Nestled into a protected bay at the southern end of Hawks Nest at Port Stephens, Jimmys Beach is a little slice of paradise. At just over an hour’s drive from Newcastle, it’s the perfect location for families planning a day trip or weekend away.
The main attraction of Jimmys Beach is the clear, aqua water and stunning scenery around the bay. You can easily see the twin peaks of Tomaree Mountain and Mount Yacaaba standing either side of the entrance to Port Stephens.
The beach isn’t patrolled, but the water at Jimmys Beach is shallow and calm – a beautiful spot for kids to swim and play.
If surfing and waves are more your style, Bennetts Beach and Great Mermaid Beach (pictured below) are just across the other side of the peninsula. There is a surf lifesaving club and patrolled swimming area at Bennetts Beach.
From the southern end of Great Mermaid Beach, you can access the Yacaaba Headland Track.
It’s a spectacular bush walk, boasting expansive views of the ocean and Myall Lakes National Park. When we visited with friends, our group of mums tackled the track alone.
It was quite a long walk (7km return) which was challenging in parts with very steep, rocky sections.
The view at the top is well worth the effort, but it isn’t really suitable for young children.
If you do decide to try it, be sure to wear sturdy, enclosed shoes, and take plenty of water with you. Keep an eye out for dingoes too – there are some living in the surrounding area.
There are several different accommodation options in the local area, including the Reflections Holiday Park. The park offers a range of accommodation, including campsites and cabins. There is also a good kids’ playground on the entrance road to the park, which is accessible to the public and located near public toilets. It’s common to see dingoes around the campground.
There are lots of other nice spots to explore and perhaps drop a fishing line in the water around Hawks Nest and neighbouring Tea Gardens. If you don’t manage to catch your lunch, there are a few cafes and restaurants close by as well.
Given its close proximity to Newcastle, Jimmys Beach is a great option for either a day trip or weekend stay at the bay. It’s well suited to lovers of the great outdoors and nature play, away from the hustle and bustle of normal life.
Good to Know
Getting There: Check out the route to Jimmys Beach on Google Maps. Beach access is via The Anchorage, Hawks Nest if you are driving. Alternatively, if you are staying at the holiday park, there is access via short walking tracks through the bush.
Disabled Access: No
Good to Know: There are no public toilets or amenities at Jimmys Beach itself, however, there is a public toilet located near the playground in the adjoining Reflections Holiday Park. If you want to have a bite to eat at the beach, it’s best to pack a picnic or pick up some lunch on your way through Hawks Nest.
For more information on Jimmys Beach, visit the Barrington Coast tourism website.
Do you want more ideas for regional day trips? Check out our article The Best Day Trips From Newcastle to Enjoy With Your Family. It will give you lots of ideas for a fun family day out.
Alex moved to Newcastle with her family in 1998 and has called Newcastle home ever since. Alex is a mum to two busy boys who keep her on her toes. She has worn a few different hats over the years but is currently working part-time as a practice manager for an engineering consultancy. Alex loves travel, indoor plants and exploring rockpools at the beach with the kids.