Three Best beaches in Newcastle
Visiting Australia’s second oldest city without seeing its beaches is like bringing coal to Newcastle – totally pointless.
Life in Newcastle – one of the very few cities in the world hemmed by sea - revolves around the beach. Novocastrians are either coming, going or thinking about when they’ll next get to the beach. Surf apps are big here.
Chances are you’ve come to see the beaches too. There’s six in total including 29 surf breaks. To help you find your patch of sand we’ve hand-picked our top three.
Bare chested surfers boards tucked beneath their arms trot home from a surf. Girls with wet locks cycle the narrow streets of Newcastle East’s historic east end while passengers board the Light Rail with sandy toes.
The city’s most accessible beach and an easy walk or light rail ride from Crystalbrook Kingsley (alight at the end of the line) Newcastle Beach is where the city meets the sand – literally. With the historic ocean baths at one end; the iconic Bogey Hole the other, it’s Newy’s busiest stretch of sand.
Watch surfers leap from the rocks near the Canoe Pool and paddle out for a wave behind Shark Alley (surfers particularly love Newcastle when there’s a Nor’easter). Swimmers dive beneath waves washing off the stress of the day, while the CrossFit crew arrive at first light to work out with a backdrop of rolling waves.
Home to Australia’s largest festival of surfing (Surfest), Merewether didn’t get its national surfing reserve status for nothing. This magic stretch of coastline is home to Merewether Surfboard Club, Australia’s most successful board riders club with the world titles to back it up. It’s where four-time world surfing champion Mark Richards and surfers Luke Egan and Matt Hoy honed their craft. Ryan Callinan, currently ranked in the top 20, also hails from this iconic surf beach. On big wave days crowds flock to Merewether Point to watch surfers taking on monster swells.
It’s also home to the Merewether Ocean Baths found at the far south of the beach. This beautiful and historic gem is the southern hemisphere’s largest ocean baths and an Instagrammers dream. Be sure and visit the rooftop bar of the Merewether Surf House and drink it all in (excuse the pun).
An absolute head turner, Bar Beach lies between Newcastle to the north and Dixon Beach to the south. It’s home to the Cooks Hill Surf Lifesaving Club and some of Newcastle’s most expensive real estate.
You can drive to Bar Beach (and amazingly, park for free) but an unforgettable way to arrive is on foot via the 450m cliff Anzac Memorial Walk descending at the opposite end to the beach below. Particularly beautiful at sunset, panoramic ocean vistas with the spectacular sweep of Bar Beach bookended by craggy cliffs await. Take a dip with the locals or make your way to the secluded Susan Gilmore Beach (allegedly a nudist beach) which lies below the cliff at the beach’s northern end.
On a balmy summer’s night join the locals for a picnic on the grassy hill overlooking Bar Beach. Seriously, it doesn’t get any better.