The Yirrkala community is located at the southern end of Yirrkala beach (NT 1025) in lee of a laterite headland that extends 2.5 km to the east (Fig. 5.117). The beach begins on the southern side of the 100 m wide headland that separates it from beach NT 1024 and trends south before curving round at the southern end to face north. The northernmost 1 km of beach has offshore rock reefs at either end, and some rocks outcropping along the beach. The next 1 km of beach is exposed to moderate waves averaging just over 1 m, which maintain a 50-100 m wide surf zone, with up to 12 rips occurring south of the reefs. Waves decrease in the southern corner and calm conditions often prevail. A small often blocked creek, that drains a 200 ha largely infilled lagoon, flows across the southern end of the beach and against the small rocky point that forms the southern boundary. The beach is backed by foredune ridges in the south, grading to largely vegetated transgressive dunes in the north and extending up to 500 m inland. The 1000 strong Yirrkala community is largely located immediately south of the southern end of the beach, and a track from the community runs behind the beach. The beach is occasionally patrolled by the Gove SLSC.
Kendalls Beach (NSW 395) lies immediately south of Surf Beach, between Kendall Point and the sheltering Kaleula Head. It is named after the recipient of the first land grant in 1831, the Reverend Thomas Kendall. It became popular following the opening of the railway in 1887, while dressing sheds were erected in 1908. The curving 380 m long beach faces northeast, with waves refracted around the head averaging about 1 km and decreasing to the south. These are a usually attached and free of rips (Fig. 4.321), apart from a small topographic rip against Kendalls Point. The beach is backed by northern and central caravan parks, separated by grassy reserves, with a second reserve and car park in the south. Parking is limited to the streets with only one small car park off Chapman Street at the southern end, where a there is small lagoon and creek crossing the southern end of the beach. This is a quieter beach than Surf Beach and very popular during the summer holidays when it is also patrolled by lifeguards. However when waves exceed 1 m the northern rip intensifies.
Noosa Heads is one of Australia's favourite tourist destinations, with large summer and holiday crowds filling the town and its main beach. The town is located at the mouth of the Noosa River and in lee of 2 km long Noosa Head, with much of the head now forming a national park. Immediately north of the river is the more extensive Cooloola National Park. Today Noosa boasts a thriving tourist industry, with major resorts and a wide range of accommodation and facilities. Noosa has long been a popular summer destination, with a surf lifesaving reel placed on the beach in 1915 and the Noosa Heads Surf Life Saving Club founded in 1927.The main beach (1532) runs from the base of the heads to the mouth of the river. The river is now trained with an entrance wall that forms the northern end of the 1.2 km long beach. In addition, to combat beach erosion and maintain some of the sand dumped on the beach, a rock groyne has been built across the middle of the beach and a seawall constructed along the southern half of the beach.The beach faces almost due north, and receives low waves which have to pass around Noosa Heads. They average between 0.5 and 1 m high at the beach, where they usually form a continuous bar that is cut by rips during and following higher waves. Waves are higher and rips more prevalent at, and north of, the groyne.