CAPE PATERSON\FIRST SURF
Cape Paterson Beach (also called First Surf) is the bathing and surfing beach for the holiday town of Cape Paterson, which lies immediately behind the beach. The beach is in the lee of the dune covered Cape Paterson and its extensive sandstone rock reefs. It faces the south-east and extends for 500 m to the rocky platforms and smaller beaches that front much of the town. The Cape Paterson Surf Life Saving Club, founded in 1960, is located at the western end of the beach, and provides basic facilities, parking and access.The beach is partially sheltered from high waves by the cape and reefs. It receives waves averaging 1.3 m, which decrease toward the cape. These waves combine with the fine sand to produce a beach containing a low beach face, fronted by a single attached, 50 m wide, bar. The bar is usually continuous and is more likely to be cut by one or two rips toward the surf club and the eastern rocks.
The Yaroomba-Marcoola Beach (1543) is well exposed to the prevailing southerly swell, which averages 1.5m for the length of the beach. The waves have combined with the fine to medium sand to build two bars across the 200m wide surf zone. The inner bar is usually attached to the beach and cut by rip channels every 250 to 300m, with a deep trough past the first line of breakers, then a deeper outer bar paralleling the beach and cut by more widely spaced rips. On average there are 40 rips along the beach. In addition, there is a strong permanent rip against Point Arkwright and some rocks in the surf at Mudjimba.
On the south side of Shellharbour a rock platform extends 300 m seaward, and forms the northern boundary of the southern Shellharbour Beach (NSW 383), a curving 1 km south-southeast-facing beach that extends to the base of Bass Point, where the sand merges with the basalt cobbles eroded from the point. A caravan park lies behind the northern rocks, with a beach car park on the southern side. The road to Bass Point runs between the low dune and Shellharbour Swamp, with the usually dammed mouth breaking out across the southern end of the beach during rain. Proposals have been put forward to build a marina in the swamp with access to the sea, but in 2006 the beach remains in a relatively natural state. Waves from the east and southeast are reduced by Bass Point resulting in waves averaging 1 m in the north dropping to 0.5 m in the south. These usually maintain a continuous attached bar, cut by up to six rips during higher southeast swell when a strong rip can develop against the northern rocks, and during summer northeast wave conditions (Fig. 4.312).