Newport Beach and Newport Surf Life Saving Club
Newport (postcode 2106) is a suburb in the Pittwater LGA on Sydney's Northern Beaches, roughly 31 kilometres north of the Sydney CBD. The town originally derived its name from once being a new port for steamers carrying cargo and passengers.
Newport is positioned on a peninsula between Pittwater to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. The shores of Pittwater host several marinas and small shipyards serving mainly pleasure craft, including the Royal Motor Yacht Club and the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.
Newport's ocean beach is patrolled by Newport Surf Life Saving Club, established in 1909, one of Australia's earliest surf clubs, and the oldest on the peninsula. The club's first surfboat, a ship’s lifeboat, was discovered washed up on Bilgola Beach (then called Dalley's Beach) in 1913. The first official surfboat was acquired in 1914.
The aim at Newport SLSC is to educate the community, from adults to children, to be competent and safe on the beach and in the surf. The club places a strong emphasis on imparting knowledge and surf negotiation techniques to local children through the Nippers program, which operates on Sunday mornings during the summer. Newport SLSC is also proud of its dedicated Nippers program for children with special needs - the first of its kind on the Northern Beaches, and possibly the only such program in NSW.
Newport was a quiet rural area until the 1930s, when Sydney weekenders first began to visit. Residential development followed in the 1950s. However, the beach had been popular since the founding of Newport SLSC in 1909. Today, the population has increased to roughly 10,000 people, and the village of Newport features an abundance of acclaimed restaurants and cafes, as well as the famous Newport Arms Hotel overlooking the calm waters of Pittwater.
Newport's 1.3 km ocean beach faces eastwards, stretching in a gentle arc from rocky Newport Head at the northern end, to Newport Reef at the southern end. This sandstone reef extends 1 km offshore from the beach, and substantially reduces the impact of east and southeast swells breaking at the southern end of the beach.
Although twice as long as its neighbours Avalon and Bilgola, and drawing larger crowds, Newport averages half the number of rescues (an indication of the safer swimming conditions). The best swimming areas are between the flags (normally located opposite the surf club), and in the rock pool at the southern end.
Wave heights usually decrease from the north to the south of the beach, and the surf reflects this, having an attached bar that runs the length of the beach, usually cut by 2-3 rips north of the surf club. There are permanent rips against the northern rocks and around the small northern reef. To the south, the bar is normally continuous with no rips. A narrow sandy beach continues past the southern rock pool, between the rocks and the cliff which rises to form Bungan Head. A large stormwater drains crosses the beach, roughly 500m north of the southern end.
Newport is the home of three-times world surfing champion, Tom Carroll, and the northern end of the beach is considered the surfers’ domain. An inshore reef towards the northern end, known as The Peak, produces reasonable and consistent rights and lefts on low to moderate swells.
The remainder of the beach offers beach breaks of variable quality, depending on wave, wind and bar conditions, but much of the beach tends to suffer from closeouts. Newport is infamous for its powerful shoredump.
Under a strong east to southeast swell, the southern break, known as Newport Reef, offers large easy waves and long rides, breaking slowly over a gentle reef and sand slope. Farther out on the northern side of the reef, an east to northeast swell creates a heavy right known as Crosswaves or The Path.
The northern rocks and gutters are popular fishing spots.
Newport Beach is rated 'Moderately Hazardous' by BeachSafe: BeachSafe Beach Number: NSW304
Barrenjoey Road, which hosts Newport's main shopping strip, runs behind the beach. A large reserve (Bert Payne Park) is situated between the road and beach, providing a children's play area, a large car park, picnic facilities and the surf club building.
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