They are both country towns so you wont find the diversity as you do in Melbourne. Schools may be better at Forster and its more beach and water sports focussed.
I prefer Taree having lived in both, despite the people in Forster thinking they are a cut above everyone, the town itself doesn't have as many nice shops/restaurants/cafes as Taree and has more crime/drug problems because people get subsidised housing. Also, it is a nightmare around the summer holidays and traffic is terrible. Although, its not the beach, Taree has a nice park and river walk and is close to Wallabi which has a nice beach.