Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Avoca Beach (NSW 287) is a popular holiday destination for Sydneysiders as well as Central Coast locals. It became accessible to the public in 1908 when the first bridge was built across Avoca Lake and the Avoca Guest House constructed at what was then called Moore's Beach. The 1.7 km long beach lies between two prominent 60 m high sandstone headlands and faces the east-southeast exposing it to waves averaging 1.5 m. Avoca Lake backs the centre of the beach and opens during floods (Fig. 4.172 & 4.173).
North Avoca (NSW 287a) is primarily a residential area developed since the 1950s. The North Avoca Beach SLSC was established in 1957 and is located toward the northern end of the beach, with its car park providing the best beach access. The southern Avoca (NSW 287b) settlement has all the usual holiday facilities. Hard against the southern headland is the Avoca Beach SLSC, founded in 1929, and shady Hunter Park, with a shallow rock pool in front of the clubhouse. A well-developed rock platform runs round in front of the southern headland, which is popular for rock fishers and walkers. However watch for waves which break over the rocks and into some deep gullies round the corner.
The beach receives higher waves towards the north and centre where the bar is often detached and usually cut by several rips, including a permanent rip against the northern headland. North Avoca surf club rescues 31 people on average each year at this end. At Avoca slight protection by the southern headland lowers waves in the southern corner to form a continuous, attached bar. However rips are frequent and a permanent rip runs out against the southern rocks. These rips and Avoca's popularity result in an average of 110 rescues at year, the highest outside of Sydney. The Avoca surf club was in fact founded following the tragic drowning of two young girls in December 1928. In addition to the patrolled areas either end of the beach, the council lifeguards man a beach tower on the south side of the lake entrance.
A popular, but potentially hazardous beach, with over 130 rescues each year. Definitely swim between the flags, and watch for rip holes and currents. Avoid the centre, particularly when the lake is open.
Avoca is well known for the southern Avoca Point break a short but good right that holds east and southeast swell up to 3 m. Also good beach breaks up the beach, the first being a left running into the southern headland rip.
North Avoca offers readily accessible but limited area for rock fishing as well as persistent gutters on the beach. The centre is best when the lake is open. The southern rocks offer more space and some deep gullies.
- Formal parking area