The pristine beaches, clear mountain streams and calm lakes of the Camden Haven offer a great variety of swimming and surfing options.

The creeks, lakes, rivers, beaches and waterways of the Camden Haven offer an amazing array of swimming and surfing opportunities. In the hinterland there are numerous spots to cool down and avoid the summer heat. In the Kerewong State Forest, west of Kendall, you can swim in Upsalls Creek. Closer to Kendall there are small waterholes in Batar Creek and Stony Creek in Middle Brother National Park. Waitui falls are on an unnamed tributary of the Camden Haven River and can be accessed via the villages of Hannam Vale and Waitui. Under these small falls you will find a lovely swimming spot with picnic tables and fireplaces. Please take care when entering these waters and always supervise children.

Closer to the ocean the Camden Haven River offers several options for swimming. At Dunbogan Reserve you will find a small, meshed off tidal pool suitable for smaller children. Over at North Haven there is a deeper, larger meshed off tidal pool. Just before the river enters the sea is Pilot Beach. This unpatrolled beach features calm, protected waters inside the southern break wall at Camden Head. There are showers and picnic facilities adjacent to the beach. Lake Cathie is great for swimming in both the lagoon and lake.

When it comes to surfing Rainbow Beach at Bonny Hills is hard to top. When the southerly swells are big it offers magic right handers, top it with an off shore breeze and it’s awesome. Grant’s Beach North Haven also works in a southerly swell with right handers coming off the break wall. Lake Cathie Beach has numerous breaks whose quality depends on bar and wave conditions. In the south Middle Rock can provide reasonable waves during east and southeast swell. Diamond Head is always well protected in the large southerlies and is an ideal place for beginners. In summer when the nor-easters are blowing, look at the south side of Middle Rock Bonny Hills, Shark Beach below Grant’s Head Bonny Hills and South Beach Dunbogan.

The Camden Haven has three patrolled beaches – Grant’s (North Haven), Rainbow and Lake Cathie. Click here to find out when the beaches are patrolled. North Haven and Bonny Hills each have an associated Surf Life Saving Club. There are community swimming pools at Laurieton and Kendall. Click here to find out seasons, opening times, location and entry fees.