14 Newcastle Beaches You Will Love

Almost any of the Newcastle beaches on our list would fit nicely on a list of the best beaches in NSW. In fact, a couple of them are. The city also boasts a fantastic walk along the coastline that allows you to visit several of them over a couple of hours.

The beaches in Newcastle NSW, just two hours north of Sydney, offer some of the most beautiful beaches north of Sydney and also some of the most photographic ocean pools we have seen.

Best Beaches in Newcastle

Nobbys Beach

Nobbys Beach sits next to the famous Newcastle breakwater. If you are looking for a quiet spot to relax in the sun reading, this is a good choice. Head to the northern end of the beach for more solitude. If you want to swim stick to the southern end where you will usually find the flags.

Nobby’s Beach Pavilion

This beach is considered one of the safest in the area and a fabulous choice for families or less confident swimmers. It’s backed by a lovely old pavilion building 1923. At the southern end, you will find a number of rock pools.

Newcastle is the traditional country of the Awabakal and Worimi peoples.

Newcastle Ocean Baths

Newcastle Ocean Baths, with its historic art deco facade, is a feature of the city. Often used in promotional shots of the city, the baths opened to the public before the end of WWI but did not officially open until 1922.

Newcastle Ocean Baths

The extremely popular complex has two pools, a 50m lap pool for those on a mission and one for people wanting to splash about. Down the centre is a concrete divider that makes the perfect spot to sit and rest. The pool is open year-round but closed for cleaning once a week. The change rooms are opened until 7pm each day.

Newcastle Beach

Right next door to the ocean baths is a great choice for those with young kids, the Canoe Pool. Located at the northern end of the beach, the pool has a long and interesting history.

Newcastle Beach

Bogey Hole, Newcastle NSW

Located in the cliff face just below King Edward Park, the Bogey Hole was constructed by convicts Lieutenant-Colonel James Thomas Morisset, between 1819-1820, who ordered it to be built for his personal use.

Bogey Hole Newcastle
The convict-built rock pool is well hidden but well known.

Access is via a staircase off Shortland Esplanade and it can get really pretty hairy here when the tide is high and seas are rough. The pool is about 1.5m deep and best visited in the early morning or late afternoon if you want some room to yourself.

A giant wave breaks towards the shore at Newcastle Beachs Austrailia
Surf off Newcastle Beaches

Susan Gilmore Beach

Susan Gilmore Beach is named after a ship that was wrecked on this headland in 1884. While it is only 100m long, and not great for swimming, it offers a quiet patch of sand away from the masses.

The reason it remains fairly quiet is that swimming here can be risky, indeed you should really only swim at low tide and when the swell is low. However. if you want to paddle your feet and enjoy the sunshine, it’s a nice choice.

There are no patrols or flags on this beach and access is not easy, it is best for the adventurers perhaps. It’s also popular for fishing.

Bar Beach

The next stretch of sand is home to three beaches, beginning with Bar Beach, followed by Dixon Park and at the southern end Merewether, one of the most popular beaches in Newcastle.

Looking north to Bar Beach from Dixon Park

The stretch from Dixon Park to Burwood Beach is known as the Merewether Beach National surfing reserve. This is where 4 times World Surfing Champ Mark Richards developed his skill.

Bar Beach looking south to Merewether Beach

Merewether Beach

Last stop on the Bather’s Way Walk, it is hard to know where Bar Beach and Dixon Park Beaches end and Merewether begins. It’s basically one long stretch. Merewether is in the far distance in this photo.

A beautiful sunny summers day at Bar Beach - Merewether Beach
Bar Beach – Merewether Beach

Blue Door Kiosk does a fantastic takeaway with healthy and more decadent options on offer, but if you fancy a sit-down brunch by the water it’s hard to go past Merewether Surf House. With dishes like Apple crumble porridge and Banoffee french toast a sweet tooth will be in heaven here. We opted for the classic avo on toast on our last visit.

Merewether Surf House Cafe
Merewether Surf House
Avo and egg breakfast
Avo and poached eggs by the sea

The Surfhouse also has a restaurant with a modern Italian menu and a terrace bar that does pizzas.

Continue a little further along the beach to the Merewether Baths Ocean Pool. The largest of their kind in the southern hemisphere.

Merewether Beach Ocean Pool Newcastle
Merewether Beach Ocean Pool Newcastle

Burwood Beach / Glenrock Lagoon Beach

This unpatrolled beach in the Glenrock State Conservation Area offers little in the way of amenities but it does offer a lovely walk and some secluded paddling.

Burwood and Dudley beach aerial view - Newcastle NSW Australia
Burwood Beach in Glenrock State Conservation Area

You can reach the beach in about 20-30 minutes along the waterfront from Merewether Beach. You can also drive to the Yuelarbah picnic area and take the 6.8km Yuelarbah walking track from there to the beach.

Dudley Beach

When we come across beaches like Dudley Beach we really start to wonder why we ever take beach holidays anywhere else. The Newcastle beaches along this stretch are pristine and never crowded.

