Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
The rocks that border Corindi Beach interrupt an otherwise long curving strip of sand that extends for 10 km between Red Rock and Arrawarra Headland. The 350 m long beach (NSW 82) lies behind two shallow reefs linked to irregular shore platforms, together with rocks in the centre. As a result waves breaking over the reefs reducing waves to less than 0.5 m at the beach, which combines with the medium to coarse sand, plus some gravel and cobbles to form a steep, reflective beach. However rips form against the rocks. The beach is backed by a reserve and caravan park, then the growing town of Corindi which has a population of 600. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards during the summer holidays.
South of the rocks the beach continues south for 3.2 km as Corindi-Arrawarra beach (NSW 83), terminating when the small Arrawarra creek drains across the beach (Fig. 4.45). This beach is backed by the expanding township of Corindi in the north then as series of large beachfront caravan parks, including the Darlington/Lorikeet park and one by the creek mouth. The beach sand becomes finer to the south as the beach becomes increasingly protected by Arrawarra Headland. As a result the beach has a double bar system in the centre and north, with rips cutting the inner bar, a deep trough and rhythmic outer bar, while in the south is a wide, low gradient attached bar, cut by occasional rips. The creek mouth is usually shallow, with low flows and not a major hazard. This beach has increased in popularity since the opening up of beachfront caravan parks, each with their own access track across the low foredune to the beach.
Between Arrawarra Creek mouth and the Headland is a low gradient, 750 m long beach (NSW 84) composed of fine sand, and facing the northeast. The road runs to the back of the beach with an open picnic area and boat launching across the beach. Waves refracting round the headland produce the point break for which the spot is well known. By the time the waves reach the beach however they are only a few decimetres high. Consequently the beach is a wide with a shallow attached bar, with no rips, but a current running down the beach when the waves are breaking.
The University of New England has a zoology field station on the low grassy headland. The headland itself is composed of 250 million year old marine shales and slates, that outcrop all the way down to Macauleys Head at Coffs Harbour.
The best locations are the patrolled sections at Corindi and in front of the Darlington caravan park and towards the more sheltered southern end at Arrawarra.
Only beach breaks along the beach, while Arrawarra point and reef can hold east to southeast waves up to 2.5 m providing a long, if fullish wave. Lower waves tend to run in a number of sections.
The gutters off the Corindi rocks are a popular spot, with beach fishing down the beach and rock fishing off the headland. Under normal conditions, fishers use tractors to launch their boats across the beach.
- Formal parking area