Narrabeen-Collaroy beach (NSW 310) is Sydney's second longest beach. The 3.6 km long beach curves in a gentle east-facing arc between 20 m high Narrabeen Head in the north to rocks and low cliff at Collaroy Point, with beachfront houses and apartments backing much of the beach (Fig. 4.206). The northern Narrabeen end was named after the daughter of the aboriginal chief at the time of early white settlement in the 1840s, while the southern Collaroy end was named after the paddle-wheel steamer ‘Collaroy’ wrecked on the beach in 1884. Collaroy Beach was a weekenders and campers haven in the early part of the century.
The beach faces the east and receives increasing protection to the south from 36 m high Long Reef Point which protrudes 2 km out to sea. Waves average 1.5 m at North Narrabeen, 1-1.5 m down to South Narrabeen surf club, and drop to less than a metre at Collaroy. The beach responds by having a continuous bar the length of the beach cut by 17 rips on average. However the size and intensity of the rips increase to the north, with the famous Alley rip running out against the North Narrabeen rock pool. The entrance to Narrabeen Lagoon also exits into the sea against these rocks making for an extra strong rip as the tides falls and the lagoon drains. Down the beach the rips persist, with the intervening bars attached to the beach except during and following high waves. Along Collaroy Beach the rips often infill, particularly during winter, and the bar is attached to the beach. However in summer northeast conditions will form rips down to Collaroy often with a strong southward drag.
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.