Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Forster Beach (NSW 196) is the main swimming beach for the growing city of Forster (population 18 372*). It is a highly developed beach with the surf club established in 1946, and now a seawall backing the beach and high-rise apartments across the road. The northern boundary of this 500 m long beach is the south entrance wall for the inlet, while at the southern end a large rock pool and reefs lie at the base of Second Head (Figs. 4.110 & 4.111). A car park, lookout and picnic area sit atop this 20 m high head. It is also the starting point for a 4 km Bicentennial walking track to One Mile Beach.
The beach is moderately sheltered from southeast waves by Bennetts Head, which extends 2 km to the east. Waves average less than 1 m increasing in height up the beach. The result is a steep reflective beach in the south grading to a continuous attached bar in the north. When waves exceed 1 m, rips begin to form against the entrance wall, the pool and in the centre. Also in the north the entrance channel has strong tidal currents, troughs and sand bars seaward of the mouth, all of which are a hazard to swimmers and boats.
*Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007)
A popular beach with usually low waves and free of rips under normal wave conditions, however still stay between the flags.
Usually too small unless the swell is big and out of the east or northeast, then the northern point can produce a good left break, while a tubing righthander forms off the south point.
The South (entrance) Wall is the most popular spot, with the beach offering occasional gutters. The southern rocks are protected and offer a shallow sandy gutter.
- Formal parking area