The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches

Australia is famous the world over for its excellent beaches.  With over 25,000 km’s of coastline, there’s a perfect patch of sand for everyone to enjoy. And the NSW South Coast beaches are among some of the very best in the country (if not the world!).

There are hundreds of beaches stretching south from Sydney to the Victorian boarder that are perfect for summer vacation activities like swimming, surfing, walking, fishing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, wildlife spotting and just simply relaxing.

So with an abundance to choose from, where do you start? Right here of course!

As always I’ve got you covered with this list of the very best NSW South Coast beaches. Each and every one I’ve picked has been tried and tested (it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it right!) so you know you can trust my recommendations. I’ve travelled the entire NSW South Coast multiple times and have deemed these 16 beaches to be the best of the best.

The list is in order from north to south and I’ve included a handy map to help you visualise where they are located. I’ve also popped in some added resources to help you plan a trip to one or more of these beaches, things like accommodation options and further reading on other things to do in the area.

Safety Note: Beach safety is not a joke in Australia. Far too many people swim at unsafe beaches and get themselves into trouble (or worse) each year. Always swim between the flags! With this in mind I have included if each beach is patrolled by life savers or not and rough hours which are subject to change throughout the year depending on the season, holiday period and day of the week. Always check out the Beach Safe website to confirm the hours before you visit. 

I’d love to have your input at the end too. If you’ve got a favourite NSW South Coast beach, let me know what it is in the comments at the end of this post.

Map of NSW South Coast Beaches

The Best NSW South Coast Beaches

Coledale Beach, Coledale

Coledale Beach - The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches - The Trusted Traveller

My pick of the many great beaches on the coast just south of Sydney. It’s in close proximity to the Sea Cliff Bridge and doesn’t get quite as busy during peak times like nearby Austinmer (which I love also, but trying to find a parking spot there is impossible!), but it’s just as good.

Coledale is also a great option for a beach visit on a day trip from Sydney being that it is only just over a one hour drive from the CBD.

Patrolled by Surf Lifesavers: Yes – daily from 10am – 6pm

Accommodation Near Coledale Beach

City Beach, Wollongong

City Beach, Wollongong - The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches - The Trusted Traveller

Wollongong has two great beaches and really I could have put both on this list but I picked City Beach because you can literally step out of the Wollongong city centre onto the beach.

From City Beach you can also take a short walk to the lighthouse for great views of the area and step just back off the beach for food and drinks. Steamers Bar & Grill have waterfront views and great pub style menu to keep you well fed and hydrated while you enjoy the beach.

Patrolled by Surf Lifesavers: Yes – daily from 9am – 6pm

Jones Beach, Kiama Downs

Jones Beach, Kiama Downs - The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches - The Trusted Traveller

Not only great for swimming and surfing in summer, Jones Beach is worth a visit any time of year to see the Cathedral Rocks at the southern end of the beach.

If the tide is low enough you can walk a short way around on the rocks too, exploring the rock pools left by the earlier high tide and waves. Jones Beach is also not as busy as Kiama’s other popular beaches, Bombo and Surf Beaches.

Patrolled by Life Savers: Yes – weekends and school holidays 9am – 6pm

See More While in Jones Beach Kiama

Werri Beach, Gerringong

Werri Beach, Gerringong - The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches - The Trusted Traveller

I love this beach to enjoy a stroll or eat takeaway fish and chips or a pie bought from the town up the hill. The water is always sparkling and the surrounding views are lovely.

Take a walk to the southern end of the beach to wander through the rock pools or just set up your towel and umbrella and take in the serenity.

Patrolled by Life Savers: Yes – weekends and school holidays 10am – 6pm

Accommodation Near Werri Beach Gerringong

Seven Mile Beach, Shoalhaven Heads

Seven Mile Beach, Geroa - The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches - The Trusted Traveller

One of the longest beaches on the NSW South Coast, Seven Mile Beach stretches from the sleepy town of Geroa to the popular summer holiday town of Shoalhaven Heads.

First thing to do before arriving at this beach is to check out the view of it from the lookout which is located at the turn off to Geroa (see the view above, pretty awesome right!).

Then you need to pick which part of the beach to relax on. There are five main beach access points along the seven mile stretch of beach. I’ve added details about life saver patrols for each below.

