Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Shellharbour North beach (NSW 381) is a 1 km long, slightly curving east-facing beach, extending south from the rocks of Barrack Point to a small rocky protrusion. The beach is backed by a low vegetated foredune, then a road and bike path with a caravan park straddling the northern end of the road, a sewer farm sits in the backing Barrack Swamp, with the Shellharbour SLSC (formed in 1936) is located at the southern end, with houses spreading up the backing slopes to Shellharbour township. The beach receives waves averaging 1.4 m reduced slightly by the presence of seaward protruding Bass Point, 4 km to the south. The waves produce 6-8 rips across the usually attached bar, while permanent rips flow out against the rocks at either end (Fig. 4.309 & 4.310).
The southern end of the north beach is patrolled and provides the best location for swimming. Avoid the rips particularly if swimming up the beach. The harbour beach is unsuitable owing to boat traffic, however the rock pool is not only safe but also patrolled by a lifeguard from Christmas to Easter, as is the southern beach.
There are beach breaks along main beach, while off the southern rocks is a hollow right-hander called Cowries, which works best in moderate east to southeast swell. There is no surf in the harbour but there is a right off the pool called The Pool and a left called Shatters.
Good rock platforms at the ends of each beach, plus beach gutters following high seas, while the harbour has a boat ramp.
Shellharbour is a 400 m wide rocky bay that has been used as a port since the 1850s. Today it is backed by the growing township of Shellharbour, and is bordered by northern and southern Shellharbour beaches. The four beaches (NSW 381-383) occupy 3 km of coast between the northern Barrack Point and the base of the 3 km long Bass Point.
- Formal parking area