If your idea of a great getaway is beach hopping, camping and driving up north without the crowds, then it’s time you discovered all that the Macleay Valley Coast has to offer.
Point Plomer, Crescent Head
Start your adventure into the beautiful Macleay Valley Coast by packing up a car and 4WD driving along Point Plomer Road to Point Plomer, or if you want to add to the fun, you can hit the beach for a cruise along the sand, but do make sure you get a permit first). If you are sans 4WD, no worries, as you can drive along the Pacific Highway to get to this top spot.
Point Plomer is a popular surfing, swimming and fishing beach. Located near Crescent Head, the beach offers a fantastic right-hand point break for surfers and clean, calm swimming conditions that make it ideal for families and children. Take a walk to the top of the headland to spot Plomer’s resident playful pod of dolphins surfing or enjoy a long stroll to the end of the beach.
Better still, book a night or five in the beachside campground and wake up to the sound of gentle waves almost lapping on your doorstep.
Delicate Nobby Beach, Crescent Head
Continue the drive onto Delicate Nobby Beach, where you’ll find your own rock pools to play and snorkel in. Delicate is also one of the few beaches that allow dogs off-leash.
Pitch a tent or park a camper at Delicate campground (also dog friendly) and the world is your oyster. You can go surfing near Delicate Nobby, whale watching, snorkelling or swimming in the clear waters, or take the kids beachcombing.
Racecourse Beach, Crescent Head
Quiet, expansive, beautiful and often windswept – this is the perfect place to escape to if you want a solitary walk or surf.
Killick Creek, Crescent Head
It’s a summertime tradition for many families to pack up the inflatable floaties and make the pilgrimage to Crescent Head for lazy days spent floating in the creek. The lucky ones chance upon a king tide and go flying down the creek at thrilling speeds. The creek runs out to the ocean, joining the Crescent Head Surfing Reserve – a world-famous surfing location with a phenomenal right-hand wave.
Hat Head and Korogoro Creek
A hotspot for families and fishermen, the turquoise Korogoro Creek is a sight to behold at high tide. Pack your snorkeling and fishing gear and set up on the sand beside the creek for a day in the great outdoors. In summer, snorkelers will spot tropical fish that won’t be seen any further south than Hat Head. The beach itself is also safe for kids and patrolled during the holidays.
Gap Beach, South West Rocks
An adventurer’s paradise, white-sand Gap Beach is only accessible by 4WD or by hiking the stunning Smoky Cape Trail. Be aware that the beach is not patrolled. If you’re lucky, you’ll end up enjoying this beach with no one else around, although the locals do love it as a great place to fish off the beach or surf.
Trial Bay and Main Beach, South West Rocks
Trial Bay is a great spot for families usually protected by the swell, so it’s a top, calm spot for the kids and one of the few places on the East Coast you can watch the sun set over the water. Main Beach is a gloriously long stretch of sand that runs for 3.5 kilometres from Trial Bay into the heart of South West Rocks. This beach is patrolled during summer and school holidays.
Horseshoe Bay, South West Rocks
Location, location, location! The picturesque Horseshoe Bay is a stone’s throw from the centre of town, making it a delightful spot to dine on fish and chips while watching the waves and the seagulls wheeling through the sky. The safe little cove is patrolled on weekends and during school holidays and is a wonderful place for a refreshing dip.
Set on the banks of the Macleay River, the Point Holiday Park is a serene getaway nestled between flowing waterways, beach frontage and lush forest. Whether you prefer to launch the kayak from the banks of the upper Macleay River, stroll along the footbridge to the beach, or just sit back and cast a line from the park, you’ll find it all right here.
This little-known treasure has a secret fan base of holiday makers who spend Christmas in the Grassy Head Holiday Park playing cricket and swimming at the beautiful beach just over the dunes. Walk around the headland to find private rock pools or enjoy an uncrowded surf on the southern side of Grassy Head.
For more to do in New South Wales, check out laidback Lake Macquarie.