Although the ability to travel internationally is still a distant dream at the moment, we are free to explore the treasure trove of our home states. As the weather heats up, the idea of walking along the beach in a coastal town sounds like the perfect weekend getaway.
For those who live in New South Wales or if you are looking to invest in a holiday home, there are plenty of gorgeous coastal towns to add to your list of places to visit before the borders open again.
If you’re looking to get away from your home office and have a break, here are a few options.
Located on the Sapphire Coast, Eden has a range of natural wonders including beautiful beaches, vast national parks and leafy state forests, as well as a peaceful harbour known as The Port of Eden.
If a couple of days at the beach with the whole family sounds like a plan to you, Aslings Beach could be the perfect spot to settle on as an ideal place for safe swimming and surfing, as well as sandcastle building. In addition to that, the region’s national parks including Mimosa Rocks National Park and Ben Boyd National Park have walking tracks for the explorers among us and plenty of spots for fishing and picnics.
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A wonderful location for a wedding or corporate retreat, Port Stephens could also be a great place to spend a couple of weeks away. With plenty of activities and attractions for every one in the family from sandboarding on the sand dunes to hiring a boat to cruise along one of the rivers, bays or marinas in the region.
Supporting the locals is more important than ever at the moment so it may be a good idea to visit one of their markets including the Tomaree Markets, the Nelson Bay Legacy Markets, the Medowie Markets and many others.
The relaxing Avoca beach is perfect for those who prefer a more quiet, low-key holiday. Although it is a prime spot for experienced surfers, the beautiful white sandy spot is a great shout for fishing or swimming.
When you visit the central coast area, you are not just limited to the beach. With other things to keep you busy including Beachside Markets, Captain Cook Lookout, Avoca Art Gallery and Avoca Beach Surf Life Saving Club, you’ll never be bored.
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Travelling up to the coast of Northern New South Wales, Yamba may require a bit of a road trip to get there, but it could be well worth it. The area’s lovely beaches, such as Main Beach, Whiting Beach and Turner’s Beach, are all great for families with children, while Pippi is a wonderful spot for a stroll for both you and your furry friends.
If you are looking to support the locals while you’re up there, Yamba Farmers & Producers Market is the perfect place to find beautiful organic fruits and vegetables, meats and artisanal products such as bread.
If you’d like to see the other towns around Yamba, feel free to extend your trip to places such as Maclean, Brooms Head and Angourie.
While we are on the topic of one of Australia’s best surfing locations, Angourie Point has beautiful large waves, a curved sandy bay and a 150 metre high rock shelf. Be warned, the conditions are not in favour of swimmers due to the rocky bathymetry so Spooky Beach is a better option if that’s what you are looking to do.
Moving over to the North Coast of New South Wales, this coastal town is home to one of the largest caravan parks in the state. With a river that is perfect for swimming, a beach that is more than suitable for surfing and a lovely town where you can support local businesses all close by, Evans Head may tick all the boxes for your next holiday.
Like many coastal towns on this list, Evans Head has its fair share of National Parks including Broadwater and Bundjalung National Parks. These parks allow explorers to walk through the rainforest, heathland vegetation and beautiful beaches while allowing them the opportunity to learn more about Aboriginal culture. Goanna Headland, for example, is an important mythical site to the Bundjalung people.
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Back at the Central Coast, Terrigal is another great place for surfers to get away with beautiful beaches with rolling waves including Terrigal Beach, as well as Central Coast Surf School or Central Coast Surf Academy for those who wish to learn. Perfect for families, Terrigal Beach also houses a rock pool and the Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre where children can learn more about underwater creatures.
There are plenty of other outdoor activities to keep you busy from seeing the incredible view at The Skillion lookout to fishing at the beach or with the Central Coast Reef and Game Fishing Charters. There are also local restaurants and cafes to try, along with rooftop bars where you can grab a drink and live music at Florida Beach Bar at the Crowne Plaza Terrigal.
Also on the Central Coast, Norah Head is home to a heritage-listed lighthouse where you can take in the view of the sea and lavender sky, as well as whale watch. If you choose to travel in July, you could make it just in time for the annual Whale Dreamers Festival.
Wyrrabalong National Park is another spot where you can do plenty of activities including fishing, surfing, bushwalking and birdwatching. Stop by for a picnic if you decide to take a walk along one of its tracks. Feel free to take your bike as there are plenty of bike tracks as well.
Located at Byron Shire near Byron Bay, it would be difficult to get lost in the small town of Mullumbimby where you can find local shops and eateries, a local IGA and the historic Middle Pub.
Depending on the time of year you go, you could be lucky enough to be able to attend one of the local shows and festivals including The Mullumbimby Show, Mullum Music Festival, Mullumbimby Markets and Mullumbimby Farmers Markets.
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Pacific Palms is a prime location for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and fishing in Wallis and Smiths lakes. Booti Booti National Park allows visitors to do different activities such as hiking, swimming, and birdwatching, as well as whale watching in the Winter.
Booti Hill Lakeside walking track is also perfect to help people see the sites along the ocean and the lake, crossing Seven Mile Beach and Elizabeth Beach on the way. That is not the only walking track, however, with Sugar Creek trail and Cabbage Palm loop walking track also waiting to be explored.
If you’re thinking more along the lines of a quick getaway for a short weekend, there are plenty of options within this beautiful state.
Words by Jessica Testa
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