I highly recommend Port Stephens (in the north) - particularly Nelson Bay / Shoal Bay and Fingal Bay.
They don't have much surf at these beaches, but they are very relaxing.
If you want surf - then go to the Central Coast - Terrigal or Avoca.
Summer or winter? over 10 years ago
1 hour from Sydney is still really Sydney... you need to go further if you want 'quiet and secluded'.
My fave place is Bendalong, a sleepy town about 2.5 - 3 hrs south that's still full of Fibro shacks and kids riding bikes on the streets. One shop that sells fuel, supplies, newspapers and booze. There's lots of bushland around, kangaroos in the backyards and white sandy beaches.
There's a small caravan park / campground right on the Point overlooking the quiet swimming beach on one side and the surf beach on the other. Otherwise there are lots of rental properties available. Do a search on Stayz.com.au and see what you find. over 10 years ago
Thank you so much guys. Great ideas. I can second Port Stephens and Central coast - terrigal and Avoca and Stamwell too. Never heard of Bendalong though and I will go next time.
OK: Any changes in your suggestions if I say it's going to be winter - June - and I am going with a party of 7-8 perhaps more, many are old - parents. So we are looking at DIY options such as having good enough stores nearby, larger but not-too-expensive accomodation.
I think Port Stephens still holds good. perhaps Jervis bay too. Where can I find large cottage that we can hire whole? over 10 years ago
You must head to the NSW Central Coast which has a huge range of accommodation choices including many for us oldies (Parents aren’t old - We just feel that way!)
Have a look at http://www.bookcentralcoast.com.au
Enjoy your stay, Summer or Winter.
Stuart about 10 years ago