Beaches and coastlines

The Central Coast has about 80 kilometres of coastline, but the pressures on its resources is significant, both from humans and the forces of nature. Find information on the stresses faced by the coastal environment and the challenges facing our community.

Coastal vulnerability

Central Coast beaches are amongst the most dynamic on the east coast of Australia. They extend approximately 80 kilometres of coastline from Patonga in the south to Budgewoi Beach in the north. But population growth, increasing residential development, coastal development and tourism is having a great impact on the natural resources and environmental value of the coastline.

Beach and dune erosion during storms has occurred on several occasions over recent decades, resulting in the loss of several buildings and threat to much of the beachfront development. The worst erosion was experienced along The Entrance North, North Avoca, Terrigal and Wamberal beaches, during 1974 and 1978 and, to a lesser extent, 1986.

Severe erosion during these storms also occurred at Macmasters/Copacabana and Forresters beaches. While not directly threatening development, this erosion has raised questions relating to dune stability and any development on it.

Historically, coastal processes have threatened sections of this coastline, with particular reference to the impacts of erosion at Wamberal Beach and The Entrance North in 1974, 1978, 1986 and 1997. Damage to public assets and impacts upon recreational amenity has also been experienced at other beaches in the Central Coast’s area. These issues are likely to be intensified as a result of assumed climate change impacts and projected rises in mean sea level.

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Beachwatch Program

Find information about water quality for 32 swimming sites across the Central Coast and whether to avoid swimming at certain locations and times.
Last updated : Thu 25 Jun 2020