- Beach Number:
- NSW - Copacabana
- Post Code:
- General Beach Hazard Rating:
- 6/10 (Moderately hazardous)
Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Copacabana-Macmasters Beach (NSW 288) occupies a 1.4 km wide southeast-facing embayment bordered by the prominent sandstone 110 m high Tudibaring Head in the north and 90 m high Second Point to the south (Fig. 4.174 & xx4.175 the latter named by Captain Cook in 1770. The northern Copacabana Beach (NSW 288a) beach is backed by a board valley in the north occupied by 30 ha Cockrone Lake, then the houses of Copacabana spread up the backing and northern slopes. A small rocky spur separates it from the southern Macmasters Beach (NSW 288b) which is backed by a smaller developed valley. Both areas are occupied by residential and holiday homes, with little in the way of tourist facilities. Macmasters Beach is the older settlement. Macmasters SLSC formed in 1946, while Copacabana SLSC was formed in 1963 during the subdivision and opening up of the northern half. Beach access is good on both sides of the Lake though parking is more restricted at Macmasters.
The beach faces the east-southeast and receives waves that average 1.5 m at Copacabana, decreasing to about 1 m at Macmasters. These maintain a single bar, which is usually attached along the beach, but cut by 6-8 rips, which decrease in size and intensity to the south, often infilling at Macmasters forming a continuous, attached bar. A strong permanent rip runs out along the northern head, and during high seas a similar rip is formed against the southern head, particularly during summer northeast waves. Small rock pools have been constructed amongst the rocks at each end.
Copacabana is potentially hazardous owing to the persistent and often strong rips, so stay between the flags. Children should stay in the rock pool. Macmasters usually has lower waves and is a more popular beach, the higher number of swimmers leading to 20 rescues on average each year, so stay on the bar and between the flags, and be very careful if swimming up the beach, as rips abound.
This beach offers three breaks. A left point break at Copacabana works best in northeast to east swell and provides a reasonable long, if fullish left over the rocks. Along the beach are beach breaks which depend on bar and lagoon entrance conditions, while at Macmasters when the swell is big east to southeast, the point starts working producing a solid right hander.
Both headlands have high rocks with access to deep water. Beach gutters are best at Copacabana and when the lake is open.
- Formal parking area