Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Black Head is composed of Devonian mudstones, however unlike its neighbour Red Head, the name does not refer to the colour of the rock, but rather the Irish birthplace of the first settler William Hoy. The rocks on Black Head are however worth a look as they slope steeply in to the sea and are locally known as Razorback Rock. A rock pool is also located on the Black Head rock platform.
The beach (NSW 192) is 1.6 km long running in a gentle east-facing arc between Red and Black heads (Fig. 4.108 & 4.109). It is backed by a single foredune with a creek running out across the southern end of the beach. Access is provided in the north from the Red Head car park with a walkway leading to the northern end of the beach, and from the caravan park that backs the centre of the beach. At the southern end there is a picnic area along the creek banks with additional parking around the Black Head SLSC and on the headland. Swimming began at Black Head in the early 1900s and a homemade surf reel was first placed on the beach in 1915. The surf club was formed in 1924 and its shark tower erected with the help of a team of bullocks. Today the club has an excellent view up the beach from its location below the southern headland. A small lagoon and creek drain across the southern corner with two footbridges crossing the lagoon to the beach. The small Hallidays Point community occupies the northern slopes of Black Head, with new subdivisions expanding the settlement to the west. The Diamond Beach-Hallidays Point community has a population of 1050.
The beach receives slight protection during southerly waves from Black Head, resulting in an increase in wave height up the beach to peak at an average of 1.5 m at the north end. The beach has persistent rips along the north-central portion and off along Red Head, with rips only forming in the south during and following higher waves, which also produce a strong rip against Black Head.
Best in the south in the patrolled area and in the rock pool. If up the beach stay on the attached portions of the bar and away from rips and side currents.
A popular beach for surfing with both beach breaks and a reef break off Black Head, which works best when waves exceed 2 m.
The beach only has gutters following high seas, while the rocks at each end are fronted by shallow reef.
- Formal parking area