NSW North Coast Region Overview
Welcome to the stunning NSW North Coast of Australia. At My Guide Byron Bay we aim to bring you the very best of the coast, giving you all the information you need on Byron Bay and beyond.
Byron Bay is perhaps the most internationally famous tourist destination on our coast and has been drawing travellers from around the world for years. It's a truly unique place and one of the coolest little beach towns you'll find anywhere. It is certainly unmissable, but there is also much to do and explore along the rest of the NSW North Coast.
Stretching from Newcastle, right up to The Tweed Coast at its northern end, the NSW North Coast is a holiday paradise. We have over 500km of pristine beaches, untouched coastline, rolling green countryside and ancient subtropical rainforests. Famous for its balmy climate, surf culture and for offering travellers a taste of the laid back good life, there is so much to discover. There are numerous World Heritage listed national parks and marine reserves to explore and a myriad of internal lakes and rivers as well. There are laid back tourist towns and quaint villages offering relaxation by the bucket load. Bordered by rugged volcanic mountains on one side, and the shimmering, magnificent Pacific Ocean on the other, the region is beautiful and probably bigger and more diverse than you imagine.
The entire coastline is a watersports paradise, popular for its surfing and whale watching. You'll also find boating, diving, snorkelling, fishing and plenty of spots for swimming (be it in pounding surf or a crystal rainforest waterfall). Adrenaline junkies are well catered for here, with sky diving, hang gliding and wild water rafting just some of the white knuckle adventures on offer. There are endless nature trails and bush walks, rainforest and wildlife experiences, as well as superb food and wine. Accommodation ranges from fun surfside backpacker hostels to seriously luxurious boutique retreats. Whatever you are looking for in a holiday (a beach break, a golfing weekend, an outdoor-under-the-stars experience, or just a bit of pampering time at a spa), we want to help you find it.
So where to start?
Heading north up the NSW North Coast from Sydney you can discover the oceanside vibe of funky Newcastle, the capital of the Hunter region. A small, beachy city, Newcastle has a growing cafe and arts scene. Just a 20 minute drive away and you're in the midst of the Hunter Valley, Australia's oldest wine producing region with 120 vineyards and wineries to choose from. With a staggering array of restaurants and some really beautiful places to stay, the Hunter Valley is perfect for a gourmet long weekend.
Also on the doorstep of Newcastle is Australia's blue water paradise and dolphin capital, Port Stephens. It's dotted with holiday towns and villages including Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay and Corlette. Picture postcard golden beaches and crystal clear blue waters are the hallmarks of the Port Stephen's area. Offering fantastic tour and accommodation options, the area is an easy long weekend destination from Sydney.
Continuing north, The Great Lakes and Port Macquarie are just awaiting your discovery. A watersports paradise, The Great Lakes is a network of superb surf beaches, lakes and internal waterways, offering up all the summertime, waterbound fun you could imagine in such terrain. Explore the Myall and Wallis Lakes, as well as seaside Pacific Palms and Forster. Port Macquarie is gaining in reputation as a tourism hotspot, with some higher end hotels opening up in recent times. This part of the coast is also firmly on the foodie's map, with fantastic dining to be found.
Further up the coast you are totally spoilt for choice. You might choose to stop at the surfie gems of Crescent Head, Hat Head, South West Rocks or the scenic seaside hamlet at Nambucca Heads. Or visit the laid back and slightly 'older world' beach town of Sawtell. The artsy and quaint country village of Bellingen is very popular and relaxation abounds in its lovely valley. A highly recommended route along this part of the coast is the inland Rainforest Way drive. Explore the waterfalls, ancient rainforest and jaw dropping scenery at Dorrigo.
Further north again, the fun all year round family favourite of Coffs Harbour awaits. It is a quintessential Aussie holiday spot and offers something for everyone. Golf, golden beaches and some fun local attractions.
Driving north from Coffs you'll find the Clarence Coast, a picture postcard palette of gentle countryside with meandering rivers offering up a peaceful, rural way of life. Stop in at the seaside town of Yamba and sample some of the most succulent seafood around. This stretch of remote and rugged coastline is a special spot for surfers, home to two world famous surfing reserves at Angourie Point and Lennox Head.
It's just a two and a half hour drive from Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay. Beautiful, hip, magical, creative, soothing, laid back, spiritual… there are many words to describe this idyllic little corner of the globe. It's a cruisy beach town offering up just about all you could want in a summer holiday. Great restaurants, a good live music scene, some truly amazing accommodation and its own very unique style. The surrounding hinterland is serene and full of hidden gems for tourists to discover.
At the top of the NSW North Coast, just below the Queensland border and a short drive from the glittering Gold Coast, lies the more leisurely paced Tweed Coast. It's lush, green and sits under the shadow of the Southern Hemisphere's largest extinct shield volcano, Mt Warning. The villages of the Tweed are popular for a relaxing beach getaway, with a strip of new coastal resorts and designer beach houses to rent springing up in the last few years. There's a range of great dining options throughout the area and plenty of activities to keep visitors entertained.