North Wollongong has been crowned the winner of the Sydney/Illawarra clean beach awards, giving an official nod to its sparkling sea, pristine sand and famous million-dollar views.
The beach took out the overall award, reflecting a commitment to managing the environment, water conservation and catering for the community.
The win is a pat on the back for the numerous groups responsible for keeping the beach in top condition and the dedicated foreshore parks crew who tend to the shoreline every day.
The popular beach was at its best yesterday as hundreds flocked to the sand and surf for a reprieve from the hot weather.
Camden pair Sue Smith and Maureen Cornock have been renting a unit on nearby Harbour St for six months and said they'd fallen in love with the beautiful beach.
"We immediately noticed how great it looks down here," Ms Smith said.
"It's so clean on the sand and it's great to see the Bathers Pavilion finished ... it's just such a nice place to sit and watch all the people go by."
Ms Cornock said the beach was the perfect spot for families and was always a winner with tourists.
"It is such a great spot to bring overseas visitors as the views are just stunning and it's a really friendly community," she said.
"The amenities are really good too - the cafes are great and the toilets and showers are always really clean . . . we definitely might end up living down here."
Providing a pristine backdrop for the city's Blue Mile project, the beach has long catered for beachgoers with water-saving showerheads, recycling bins and ample parking, and cycleways and footpaths linking the beach to surrounding parks.
The beach also took out awards for water conservation and environmental protection.
Wollongong City Beach, Port Kembla and Belmore Basin were also recognised for their efforts.
Huskisson Beach was overall winner for the South Coast region.