Monitoring our coastline


Our region’s coastline extends from Point Plomer in the north, to Diamond Head in the south. 

Our coastlines are constantly evolving. Storms and stronger tides move sand offshore, which typically returns during calmer conditions. 

We regularly conducts water quality tests for our key estuaries and rivers and to track what changes are occurring and the health of the systems. Water quality monitoring is conducted at Lake Cathie, Duchess Creek, Saltwater Creek and Rainbow Beach, and the results are published weekly.

To track long-term movement patterns, we operate a citizen science project with CoastSnap.

How CoastSnap works

CoastSnap relies on repeat photos at the same location to track how the coast is changing over time due to processes such as storms, rising sea levels, human activities and other factors.

This is a low-cost method for mapping shoreline change using smartphone images collected by the community and uploaded to social media platforms. The data collected helps us understand and forecast how coastlines might change in the coming decades, so we can best plan coastal management practices that will future-proof our stunning coastlines.

How to get involved



Download the app

Get the free Citizen Science App on Google Play for Android or in the Apple App Store.

 Badge App Download Android      Badge App Download iPhone




Create an account with your email address to keep track of your snaps.




Start snapping

Visit any CoastSnap location and follow the instructions on the sign to start contributing data. Once you have uploaded you snaps, they'll appear in the map below!

CoastSnap locations

Each monitoring station includes a smartphone cradle and accompanying signage with instructions. CoastSnap station are found at:

  • Town Beach, Port Macquarie
  • Flynns Beach, Port Macquarie
  • Shelly Beach, Port Macquarie
  • Tacking Point, Port Macquarie
  • Lake Cathie Entrance Lookout, Lake Cathie
  • Jonathan Dickson Reserve beach access lookout, Lake Cathie
  • Rainbow Beach, Bonny Hills