Ballina has two beaches patrolled by the same surf life saving club, Shelly and Lighthouse. Shelly Beach (NSW 27) is located between the 40 m high Black and Ballina heads and backed by the higher ground of Richmond Hill and the residential development of East Ballina. Access and parking is... Read more
Ballina has two beaches patrolled by the same surf life saving club, Shelly and Lighthouse. Shelly Beach (NSW 27) is located between the 40 m high Black and Ballina heads and backed by the higher ground of Richmond Hill and the residential development of East Ballina. Access and parking is provided at both ends of the 700 m long beach, and at two central car parks. The beach faces southeast exposing it to the dominant southerly waves. This aspect combined with its fine to medium sand produces a surf dominated by three large rips cutting across the inner bar, one against either headland, and a more variable central rip, the three often connected by a continuous trough. The rips, outer bar and headlands provide good surf, but are a hazard for swimmers.On the southern side of Ballina Head is Lighthouse Beach (NSW 28) is one of the State's newest beaches in that it only came into existence after the construction of the adjacent Richmond River entrance walls in the early 1900s. The construction caused what was then known as Shaws Bay to fill with sand, building not only the beach but also 30 ha of prime beachfront real estate which was developed in the 1970s. The 700 m long beach is now located between Ballina Head and the northern training wall (Figs. 4.20 & 4.21). Good access is provided from the car park at the surf club under Ballina Head, and from the road that runs behind the beach to a car park against the entrance wall, with a grassy reserve between the road and beach. This is popular beach, however it usually has rips and strong currents, and has long been regarded as dangerous. The Surf Club was formed in 1932 and preforms a relatively high average of 47 rescues a year.
Both beaches are rip-dominated so stay between the flags and watch for longshore currents and rips. If you are not a good swimmer you can cool off in the small swimming pool located on the southern sand covered shore platform at the southern end of Shelly Beach. Lighthouse beach has two permanent rips; one that run out against Ballina Head, called the ‘Shelly Beach express’, and one at the entrance wall, plus one to two central beach rips. A deep trough separates these from the outer bar which usually has three rips. Additional hazards are associated with the entrance wall itself and the strong tidal and river flows that it contains. Swimming or surfing adjacent to the walls is particularly dangerous. So when swimming at Lighthouse Beach stay between the flags and on the inner bar.
Variable beach breaks at Shelly, with a left off the northern rocks and right off the southern. Lighthouse has the potential for good breaks on outer bar and inside the north (entrance) wall. However quality depends on highly variable bars.
There are permanent gutters on both beaches while the flat rock platforms at either end of Shelly provide access to rocky shallow holes. North Wall at Lighthouse offers both beach and river fishing.Read less
Sun, 19 Feb 22:00
Marine Wind Warning Summary for New South Wales
Sun, 19 Feb 18:46
Severe Thunderstorm Warning (NSW)
Wind: Northerly 15 to 25 knots, reaching up to 30 knots during the morning.
Swell: Easterly below 1 metre.
Seas: 2 to 3 metres, decreasing to 1.5 to 2 metres during the afternoon.
Weather: Cloudy. 90% chance of rain. The chance of a thunderstorm.
Sun protection recommended from 9:10 am to 5:00 pm
Wind: Northwest to northeasterly 15 to 20 knots easing and becoming south to southeasterly 10 to 15 knots in the morning.
Swell: Easterly around 1 metre.
Seas: 1 to 1.5 metres, decreasing below 1 metre during the morning, then increasing to around 1 metre around midday.
Weather: Partly cloudy. 60% chance of showers offshore, 30% chance elsewhere. The chance of a thunderstorm in the morning and early afternoon.
Sun protection recommended from 9:10 am to 5:00 pm
Wind: Southeasterly 15 to 20 knots.
Swell: Southerly around 1 metre.
Seas: Around 1 metre, increasing to 1 to 1.5 metres offshore north of Cape Byron during the afternoon or evening.
Weather: Partly cloudy. 30% chance of a shower. The chance of a thunderstorm.
|Sun 19th||15 (Extreme) Sun protection recommended from 9:10 am to 5:10 pm|
|Mon 20th||13 (Extreme) Sun protection recommended from 9:10 am to 5:00 pm|
|Tue 21st||14 (Extreme) Sun protection recommended from 9:10 am to 5:00 pm|
|Wed 22nd||14 (Extreme) Sun protection recommended from 9:10 am to 5:00 pm|
SLSA provides this information as a guide only. Surf conditions are variable and therefore this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for observation of local conditions and an understanding of your abilities in the surf. SLSA reminds you to always swim between the red and yellow flags and never swim at unpatrolled beaches. SLSA takes all care and responsibility for any translation but it cannot guarantee that all translations will be accurate.