Refuge Bay (on Cowan Creek) at West Head has a small and protected beach; it’s a popular spot for boats – so it can get pretty busy on summer weekends. There’s plenty of shade around the beach, and the water is very calm.
A waterfall (Refuge Bay Waterfall) plunges onto the back of the beach, and provides a refreshing shower. You can also walk behind the falls.
The star attraction of Refuge Bay is not the beach or waterfall, but a stunning natural cliff-top swimming hole above the falls.
Although the creek and waterhole can dry up, it’s usually flowing and provides the perfect infinity pool with a view over Refuge Bay and Cowan Creek.
More information on Refuge Bay swimming
- Visit Sydney – Sydney’s Most Amazing Swiming Spots
- Boatbuy – 5 Spots You Absolutely Have To Visit On The Hawkesbury
Getting to Refuge Bay beach
Refuge Bay is mostly easily reached by boat, via the Hawkesbury River – it’s a very protected bay on Cowan Creek, and can get busy on summer weekends. You can also reach the waterfall on foot via an unofficial bushwalking trail; the Refuge Bay Track is accessed by the Salvation Loop and Walleroo Track (allow 3-4 hours return).