- 28 Jan
1 Palm Beach
Palm Beach 2108, NSW
Palm Beach is 2.3 km long east-facing beach that curves in a gentle arc between the prominent 100 m high, lighthouse capped, Barrenjoey Head to the sandstone rocks of Little Head in the south, beach linking Barrenjoey to the mainland. North Palm Beach (NSW 300a) extends 1.4 km south from Barrenjoey, with the northern 600 m backed by a 200 m wide densely vegetated foredune. The North Palm Beach SLSC (founded in 1945) is located 1 km south of the head in the centre of a large beachfront park and car park, with the Palm Beach golf course behind on the Pittwater side. The northern beach is well exposed to southerly waves, which average 1.5 m and maintain a rip-dominated surf zone with up to 15 rips along the entire beach. Includes a strong permanent rip against Barrenjoey (Fig. 4.192). The southern Palm Beach section (NSW 300b) includes the southern 600 m of beach, which curves to the southeast in the southern Kiddies Corner. It receives increasing protection from Little Head with waves decreasing in height down the beach. Rips usually extend all the way to the head, though usually smaller in size, with a weak permanent rip against the southern rocks (Fig.4.193). The southern end has a long history of usage with the Palm Beach SLSC founded in 1921, following a tragic drowning in 1920. During moderate to high swell all rips intensify and produce hazardous swimming conditions.
North Palm Beach is one of Sydney's more hazardous swimming spots owing to the persistent and often strong rips, which result in an average of 148 rescues each year. Only swim in the patrolled area and between the flags. Be very careful if swimming up the beach as you are a long way from the patrol area. Stay on the bar if attached, and avoid the rip holes and side currents. Palm Beach usually has lower waves and weaker rips particularly in the patrol area, the southern corner and the rock pool. This more popular end of the beach has half the number of rescues (78) of the northern half, attesting to its better swimming conditions. The southern rips do however intensify during northeast waves and winds and higher swell.