SOME days you might just have to walk a bit further than you'd like to.
Port Macquarie lifeguard supervisor James Turnham has given holidaymakers a pass mark for the first half of the summer holiday season.
But there has been an increasing number of beachgoers ignoring safety messages.
"There's been a huge increase of people swimming at unpatrolled beaches," Mr Turnham said.
"That is half due to the water clarity and people trying to find a nice beach, but also because you can't get a carpark at the main beaches so people keep looking for another spot to swim."
The message from lifeguards remained the same - know your swimming ability, swim where the red and yellow flags are positioned and never swim alone.
"We want people to make the effort to go to a patrolled beach," he said.
"If people are even considering swimming in an unpatrolled location there's lots to think about before they go in the water."
Poor water visibility meant it was difficult to see underneath the surface of the water for rocks, shapes of sandbanks as well as gutters and drop-offs.
"You might be able to see the surface water, but you've got no idea what's underneath so if the red and yellow flags are up we've deemed it safe enough to swim," Mr Turnham said.
The wet Christmas-New Year period saw the normally pristine water at Town Beach replaced with a murky, muddy brown colour.
It resulted in one of the busiest holiday periods at Lighthouse Beach.
"That's because it's far enough away from the Hastings River and the Camden Haven River so it was the cleanest out of the lot," Mr Turnham said.
"In the last couple of weeks the rescue numbers have increased a bit and that's mainly people who aren't local not really knowing the beaches and ignoring our signage we put on the beach.
"Overall it's been hit and miss; some days have been quiet and on others we've been hammered."