Redhead Beach lies at the northern end of Nine Mile Beach at Lake Macquarie.
It’s a popular surfing and swimming spot near Newcastle...
The beach is patrolled from the September/October school holidays until ANZAC day on the 25th of April.
Swim between the flags:
The flags are beside the shark tower at Redhead Surf Lifesaving Club (SLSC). There are heaps of rockpools for the kids to play.
This is a great spot to escape the summer crowds…
The beach is vast, parking is easy to find and the scenery is stunning…
If you’d like a bird-eye view of Nine Mile Beach, park your car on Iluka St corner Redhead St and walk on the path to the lookout. The view is amazing (like on the picture at the top).
The first thing you notice when stepping on the sand at Redhead Beach is the huge rocky cliff at the northern end. It’s quite an impressive cliff because it’s so steep.
The name “Redhead” originates from the red colour of the cliff when seen from the ocean.
The next thing you notice looking southward to Nine Mile Beach is the beach stretches for, well, miles – it actually measures 7 miles / 11 km.
The untouched stretch of sand is backed by sand dunes and Belmont Wetlands State Park.
At the southern end of Nine Mile Beach lies another patrolled swimming spot: Blacksmiths Beach.
On the other side of Blacksmiths is Swansea Channel, the entrance of the Pacific Ocean into Lake Macquarie.
If you'd like to walk your dog on the beach, the dog-friendly section is a bit further south from the flags…
The dog-friendly section is out of reach from the SLSC. Park at Cain Street Reserve on Cain Street and walk through the bush on the pathway with your dog on a leash. Take the leash off once at the sand. Check on the map below.
There used to be a lovely beachside cafe at the SLSC but sadly it burnt down last month (2017). Something seems to be missing here without the beloved cafe.
I’ll keep my ears open and report back if the cafe reopens.
In the meanwhile, you’ll have to drive for coffee and food. Try Cafe Macquarie: The food is tasty, staff is friendly and coffee is great. 26 Macquarie St, Belmont. You’ll drive pass it along Pacific Highway if you’re coming from Sydney or Central Coast.
Here’s the fun part…
You’re allowed to drive on the sand with a 4WD between north of Awabakal Street and south of Jewel Street.
Access to the 4WD section of the beach is from Awabakal St, Blacksmiths, or Kallaroo Rd near Jewells crossing, Belmont North.
You must have a permit to drive on the sand (since 2015) and your 4WD must be registered.
Get a permit online or at a designated outlet:
The closest outlet to Redhead that sells permits is Metro Redhead Petrol Station, 100 Collier St, Redhead. You’ll need your driver’s license and vehicle registration.
Remember that the sand is soft so reduce your tyre pressure to at least 15psi to avoid getting bogged. And take recovery equipment with you such as snatch-strap, shackle, shovel, MaxTrax, a tyre deflator and a compressor.
You can also camp at the beach by the creek, make a fire, and take your dog and fishing gear.
Just remember there are no toilets, water or garbage bins… it’s a primitive place after all.
Redhead Beach is worth the drive from Sydney, Newcastle or the Central Coast.
From Sydney: 2 hrs north on the M1. Take the Doyalson/Swansea exit.
From Terrigal: 1 hr 15 min north on Pacific Highway.
From Newcastle: 25 min south via Pacific Highway.
There’s ample parking at the SLSC.
Follow the directions on the GPS...