The Central Coast has 15 patrolled coastal beaches and one patrolled ocean pool complex being The Grant McBride Baths at The Entrance. To increase patron safety, lifeguards and volunteers patrol the beaches during the warmer months.
The beach season for 2021-22 starts on Saturday 18 September 2021 to Monday 25 April 2022 (inclusive).
Central Coast Council lifeguards and Surf Life Saving volunteers provide search and rescue services for our coastal beaches as well as emergency medical care when required. They also play an important role in educating swimmers and visitors on beach and water safety.
Find out more about our beaches including which ones are currently open and beach safety, as well as our frequently asked questions below.
For further information about weekend beach conditions, visit beachsafe.org.au.
To provide access to many of the Coast’s beaches for people living with a disability or limited mobility, Council has a suite of serviced beach wheelchairs available for free hire by both the local community and visitors and has beach matting installed at several beaches. Find out more and book a beach wheelchair from our Accesibility and Inclusion section.
The iconic Grant McBride Baths is positioned along the pristine coastline at The Entrance and has long been a popular swimming spot for locals and visitors to the Central Coast. The ocean baths are free to use and open year round (subject to maintenance and cleaning) and supervised with various patrolled hours throughout the season.
Accessible by pathway from Ocean Parade, the baths have a 50 metre outdoor pool, 22 metre lap pool, a children’s wading pool, as well as change, shower and toilet amenities.
Please note that due to these Baths being tidal ocean baths, they are often required to be closed for cleaning and maintenance during low tide and following major storm events. Please check below for the current open/close status.
Formerly ‘The Entrance Ocean Baths’, the iconic ocean pool was renamed in 2018 to The Grant McBride Baths in recognition of the efforts Mr McBride (a long standing former State Member of Parliament) took to protect the Baths for the benefit of the Central Coast community.
The Baths were constructed in stages between 1938 and 1965 and in 2002, Mr McBride campaigned with local residents to save the coastal icon from potential closure.
Over 9,000 signatures were collected during the campaign, and in 2003 the Baths were successfully placed on the New South Wales Heritage List.
Cleaning, maintenance, and water quality
Council manages, cleans and maintains this facility and always tries to find the balance between availability and cleanliness. At present the baths are cleaned on a regular basis with scheduled maintenance being undertaken continuously throughout year.
Water quality testing is also carried out at this site and all of our other patrolled beaches, baths and lake areas with the results for the 32 sites tested then placed onto Beachwatch website each week for the community to view.
The cleanliness of this Ocean baths facility is heavily influenced by the water temperature and usage. During the summer months warmer water accelerates algae growth resulting at times in an unsightly build up on the walls in the splash zone. While this results in the appearance of an unclean pool at times, regular weekly testing indicates that the water quality is acceptable for public swimming.
The water quality is also heavily influenced by the naturally occurring water quality of the ocean and the debris present within the ocean environment at the Entrance Beach and surrounding areas.
There is a continued balance between the need to flush out the water in the pool, keeping the water at an acceptable level and the risk of introducing discoloured water from the ocean. Council staff regularly monitor the cleanliness of Ocean baths pools and work within the numerous constraints to achieve a balance between availability and cleanliness at this site.
Please check the below for the current open/close status.
Each year, in the swimming season from October to April, Central Coast Council monitors water quality for swim-safety once a week and reports on the water quality of 32 local swimming areas. This includes 15 ocean beaches, four lagoon sites and 13 tidal baths and rock pools. Outside of the swimming season from May to September sites are sampled monthly.
To book a Surf Club or to book an event on a beach, contact Surf Life Saving Central Coast on 4353 0299 for the contact details of each individual surf club or Central Coast Council on 1300 463 954.