Aerial view of Dudley beach in Newcastle

This 1.3km long beach, 10 minutes south of Newcastle is managed by National Parks and Wildlife. It’s not patrolled and has some pretty hairy rips at times so it’s best suited to paddles in the shallows, beach picnics, surfing and fishing. The beach sometimes attracts nude bathing although it is not officially a nude beach.

They are currently building picnic shelters and a viewing platform near the car park and these are due for completion shortly. On our last visit, there were no change facilities or other amenities so not sure if this will be included in the upgrade.

Nine Mile Beach

Nine Mile Beach runs for 7 miles from Redhead Beach to Blacksmiths Beach at Swansea, much of the beach is backed by parkland making it feel miles from anywhere. Sections of the beach are popular with 4WD owners and you can also camp along much of the beach.

View south along Nine Mile beach from Redhead

The northern and southern ends are Redhead and Blacksmiths respectively while the middle is known as Nine Mile.

Redhead Beach

Perhaps best known for its iconic shark tower this beach is patrolled in season and has facilities and a cafe at the northern end. It’s a hotspot for photographers and a great place to capture shots of the sunrise.

elevated view shows the beach running down towards Blacksmiths Beach and Swansea.
Redhead Beach south of Newcastle is a popular surfing beach.

Dogs and horses are allowed on Redhead Beach at the southern end. Nearby George Stanton Lookout is a great place to capture a photo of the beach. There is a car park by the surf club at the very northern end of the beach. Alternatively, park at the Webb Street Playground and follow Owens walk past the lagoon and mangroves for a lovely wildlife experience.

Blacksmiths Beach

The last beach before Lakes Entrance at Swansea and while technically considered Lake Macquarie we have kept it on our list of Newcastle Beaches cause it’s only 30 minutes south of the city centre and very special.

This pet-friendly beach is also 4WD friendly and allows camping. Pretty much an oddity along the NSW coast. On Blacksmiths beach, you can camp on the beach next to your vehicle but you will need to purchase a permit before you do.

Located at the far end of Nine Mile Beach there are some facilities, including a Surf Lifesaving Club at the very south end of Blacksmiths Beach, but the rest of the stretch is pretty much free of amenities.

Fishing off the Blacksmith breakwall can be rewarding and families will enjoy a splash at Grannys Pool just south of the breakwall and facing into the channel and down to Lake Macquarie. There is wheelchair access and recently they added showers!

Beaches on the north side of Newcastle Harbour

Stockton Beach

Stockton Beach stretches 32km from Newcastle Harbour to Anna Bay in Port Stephens. Home of the largest sand dune in the southern hemisphere this area is also a dream spot for 4WD and all sorts of beach adventures.

Shipwreck Walk – An easy 2km walk along the Stockton Breakwall that acts as a memorial for the boats that sunk here in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Markers along the path commemorate the stretch of wrecks. The main feature is the wreckage of the French barque, Adolphe, which became stranded here when it was swept by high seas to land on top of other wrecks in 1904.

 The wreck of the Adolphe on Stockton breakwall
The wreck of the Adolphe on Stockton breakwall

Tin City – One of the highlights of the beach is Tin City – originating from two tin shacks build to house shipwreck survivors the community grew to over 30 tin structures on Stockton Beach. Our friend Helen over at Differentville has shared her experience of visiting on a guided tour.

Little Beach

Best for dog walking and fishing off the nearby rocks Little Beach is backed by an Olympic swimming pool and skate park.

List of Dog Beaches in Newcastle

Newcastle has three dog-friendly beaches. Horseshoe Beach is right by the entrance to the harbour and is the most popular spot for an early morning dog walk.

Horseshoe Beach by Nobbys Lighthouse and the breakwall
Horseshoe Beach by Nobbys Lighthouse and the breakwall

This 24-hour off-leash beach is a great place to watch the sunrise and the tanker traffic heading into and out of the harbour.

The second, Redhead Beach is south of the city and you can also ride horses on the beach here!

Lastly, if you are on the north side Little Beach near the Breakwall is a good choice.

Where to stay for your Newcastle Beach holiday

BudgetNewcastle YHA – I’ve spent many weekends at the historic Newcastle YHA just a short stroll from Newcastle beachfront. The property is perfectly located for exploring and close to transport and cafes.

Mid-range Novotel Newcastle is across the road from the hostel and The family rooms sleep four, and if you are after an ocean view, there are harbour view rooms available.

Splurge – Crystalbook opened the stunning Kingsley Hotel earlier this year. It’s the city’s first 5-star property and with its location right in the middle of town, it’s perfect for a short getaway.

Check out our Sydney to Newcastle Getaway and see what we got up to on our recent visit.

Check out a range of Newcastle hotels and apartments on Booking.com

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4 thoughts on “14 Newcastle Beaches You Will Love”

  1. I grew up in Sydney and holidayed each year at Macmasters Beach near Gosford, but I have never been to Newcastle. This is something I will have to rectify. Your photos and descriptions make the beaches so inviting. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Newcastle has some beautiful beaches and your post brought back some memories of big waves crashing into the Newcastle swimming pool at high tide. Thanks for sharing this!

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