- 28 Jan
Coalcliff 2508, NSW
Coalcliff, as the name implies, is the first of the mining towns that took to the slopes and the coal seams for their livelihood and to the sea for their recreation. The beach fronts a steep, narrow valley, with sides rising 300 m to the backing plateau. The coal mine is located towards the rear of the valley. A railway used to run from the mine to a small exposed harbour on the rock platforms about 2 km south of the beach. The Lawrence Hargraves Drive winds between the mine and the town area, with access to the beach limited to a car park behind the Coalcliff SLSC and street parking. The small surf club was formed in 1924. The small settlement has increased in popularity since construction of the elevated Sea Cliff Bridge road in 2005. The elevated road and footpath winds for 1 km, suspended 20 m above the sea and rock platforms. The main Coalcliff Beach (NSW 354) fronts the valley, and is a 500 m long east-southeast facing coarse sand beach, with a mix of sand and rock seafloor off the beach, and the small Stony Creek draining across the southern end. Waves average 1-1.5 m maintaining three dominant rips, a strong rip against the southern rocks, a shifting central rip and one flowing north past the northern rocks (Fig. 4.277). When the bars are separated from the beach the waves reform and surge heavily up the steep beach face (Fig. 4.278). A 400 m long rock platform extends south of the beach widening to 200 m, with a small rock pool located on the platform just south of the beach.
Because of the strong rips stay between the flags or in the pool and do not swim on the northern beach.