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Best Beaches Killalea No. 2

"The Farm" Killalea

Best Beach in NSW 2024

Like many Aussie beaches, it was curious travelling surfers in the mid-sixties who uncovered this once hidden beach in all its natural beauty and perfect waves. They had to shell out a few coins to a kind farmer to open his gate and let them cross his lumpy grazing paddocks to go surfing. It was solitary back then with nothing in sight but lush green hills and blue swells, and it remains so. 

It is now regarded as one of the state’s best sites for surfing and was formally declared the Killalea National Surfing Reserve in 2009. This status further protected The Farm. 

Today it still enjoys a natural, development free panorama from the foreshore and waves, which is what makes it unique. It has of course become popular for locals and city escapees, being only 90 minutes south of Sydney. 

First Nations peoples gathered here for thousands of years to enjoy its bounty from lagoon to shoreline. Killalea is known as Arrijong and is on Dharawal Country. 

The Farm beach itself is a pocket shaped spacious coastal cove, bookended by two small headlands. Some say the best of the sand nearby lies to the south along the stretch surfers aptly named ‘Mystics’ – it’s long stretch of peaky beach breaks leading to the massive headland, rainforest and mangroves of the Minnamurra River (plenty of fish in First Nations language). The story telling of this regions ancient Indigenous history is as compelling as the reasoning behind recent movements by the Indigenous, surfing and the conservation lobby which have successfully actioned for this threatened space being handed over to the National Parks and Wildlife Service for its long-term protection from impending commercialisation. Almost a thousand surfers conducted a ‘Save The Farm Paddle-Out’ which created a tide of opposition to further development and made the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s largest on water surfers’ protest. 

Just off the Princess Hwy, The Farm at Killalea Regional Park covers 250 hectares and is home to remnant rainforest, the scenic lagoon and many endangered flora and fauna. Its surrounds survive for beachgoers to immerse themselves in one of Australia’s special beaches and its majestic natural amphitheatre, Indigenous owned kiosk atop the entry point hill, picnic areas and hiking trails. 

For a patrolled beach close by, the generous foreshores of Shellharbour North Beach is located only 5 minutes away fully accessible. Facilities include a beach wheelchair, ramp down to the sand then a sand mat down to the water’s edge, part of a growing number of regions striving to cater for visitors of all abilities. 

Brad Farmer AM, Best Australian Beaches


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