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There is an excellent view of South Smoky Beach (NSW 144) from the Smoky Cape lighthouse car park. The 16 km long beach runs initially south-southwest then south before curving round at Hat Head to finally face northeast and can be divided into three sections. The northernmost (NSW 144a) extends southwest of the cape for 2.5 km to a subdued foreland in lee of Black Rocks reef, located 1 km seaward. This section is fully exposed with a well-developed rip-dominated double bar system. One kilometre south of the cape is a beach side picnic and camping area, together with 4WD access to the beach. Beach NSW 144b extends south of the foreland for 11.5 km, trending southwest then south towards Hat Head. It has a continuous rip-dominated double bar system, with up to 40 beach rips operating along the inner bar. The only access is by 4WD along the beach. It is backed by 200-500 m wide dunes, then a swampy interbarrier depression and an inner Pleistocene barrier, all located within Hat Head National Park. The southern Hat Head section (NSW 144c) curves to the southeast in lee of 164 m high Hat Head, which protrudes 1.5 km to the northeast as Korogoro Point. As a consequence wave height drops to the south, maintaining a single rip-dominated bar, which terminates in the south as a wide shallow bar against the mouth of Korogoro Creek (Fig. 4.74 & 4.75). The shallow creek flowing out hard against the rocks of Hat Head. This beach is backed by a vegetated foredune, then the small village of Hat Head (population 350), which has a large caravan park bordered by the creek mouth. The Hat Head SLSC, established in 1948, and lifeguards patrol the popular creek mouth and southern end of the beach. There is a boat ramp at the creek mouth.
Beach Length: 2km
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
Drinking water
Public phone
Change Rooms
Toilets Block M/F




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.