- 28 Jan
1 Coffs Harbour
Coffs Harbour 2450, NSW
Park Beach (NSW 109) is the main beach for Coffs Harbour a major city of over 60 000. The beach is backed by a fenced foredune and a road leading to the town centre. There is extensive parking and numerous facilities located behind the low dunes including a large caravan park, hotel and the Coffs Harbour SLSC (Fig. 4.54). A shady picnic area lies between the southern car park and Coffs Harbour creek. Responding to the early popularity of the beach the surf club was formed in 1923 an outgrowth of the Coffs Harbour Surf Bathing Club, which was located at Jetty (or Harbour) Beach just to the south. The beach itself extends south from Macauleys Head for 1.5 km to the cuspate foreland in lee of Little Muttonbird Island and the usually open Coffs Harbour Creek (Fig. 4.55). It receives slight protection from southeast waves but is open to the east and northeast, with waves averaging 1.4 m and maintaining up to ten rips along the beach, with a permanent rip against the headland. The southern patrolled end is usually more protected, but during summer northeast conditions strong rips can develop next to the foreland. This popular but potentially hazardous beach records an average of 26 rescues a year. Coffs Harbour Creek enters the sea immediately south of the cuspate foreland in lee of Muttonbird Islet and together with the foreland forms the northern boundary of the southern section of Park Beach (NSW 110) a curving 600 m long beach. The southern boundary is the northern Coffs Harbour breakwater, which extends out 600 m to Muttonbird Island an 8 ha nature reserve. The breakwater was constructed in 1892 and truncates the original beach, which used to continue southward into what is now Coffs Harbour. This beach is protected by the island and breakwater, which was extended to the island in 1924, resulting in waves averaging less than a metre, which maintain an attached bar. Access to the beach is either by walking down from Park Beach or from the southern car parking area around the port and sailing club.
Park Beach is best in the south between the flags, with usually lower waves along the southern beach. Stay on the attached bars and away from rip holes and currents.