Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Gunnamatta Beach is an exposed, high energy beach with a wide, rip dominated surf zone. It is located in the Mornington Peninsula National Park and is part of the 30 km long sandy and rocky coast that extends from Cape Schanck to Point Nepean. The Gunnamatta section is 3 km long, with extensive intertidal calcarenite reefs and rocks forming the boundaries, with some smaller reefs on the beach and in the surf. Truemans Road runs out through the dunes to the beach, where there is a large car park and the surf lifesaving club.
The beach faces south-west, exposing it to high westerly winds and waves. The waves average 1.9 m and combine with the medium sand to produce a 150 m wide single bar surf zone. The bar is cut by strong rips every 300 m, together with additional permanent rips next to major reefs and rocks. The rips intensify around low tide.
The Gunnamatta Surf Life Saving Club was founded in 1966. This is a very hazardous beach, with an average of 113 rescues a year, second only to its neighbouring Portsea Beach.
This is a potentially hazardous beach for swimming, with usually high waves and strong rips close to shore. Definitely stay between the flags, on the bar and away from the rips, rocks and reefs.
Gunnamatta offers the best beach breaks on the Mornington Peninsula, with consistency guaranteed by the high swell and reefs. Good breaks are found Down the Beach past the surf club, in front of the First and Second Car Parks, and up the beach at the Pumping Station, which is, however, polluted by the sewerage outfall. Best conditions are with a low to moderate swell and north-easterly winds.
Deep rip holes and gutters, together with rocks and reefs, are a permanent feature of this beach and make it a popular spot for beach and rock fishing.
A high energy, hazardous beach backed by extensive sand dunes. Best suited for experienced bathers and surfers.
- Formal parking area