Newcastle has a reputation for being one of the best surfing locations in Australia. Surfing, body boarding and swimming are very popular activities. View the Visit Newcastle beach guide to find out more about our beaches.


You will find that there are public amenities, shade shelters, parking, access for people with a disability, picnic areas, BBQ's and kiosks all along the stretch of Newcastle's pristine beaches.

Nobbys Beach and Newcastle Ocean Baths offer on-site lockers for beach users in order to keep personal belongings safe. It is recommended that you bring a combination lock with you in order to secure your locker and not require a key.

Facilities at each beach and ocean baths location are as follows:

Access for people with a disability

Accessible toilets


Picnic area

Toilets & showers


Shade shelters

Nobbys Beach
Newcastle Beach
Bar Beach
Dixon Park Beach
Merewether Beach
Stockton Beach
Newcastle Ocean Baths
Merewether Ocean Baths X

Beach safety

It is important you are aware of the dangers and risks present at the beach you decide to use. The Australian Beach Safety & Management Program (ABSAMP) have rated Newcastle's beaches on a national rating index. Safety Ratings for Newcastle's beaches appear below.

Please ask the lifeguard on duty if you are in any doubt about swimming or surfing conditions - they are there to help you.

Rating (ABSAMP)
1 = safest to 10 dangerous


Nobbys Beach


Nobbys is considered the safest swimming beach of all Council beaches and is open all year round

Newcastle Beach


Newcastle is the most accessible and popular beach but also one of its most hazardous so please take care

Bar Beach, Dixon Park Beach & Merewether Beach

6 to 7

A popular but potentially hazardous stretch of beach owing to the prevailing beach and headland rips. Watch rips and swim between the flags



Take caution, particularly in the centre and north, outside the flags

Beach safety tips

  • Always swim and surf at places patrolled by lifesavers or lifeguardsncc-surf-mascot-1-no-background.png
  • Always swim between the red and yellow flags
  • Always swim under supervision or with a friend
  • Read and obey safety signs, such as shallow water or large drop-offs
  • If you are unsure of conditions, ask a lifesaver or lifeguard
  • Don't swim or surf directly after a meal
  • Don't swim or surf under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Never run or dive in the water, even if you have checked beforehand as water conditions can change
  • If you have trouble in the water, stay calm, float with a current or undertow, don't try to swim against it, signal for help and wait for assistance.

View the Water Safety Guides

Water quality

City of Newcastle monitors four swimming sites throughout the year, Merewether and Newcastle Ocean Baths, Merewether learners pool and the Canoe Pool. You can also find out about tides by visiting the Bureau of Meteorology website.

The water quality of Newcastle beaches is also tested regularly through the Hunter Water Beachwatch program and the results are available on the Hunter Water Website.

Live Surf Conditions

To view live surf conditions please click on the links below:

SMART Drumline Program

NSW State Government is currently conducting a SMART Drumline program along the coastline from Redhead in Lake Macquarie to Stockton in Newcastle. To find out more please click here.

View the map of the SMART Drumline locations here