In Port Stephens, just north of Newcastle, enjoy parasailing and tour towering sand dunes with Sand Dune Adventures or Port Stephens 4WD. Learn to scuba dive among turtles in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. See the dolphin show and Butterfly House in Coffs Harbour.
Walk above a rainforest canopy in the World Heritage-listed Dorrigo National Park. The North Coast has many beaches for long walks, swimming and surfing. Join a guided canoe adventure on the Bellinger River. Watch the sunrise from coastal headlands.
About the North Coast
North of Sydney you’ll discover Australia’s oldest wine region, wide river valleys, dramatic volcanic hinterlands and long uncrowded beaches. Snorkel and dive on coral reefs in marine parks and see amazing wildlife, such as whales and dolphins, on a cruise. Airlines fly to many destinations on the North Coast of NSW.
Rent a car and drive the Legendary Pacific Coast; the route winds through 48 national parks and 12 state forests, towns and villages, and rainforest. On your trip, stop in Newcastle, NSW’s second-largest city, and enjoy the Bathers Way coastal walk.
Inland from Newcastle is the Hunter Valley wine region, where grapes were first planted in the 1820s. Activities here include playing golf among the vineyards. A little further north is Port Stephens, which is popular for dolphin watching and adventures on the Southern Hemisphere’s largest moving coastal sand dunes.
Qantas has services to Port Macquarie airport; among local attractions is a hospital where injured and sick koalas are treated.
The World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests are on the North Coast. They include Dorrigo National Park near Coffs Harbour; the town is the home of the iconic Big Banana and attractions such as a dolphin show. Qantas and Virgin Australia service Coffs Harbour.
Dive and snorkel in the Solitary Islands Marine Park, which begins at Coffs Harbour. Jetty Dive offers tours in the marine park.
A short flight from Sydney to Ballina brings you to popular Byron Bay, a must-see destination on the North Coast. As well as beautiful beaches and a great café scene, there’s kayaking with dolphins and whales, surfing and hot-air ballooning, to mention just a few of many activities.
To explore the North Coast you can fly, drive, catch a train from Sydney or join a bus tour for destinations on the coast or in the hinterland. There is plentiful accommodation in the region.