Port Hacking Point marks the beginning of a relatively straight 30 km long section of southwest-trending rocky coast that reaches 100-200 m in height towards the south. The first 5 km are continuous 40-50 m high sandstone cliffs, with the two Marley beaches located in the first gap in the... Read more
Port Hacking Point marks the beginning of a relatively straight 30 km long section of southwest-trending rocky coast that reaches 100-200 m in height towards the south. The first 5 km are continuous 40-50 m high sandstone cliffs, with the two Marley beaches located in the first gap in the rocks. These beaches are the remnants of more massive beaches that 7000 years ago lay along much of the cliff base and in places were large enough to supply sufficient sand to climb up the 60 m high cliffs and supply dunes a few kilometres inland. All the beaches and their cliff ramps are now gone, with only Marley and the now stable cliff top dunes remaining. Both beaches can only be reached on foot along the 3 km long Marley track from the Marley car park on Bundeena Drive. The walk is part of the coastal walk that extends for 20 km from Bundeena to Otford, and takes in some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in the world.Marley Beach (NSW 341) is a curving 360 m long south-facing beach exposed to high southeast swell and southerly winds, while bordered by 20-30 m high sandstone headlands. The waves maintain a rip-dominated beach, with usually two boundary rips and a shifting central rip, all linked by a continuous trough. It is backed by active transgressive dunes that extend up to 500 m to the north (Fig. 4.267). Marley Swamp and Lagoon drain from the north and link with Marley Creek draining from the west to flow across the northern end of the beach.
Marley is an isolated rip-dominated beach, and even during low swell the troughs and currents persist. Little Marley while quieter still has the drift to the north and the rocks. Be very careful if swimming at either beach.
Marley can be worth the 2.5 km walk, particularly if the swell is low to moderate and the wind from the north.
Marley Beach has a permanent gutter usually running the length of the beach, with deep gutters off the rocks at each end.Read 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.