It’s almost school holidays – and now that spring has sprung, it’s beach weather! Time to ditch the technology and get outside to enjoy this beautiful city of Newcastle (and surrounds). We’ve done our research and have collated some of our favourite beaches for you and the family to enjoy… so what are you waiting for? It’s time to slip, slop and slap!

Stockton

Stockton beach is a 6.7 Km long stretch of sand connecting up with Birubi at the north end of the beach. Stockon beach has a Surf Club founded in 1908 and is still up and running today. It’s also a diverse beach accommodating a number of different activities, including quad biking! You can also find companies that take groups of people out on the Stockton Sand Dunes. This leads to a similar track that is open to 4WD drivers.  Here you can explore on your own, jump out of the car and slide or jump down the dunes! The 4WD track starts at Lavis Lane in Williamtown and goes north to Birubi beach, Anna bay. Keep in mind you will need a permit to go onto the beach if you are feeling up to the adventure.

Redhead

Redhead beach was once upon a time a private beach until 1908 when the surf club was established. Now anyone can go and enjoy the sunshine, and see the iconic ‘shark tower’! Redhead is one of the best beaches to surf at, with a great swell, particularly in summer.

When you arrive and get to the Surf Club, on your left is a very impressive rock formation called ‘The Bluff’, at the northern point of Redhead.

You can make your way to the top of the cliff and have beautiful views of the north and south of Redhead. There’s also a nice area to have a picnic surrounded by the trees and sea breeze, so pack a nice lunch and get the family excited!

There is also a wetland between Redhead and Blacksmiths called Belmont Wetland State Park that you are able to walk through while you’re there. You may also like to walk alongside the Wetlands on the beach, taking up to 2 hours (about 9 -10 km). When taking the beach route, you’ll pass by second and third creek, covered in sand dunes. Here you’ll often find people camping and 4WD driving!

Newcastle

Newcastle beach is a highly modified beach with manmade seawalls, rock walls and a Surf Club in the centre with a café. There is a little wading pool and baths next door for the swimmers. The waves will still crash into the pools so you still get the feel of the beach but without the risk of rips. Due to Newcastle facing the northeast, it is open to an average of 1.6 meter waves which is great for surfing.

For all the adventurous ones out there, don’t miss the Bogey Hole, which is 7 minutes’ walk away from Newcastle beach – man made by the convicts! It’s a fun little waterhole to jump into and swim around in, but just be careful when the swell picks up because the waves do crash at a strong pace.

Fort Scratchley is also just a 12 minutes’ walk from the Newcastle Surf Club. Fort Scratchley was an old coastal defence station built in case of an attack to Newcastle. These guns were never fired thankfully, and is now set up for tours to see what happened during the 1940’s. Why not go and have a bit of historical adventure together?

Dudley

Dudley is south of Redhead and is an open beach welcoming strong currents and rips. Most people go beach fishing off Dudley due to the gutters and the flat rock towards the end of the beach. At Dudley you can enjoy the rock pools and a big blowhole on the flat rocks! This will be a great activity for younger children. You will have to hike a little bit to get onto the beach but it not too far, and is certainly worth the effort!

Are you ready for some fun in the sun these school holidays? We hope that some of these suggestions have proven themselves helpful so that you can enjoy some quality time together in this beautiful place we call home!

Written by Becky Holt – our (awesome) work experience chick!