A definitive guide to our favourite Hunter swimming holes

A weekend at the beach or by the river is the great Aussie summer tradition. Pack up an esky, the umbrella and the all important SPF 50+ and head to the beach. Here in the Hunter we are blessed to be in such close proximity to some of the country’s most spectacular watering holes.

Let’s have a look at some of our favourites:

Golden Strip

Along the Newcastle coastline lies what we've dubbed the golden strip of beaches - Bar Beach, Dixon Park Beach, and Merewether Beach.

A 1.3 km coastline that hosts three surf lifesaving clubs, the largest ocean baths in the Southern Hemisphere, and rockpools full of wonderous sea creatures. Fully patrolled, these beaches have everything to offer for the beach novice, as well as an impressive swell for the surfier types.

Pop into one of the many cafes or ever-popular Merewether surf house for a bite to eat and a drink afterward, and you’ve got the perfect summer day out.  

Bogey Hole

With a stunning backdrop and rich history, Newcastle's Bogey Hole is a must-visit location the next time you're in town. 

This hidden gem is situated at the foot of Shepherds Hill; right at the bottom of King Edward Park. Man-made, this private little paradise was carved into the rock face by convicts in 1819 for Major James Morisset. Now heritage listed, this beautiful ocean bath is open to the public to enjoy. 

Shoal Bay

Nestled in the ever adored Port Stephen’s region, it’s not hard to tell why this gorgeous inlet is so popular amongst locals and tourists alike. Take a swim in the calm blue waters with minimal swell, and you might be lucky enough to be joined by one of the numerous pods of dolphins that frequent the area.

If watersports are more your type, why not try your hand at stand up paddle boarding or jet skiing, all of which are very popular at the bay.

Tomaree headland to the north east has an excellent walking track for the adventurous types and enjoy a bite to eat after at one of the many cafes and restaurants in the area.

Caves Beach

Along the Swansea peninsula lies Caves Beach, the perfect spot for a family day out and a refreshing dip in the ocean.

Explore spectacular sea caves, scout the rock pools for sea creatures, or whip out the picnic blanket for a BBQ by the ocean.

Allyn River

If a rainforest setting is more your scene, why not check out one of the many popular swimming holes in the Hunter Region.

Ladies Well in the Chichester State Forest offers visitors the perfect opportunity to enjoy the cool, cascading waters of the Allyn River (and there’s sure to be a very gram worthy picture opportunity or two!). The Allyn River forest rest area offers camping facilities, so you can turn your day trip into a weekender!

Naru Beach

This small beach reserve is located on the shores of Lake Macquarie. A popular spot for families, this beach boasts shallow swimming areas for the kids, and crystal-clear water. 

Don't forget to bring your kayak or boat if you're up for an adventure! There are small islands surrounding the reserve that are just waiting to be explored. 


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