Pearl Beach was named after the pearl size quartz pebbles that used to be more common on the beach. The quartz derived from erosion of the surrounding sandstone cliffs. Many have since been removed by early mining and fossickers. However they are still there in quantity if you know where to look. Pearl Beach is separated from Ocean-Umina Beach by the 60 m high and 300 m wide Mount Ettalong ridge, however the beaches on either side are quite different. Whereas Umina has fine sand and a wide low gradient surf zone, Pearl Beach has considerably coarser sand and the quartz pearls that produce a steep reflective beach, with waves surging up the beach.
Pearl Beach (NSW 298) curves for 1.1 km to the south where it faces north in behind Green Point. Road access, which used to be around the base of Mount Ettalong, was switched to an over the hill route when high seas destroyed part of the lower road. The newer road and lookout on the ridge provide excellent views of the beach and its ever-present beach cusps (Fig. 4.181). The beach is backed by a low dune area locked in by high valley sides, providing a secluded valley now largely occupied by houses. Two parks and car parking are provided in the centre and southern end of the beach. The beach faces the east, however all waves must pass through Broken Bay entrance and travel 3 km into the bay to reach the beach. This results in waves averaging 0.5 m at the northern end, dropping in height to the southern corner. Because of the low average waves and coarse sand the beach is always steep and reflective, with deep water off the shore. High east and southeast swell which periodically reach the beach result in a strong and dangerous shorebreak.
Beach Length: 1km
General Hazard Rating:
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.
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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.