Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Bennetts Beach (NSW 223) extends south from Dark Point for 14.3 km. It is also known from the north as Dark Point, White Sands, Lemon Tree, The Baskets and Lovers Walk to the south. The beach starts on the south side of Dark Point and curves to the southwest past the 6 km of bare then vegetated dunes down to Hawks Nest where is curves round to finally face the northeast in lee of Yacaaba Head. Broughton Island lies 3 km off the northern end and Cabbage Tree Island 3.5 km off the southern end. The beach is accessible at Hawks Nest where there is a car park next to the Hawks Nest SLSC and additional parking behind the beach a kilometre down the beach. The Hawks Nest to Bombah Point road runs usually several hundred metres in behind the beach, with a few signed 4WD tracks leading to the beach. Vehicles are permitted north of Hawks Nest, but prohibited from the patrol area.
The beach undergoes a transformation from north to south. At Dark Point the waves average 1.6 m, the surf zone is up to 200 m wide and large rips dominate the outer bar, and rips also cutting the inner bar. The most extensive series of active dunes in NSW extend for 10 km down the beach and up to 1 km inland. At Bennetts Beach the waves average 1 m and usually maintain rips across the inner bar every 250-300 m. This section of the beach is patrolled by the Tea Gardens-Hawks Nest SLSC (founded 1963) (Fig. 4.125 & 4.126). Behind the beach are a series of old foredunes extending over 1 km inland to the site of the first beach which was formed over 6000 years ago. In the south against Yacaaba it receives low waves, and usually has a steep reflective beach or a shallow continuous bar and low dunes.
Two exposed rip-dominated beaches , with the best swimming in the patrolled area at Hawks Nest.
Most head for Hawks Nest which depending on your ability offers decreasing wave height to the south. The southern side of Dark Point picks up most swell and with wide bars and rips usually has excellent beach breaks. In between some good breaks can occur on the outer bar during moderate swell.
Dark Point is a very popular spot for 4WD fishers, who also fish the numerous gutters along the beach. There is vehicle access to the beach at Lemontree and Hawks Nest.
- Formal parking area