Step aside Byron Bay, because this hidden slice of paradise is calling – and if you’re keen to escape crowds, this is the place to do it.
It’s the ultimate bush meets beach hangout, and if you’re one to avoid the crowds (and in a time of Covid chaos, who isn’t) this slice of paradise will tick all the boxes.
Surrounded by national parks and a rainforest boardwalk from the carpark to the coast, this slice of NSW is bursting with stretches of pristine beaches, hidden campsites and scenic hiking trails.
But one beach in particular along the Barrington Coast – which is best explored if you have access to a 4WD – has become a clear highlight, given the stretch of white sand, turquoise blue waters and nearby campsites sitting along Smiths Lake.
The breathtaking beach known as Cellito and surrounding coastline has been dubbed ‘paradise on earth’ on social media, and sitting just three hours north of Sydney, the region is a little more convenient and untouched than popular rival regions Byron Bay or Jervis Bay.
While most access the white sand and turquoise blue water by following the hidden rainforest boardwalk, others jump in their car and hit the dirt road until the southern beach entry point is reached.
4WDs can head onto the sand at the southern end of the beach next to Smiths Lake, which is a perfect spot for fishing or to enjoy some calmer water with the kids.
While the region has long been popular with Sydneysiders keen to catch some waves at Boomerang Beach or take a nude dip at Shellys, the unspoilt environment cuffed by sandy streets and palms as far as the eye can see sets the region up as the perfect holiday locale.
With three national parks in the region – Booti Booti, Wallingat and Myall Lakes – if the beach isn’t your calling, the hikes will be sure to impress.
On TripAdvisor, Cellito alone boasts dozens of five-star reviews, with some even describing it as one of the most amazing beaches on Australia’s east coast.
However that crown, according to Instagram still belongs to Bondi Beach.
In a new study released this month, LuxuryHotel.com analysed Instagram hashtag data and the length of the world’s most popular beaches, to find the 10 beaches with the highest ‘posts per metre’.
The study found that Paradise Beach, located in Phuket, Thailand was the most Instagrammable beach while famed Bondi Beach came in fourth on the list.