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Observation Beach is a 5 km long beach that runs due east from Erehwon Point at Cowes, out along a low, sandy, vegetated spit that terminates at the narrow, sandy Observation Point. Over the past few thousand years, waves and tidal currents sweeping into the bay have transported sand along the spit to build the point. In the process, the spit has enclosed Rhyll Inlet. A foreshore reserve and caravan park back the western end, while the eastern half is occupied by Observation Hill Reserve. The beach varies in width and character depending on the amount of sand moving alongshore. Numerous low, wooden groynes have been built near Cowes to try and prevent the inevitable sand movement. Waves are usually low, though strong westerlies will send small wind waves running along the beach. At high tide the water is relatively deep against the beach, while tidal flats are exposed at low tide. Strong tidal currents run along the outside of the tidal flats.
Beach Length: 5.2km
General Hazard Rating: 3/10

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.


Passenger ferry



High Tide Range


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.