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1. Great combination of sheltered and the ocean Fingal Bay Beach

The beach has a land-tied island just offshore. This makes it sheltered from most but not all of the swell.
The surf often looks flat but with some exploration it can be found. Best of all learning to surf is very good here because you can walk around the beach until you get the right sized waves.

2. Beaches in Manly Manly Beach

Lots of them. What most people call Manly Beach the surf beach, has three names; South Steyne, North Steyne (in the middle of the beach) and Queenscliffe at the north end.
The beach correctly called Manly Beach is the sheltered one with Ferry Wharf in the middle of it on the harbour side.
For just going for a swim or just hanging, Shelly Beach and Little Manly are my favourites in this area.

3. Take you sunglasses! Hyams Beach

No surf to speak of but the whitest sand. So white that when the sun comes out you are blinded by the light.

4. Tallows Beach Tallow Beach

Tallows is an ordinary beach for the north coast of NSW.
Surfing is OK but other beaches in this area are much better for both surfing and body surfing. What it does have going for it is the surf is bigger. So if everywhere else is flat you go here to surf.
Note the savage rip in the photo.
The name comes from the fact that blood and guts from the abbatoir used to be dumped in the ocean back in the 1940s & 1950s. I remember a pipe pumping it into the water at Main beach in the 1960s.