Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Town Beach (NSW 161) is the most popular in Port Macquarie owing to its location near the centre of town, with a car park running the length of the beach and a riverfront caravan park behind. However it is also a potentially hazardous beach because of its proximity to rocks and the Hastings River mouth (Fig. 4.89). The 600 m long beach, curves between the southern river entrance wall and Green Mound, a jagged 15 m high headland, capped by the Pilots flagstaff. It faces northeast and has numerous rocks in the surf increasing toward the Mound. The low gradient beach is composed of fine sand and is dominated by permanent rips against the entrance wall and the Mound, with a third shifting central rip. Further out the Hastings River sand bar sweeps in towards the Mound. The river mouth bars and associated tidal flows produce variable bars and channels. Strong tidal currents move across these outer bars and channels with each tide. As a result the patrolled area is always located in the southern corner in lee of the larger rocks and well away from the river.
Stay on the inner bar and between the flags or in the southern corner. Do not swim in the river. It is deep and has strong currents.
A popular spot with board riders owing to the numerous bars and protection from south winds. When the bars and tide is right the beach can hold large southeast swell. Inside the breakwater is a spot called Flagstaff, which breaks over a sand bar in larger south swells.
The South Wall is popular while some reasonable holes form amongst the rocks around Green Mound.
- Formal parking area