Swimming at Freshwater (NSW 316) started in the early 1900s when campers would arrive for the weekends and holidays. A small creek running out the north end of the beach provided fresh water for the campers and gave the beach its name. Freshwater, one of Sydney's smaller beaches, is just 350 m long, however it is also one of the more popular and famous. The Freshwater SLSC was formed in 1907 and boasts a proud history in national competition, and in 1915 it was the site of the first surfboard riding demonstration in Australia. The surf club sits in the centre of the beach surrounded by a fenced foredune, backed by a large park and car park, with Harbord and Queenscliff headlands protruding 400 m seaward. The beach faces southeast and receives waves averaging 1.5 m. These produce three persistent rips, one against each headland, and a shifting rip in the centre (Fig. 4.215 & 4.216). The intervening bar oscillates between being attached during low waves and separated by a trough during higher wave, so that you have to swim across the rip feeder currents to the bar. All this makes for good surfing, but potentially hazardous swimming.
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.