- Beach Number:
- NSW - Wamberal
- Post Code:
- General Beach Hazard Rating:
- 7/10 (Highly hazardous)
Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Wamberal-Terrigal beach (NSW 285) is a 2.8 km long stretch of sand that trends southwest from the rocks on the north side of Wamberal Lagoon entrance south to Terrigal Lagoon entrance where the beach begins to curve round to the southeast to terminate at the rocks on the southern end of Terrigal Beach, in lee of Broken Head (Fig. 4.170). The beach blocks the entrances to two drowned valleys, now occupied by Wamberal and Terrigal lagoons, which only open during heavy rain. The beach and its lagoons have long been popular holiday destinations for Sydneysiders, with increasing residential development since the 1960s.
The northern 1.5 km of Wamberal Beach (NSW 285a) lies in the Wamberal Lagoon Nature Reserve, with the Wamberal SLSC (formed in 1950) located on the south side of the lagoon entrance. The 1 km long 20 m high foredune, between Wamberal and Terrigal lagoons, has been developed for beachfront housing. The beach is readily accessible at the surf club where there is a large car park, in addition to several tracks that lead over the high foredune, and in the south by Terrigal Lagoon.
South of the lagoon mouth, rocky bluffs then a low dune back the 700 m long Terrigal Beach (NSW 285b). A foreshore reserve lies between the road and the beach and contains Terrigal SLSC (formed in 1924), car parking and a park. The shopping centre and a large resort backs the southern half of the beach. Terrigal in particular has long been a popular destination for holidaymakers and fishermen. The northern Wamberal Beach is well exposed with waves averaging 1.5 m and up to 15 rips dominating the surf zone. As wave height drops to the south the rips decrease in size, with often a continuous bar along Terrigal Beach (Fig. 4.171).
Wamberal is dominated by active and often strong rips, particularly north of the surf club. Definitely swim between the flags. The lagoon also offers a quieter swimming area. Terrigal is a more popular beach with usually lower waves, though it does average more rescues than Wamberal. Usually there is an attached bar with only small rips, however higher waves will increase rip strength, so it is still best to stay between the flags. The lagoon and southern rock pool are also a popular swimming spots.
Wamberal picks up more swell and generally has good beach breaks as well as waves over the northern reefs. However when the swell is up Terrigal offers some shelter.
Both lagoon mouths are good when open, with the best beach gutters at Wamberal. At Terrigal Granny's Rock near the rock pool is a popular location. The beach and lagoon mouths are fished for flathead, bream, whiting, tailor and mulloway.
- Formal parking area