Within the actual Shellharbour is a 60 m long stretch of protected sand (NSW 382). Two attached breakwaters and a 40 m wide entrance protect the cluster of moored boats and the beach, with conditions usually calm inside (fig. 4.311). The Harbour was a thriving little port from the 1850s until the railway came in the 1880s. It recreational amenities were enhanced with the first baths built in 1895. Today the harbour is surrounded by a foreshore reserve with parks and picnic facilities and the shops of Shellharbour behind. A rock pool is also located on the rocks just south of the Harbour wall. This is a lovely spot for a picnic and swimming in the rock pool.
Bombo Beach (NSW 392) is an exposed 1.2 km long east-facing beach located between Cathedral Rocks and Pheasant Point. While the beach is highly visible from the northern end it is difficult to access requiring a circuitous drive under the railway, to the car park and amenities on the northern slopes overlooking the beach, with the only other access via a walking track under the railway at the southern end. The abandoned Bombo Quarry dominates the northern headland, with a steep rise to Pheasant Point in the south. A small creek crosses the northern end and the larger Spring Creek drains out against the southern rocks. The beach receives waves averaging 1.5 m, which maintain a rip-dominated surf zone, with strong, permanent rips against each headland and 3-4 more transient beach rips in between. The rips are usually visible as you drive south and probably result in many swimmers continuing on past to safer beaches. The rips and bars however produce the beach breaks for which the beach is well known by surfers.
Wooli Beach (NSW 73) curves to the south from Wilsons Headland for 6.6 km to the north entrance wall at Wooli River (Fig. 4.40). The walls were constructed in the 1970s to provide better navigation for the fishing boats. The northern half of the beach lies in Yuraygir National Park and can only be accessed by 4WD from just south of Wilsons Head or Wooli. The elongate Wooli township occupies the northern portion of a narrow 3 km long spit, which separates the ocean from the Wooli River. North of the town the beach is backed by dunes, which increase in activity up toward Wilson Head, in places extending 500 m inland. The dunes are backed by a low swampy area and older Pleistocene dunes. Wooli is a popular destination for boat and beach fishers. The entire beach is well exposed to waves, which combines with the fine sand to produce an energetic double bar system. The inner bar is usually attached with rips cutting across it every 300-400 m, while the outer bar has more widely spaced rips. Between the southern Wooli River training wall and the low rocky Jones Point is 750 m long moderate energy, east-northeast-facing Jones Beach (NSW 74). The beach is only accessible by boat or by a long walk drive from the south. The beach is sheltered in lee of the rock reef that extends off the point, with wave height increasing up the beach and a permanent rip against the entrance wall. The rocky area has an abundant marine life and is a popular location for snorkelling and fossicking amongst the rocks. It is also a Sanctuary Area of the marine park, so look but do not take.