Patrolled by Life Savers: Multiple locations

  • Geroa Beach – daily 9.30am – 5.30pm
  • Mid Seven Mile Beach – unpatrolled, but still a good spot for a walk
  • Main Seven Mile Beach – daily 9am – 5pm
  • Shoalhaven Heads Beach – daily 9am – 5pm
  • Comorong Island – unpatrolled, but again a great spot for a walk
Accommodation Near Seven Mile Beach Shoalhaven Heads

Culburra Beach

Culbarra Beach - The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches - The Trusted Traveller

This surf beach can get some wicked swells making it excellent for surfers visiting the area. It is also patrolled so great for swimming and long lazy walks on the beach.

Culburra itself is a neat little town that is the perfect place to spend the summer holidays. It has both Jervis Bay and the Shoalhaven Heads right next door.

Patrolled by Life Savers: daily 9am – 5pm

Accommodation Near Culbarra Beach

Culburra Beach Motel

Or why not book an Airbnb. Get up to $45 off your first stay with this link.

Cabbage Tree Beach, Jervis Bay

Cabbage Tree Beach, Jervis Bay - The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches - The Trusted Traveller

This is, in my humble opinion, one of the NSW South Coast best beaches. Secluded and virtually untouched, Cabbage Tree Beach is on the Beecroft Peninsula which is part of the Department of Defence Weapon Range.

At certain times of the day you’ll find local kangaroos on the beach and lots of other wildlife in the surrounding bush. Most people don’t even know this beach exists, so you may find you have the whole beach to yourself.

Patrolled by Life Savers: Unpatrolled, however it is a bay beach rather than an ocean beach so it is safer to swim without the flags. As always, assess the conditions and swim with caution.

Callala Beach, Jervis Bay

Callala Bay Beach, Jervis Bay - The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches - The Trusted Traveller

Calm crystal clear water perfect for kayaking or stand up paddle boarding and pristine white sand make this an excellent choice from the many great beaches in Jervis Bay.

While the next beach in my list is said to have the whitest sand, I have personally experienced Callala Beach to be pretty close in comparison.

Patrolled by Life Savers: Unpatrolled, however it is a bay beach rather than an ocean beach so it is safer to swim without the flags. As always, assess the conditions and swim with caution.

There are a great range of tours to do in and around Jervis Bay if you have a few days to spend in the region. You can check out these tours here.

Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay

Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay - The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches - The Trusted Traveller

One of the best places to visit on NSW South Coast, Jervis Bay is home to a beach that is said to have some of the whitest sand in the world.

Because of its popularity, it can get a bit busy, especially on weekends, but it is so stunning that it is 100% worth at least a quick stop to say you’ve walked on the whitest sand in the world.

Patrolled by Life Savers: Unpatrolled, however it is a bay beach rather than an ocean beach so it is safer to swim without the flags. As always, assess the conditions and swim with caution.

Murrays Beach, Jervis Bay

Murrays Beach, Jervis Bay - The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches - The Trusted Traveller

I love Murrays Beach for its incredible Jervis Bay views (being located on the far southern end of the bay), crystal clear water and surrounding dense bush.

It is a 10 minute walk from the carpark so it’s not an obvious choice of beach for most which makes it reasonably peaceful, even in high season. Keep an eye out for the local kangaroos on your walk down, they love to laze about on the path to the beach.

Patrolled by Life Savers: Unpatrolled, however it is a bay beach rather than an ocean beach so it is safer to swim without the flags. As always, assess the conditions and swim with caution.

Read More About Jervis Bay

Mollymook Beach

Mollymook Beach - The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches - The Trusted Traveller

Even in miserable weather (like when I was there, see above) Mollymook impressed me for its natural beauty, crystal clear water and white long stretch of sand.

It’s super popular in summer so get down there early to claim your perfect patch of sand in among all the families who religiously travel there for their summer holiday year after year.

Patrolled by Life Savers: daily 9am – 5pm

McKenzies Beach, Malua Bay

McKenzies Beach, Malua Bay - The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches - The Trusted Traveller

Small, secluded and wild. It’s not the obvious choice of beach in the Batemans Bay area but I loved it for its feeling of seclusion yet ease of access.

