Southside - Bells Beach
Southside Beach is located on the southern side of Bells Headland. Unlike its neighbour, Southside is composed of finer sand and has a wide beach and surf zone, with rocks only outcropping toward the northern end of the beach.
The beach is 1 km long, lying between Bells and Jarosite Headlands. It is backed by an amphitheatre of slumped sands and clays, that forms an eroding, 10 m high bluff and cobble storm beach along the back of the sand. It faces the south-east and receives waves averaging 1.5 m. Combined with the fine sand, these produce a wide surf zone, usually containing a permanent rip against each headland and one to two rips toward the centre.
The road to Bells Beach runs past the northern end of the beach and there is a cliff-top car park on Bells Headland, with a walking track down to the beach. The beach is also an official Optional Dress (nude) Beach.
This is a potentially hazardous beach, with permanent rips and some rocks in the surf. Stay inshore on the bar and well clear of the rocks and headlands.
The best known breaks are at the headlands, with a left called Southside off Bells Headland, and Jarraside out from the southern end of the beach.
There are deep rip gutters off the headlands, as well as beach holes and gutters.
An energetic and potentially hazardous beach, fine for sunbathing but be careful if swimming.
Type: Formal parking area
SLSA provides this information as a guide only. Surf conditions are variable and therefore this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for observation of local conditions and an understanding of your abilities in the surf. SLSA reminds you to always swim between the red and yellow flags and never swim at unpatrolled beaches. SLSA takes all care and responsibility for any translation but it cannot guarantee that all translations will be accurate.
General Beach Hazard Rating: 7
Least hazardous: 1-3
Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Hazard rating refers to physical beach and surf conditions ONLY and does not include potentially dangerous marine life.