New South Wales
Jimmy’s Beach, New South Wales is an absolute gem of a small coastal town located along the beautiful Barrington Coast, just under 1 hours drive north of Newcastle.
My first experience with Jimmy’s Beach was my incredibly fun Year 5 school camp, and up until very recently, I hadn’t returned back to Jimmy’s Beach.
How Jimmy’s Beach came back on my radar again was due to me mapping out sand dune systems across Australia for my personal photography project The Australian Sand Dunes Project. I’m a Worimi Conservation Lands Sand Dune devotee – and so can be found regularly wandering around with my camera capturing the ever changing light against the sand dunes. What I hadn’t counted on when mapping out other sand dune systems in New South Wales, was that there was another collection of sand dunes not too far from Newcastle, that are the same driving distance from home as the dunes at Stockton.
The dunes are located within the Myall Lakes National Park at Dark Point, and are simply spectacular. Don’t forget to wear a hat and sunscreen, and be sure to bring a bottle of water – because there is much to explore and there many points of interest in and around the dunes, including the culturally significant Dark Point Aboriginal Place.
Dark Point Aboriginal Place was declared an Aboriginal site of significance in 2002, and is a culturally significant site for the Worimi people. The NSW National Parks have some great resources and practical information regarding this area in the Myall Lakes National Park. It is also worthwhile mentioning that there are dingoes active in Myall Lakes National Park, Hawks Nest & Jimmy’s Beach and they are very curious creatures. Please do not eat food in front of, feed, or approach the dingoes – the very best thing we can do for these wild animals is to leave them alone and let them hunt for their own food.
If you’re like me and you enjoy a little solo travel, then you’ll be well aware of the sometimes significant costs that come with solo travel – largely the accomodation.
What I’ve found over the years, is that I’m absolutely not a camper for short term trips. I much prefer short stay accomodation in a motel, apartment, cabin, or house. The only issue with a house or cabin though, is more often than not, there are extra rooms that aren’t getting used being a solo traveller, and therefore you’re generally paying a higher premium for that type of accomodation. I’ve managed to find two motels along the east coast of New South Wales (so far), that have been incredible, however they often don’t have an oven or stove cook top for meals, and I’m not really a fan of using a microwave if I can avoid it, which means more eating out, which then means the inexpensive short trip you envisioned becomes quite pricey. Apartments are wonderful options to go with for solo travel – particularly studio apartments, however this option can be hard to find in smaller coastal towns.
Enter the tiny house. When I first saw this style of accomodation as an option in Reflections Holiday Park Jimmy Beach, I was thrilled. It is the perfect size for a short stay, with a price that matches its namesake. I immediately booked the accomodation, and I can honestly say, I was not disappointed. It has all of the things you’ll need for the perfect solo short stay: bedroom, combined living/kitchen space (with stove top), combined toilet and shower room and a wonderful outdoor deck complete with chairs, table and umbrella just perfect for kicking back and enjoying the view.
These tiny homes are located to the back of the park looking out onto coastal forest, and are filled with beautiful birdlife, and there is an access track through the coastal forest which will take you directly to Bennett’s Beach.
There is something for everyone to enjoy in Hawks Nest and Jimmy’s Beach no matter your style of holiday.
If you’re a hiker, then you have the Yacaaba Headland walking track is going to be for you. It’s a 7km return Grade 4 hike, and can be accessed either by Jimmy’s Beach or Bennett’s Beach.
After making your return from Yacaaba Headland walking track, you’ll be very ready to cool off, and there is no better place to cool off then to the North of Yacaaba at Bennett’s Beach. This beautiful stretch of beach is simply spectacular. The waters of Bennett’s Beach are so refreshing and are perfect for those who enjoy swimming amongst the waves. If you’re a surfer, then this is the beach for you as well – and you won’t be the only one catching a wave…there are pods of dolphins here that also love to join in on the fun and ride the waves. Bennett’s Beach is a dog-friendly beach so you’ll see many locals walking along the coastline with their four-legged friends.
If waves aren’t your style, then Jimmy’s Beach on the other side of Yacaaba Headland is where you’ll want to go. Jimmy’s Beach is sheltered by the ocean and so is generally flat with very few waves. Another advantage of this beach being sheltered, is that it makes for ideal kayaking and stand up paddle boarding conditions.
If you’d rather swing a golf club, then the Hawks Nest Golf Club will provide you with an 18 hole course.
Once you’ve finished your round of golf, you’ll have worked up an appetite and a thirst, and there are a couple of options within the Golf Club:
- Fiona’s Family Cafe has coffee and light meals and offer some sweet treats also
- PK’s Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, or,
- if you’d prefer to kick back with a cold beverage after your round of golf, then you can head straight to the bar
The golf club also has a free courtesy bus, which is perfect for those solo travellers wanting to have a couple of drinks and be picked up from and dropped back to their accomodation.
There’s loads of other options for food around the Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens area if you’d rather go beyond the golf club:
- Benchmark on Booner located in Hawks Nest is perfect for pizzas, and there is a takeaway menu located within the tiny house accomodation – just scan the QR code, and you’ll be able to order online
If you’d rather venture further over the bridge to Tea Gardens there’s plenty of places kick back for a feast:
- Tillerman’s Cafe Restaurant is open for French inspired breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is located on the waterfront of the Myall River. You can learn more about owners Peter & Kerry Hodges french connection here
- Tea Gardens Boatshed is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner from Thursday – Saturday. The menu is extensive with both small and are larger meal options
Jimmy’s Beach New South Wales really is such a wonderful place to visit for a solo traveller. Your holiday can be as relaxed or as active as you like, and there really is something for everyone here. I’ve been here twice now, and I’ll definitely be back.
For more travel guides you can simply head to my portfolio page and select the “travel guides” button. If you’d like to see more of my adventures behind the scenes, you can join me over on Instagram. or, if you’d like to know more about me, then head on over to the about page to learn more about the origins of my love for photography.
Until next time,
Founder, Lens & Muse