Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Pearl Bay is an open, 9 km wide, north-east facing bay. Its shoreline is dominated by sandy beaches, separated by small, rocky heads in the south, while extending inland for up to 3 km and rising to 100 m are massive, now vegetated, nested, parabolic dune systems. These dunes were probably emplaced during the Holocene sea level rise and stillstand between 8000 and 5000 years ago. While the dunes extend inland from the main beach, dunes from Port Clinton Beach have in the past cascaded down onto the three southern beaches, and their scarped, 100 m high, densely vegetated slopes now back the beaches. The three beaches are separated by small, rocky headlands. The dune groundwater drains out across the beaches in places, providing a source of clean fresh water.
At the southern end of the main beach is a small, rocky headland, beyond which the coast begins to trend more south-east and the sand is broken into three sandy beaches, each bordered by low, rocky headlands. The first beach (1320) is 1 km long and is backed by densely vegetated sand slopes that rise quickly to over 100 m. The beach consists of a 30 m wide high tide beach and 100 m wide low tide bar. The next two beaches (1321 & 1322) are very similar, being just a little longer (1.2 km & 1.7 km respectively) and facing a little more north. Wave energy decreases to the east along these beaches, with the easternmost corner hooked around to face west and provide a safe and popular yacht anchorage. As the waves decrease in height, the high tide beach steepens and narrows, as does the low tide bar.
All four beaches provide long, clean, sandy beaches and usually relatively safe conditions under normal low waves. However rips are present when waves exceed 0.5 m, particularly on the northern half of the main beach, cutting across the low tide bar approximately every 200 m.
Best on the northern half of the main beach, where there are usually good bars and rips present at mid to low tide.
There is good fishing off all the beaches at high tide, as well as the rocks off the small headlands, with a chance of rip holes along the main beach.
Four beautiful sandy beaches, backed by massive, vegetated dunes and with good anchorage in the south.