Bar Beach is better known by the names of it's three Surf Clubs - Cooks Hill, Dixon Park and Merewether. It is surrounded by long established inner Newcastle suburbs and has excellent road and bus access, with large car parks adjacent to the three Surf Clubs. In addition two rock pools are located on the rock platform at Merewether. The Surf Clubs were formed in 1911, 1932 and 1910 respectively, attesting to both the long popularity of this beach and its inherent bathing hazards. The entire beach is 1.3 km long, faces the south east, receives waves averaging 1.6 m and is bounded by wide rock platforms, backed by high cliffs. Rocks and reefs also occur on the beach and in the surf at either end and at places along the beach, particularly following beach erosion. The waves and sand produce a high energy beach characterised by an inner bar usually cut by 8 beach rips with permanent rips at either end, the northern at Cooks Hill being the more prominent. Rips occur every 200 to 300 m along the beach, with one against the Merewether rocks intensifying when waves exceed 1 m. Higher waves break on an outer bar and the northern and southern reefs, the latter called 'The Ladies'. The result is a wide surf zone with waves often reforming in the channel to break again on the inner bar.
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.