Patrolled by Life Savers: unpatrolled

Tuross Beach, Tuross Heads

Tuross Beach, Tuross Head - The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches - The Trusted Traveller

The colour of the water at Tuross Heads is possibly the best I saw anywhere along the NSW South Coast, so of course it has to be included in this list.

This rather small beach is mostly calm and sheltered because of the direction it faces so despite not being patrolled it is nice for a little shallow water paddle.

Patrolled by Life Savers: unpatrolled mostly, may be patrolled during holidays

Accommodation Near Tuross Heads

Surf Beach, Narooma

Surf Beach, Narooma - The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches - The Trusted Traveller

This beach has everything. It’s perfect for surfers, swimmers and families because it has excellent waves, but it also has a bit of a sandbar near the shore which protects swimmers from the biggest waves.

And then to top it all off, at the southern end of the beach is the famous Glasshouse Rocks!

Patrolled by Life Savers: daily 9am – 5pm

Lions Park Beach, Pambula Beach

Lions Park Beach, Pambula Beach - The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches - The Trusted Traveller

While I also loved Pambula Main Beach, the tiny beach at Lions Park at the mouth of the Pambula River captivated me as the perfect place to relax on the sand under the shade of tree with a good book.

Located at the mouth of the Pambula River with a stunning bushy outlook, the location is also an easy walk to the Main Beach and nearby lookout.

Patrolled by Life Savers: Unpatrolled, however it is a river beach rather than an ocean beach so it is safer to swim without the flags. As always, assess the conditions and swim with caution. Tides can be unpredictable in rivers.

Accommodation in Pambula

Discovery Park Pambula Beach

Coast Resort (in nearby Merimbula)

Albacore Apartments (in nearby Merimbula)

Pinnacles Beach, Ben Boyd National Park

Pinnacles Beach, Ben Boyd National Park - The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches - The Trusted Traveller

One of the most remarkable southern NSW beaches is home to crystal clear water, pristine white sand and interesting rock formations, making this one of the most interesting beaches on this list.

Pinnales Beach is great for a rewarding swim after hikes in the nationals park (caution: this is not a patrolled beach) or year round visits just to see the Pinnacles themselves.

Patrolled by Life Savers: Unpatrolled

Accommodation Near Ben Boyd National Park

Looking for more suggestions on where you stay when visiting the best beaches in NSW South Coast? I’ve put together this list of the best self-contained NSW South Coast accommodation to help with your travel planning.


PIN THIS FOR LATER!

Culbarra Beach - The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches - The Trusted Traveller
Pinnacles Beach, Ben Boyd National Park - The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches - The Trusted Traveller

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Over to you!

What do you think are the best beaches on NSW South Coast? Which would you most like to visit?

Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.

17 thoughts on “The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches”

  1. What an amazing collection! I spent some time in Jervis Bay a couple of years ago, it was so beautiful. The white sand and turquoise water makes you feel like you’re on a tropical island. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Very nice selection, I´m glad that you include Wollongong, I use to live there, NSW got amazing beaches and JervisBay ones are maybe the best.
    Thanks for sharing!!

    Reply
  3. From your list Seven Mile Beach and Murrays Beach would haven to be our family favorite, however many there that I have not been to and need to checkout

    Reply
  4. Great site which has given me lists of options for my next road trip in Oz. You may be able to help me with a bit of a mystery: I listened to a radio account of a traveller finding a beach south of Sydney possibly in a National Park with ‘Black’ in its name – I wasn’t paying enough attention! Any ideas? Rob

    Reply
  5. Hi

    There is a beach somewhere near wollongong where the rocks changes colour when they are taken out of the water and there are lots of patterns on the rock. Do you know what beach this is? I remembered there might be a hotel nearby there.

    Thanks

    Reply
  6. I am looking for a quiet family beach that is somewhat secluded in southern new south wales. Quiet bay beach. Preferably in a small town that is not too expensive for summer accommodation but a close drive away to a larger town (that has a GP etc). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
    • shoalhaven heads ,, 2 caravan parks and many many houses for cheap weekly rent close to beack and shopalhaven river ,
      Nice pub great food never any trouble ,
      1 hour 45 minutes from south sydney
      Well thats my pick

      Reply
  7. hyams beach is not worth the effort , 2 hours to park and full of tourists leaving rubbish and dirty nappy`s on the sand , the rest of the beaches i 100% agree with ,

    Reply

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