As holiday crowds took advantage of a warm and sunny Sunday, overcrowding became a COVID safety issue at Batemans Bay's popular Surf Beach, with an alert issued on Surf Life Saving NSW's Beachsafe website.
Austinmer Beach north of Wollongong was also flagged as too crowded.
On Sunday, at Surf Beach, overflow parking in the reserve on Beach Road was filled to capacity. Malua Bay, Mackenzies and North Broulee were also busy.
Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce said lifesavers responded to a number of incidents over the holiday weekend, including 158 rescues conducted by volunteers throughout NSW.
"Emergency incidents have been significant this weekend - 71 in total. There were 38 on Sunday alone," said Steve Pearce.
Despite COVID cases continuing on the Northern Beaches, flags will be flying at beaches on Monday, with lifeguards providing patrols across the region, ensuring the safety of people attending beaches for recreation or exercise.
Surf Life Saving NSW President George Shales said he was proud of the efforts of lifesavers across the state in keeping people safe over Christmas.
"I want to thank the thousands of volunteers who are giving up their time to patrol beaches across NSW. This is traditionally a very busy period and we've seen large crowds heading to the coast. We are urging everyone to play it safe around the water and make sure you head to a patrolled location where lifeguards or lifesavers are on duty," said George Shales.