- 28 Jan
1 Diamond Beach
Diamond Beach 2430, NSW
South of Wallabi Point shoreline curves south for 6 km to Red Head. In between is the longer Diamond Beach and two smaller beaches on the north side of the head (NSW 190 & 191). Diamond Beach (NSW 189) is also known as Back Saltwater, or just Back Beach by the locals, and runs for 5.5 km to the south-southwest curving round to trend due south at the southern end. The beach can be accessed from the Saltwater National Park in the north, which may mean a walk across the rocky creek mouth if its flowing, and from the southern Diamond Beach community. The Darawank Nature Reserve occupies the northern half of the beach, while in the south a few shops and a car park at the small Diamond Beach settlement, together with 4WD access to the beach. This is a popular summer spot and is patrolled by lifeguards during the Christmas holidays. The beach is backed by low foredunes, the southern Diamond Head community, with a small creek drains across the southern end. It receives waves averaging 1.5 m in the north, decreasing at the very southern end owing to slight protection from Red Head and some reefs off the head. It has a double bar system in the north-centre and a single bar to the south. The inner bar is dominated by rips throughout its length with 20 or more rips common along the beach, as well as a permanent rip against Wallabi Point, which is supplemented by tidal flows from the creek when it is open. Between the southern end of Diamond Beach and Red Head are two small moderately protected beaches lying at the base of the cliffs and dominated by rocks and reef in the surf. The first (NSW 190) begins around the rocks that form the southern boundary of Diamond Beach, and trends to the south as a 500 m long double crenulate high tide sand beach fronted by 50 m wide intertidal rocks flats, while it is backed by vegetated bluffs rising to 20 m. A small headland separates it from Shelly Beach (NSW 191) a similar curving 250 m low high tide sand beach and rock flats, and also backed and bordered by densely vegetated slopes. Red Head forms the southern boundary, It is composed of 250 million year old red shales interbedded with thin layers of volcanic ash together with fossil land plant remains.
Diamond Beach is a potentially dangerous beach when there is any swell running with rips the length of the beach. The headland beaches are dominated by rocks and unsuitable for swimming.