lakefront cottage filled with character and comfort. Here, up to four guests can listen to the soothing sound of the ocean at night and enjoy the close proximity (a one-minute walk) to shops, cafés and restaurants. Recommended by local insider Angharad Jones

    Vincentia

    Natural Feature, Architectural Landmark
    Map View
    © martin berry / 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. Couples looking for a romantic place to stay here should check out this luxurious one-bedroom flat at Jervis Bay Blue. With its range of amenities, coastal views and the gorgeous garden on site, you won’t want to leave. Recommended by local insider Susanna Smith

    Atmosphere:

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

    Forster

    Natural Feature, Architectural Landmark
    Map View
    © Arterra Picture Library / Alamy Stock Photo

    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. While you’re in Forster, why not treat yourself to a stay in this ocean-view penthouse? The one-bedroom apartment is spacious, beautifully furnished and, best of all, a two-minute walk to the beach. Recommended by local insider Susanna Smith

    Atmosphere:

    Family Friendly, Accessible (Deaf), Accessible (Wheelchair), Accessible (Blind), Dog Friendly
    These recommendations were updated on August 20, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.