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Category Archives:NSW

10 Reasons Newcastle should make every Australia Itinerary

How does one city get so lucky? Surrounded by stunningly diverse landscapes and inhabited by the most attractive specimens in the country all wrapped up in a perfectly casual attitude to life. This is as good as it gets. It may not seem like it at first, but there are plenty of things to do in Newcastle if you know where to look. You could easily spend 2 or 3 days going at a leisurely pace.

Newcastle is either a really large country town or a small city doing its best country town impression. At only 2 hours drive from Sydney (2.5 by train) it’s an easy day trip from Sydney, but an even easier weekend. Continue Reading

Jervis Bay: A family weekend away

White sands, calm beaches, camping, beautiful nature, challenging (and not so challenging) hiking and even some modern ruins. Jervis Bay is a town like few before it, under-visited and surprisingly important to our history as a nation.

If you ask any person from Newcastle to name some of the places along the northern NSW coast they would have no trouble rattling off probably anywhere between 5 and 10. But ask them about the south coast and you might get 1 or 2.

Interestingly, Newcastle is fairly equidistant to the state border in both directions but for some reason if we want to go on holidays we tend to avoid Sydney as much as possible and just head north.

Murrays Beach Booderee National Park Jervis Bay on a cloudy day
Murrays Beach, Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay

When I came to this realisation of a somewhat subconscious bias towards the north, I decided it was time for it to end. So I booked our little family a weekend down in Jervis Bay over the Australia Day long weekend. It’s a beautiful spot, unfortunately we didn’t have the best weather, but there’s still a plethora or things to do at any time of year.

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11 things to do in Crescent Head, NSW

Every year my wife and her family spend a week in Crescent Head, which is on the mid-north coast of NSW about 5 hours north of Sydney and 5 hours south of Brisbane.

It is a small town whose population surges during the holidays thanks to having one of the beach breaks for surfing in the country, one of the most picturesque golf courses along the coast and that an atmosphere that would make anyone welcome. This population surge is supported by a large caravan park in the centre of town, along the creek, and the many holiday houses around town.

Crescent Head is a perfect place for a getaway with the family or if you’re just stopping by on your own road trip. Without fail the car park near the beach will be full of backpackers and surf junkies with a campervan or, often just a mattress in their wagon.

But surfing isn’t the only thing that will entertain you. Here are some of the best things to keep you busy on a quiet trip of any length to Crescent Head.

Walk up to Crescent Head Lookout

This is without doubt the best view in the area. It’s a reasonably easy walk along the foreshore and up the golf course, and you just keep going. It has a wonderful view over the town, the creek, and the beach on the other side.

The view from the Crescent Head lookout_Fotor
Looking over Crescent Head from the lookout

Play 6 holes on Crescent Head Golf Course

It may not be the only one in existence, but it’s the only golf course I know of that only has 6 holes. It is also the most casual course I’ve ever played, where anything goes.

No shirt. No shoes. No worries.

You’re also able to buy takeaway beers from the Club and take them with you in your buggy.

Technically part of the country club, the course weaves its way up the hill near the lookout, then down and over the hill to near the bluff and back up the way you came from.

It’s breathtaking.

From the second tee it may only be 70 metres to the hole but it can be a difficult shot hitting over the gorge. But you would be hard pressed to find a golf course with better views than the Crescent Head Golf Course. And for only $15.

Golf carts overlooking Crescent Head Golf Course
Golf carts overlooking Crescent Head Golf Course

Indulge at Barnett’s Bakery

So far it sounds like I might sound like I’m making Crescent Head out to be better than it actually is. But Barnett’s Bakery honestly do some of the best pies and best sweets of any bakery I’ve been to. Donuts, tarts, slices, the lots. And it’s all good.

Watch the surfers from the foreshore

The surf is an interesting setup because at the end of the beach is a creek, and the land begins but works its out away from the beach so you effectively can look back on the beach. This is the main foreshore and walking path and it also happens to have the best waves which gives onlookers a front row seat to all the surfers out there catching and falling off waves.

Crescent Head Foreshore walking path
Although there weren’t any out today, you can see all the people out relaxing and the places to sit and watch.

Go surfing yourself

Speaking of surfing, bring a board and give it a go yourself. You can hire a board at Crescent Head Surf Co (I think) if you don’t have one yourself.

Get sandy on Crescent Head beach

It wouldn’t be a trip to Crescent without spending some time on the beach. Bring a book. Bring a ball, and get some sun.

