Australia is home to quite a few stinging jelly-fish. They come in various shapes and sizes, and show up at different times of the year. Apparently, they reproduce in, or near, fresh water so they tend to congregate close to the mouths of streams and rivers. On some beaches they have nets around designated swimming areas.
The information boards that showed the size of each of the species indicated that most of the stingers were MUCH smaller than the holes in the nets; something on the scale of trying to catch a small ball bearing in a net made of chicken wire. I came to the conclusion that the nets were mostly there as a psychological security blanket, with the added benefit that the lifeguards only had to watch a small section of the beach. I could be way off the mark on this, and I should also mention that, aside from surfing, I only went swimming inside the nets.
So the beach it was. The beach was a five minute walk from the hostel. Coconut palms and Banyan Figs provided shade in the grassy area between the beach and the small strip of eateries and pubs that form the beachfront community of Horseshoe Bay. The water was great; refreshing, but warm enough to stay in for a while.