Newport faces due east so is open to swell coming from any direction. A jumble of rocks 250 metres south of the north headland known as The Peak shapes two separate breaks that attract a highly skilled local surfing tribe.
Waves along the middle section of the beach are dependent on sandbanks and tend to close out without offering much for board-riders, but that leaves more room for swimmers and body-boarders. The south headland peters out into a part-submerged reef extending 450 metres out to sea, creating breaks in multiple directions which locals refer to as "crosswaves".
One of Newport's most distinctive features is a broad flat rock platform at the south end of the beach. The full-size saltwater lap pool atop the platform is an iconic feature of Sydney's northern beaches, having been a favourite subject of revered Australian photographer Max Dupain in the 1930s and 1950s.