Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Newcastle Beach is located at the base of downtown Newcastle. The back of the beach is highly modified with a seawall, road and parking along the beach, a large rock and a wading pool on the northern rocks, and the Newcastle SLSC in the centre. The beach is also one of the more hazardous on the coast being the site of several early drownings which resulted in the formation of Newcastle SLSC in 1908. Today an average of 92 people are rescued each year, the highest for any beach outside of Sydney. The beach is 650 m long and faces the southeast, exposing it to waves averaging 1.6 m. Its limited size, headlands and rocky outcrops particularly to the south, usually produce three permanent rips, cutting the northern and southern bars (Fig. 4.140).
Surf swimming received an early set back in Newcastle when in 1866 a beachfront resident successfully summonsed two swimmers for swimming in daylight hours. They were subsequently found guilty and fined 10 shillings each.
A potentially hazardous beach owing to the high waves, rocks and permanent rips. Stay inshore, on the bar and between the flags.
The beach picks up any swell, but is best in a northeast with lefts off the north rocks, and rights into the rips. A popular spot and the site of many surf contests. As early as 1913 surf club members applied for permission to used surfboards on Newcastle beach, permission denied by the Council.
The waves and rocks produce permanent gutters on the beach, with the rocks off the baths also popular, but dangerous.