Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Between Gerrin Point and Box Head is a 4 km wide-open southeast-facing bay containing three beaches (NSW 292-294), all or part located within the national park (Fig. 4.177). The longest is Putty Beach (NSW 292) a slightly curving 1.6 km long southeast-facing beach, located between prominent 70 m high sandstone headlands, the eastern third of which is the national park, while the densely vegetated slopes behind the western end rise to 130 m. The crest of the slopes and the western Kilcare end have been developed for housing. The beach and backing foredune remain relatively natural, with only the Kilcare SLSC (formed in 1932), located at the far western end. There is road access through the national to the eastern end of the beach where there is a park, picnic and camping area. A road to the western end provides access to the surf club, a large car park, picnic area and rock pool.
The beach is well exposed to southerly waves which increase in size toward the western surf club end of the beach (Fig. 4.178). The Putty end usually has an attached bar which continues to Kilcare. Here higher waves and rips are more common, with up to eight rips forming along the beach, including a permanent rip against the western rocks, where there is also a small rock pool.
The Putty end has lower waves and a roving beach patrol in summer. If swimming at Kilcare stay between the flags and on the bar, or use the rock pool, as 40 people are rescued on average each year.
The best beach breaks are at the Kilcare end when there is a moderate southeast swell running, with summer northerly winds blowing offshore.
The rocks at either end are most popular yielding whiting and mulloway, with beach gutters only occurring following high waves.
- Formal parking area