Beach flags and signs
When you visit a beach, you’ll see signs with important safety information. If it’s a lifeguarded beach, you’ll also see flags to show you where it’s safe to enter the water. Here you can find out what they mean.
When you visit a beach, most landowners provide safety signage with important information. This includes important safety information about hazards specific to the area. They generally use two types of warning symbols - hazard and prohibition signs.
Hazard signThis yellow triangle is used to warn you of hazards or dangers in the area that may cause harm. The triangle will have different symbols inside it depending on what the hazard is.
Red and white prohibition sign
A prohibition sign is used to tell you that an activity is forbidden, for your safety. There may be different symbols inside it depending on what activity is forbidden – for example, swimming, surfing or fishing.
No lifeguards signA lifeguard off duty sign means that there is currently no lifeguard service at this beach. You should exercise caution and follow all safety advice to protect you and your family.
If the beach you're at is not lifeguarded, please take extra care if you are going into the water. If lifeguards are on patrol, then you'll need to know your flags.
Red and yellow beach flag
Lifeguard-patrolled swimming and body boarding zone or lifeguard on duty.
This shows the lifeguarded area and is the safest place to swim and bodyboard.
Black and white chequered beach flag
Surfboard and other water craft zone or zone boundary.
For surfboards, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and other non-powered craft. Launch and recovery area for kitesurfers and windsurfers. Never swim or bodyboard here.
Red beach flag
Dangerous conditions: do not enter the water.
Signifies a severe hazard, that water conditions are unsafe for swimming and other water activities, and people should not enter the water.
Danger: no inflatables to be used on the water.
Indicates offshore or strong wind conditions. Never use inflatables when the windsock is flying.