The hot weather is here to stay, so grab your cozzies and a towel, and head straight to the beach.
At its core, Newcastle is a coastal town, boasting an array of picturesque beaches for everyone to explore and enjoy.
From calm and family-friendly swimming spots to world-class surf breaks, here’s your guide to the best Newcastle beaches.
Offering a nice break from city living, Newcastle Beach is easily accessible by foot from the East End precinct or by tram from further afield, and is a favourite amongst locals and visitors alike.
Wedged between cliffs and rock pools, the patrolled beach stretches 600 metres of sand, and is a popular beach for both bathers and surfers. The recently refurbished Newcastle Ocean Baths are perched at its northern end and is the perfect spot for swimming laps or a relaxed dip with friends. There is also a shallow sand-bottomed pool for kids to splash around in while parents watch on.
The southern stretch of the beach is home to the ‘Southie’ break, popular with local board riders.
Aside from swimming, locals are often found grabbing an early morning coffee from the kiosk, or an afternoon drink at the Surf Club after a long summer’s day.
Created by the convict-built Nobbys Breakwall, which was constructed in the early 1800s to provide a safer passageway for coal ships, Nobbys Beach is a popular beach for families and amateur surfers, who can join in on the daily lessons run by Surfest Surf School.
This Newcastle beach is the best for seeing dolphin pods and is also home to the Soldiers Baths, a spot frequented by snorkellers.
Stretch your legs by walking along the breakwall to the still-active 1854 Nobbys Lighthouse or continue along the five-kilometre Bathers Way pathway that traces the coast from Nobbys Headland to Merewether Ocean Baths.
Merewether Beach is home to the largest ocean baths in the Southern Hemisphere. Built in 1935, the Merewether Ocean Baths comprise lap lanes as well as a shallow pool for relaxed dips.
The beach is a famous Newcastle beach for riding waves, playing host to Australia’s largest annual surf competition, Surfest.
While only a short distance from the city, Merewether feels like the perfect coastal escape and is also a relaxing spot for an oceanside meal post swim. Our favourites include The Beach Hotel, Larrie’s, Merewether Surfhouse, and Blue Door Kiosk.
Bar Beach is the perfect all-round Newcastle beach that caters for everyone. After a swim, beach-goers normally flock to the nearest takeaway food joint before returning to the grassy hill for an afternoon picnic as the sun sets over the city.
The natural rock pool tucked into the Northern corner of the beach is a favourite spot for families.
A short walk uphill from Bar Beach will find you at the Anzac Memorial Walk, one of the top tourist attractions in town.
Dixon Park Beach
Dixon Park Beach is a great choice for a fun day out with the family. Not only is it a beautiful beach with lots of car parking, but you will also find a children’s playground, off leash dog area, green space, public barbecues, and the popular Sunnyboy Kiosk; perfect for sandy-haired kids looking for a bite to eat.
Situated between Merewether Beach and Bar Beach, make a day of it and beach hop from one to another.
On the harbour side of Nobbys Breakwall, Horseshoe Beach is a dog-friendly beach where you and your four-legged pal can enjoy some unleashed beach fun. Horseshoe Beach is also an excellent base to launch a kayak or stand-up paddle board.
Made by convicts in 1819 for the personal use of the long-serving commander of Newcastle, Major James Morisset, the idyllic Bogey Hole is one of the earliest known examples of a purpose-built ocean swimming pool. While it isn’t a beach, the Bogey Hole is the perfect spot for a quick dip or chill swim away from the crowds.
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