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Sugarloaf Point at Seal Rocks is one of the more prominent headlands on the NSW coast. The 70 m high head and lighthouse and its associated reefs, which extend up to 4 km offshore, mark a 90° change in the direction of the coast. The east-facing coast to the north, swing face southeast as it trends towards Port Stephens and Newcastle. As a consequence the coast faces directly into the dominate southerly waves resulting in the highest energy beaches in NSW. A series of five exposed, high-energy beaches extend for 40 km southwest of the point to Yaccaba Head. They are backed by the most extensive sand dune systems in the state, most of which are part of the Myall Lakes National Park. The first two beaches (NSW 217 & 218) occupy the first 4 km southwest of the point. Lighthouse Beach (NSW 218) is the highest energy beach on the east coast of Australia, particularly under southerly waves. The 2 km long beach faces almost due south, fully exposing it to all waves from that direction. It is bordered by Sugarloaf Point and Seal Rocks reef in the north and 30 m high Treachery Head in the south, which extends 700 m to the southwest. It can only be reached on foot from the Lighthouse car park, or via Treachery Head. It is backed by the highest and most extensive foredune in Australia, which in turn is breached by two large blowouts which extends 200 m inland rising to 40 m in height. The beach is composed of fine sand and has a double bar system dominated by large rips. Topographic rips flow out against both heads, with up to five rips cutting the outer bar. The inner bar is usually attached and cut by several rips.
Beach Length: 1.95km
General Hazard Rating: 7/11

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.