It struck me that there was a quality to public or civic space in New South Wales. Being coastal and with a warm sunny climate, unsurprisingly, the beach tends to be the predominant civic space. The opportunity for public display: swimming, surfing, hang gliding, eating and drinking the quality produce from the beach kiosk, walking, running, kite surfing, volley ball, cricket, football, windsurfing.....
I particularly liked Newcastle Beach.
Although Newcastle is Australia's 7th largest city, it doesn't feel like you are in a big city when you are on the beach. The image above shows the Newcastle Beach Surf Life Safety Club in the foreground with a cluster of of well designed modernist apartments behind. Although this image doesn't show it, the transition from city to beach is well designed.
I should also state that the role of the lifeguard is very important. Every beach that I visited had several and they took their job very seriously. They communicated a lot and were very responsive to any hint of an incident.
Yamba Beach on New Years Day