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Curl Curl (NSW 315) is an exposed energetic 1.2 km long beach, backed originally by large dunes, which were destabilised early last century. The northern dunes were partly removed during the World War 2, then used as a tip and finally returned to a somewhat natural state in the 1980s, so that Curl Curl, only 12 km from central Sydney, still has a relatively natural appearance. The southern Curl Curl SLSC was formed in 1918 followed by North Curl Curl in 1922. Today the central and northern end are given over to a foreshore reserve, with a large car park next to the North Curl Curl SLSC and along the central section, while to the south the road runs close behind the beach with parking either side of the surf club and on the southern headland. At South Curl Curl the club's first surf carnival in 1921 was marred by huge seas, the second later in the year by a shark. To provide safer swimming the club was active in the construction of the rock pool in 1925, with the North Curl Curl rock pool constructed in 1936-37 and accessed via a walkway to the point. The beach is bordered by 50 m high Dee Why Head and the lower sandstone rocks at south Curl Curl. It faces the east-southeast and receives all southerly swell with waves averaging 1.6 m. These maintain a single bar usually cut by five beach rips and permanent rips against each headland (Fig. 4.213 & 4.214). Because of the higher waves the bar is often separated from the beach by a continuous trough occupied by the rips and their feeder currents. The southern end of the beach receives equally high waves and has rocks and reef in the surf off the point. Some regard this as Sydney's most dangerous beach. Its most notable hazard is the infamous Garbage Bowl, the permanent southern rip which runs out into the swell and over rock creating a rough ride seaward.
Beach Length: 0.8km
General Hazard Rating: 7/10

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
Change Rooms
Toilets Block M/F
Public phone
Drinking water



Topographic rips


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.