Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Killick Beach (NSW 150) trends southwest from Hungry Head (Fig. 4.78) for 14 km only in the last kilometre swinging to face the east in lee of Crescent Head. The entire beach is backed by an outer Holocene barrier, with active dunes along the northern 9 km, backed in turn by a swampy interbarrier depression, then a Pleistocene inner barrier, the whole system 2-3 km wide. In the north the active dunes are backed by now vegetated Pleistocene and Holocene dunes overly the rear of 100 m high Hungry Hill. The entire systems down to Killicks Creek at Crescent Head is located in Hat Head National Park. The beach is accessible from Hat Head in the north via a 2 km gravel road to Hungry camping and rest area, with a track providing 4WD access to the beach. There is also vehicle access in the centre at Richardsons Cutting and in the south 3 km north of Crescent Head. Four-wheel drive vehicles regularly use the beach.
Crescent Head (population 1200) township spreads over the north-facing slopes of Crescent Head providing views of this famous surfing spot and up the beach, particularly from the 80 m high water-tower. The town has all facilities with an excellent camping ground between the town and the beach, next to the equally scenic golf course. The Kempsey-Crescent Head SLSC was formed in 1921 and is the oldest on the mid north coast. Most of the beach is exposed to waves averaging 1.6 m. These combine with the fine beach sand to produce a well developed double bar system. The inner bar is dominated by rips every 300-400 m, with more widely spaced rips on the outer bar, located 200 m offshore. Only close to Crescent Head is some protection received from southeast waves, however the surf zone remains over 100 m wide (Fig. 4.79). There is a boat ramp at the creek mouth, next to the surf club, with small boats heading out through the surf during lower waves.
Rips dominate the entire beach. Even in the patrol area the flow from Killicks Creek often cuts a rip straight out or runs along the beach to the north before turning seaward and is used by the fishing boats to cross the surf.
Crescent Head is a well known north coast point break, with potential for producing long, easy rights that start over the boulders that border the golf course and run on across the bars at the creeks mouth to hold up for 300-400 m. The point works best up to 2-3 m with east to southeast swell, with southerly winds blowing offshore. Beach breaks abound up the beach when the points not working. At the northern end there are often good break breaks off Hungry Head, popular during summer northeasterlies.
A deep gutter called the Jew Bite runs out against Hungry Hill, while down the beach shifting gutters abound. These are popular with 4WD beach fishers who fish for tailor, bream, mulloway and whiting. At Crescent Head shallow sand and rock flats lie off the north side of the Head.
The northern 0.5 km and the Crescent Head end are closed to all vehicles. The remainder is open to beach driving permit holders. Permits available from Kempsey Shire Council and Crescent Head caravan park.