Shellharbour Beaches

Shellharbour Beach

New South Wales, Illawarra Coast

Fun waves and decent shelter from south swells can be found at the beaches to the north and south of the town of Shellharbour. When really big swells roll in however, the surf can still be too big here for beginner surfers who are best to find a safer spot or sit back and enjoy watching the experienced surfers charge the powerful waves in the area that come to life when the swell is up.

Wave Type
When the waves are small, fun waves can be found on both of Shellharbour's beaches that are great for catching whitewater waves on lower tides or green waves during small wave days and higher tides. The sandbar in front of the surf club at North Beach is normally the safest spot. Avoid the rip currents that form at both beaches. To the north of Shellharbour, the northern end of Warilla Beach offers fun waves for beginners in north east swell and north wind conditions that are common during summer.

If the waves are too big from a south swell, way down the coast near Nowra are Culburra Beach and the even more sheltered Currarong Beach which will have smaller waves. During big swells from the north around to the east, down the coast past Kiama, is Seven Mile Beach at Gerroa that offers the best shelter for safe learn to surf conditions.

Good Wind Direction
Best on South to North West winds.

Good Swell Direction For Fun Beginner Waves
Small North East to small to moderate South swells.

- Rocks and Rip Currents.
- Marine life
- Have fun surfing Shellharbour by practising surfing etiquette and surf safety.

Walk from the township of Shellharbour, or car parks are located at the northern and southern ends of both beaches.

Lifeguard Patrolled
Shellharbour North beach is patrolled from October to the 25th of April and Shellharbour South beach is patrolled from mid December to until the 25th of April - always swim between the red and yellow flags.

Beginners & kids are best to surf at beaches when Lifeguards are on patrol or with a friend who has decades of surfing experience.

Located at the surf club on North beach and at the north end of South beach.

Closest Shops
Good food and coffee is offered in Shellharbour where many cafes, restaurants, take away shops and a couple of surf shops are located.

Photos of Shellharbour Beach

Shellharbour North Beach looking south

Shellharbour North Beach view south
Photo: Kelly Ratcliffe


Shellharbour North Beach view north

View north on onshore north east wind and swell day.
Photo: Kelly Ratcliffe


Shellharbour South Beach looking south

Shellharbour South Beach view south
Photo: Kelly Ratcliffe


Shellharbour South Beach

Northern end of Shellharbour South Beach - whilst marginal north wind shelter can be found here, the northern end of Warilla Beach located to the north, offers better north wind shelter.
Photo: Kelly Ratcliffe


Warilla Beach northern end

The northern corner of Warilla Beach can be fun for beginners on north wind and small wave days.
Photo: Kelly Ratcliffe