Newcastle Beaches & Surfing
Surrounded by eight golden beaches and blessed with a spectacular stretch of coastline, Newcastle is a beach town at heart. From exploring coastal walking tracks and pretty ocean pools to enjoying great surfing conditions, there’s something for every type of ocean lover in this thriving beachside metropolis on the NSW North Coast.
Both Newcastle Beach and Merewether Beach are a magnet for surfers chasing the perfect wave. Merewether is one of Australia’s National Surfing Reserves, a register of iconic surfing locations. The waves at Newcastle were the training ground for Mark Richards, a four-time world surfing champ, as well as other local surfing heroes like Luke Egan and Matt Hoy.
These legendary waves are suitable for beginners too. You can learn to surf year-round with Newcastle Surfest Surf School and Newcastle Surf School. Each February, NSW’s second-biggest city celebrates its beach lifestyle and surfing culture with Surfest, Australia’s largest surfing contest.
Take a dip at the Bogey Hole, the oldest ocean pool on the east coast of Australia. It was cut into the rocks by convicts in 1819. The Newcastle Ocean Baths are famous for their beautiful art deco pavilion, while the Merewether Ocean Baths is the largest ocean baths complex in the southern hemisphere.
Enjoy lunch at one of Newcastle’s many trendy beachside cafes, or there are picnic tables and barbecue facilities in parks and reserves at a number of beaches, including Dixon Park Beach, Nobbys Beach and Stockton Beach, which is the longest beach in NSW. The giant sand dunes along Stockton Beach are popular with 4WD enthusiasts.
You’ll find more coastal adventures along Stockton Beach in the Worimi Conservation Lands, a place of Aboriginal significance and home to the largest moving coastal dunes system in the southern hemisphere. Explore the dunes and learn about the area’s heritage with Sand Dune Adventures, Quad Bike King or Port Stephens 4WD Tours.
For stunning coastal views, follow the Newcastle Memorial Walk, which connects with the Bathers Way, a scenic 6km walk from the historic Nobbys Lighthouse to Merewether Ocean Baths, near Glenrock State Conservation Area. You can spot humpback whales from vantage points between May and November. For an even closer look, take a whale-watching cruise with CoastXP or Nova Cruises.
Fly into Newcastle Airport
Newcastle Airport is only 25km from the city centre. Choose from a range of transport services on arrival, including car rental, limousine and door-to-door shuttle buses. Public buses operate from the airport to the city, Stockton Ferry Wharf, Nelson Bay, Greenhills and Raymond Terrace. There are also public transport options to the Hunter Valley. Please check the timetable.
Newcastle Airport offers direct flights to and from east coast cities and Adelaide.
Jetstar flies direct to and from Melbourne, the Gold Coast, and Brisbane. QantasLink operates direct flights to and from Brisbane. Virgin Australia flies direct to and from Brisbane and Melbourne. Link Airways operates direct flights between Canberra and Newcastle three days a week. FlyPelican operates direct flights to and from Adelaide, Dubbo, Mudgee, Ballina-Byron Bay, Canberra and Sydney. Regional Express also flies to and from Sydney.