Newcastle's Coastline

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Newcastle's coastline has a great diversity of coastal environments. To the north of the Hunter River is Stockton beach, which is a long sandy beach that forms part of the largest coastal sandy barrier in NSW.  The coastline to the south of the Hunter River is characterised by smaller pocket beaches which are separated by rocky cliffs (e.g. Susan Gilmore) and coastal bluffs (e.g. Fort Scratchley).
The Newcastle coastline extends approximately 14km from Glenrock lagoon in the south, to the rifle range at Stockton in the north. Further information about Newcastle's coastline can be found in the Newcastle Coastline Management Study.

Coastal Plants
Coastal Rock Platforms
Newcastle's coastal rock platforms are occupied by a great diversity of plants and animals. A total of 170 invertebrate species have been recorded on Newcastle's rock platforms, including:
  • 8 anemone species
  • 4 sponge species
  • 10 arthropod species (crabs and barnacles)
  • 68 mollusc species (including snails, slugs, octopus).
Rose Petal Bubble Shell (Hydatina physis) (Source: Dave Harasti(1))

Up to eighteen bird species can also be found on our rock platforms, including seven protected bird species:
  • Common Tern
  • Grey-tailed Tattler
  • Little Tern
  • Red-necked Stint
  • Ruddy Turnstone
  • Sooty Oystercatcher
  • Crested Tern.

 Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii) (Source HBOC)

The rock platforms between the Soldiers Baths and Newcastle Beach are the most important platforms in Newcastle. They are home to the greatest number of rare invertebrate and bird species found along our coastline.
Further information about the plants and animals that call our coastal rock platforms home can be found at:
Rock Platform Animals
Rock Platform Birds
Rock Platform Crabs
Rock Platform Algae
Beachcombing and Shells

Tips to Protect our Rock Platforms

To help protect our rock platforms, please remember:
  • to look at rock platform creatures, but don’t touch
  • to avoid disturbing the birds. Try to walk around the birds (keep 20m away if you can), this will help the birds to stay relaxed
  • don’t throw anything at the birds
  • don’t pick up the birds if they are looking tired
  • dogs aren’t allowed on our rock platforms
  • to take home any discarded fishing tackle. This will help protect our bird friends from swallowing, or getting caught in, unwanted fishing tackle.

Blue Lined Octopus (Hapalochaena fasciata) (Soruce: Dave Harasti (1))

(1) Dave Harasti. See
Coastal Pollution
4WDs on Newcastle's Beaches
Coastal Hazards
What is Council Doing to Protect Newcastle's Coastline?