WINTER is a great time to explore the coast without the crowds, in and out of the water. The water is often warmer than the air temperature….but let’s face it when is the north coast of NSW really that cold?

Here’s what you need

  • 14 days, if you only have 7 you will spend the next 12 months dreaming
  • Your steamer and best boards
  • Best surfin’ bro (if you can’t decide who to bring, do below x 2)
  • Bed on wheels – Campervan rental

HINT – Consider a one-way rental and cross the border into Queenslander, drop-in at Snapper Rocks and return your camper to Brisbane. Now hit the road to a green room of your dreams.

Spotify playlist recommendation – Surf Music by 1115568367345 – 22hrs
Spotify podcast recommendation – Ain’t That Swell by Surf Radio (23 episodes)

Let’s assume you’re coming from Sydney……..

Pacific Palms

Choice of 3 beaches with creds – Seal Rocks, Boomerang Beach and Bluey’s. Natural beauty abounds, underdeveloped, friendly locals include dolphins and whales. No throbbing night clubs but relaxed neighbourhood eateries, however, you’re in a campervan so you can eat in if you like.

Distance – 280km -3h 20m from Sydney
Stay – O/N – Seal Rocks Holiday Park 

Crescent Head

Man surfing Crescent Head in NSW

Surfing Crescent Head in NSW. Credit: Kempsey Shire Council

From Crescent Head north to Hungry Headland is a 17km bay scattered with right and left-hand breaks. In the right conditions, Crescent Head Point offers a famous 400m right-hand point break. You might not want to leave if it’s going off.

South of the point is Racecourse Headland with 7km of sand between, known by the locals as ‘Back Beach’ it’s another classic right-hand break. If the locals tell you to head to Delicate-Nobby make sure the conditions are good for it, it’s a very fickled break. Eat and Drink at the Crescent Head Tavern, live music, great Vietnamese food, pizza, fun and a fabulous view.

Distance – 203km – 2h 30m from Seal Rocks
Stay – Crescent Head Holiday Park 

South West Rocks

View from Smoky Bay Lighthouse NSW. Credit Kempsey Shire Council

The Macleay River bar can be one of the countries best kept secret right-hand breaks or the most treacherous break you will ever experience. Take care, there are plenty of other offerings, The Front Beach, Horseshoe Bay and Little Bay all offer 5-star right-hand breaks. Eat at the Seabreeze Beach Hotel.

Distance – 57k, 45m from Cresent Head
Stay – Horseshoe Bay Holiday Park

Scotts Head and Nambucca Heads

South Beach, Scotts Head NSW

View of South Beach National Park in Scotts Head NSW. Credit Destination NSW

At Scott’s, there is always a surfable right-hand break at Wakki or Little Beach even if it is small. If it’s too small for you, head to Nambucca Head’s Valla Beach, it’s a very reliable beach break. Eat and Drink – Club Scotts in the holiday park.

Distance – 50k, 45m from South West Rocks
Stay – Scotts Head Holiday Park 

Sawtell Island – Coffs Harbour

Sunrise in Sawtell, Coffs Coast NSW

Beach Sunrise in Sawtell, Coffs Coast, NSW. Credit Destination NSW

Sawtell Island off Sawtell beach offers point breaks on the beach, it’s no secret so try to be here midweek – Not only is it just 15 minutes south of the Big Banana Sawtell also has a great RSL and Surf Life Saving Club, so no need to tell you where to eat.

Distance – 67k, 45m from Scotts Head
Stay – Big 4 Sawtell Beach Holiday Park 

Angourie Point Beach – Yamba

Woman surfing Angourie Point Beach, Angourie, NSW

Morning surf at Angourie Point Beach, Angourie, NSW. Credit: Destination NSW

Did you bring your longboard? This is the best place to break it out for a great right-hand point break. The suggestion here is to take a big breath and a good look around, O.M.G. this place is beautiful!

Distance – 147k, 1h 50m from Sawtell
Stay – Angourie Back-Beach Holiday Camp 

Evans Head

Conditions need to be good here, you can get a nice left or right-hand beach break depending on the winds if it’s not working keep going to Lennox Head.

Distance – 81k, 1h 15m from Yamba

Stay – Evans Head Holiday Park

Lennox Head

Before you dump Evans for Lennox just a warning – Lennox is hardcore, access is off rocks and the current can be tricky, be honest with yourself about your ability. But it is regarded as one of Australia’s best right-handers.

Distance – 52k 40m from Evans Head
Stay – Lennox Head Holiday Park

Broken Head and The Pass, Byron Bay

The Pass, Byron Bay NSW

Woman enjoying a day of surfing at The Pass, Byron Bay. Credit: Destination NSW

Either side of Byron proper you can visit both these iconic surf locations. Dusk and dawn best avoided. Actually, that’s the advice for everywhere, not just the Byron area.

Distance – 11k and 21k respectively from Lennox Head
Stay – Broken Head Holiday Camp

Shelley Richardson

Shelley has been working in the travel industry for over 30 years, in aviation, for tour operators and for the last three years for DriveNow. Having travelled extensively worldwide, alone, as a couple and with her family, Shelley has experience to share about how to make the most of your holiday

More Posts