Beach closures

Here you'll find the current status of any beach closures in our area, and information about the processes involved when a beach or swimming area is reported as posing a risk.

Current Status:

  • Harrington Lagoon:  Swim at your own risk
    In February 2016 a shark was sighted in Harrington Lagoon and we were asked by DPI Fisheries, the authority responsible for monitoring this situation (and others like it), to erect “Closed” signage.
    As at mid-March, DPI Fisheries are still unable to confirm the area as safe for swimming, and have requested “Swim at your own risk” signage to be installed.  They will continue to update us so we can share the information, but you may also contact them directly on 1800 043 536 to either report a sighting or for further information.

We generally do not close a beach unless there is a risk posed, usually such as a dangerous access point

From time to time, we’re asked to install “Beach Closed” signs, or other warning signs that alert people to potential risks, such as when a shark has been sighted.  The location of the risk will determine which authority is responsible for monitoring the situation.

Patrolled beaches:

Surf Life Saving (SLS) NSW are contracted to provide patrol services over the summer on Old Bar, Crowdy and Black Head Beaches.

They will determine if a beach should be closed and manage this in accordance with their own operational procedures.

They usually contact us so we can keep people updated, and may require our assistance in erecting signs to ensure everyone is aware of the potential risks.

Once they determine the beach is safe to be re-opened, they'll notify us to remove any signage we’ve erected.

When reports are made that can't be verified (such as when a beach is not patrolled) we make decisions on a case by case basis about the need to inform the public, depending upon the inherent risks present.

For information relating to closures on patrolled beaches, visit

Non-patrolled beaches:

Outside of peak season Old Bar, Crowdy and Black Head Beaches are not patrolled.  Our many other beaches are not patrolled at all year-round.  There is no authority on-site monitoring these beaches, which means they are deemed “swim at your own risk”.

It's difficult to verify reports of shark sightings when they are reported by the general public. When this occurs we make decisions on a case by case basis.

Swimming areas:

Although unpatrolled, other popular swimming spots, like Harrington Lagoon, may sometimes present unanticipated risks to the public.  Depending on information supplied by the relevant authority, signage may be erected and / or information shared with the public.