Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Etty Bay is the surfing beach for the town of Innisfail. It is located 15 km by road from Innisfail and 7 km from the Bruce Highway, with the final kilometre climbing 100 m over the coastal Moresby Range before descending into the picturesque little bay. The bay is a small indentation in the range, sufficiently large to contain the 700 m long, east facing beach, and with enough flat land for a road, the Etty Bay Surf Life Saving Club and a small caravan park, running into a narrow northern valley. This has long been a popular beach, with the surf lifesaving club founded in 1935.
The beach is backed by a narrow, tree-shaded reserve, then steep, forested slopes rising up to 250 m behind the beach. The surf lifesaving club, a store and toilets sit behind the middle of the beach. The beach is composed of fine sand that produces a gently sloping beach. At high tide it is less than 50 m wide, however at low tide a shallow bar over 100 m wide is exposed. Waves average 0.5 m and spill across the shallow bar. There are rocks on the beach and in the surf at the southern end, with a small, rocky promontory crossing the northern end that divides the beach at high tide. The stinger net (Fig. 3.7b) is located in front of the surf lifesaving club.
This is a relatively safe beach, with a usually shallow surf zone. Strong south-easterlies build bigger waves which both widen the surf zone and produce rips, particularly against the northern rocks. So it is best to stay in the centre of the beach, in the stinger net area.
Low waves spill across the surf zone, with higher waves accompanying strong south-easterlies.
Owing to the low beach slope, it is best to fish at high tide, and from the rocks at each end.
One of the more attractive beaches on the Queensland coast, with sufficient amenities for day visitors, plus the caravan park for travellers.
- Formal parking area