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Shelly Beach (NSW 51) is 800 m long, faces due east and is bordered by the 40 m high One Man Bluff in the north and 20 m high Shelly Head in the south. It is backed by a natural dune system, covered in dense coastal woodland, with two small creeks crossing the southern half of the beach. Access is by foot, with a walk-in camp located on Shelly Head. The central to northern section of the beach is exposed to waves from all directions, resulting in a double bar system with rips cutting the attached inner bar and a tough and rhythmic outer bar. Strong, permanent rips also run out against both headlands, though waves and rip intensity decrease against the southern head. Shelly Head beach (NSW 51S) is a steep 180 m long, sand, cobble and shell beach, running along the eastern side of the headland (Fig. 4.33). It is backed by 20 m high densely vegetated bluffs, with extensive rock platforms to either end leaving a 50 m water access in the centre. The rocks and reefs lower waves at the beach, however caution should be used if swimming here as a permanent rips runs out of the centre. Access is via a steep track toward the southern end.
Beach Length: 0.8km
General Hazard Rating: 6/10

Patrolled Beach Flag Patrols

There are currently no services provided by Surf Life Saving Australia for this beach. Please take the time to browse the Surf Safety section of this website to learn more about staying safe when swimming at Australian beaches. Click here to visit general surf education information.


Formal parking area
Formal parking area



Topographic rips


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.