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Old Bar refers to the shifting bar at the mouth of Scotts Creek. Like at Farquhar Park opposite, people used to come down the Manning River in boats to picnic and camp at Old Bar before adequate roads existed. Two drownings in the creek and one on the beach led to the organisation of the Taree-Old Bar SLSC in 1927. Today Old Bar-Saltwater is a growing community of 2600 with an extensive foreshore reserve adjacent to the town centre, housing the large surf club. The creek entrance, reefs directly off the town and the southern headland cause the beach to undulate, with two arcs sweeping away from the reef area. The beach is accessible in the north off the road to Old Bar Park, at Old Bar and in the south at Saltwater-Wallabi Point. The beach (NSW 187) extends southwest for 6 km between the inlet and Wallabi Point, with a slight foreland at Old Bar in lee of the rocky Urana Bombora. The beach receives waves averaging 1.6 m, which decrease in lee of the bombora. These maintain a double bar system, with the usually attached inner bar cut by rips every 200-300 m (Fig. 4.106 & 4.107). Additional caution is needed around the creek mouth where strong tidal currents and variable bars dominate around the reefs and against Saltwater Head during higher waves.
Beach Length: 6km
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
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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.