Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Shelly Beach (NSW 280) extends from the rocks on the south side of Little Bay for 1.5 km southwest to rocks that in turn separate it from Blue Lagoon (Fig. 4.166). The beach is accessible in the north from Toowoon Bay and the caravan park. A golf course occupies much of the central dune area, with the Shelly Beach SLSC (formed 1954), car parking and a caravan park in the south. Most of the beach is backed by a high foredune and vegetated transgressive dunes extending up to 200 m inland. The dunes give the beach a natural appearance, which is a nice attraction in a very urbanised area. While the beaches either side are largely protected by rocks and reefs, Shelly is well exposed to east and southeast waves, with northeast waves running down the beach. As a result the beach receives waves averaging 1.6 m, which decrease slightly to the south, while the entire beach is dominated by rips, with usually 5-6 beach rips and two permanent rips against the rocks at each end (Fig. 4.165). The inner bar may be attached, providing a footing for swimmers, but during and following high waves it detaches and a continuous rhythmic channel with rips and feeder currents occupies the inner surf zone. High waves also form an outer rhythmic bar along the northern part of the beach.
Shelly is an exposed rip-dominated beach, so stay in the south in the patrolled area. Blue Lagoon in contrast is a relatively quiet beach under normal conditions, and is patrolled by lifesavers from Shelly Beach.
Usually good beach breaks under most swell conditions, as well as a solid left over the northern rocks. The north end offers some protection from summer northerlies. Learners are better off down the southern end.
Good gutters are found along the beach, which are fished for tailor, bream, whiting and mulloway, with shallow reef and sand fronting the southern rocks.
- Formal parking area