One of the longer beaches on the South Coast, Seven Mile runs for just over 7 miles (11.8 km) from Black Head down to the mouth of the Shoalhaven River at Shoalhaven Heads. The large Shoalhaven River has been supplying fine sand to build out this beach and its 1.5... Read more
One of the longer beaches on the South Coast, Seven Mile runs for just over 7 miles (11.8 km) from Black Head down to the mouth of the Shoalhaven River at Shoalhaven Heads. The large Shoalhaven River has been supplying fine sand to build out this beach and its 1.5 km wide low barrier making it one of the younger beaches in the state. Because of the fine sand, particularly in the northern end, the beach has a wide low gradient. The northern headland houses the settlement of Gerroa, established in the 1920s. At the base of the headland Crooked Creek flows out over the beach, with a long foot bridge providing access from a car park and park to the northern end of the beach. South of the creek the road runs inland of the beach to Shoalhaven Heads. A caravan park backs the northern 1 km, then the Seven Mile Beach National Park runs for 7 km along the beach. The 729 ha park encompasses a beautiful littoral eucalyptus forest with a ground cover of bracken and Burrawang palms. Road access to the beach is provided in the north, and at the central Berry turnoff with an excellent park and shady picnic area behind the beach. Further along is a sandy track to the beach through the forest, with the southern access being at the Shoalhaven Heads Surf Club and car park, and from the river side car park.The long beach sweeps in a gentle arc, initially running west at Gerroa, then slowly turning to face the south east and then east at Shoalhaven Heads. Wave energy is lower in the north owing to protection by Black Head and its seaward reefs. Waves here average less than 1 m. By 1.5 km down the beach the waves have picked up to average 1.6 m and maintain this height to the river mouth. The fine sand results in a wide flat beach in the north with waves spilling over a wide shallow attached bar. However as soon as the waves pick up a second outer bar develops and runs the length of the beach. The inner bar is usually attached and cut by rips, every 300 m, following higher waves. Waves greater than 1 m begin to break on the outer bar, reform in the 50 m plus wide and deep longshore trough and often break heavily on the edge of the inner bar. At Shoalhaven Heads conditions are most hazardous when the river mouth is open, as strong river and tidal currents can sweep along the beach reinforcing the rips and trough currents.
Seven Mile and Shoalhaven Heads - for most of its length it is wise to stay on the attached inner bar and away from the rips and definitely away from the trough and outer bar. If the Shoalhaven River is open be especially careful at Shoalhaven Heads and down toward the river mouth, as it has been claiming lives since the first attempt at entering it in the 1820s. The surf club, formed in 1955, rescues an average of 10 people each year. It is also at risk when the river is open as, what is known as 'delta margin scour' cuts into the beach in the vicinity of the club, undermining it in 1978.
There are many breaks along the beach, with the inner bar in the north offering wide spilling breaks popular with learners, while down the beach 1 to 2 m waves on the outer bar offer more of a challenge, with the river mouth bars extending a few hundred metres seaward in the south generating a series of distant lumpy breaks. Out on the northern Black Point are two reef breaks which work in moderate swell. The right is called Av-A-Go Bernie and the left known as Batchies. Further out is a bombora more popular with sailboarders.
A very popular spot, both out on the wide flat and treacherous basalt around Black Head, and all the way down the beach, where the long deep trough is heavily fished in summer. The Shoalhaven River and river mouth is also accessible in the south.
Seven Mile Beach is one of the largest natural sand barriers and beaches on the South Coast and well worth a visit just to see the pristine vegetation. Most amenities are offered in the north at Gerroa and the south at Shoalhaven Heads together with several caravan parks, while the beach itself offers plenty of surf and fishing. The firm beach has also long been a popular place for horse ridingRead less
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.