The movement of sand along the coast, and sediment from catchments, builds up bars at the entrances to estuaries, rivers and lakes. Wave action and water movement change the shape, depth and channels on the bars quite regularly, and crossing them is a dangerous part of boating along the NSW coast. 

All occupants of a recreational vessel must wear an appropriate lifejacket when crossing coastal bars.

The locations of the coastal bars are divided into 4 regions:

  • North Coast
  • Hunter/Inland
  • Hawkesbury/Broken Bay
  • South Coast

To help prepare for a safe trip, Transport for NSW provides web-cam vision of coastal bars and other locations. If you'd like to view footage from any of the bar crossing cameras, you can do so online.

Last updated: 16 January 2024

Rate the information on the page