Swim in Killick Creek

Behind the beach and over the brush is a small creek that is perfect for those who love the sand and water but don’t want to have to worry about those pesky waves or water more than waist deep. It’s also a perfect place for kids to play or to go for a stand up paddle.

(PS, this image is vertical in case you wanted to pin it, just hover)

Killick Creek, the centrepiece of Crescent Head
Killick Creek, the centrepiece of Crescent Head

Go for a bike ride

Being such a relaxed town, many people seem to get around on bikes. It’s not the sort of place you’d hire a bike, but if you brought one, it would become your transport everywhere.

For those a bit more serious like myself, the roads out of Crescent Head are very flat and provide well for someone wanting a longer ride. You can ride to Gladstone, which is about 50km return or if you’re really keen you can ride to South West Rocks, which is 48kms one way.

Pebble Beach Crescent Head with my bike
Pebble Beach Crescent Head with my sexy bike

Get smashed on Splash Rock

Near the bluff and golf course, there is a beach called Pebble Beach (I think so anyway, in fact in the left of the bay in the above image with my bike, just out of view). The beach is full of rocks so it’s less than ideal for sunbaking, but it also has dozens of big rocks poking out of the sea, constantly getting pummelled by waves.

One such rock, called Splash Rock (maybe only by us), is ideally angled for you to hold on and lay at an angle, and in enough water depth so that at the right ride the water crashes over hard enough to try and knock you off, but not so hard that you’ll drown.

It’s a lot of fun for about 10 minutes, just make sure there are people watching on the shore just in case.

Splash Rock at Crescent Head NSW
It’s fun for about 10 minutes, fun to watch for hours.

Play tennis or lawn bowls

The Crescent Head Country Club wears many hats. As well as golf they also have lawn bowl greens and tennis courts for hire. Again, beers are welcome at both.

Crescent Head Country Club and Bowling Green
Crescent Head Country Club and Bowling Green

Drink beers at the Country Club

It’s actually not as pretentious as it sounds. It is essentially on par with any RSL or bowling club if you’ve ever been to one in Australia. Standard beers and surprisingly good pub food.

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11 Things to do in beautiful Crescent Head, a small town on the NSW mid-north coast. Perfect for a relaxing week, or a road trip stopover. By @backstreetnomad.11 Things to do in beautiful Crescent Head, a small town on the NSW mid-north coast. Perfect for a relaxing week, or a road trip stopover. By @backstreetnomad.

Escape to Crescent Head – NSW Mid North Coast

Australia is so big with so many great cities to visit, and if we’re being honest, it isn’t the easiest to navigate cheaply (or do anything cheaply for that matter). Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns, Gold Coast, and maybe Brisbane and Newcastle if you’re lucky. But dotted up and down the eastern coast are a plethora of small seaside towns just waiting to be discovered by the unsuspecting visitor.

Crescent Head is one such town, and at 6 hours north of Sydney and 6 hours south of Brisbane it is literally near nothing exciting. But those that make the journey are rewarded with a beautifully relaxing retreat on the beach with the perfect mix of things to keep you occupied without the necessity of having a plan or worrying about crowds.

Crescent Head can probably be walked end to end in about half an hour. The town is centred around a caravan park is full of holiday homes for weekly rental. And without doubt there are always a number of campervans or Kombi’s in the car park. Whichever way you choose will be the right way to experience it. I always stay in a holiday home for a week. And of course, while there is no right or wrong to enjoy your time, here are the things to do.

Spend a lazy day at the beach

Swimming, sunbaking, surfing, sandcastles. However you beach is ok with me.

Crescent Head bridge
The beach is just over the beach

Play Golf

While the Crescent Head Golf Club is probably the shortest at 6 holes, it would have to easily be one of the most picturesque in the world. To play 3 rounds in a day is not uncommon.

Crescent Head Golf Club hole 2

Eat at the bakery every day and get fat.

It’s just too good not too. Traditional pastries, fresh bread and delicious pies.

Walk along the foreshore

And taken in the beautiful views of the golf course, the beach, and the ocean all at once.

Crescent Head Foreshore walking path

Paddle down the creek

Or just look at it. Seriously. It’s beautiful. The creek-side caravan park spots are coveted because of the view.

Crescent Head Killick Creek

Get Smashed on Splash Rock

At mid to high tide the waves start to crash over a large sloped rock, perfect for clinging to, and relatively safe if you fall off. Reletively.

Crescent Head Splash Rock

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