- 28 Jan
Queenscliff 2096, NSW
Swimming at Freshwater (NSW 316) started in the early 1900s when campers would arrive for the weekends and holidays. A small creek running out the north end of the beach provided fresh water for the campers and gave the beach its name. Freshwater, one of Sydney's smaller beaches, is just 350 m long, however it is also one of the more popular and famous. The Freshwater SLSC was formed in 1907 and boasts a proud history in national competition, and in 1915 it was the site of the first surfboard riding demonstration in Australia. The surf club sits in the centre of the beach surrounded by a fenced foredune, backed by a large park and car park, with Harbord and Queenscliff headlands protruding 400 m seaward. The beach faces southeast and receives waves averaging 1.5 m. These produce three persistent rips, one against each headland, and a shifting rip in the centre (Fig. 4.215 & 4.216). The intervening bar oscillates between being attached during low waves and separated by a trough during higher wave, so that you have to swim across the rip feeder currents to the bar. All this makes for good surfing, but potentially hazardous swimming.
Freshwater is a popular but hazardous beach with an average of 121 rescues each year, but still no lives lost between the flags, so that's where you should swim. If swimming or wading out to the bar watch for side currents. A rock pool is located on the northern platform.