Middle Camp South - Beach in Catherine Hill Bay Lake Macquarie NSW - SLS Beachsafe

Middle Camp South NSW

Catherine Hill Bay is a 1.5 km long east-facing bay bordered by prominent headlands and rock platforms. It is occupied by two sandy beaches (NSW 259 & 260) also known as Middle Camp Beach (Fig. 4.151 & 4.152), and backed by two valleys, the northern drained by Middle Gamp Gully... Read more

Catherine Hill Bay is a 1.5 km long east-facing bay bordered by prominent headlands and rock platforms. It is occupied by two sandy beaches (NSW 259 & 260) also known as Middle Camp Beach (Fig. 4.151 & 4.152), and backed by two valleys, the northern drained by Middle Gamp Gully which flows across the northern end, with a smaller creek flowing out towards the southern end. The backing slopes are the site of two coal mining communities, the northern Middle Camp and southern Catherine Hill Bay which dates back to 1873. Parking and good beach access to the beach is available in the north next to the cemetery, and in the south next to the road and Catherine Hill Bay SLSC. Middle Camp Beach (NSW 259) is now better known as Catherine Hill Bay, the name resulting from the wreck of the schooner Catherine Hill in 1867. While it was one of the first beaches 'discovered' by Sydney surfers in the late 1950s, the local coal miners had formed a surf club at the beach in 1928. Coal mines operate at either end, and masses of coal are piled above the southern headland. Up until 1963 a railway line ran along the back of the beach delivering coal to the southern jetty, for loading onto small coastal steamers.The main beach is 1.5 km long and sweeps in a gentle east-facing arc between the headlands. The surf club sits on the southern bluff, just above the beach. The beach receives waves averaging 1.5 m decreasing slightly to the south resulting in one bar cut by 5-6 beach rips with a strong permanent rip against the northern head. To the north the rips are often joined by a trough, creating a continuous rip and rip feeder channel along much of the beach.South of the southern rocks and 250 m long coal jetty is the second smaller more protected 150 m long north-facing beach (NSW 260). It is wedged in between the jetty, cliffs and a low rock platform. Waves refracting around the point average less than 0.5 m and maintain a steep reflective beach, which is used for launching small fishing boats.

Swimming

Best in the south between the flags. This is a potentially hazardous beach owing to the persistent rips, particularly up the beach. Stay close inshore, on attached bars, if present, and watch for rips holes and feeder currents.

Surfing

The large rips and bars up the northern end usually have a wave, with the right conditions holding good breaks up to 2 m. When its too big up north, then look to the southern end for a little protection and cleaner swell.

Fishing

North of the beach are a series of popular rock gullies called Middle Camp Inlet, Bogey Hole, Drummer Hole and Shark Hole which are fished for mulloway, snapper, bream and groper. On the beach the best gutters are up the beach. The southern rocks, between the jetty and the point, are flat and more protected, with vehicle access to the beach, which is used to launch small boats.

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Unpatrolled Unpatrolled Change Day

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.

Information

About

Catherine Hill Bay, NSW 2281

Length:
0.1km

General Beach Hazard Rating:
3/10 (Least hazardous)

Beach Key:
 nsw260

Nearby beaches

Hazards

  • Sharks
    Sharks
  • Bluebottles
    Bluebottles
  • Strong Currents
    Strong Currents

Weather

Tuesday 11, Dec 12:45 am

Day 23°    Night 18°
22.4°C
Showers increasing

Water Temperature  20°C


Swell


Wind


Wind: Northeasterly 10 to 15 knots shifting south to southeasterly before dawn then tending east to southeasterly in the early afternoon. Winds reaching up to 20 knots offshore south of Norah Head early in the morning.
Swell: Northeasterly around 1 metre, increasing to 1 to 1.5 metres during the morning, then decreasing to around 1 metre during the afternoon.
Seas: 1 to 1.5 metres, decreasing to 1 metre during the morning.
Weather: Cloudy. 80% chance of showers. The chance of a thunderstorm.

Tide

11 am
1.05m
5 am
0.26m
6 pm
0.17m

UV

Index: 12 (Extreme)

Sun protection recommended from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm


Radar

128 km

radar helper

Weather

Wednesday 12, Dec

Day 25°    Night 18°
Possible shower

Swell


Wind


Wind: Variable about 10 knots becoming easterly 10 to 15 knots before dawn then tending northeasterly in the middle of the day.
Swell: Northeasterly around 1 metre.
Seas: Around 1 metre.
Weather: Cloudy. The chance of a thunderstorm north of Norah Head.

Tide

12 am
0.70m
5 am
0.28m
12 pm
0.99m
7 pm
0.18m

UV

Index: 13 (Extreme)

Sun protection recommended from 8:20 am to 5:00 pm


Weather

Tue 11, Dec to Tue 18, Dec


Swell


Wind


Wind: North to northeasterly 15 to 25 knots increasing to 25 to 30 knots during the evening.
Swell: South to southeasterly below 1 metre.
Seas: 1 to 1.5 metres, increasing to 1.5 to 2 metres during the evening.
Weather: Cloudy. 70% chance of rain. The chance of a thunderstorm in the afternoon and evening.

Tide


UV

Tue 11th 13 (Extreme) Sun protection recommended from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Wed 12th 13 (Extreme) Sun protection recommended from 8:20 am to 5:00 pm
Thu 13th 13 (Extreme) Sun protection recommended from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Fri 14th 12 (Extreme) Sun protection recommended from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

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.

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