Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Tacking Point marks the end of the hard intrusive rocks that dominate the Port Macquarie coast and beaches. Four longer beaches (NSW 171-173) sweep for 15.5 km to the southwest to the more rolling slopes of Bonny Hills. The first beach, Lighthouse or Tacking Point Beach extends southwest of the point for 700 m between to the low Watonga Rocks, which extends across the lower beach and into the surf (Fig. 4.92 & 4.93). This is the main surfing beach for Port Macquarie, with the Tacking Point SLSC (established 1971) located at the northern end of the backing foreshore reserve, beside the small Lighthouse Gully creek. The reserve is in turn backed by Matthew Flinders Drive, then residential housing on the backing slopes, which rise to 50 m. The beach faces the southeast and receives waves averaging 1.6 m which combine with the fine sand to produce a well developed one to two bar system. The inner bar is always present and usually continuous and attached to the shore. However wave greater than 1.5 m result in rips cutting the bar particularly against the point and the rocks, and form a second outer bar. A wide trough, usually occupied by rips, separates the inner bar from the outer bar, which when present, is cut by rips at both ends.
An exposed and potentially hazardous rip-dominated beach. Stay between the flags and on the inner bar.
A popular summer spot where the northeasterlies blow offshore, best waves during moderate east and southeast swell on the outer bar.
Both Tacking Point and Watonga Rocks are popular spots, with the point offering high, relatively safe locations, while Watonga Rocks can be fished off the beach for bream, whiting, tailor and mulloway.
- Formal parking area