Scotts Head, once a sleepy hidden gem known only to keen surfers, is a growing destination for family friendly, beachside holidays in NSW. Located just south of the Gaagal Wanggaan National Park, between Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie, Scotts Head is a chic destination for surfers and city dwellers looking for a scenic romantic or family getaway. Easy to reach, just 10km from the Pacific Highway, it offers a tranquil retreat with a range of holiday accommodation suitable for families and groups of friends to relax and chill out.
Main Beach is popular with families with a seemingly endless stretch of sand begging for sandcastle building and long walks along the clear blue water’s edge. The pristine water is ideal for paddling in the shallows whilst various surf breaks draw surfers to the ocean. The beautiful beach is patrolled throughout the summer and on weekends from October to Easter. The modern amenities block, picnic tables (some covered) and free gas barbecues show why Scotts Head is becoming increasingly desirable as a holiday destination.
Forster Beach is famous for its collection of colourful mosaics decorating everything from the public toilets to a local picnic table on the footpath leading up to the Whale Watching lookout – another top attraction for Scotts head visitors. These colourful artworks by Guy Crosley were commissioned in 2001 and turn these humble structures into public artworks.
The village of Scotts Head has a small local supermarket and a choice of cafés serving breakfast, lunch and dinner for those who want a break from cooking while enjoying their holiday. A wider choice of services and amenities is available at Nambucca Heads, 28km to the north.
The neighbouring Gaagal Wanggaan National Park protects stunning coastal dunes, estuarine mangroves, a palm forest, salt marshes and a rainforest. It is also home to a variety of local wildlife and birds.
Things to do in Scotts Head
Surfers will appreciate Scotts Head’s prime accommodation, which puts them at the only real point break in the Nambucca region. The revered right hand break is ideal for a range of surfers depending on the conditions. Due to the protected nature of the headland, the waves are often quite mellow in the bay - perfect for beginners and families. On larger swells, more advanced surfers can enjoy a long right hand break protected from the southerly winds. The shoreline and headland walk make for entertaining surf watching for those not keen to get into the ocean. Beginner surfers may also enjoy the right hand point break at neighbouring Grassy Point.
Migrating humpback whales are a popular attraction for those staying in Scotts Head, especially those with ocean views from their accommodation along the headland. Look out for tell-tale water spouts, splashing as the whales beat the water with their fins, and the iconic tailfin fluke in the air as the whales dive below. The best place for whale watching is from the Surf Club Headland or Elephant Head, just south of Scotts Head village.
Gaagal Wanggaan National Park is within easy reach and has several sites of cultural interest relating to the local Gumbaynggir Aboriginal people. Explore this wildlife sanctuary on foot or by canoe. It’s a haven for birdwatchers and bushwalkers who can look forward to spotting herons, egrets and soaring sea eagles. Families staying in Scotts Head accommodation can enjoy picnics and fishing in this unspoilt preserve.
More walks are available 17km inland from Scotts Head at Mount Yarrahapinni. Waymarked trails lead past stony creeks, waterholes, tree ferns and palms to the summit which offers a 360 degree viewpoint of the mountains and coast.