Which beaches are the cleanest?

The northern beaches recorded the top results in the state in the annual NSW Government "State of the Beaches" report, with every beach on the northern beaches rated Good or Very Good.

GOOD: South Curl Curl rated 95% in the annual State of the Beaches report. Picture: Simon Bennett

GOOD: South Curl Curl rated 95% in the annual State of the Beaches report. Picture: Simon Bennett

Bilgola Beach, Great Mackerel Beach, North Scotland Island, Clareville Beach, Taylors Point Baths, The Basin and Elvina Bay achieved perfect scores of dry weather samples within the safe swimming limit, with Collaroy, Turimetta and Mona Vale 99 per cent. Bilarong Reserve (82 per cent), Narrabeen Lagoon (86 per cent) and Barrenjoey Beach (87 per cent) rated lowest.

All sites across the beaches had excellent water quality and were suitable for swimming almost all of the time.

Estuarine and lagoon swimming sites did not perform as well as ocean beaches due to lower levels of flushing which increase the time needed to disperse and dilute pollution inputs, taking longer to recover from stormwater events.

In 2019 to 2020, all NSW swimming sites performed well, with 89 per cent of monitored swimming sites graded Good or Very Good, an improvement in performance from the previous year.