Newcastle Beach and the adjoining Newcastle Ocean Baths are popular local swimming spots. They are accessible via Shortland Esplanade, which traces the
Newcastle coastline. The beach and baths are easily accessible from the city, and train and bus services.
Newcastle Beach has a reputation for being one of the best surf locations in Australia and is a favoured spot for board riders wishing to catch that perfect wave off Newcastle Point. There is safe swimming from in front of the surf club at the northern end of the beach, but stay inshore, on the bar and between the flags.
The beach has a kiosk (open during swimming season) and shaded table area, volley ball nets and change room facilities. It is is patrolled from 7am to 5:30pm, 21 September 2013 to 27 April 2014. During this period, weekend patrols are run by Surf Lifesaving Clubs. For your own safety, always swim at patrolled beaches and only when lifeguards are on duty.
Located between the beach and the ocean baths is the canoe pool - an old, large and safe children's wading pool.
Newcastle Ocean Baths has a long history as a popular swimming spot, opening in 1922.
Open hours for the Baths are 6am to 9pm during daylight saving, 6am to 4.30pm 28 April 2014 to 19 September 2014, and 6am to 6pm rest of the year. On-site lockers are available in order to keep personal belongings safe. It is recommended that you bring a combination lock with you in order to secure your locker and not require a key.
Newcastle Ocean Baths lifeguard hours are 9am to 5.30pm, 21 September 2013 to 27 April 2014, and 8am to 4.30pm, 28 April 2014 to 19 September 2014. The baths are cleaned every Wednesday during winter and every Thursday from 3 October 2013.