Prettiest Beach Towns in NSW

By: Rosie Stevens, 03 December 2020

ellaslist COVID-19 update: Please note that all the information on the website is correct at the time of publication. Please check the relevant website before visiting a venue or destination for the latest COVID-19 information. ellaslist is not responsible for any cancellations or closures.

In case you missed it (or have had your eyes firmly closed), NSW is home to some of the prettiest, most idyllic beach towns in Australia. 

Because international travel (and even some interstate travel) remains very up in the air (aka, banned), we reckon it’s the perfect excuse to explore your own turf and surrounds over the summer holidays this year. 

Here’s our rundown of the loveliest beach towns in NSW to peruse over the Christmas break. 

Kingscliff

Kingscliff Beach nsw
Kingscliff Beach is a popular choice for families—and it's not hard to see why!


Situated on the brink of Queensland but claimed firmly as a NSW gem, Kingscliff is a picture-perfect spot for fishing, surfing, whale-watching, snorkelling and whiling away the day playing on the beach.

An ideal pick for families, Kingscliff is still relatively sleepy, but with plenty going on for those who love the great outdoors. There are some lovely family-friendly resorts, such as Peppers Salt and Mantra on Salt Beach, or plenty of Airbnbs for effortless accommodation. 

Restaurant-wise, you’ll find plenty of spots to grab a bite along Kingscliff’s main streets, including Kingscliff Beach Hotel and popular seafood restaurant Fins. Kids will love sampling fresh regional produce at the Kingscliff Markets, held on the second and fourth Saturday of the month—or taking a trip to nearby Tropical Fruit World, where there is a range of rare, exotic fruits and wandering kangaroos.

South West Rocks

South West Rocks
South West Rocks is an idyllic beach town ripe for exploring! Image credit: NRMA 

 

Situated at the mouth of the Macleay River, South West Rocks promise a picturesque escape for families. Surrounded by stunning sandy stretches and national parks, it’s a great spot for aspiring surfers and keen nature explorers.

Touring the historic remains of the Trial Bay Gaol is often a popular pick with kids, as is checking out the Smoky Cape Lighthouse. The Yarriabini National Park is the perfect spot for a family picnic; especially if you’re keen on bird watching and taking a quick dip in a creek! 

Accommodation options around South West Rocks are modest—we’re talking campgrounds and motels mostly. The BIG4 NRMA park is a firm favourite, while the Seabreeze Beach Hotel is also a popular pick.

Minnamurra

Minnamurra beach town
Minnamurra is the perfect destination for an outdoorsy family. Image credit: Kiama.com.au

 

Meaning ‘plenty of fish’ in the local aboriginal dialect—it will come as no surprise that Minnamurra is famed for its fishing opportunities (although some places/species are heavily restricted) and is a sparkling jewel of the beautiful South Coast region. 

With so much to see and do, a trip to Minnamurra is an excellent option for outdoorsy families. Stand up paddleboarding is a popular option to try in the region, as is kayaking, swimming and of course, surfing at Mystics Beach or Jones Beach. Kids will enjoy checking out the Kiama Blowhole, the many beaches of the region and seeing the local seabirds flock to Rangoon Island (visible on the Kiama Coastal Walk.)

Yamba

Yamba beach
Head to Yamba for an iconic Aussie seaside holiday. Image credit: The Cove Yamba

 

An iconic and idyllic beach holiday destination for families, Yamba is about as popular as they come. Situated in the Clarence Valley on the NSW North Coast. With plenty of fishing, surfing, swimming and beach-hopping to be done, it’s no wonder it’s such a hot favourite for people travelling with kids. 

Kids will enjoy exploring the area—notably Yamba Lighthouse and the many parks that pepper the river and beaches; perfect for picnicking on! There are plenty of accommodation options in the area—such as BIG4 Saltwater Yamba Holiday Park and Blue Dolphin Holiday Resort; both offering affordable, family-friendly facilities. Oh—and don’t forget to try the infamous Yamba seafood while you’re in the region; particularly the prawns!

Bundeena

Bundeena pretty NSW beach town
As pretty as a picture, Bundeena is a winning holiday destination for families. Image credit: bundeenainfo.com

 

A beautiful village on the brink of Sydney’s Royal National Park, Bundeena is undoubtedly one of NSW’s most picturesque beach towns. For Sydneysiders, it’s a great weekend away without too much driving to get there, or even makes a wonderful day trip. Bursting with things to do like kayaking, walking, picnicking, swimming, surfing, fishing—it’s safe to say that if you like anything to do with water, you’ve come to the right place.

There are plenty of cafes around the area, plus a family-friendly bistro at Bundeena Bowling Club serving up Thai favourites that are ever popular with locals and visitors alike.

Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie prettiest beach towns in NSW
Well-known for its beaches, Port Macquarie has it all for some family-fun this summer. Image credit: portmacquarieinfo.com.au

 

Nestled between the Hastings River and the Pacific Ocean, Port Macquarie is a firm family favourite when it comes to gorgeous seaside destinations. Renowned for its beaches and wildlife, it makes a perfect holiday getaway.

With the most koalas per capita on the east coast, a visit to Port Macquarie will make mini wildlife enthusiasts very happy indeed. The famous Koala Hospital is a must-visit, alongside Billabong Zoo: Koala and Wildlife Park. 

You’ll find plenty of accommodation options in Port Macquarie with something to all budgets. Sandcastle Apartments is a particularly great option for families, and there is also a great range of restaurants and cafes, with a bustling cultural scene that provides a diverse range of things to do. 

Avoca

Avoca prettiest beach towns in NSW
A gorgeous spot for families, Avoca Beach is as pretty as a picture. Image credit: icentralcoast.com

 

A gorgeous seaside village, Avoca is brimming with cafes, restaurant and things to do. Situated just 90 minutes north of Sydney, this Central Coast gem is a great pick for families.

Surfing, kayaking, pedal boating, swimming and stand up paddleboarding are all popular options for beachside activities, and there’s also plenty of time to be spent exploring the village and checking out the nearby beaches. For accommodation, Avoca Beach Hotel is a popular choice, and there’s also a range of other options to suit all needs and budgets.

More (Domestic) Travel Ideas:

Best Things To Do With Kids And Family In Byron Bay
Top Hotels And Resorts For Kids And Families in Australia
Six Of The Best Mumcation Ideas in NSW

Have you signed up to our newsletter? Join ellaslist to get the best family and kid-friendly events, venues, classes and things to do NEAR YOU!

  • Family
    All Ages

Reviews