The beach is 4 km long, faces the southeast and receives low refracted waves. Sandy Emu Point forms the northern boundary and granite Wooding Point, capped by 100 m high Mount Adelaide, the southern boundary. Waves are usually 1 m or less and maintain a low energy beach fronted by a continuous shallow bar, usually free of rips.
The southern end is called Middleton Beach, which is an eastern suburb of Albany and site of the Albany Surf Life Saving Club. The Surf Club, which was established in 1956, is located in a grassy foreshore reserve, and has recently redeveloped their club house facility.
The well laid out reserve also provides parking, a kiosk and other amenities. In the southern corner, called Ellen Cove, is a wooden walkway that runs out past the jetty to Wooding Point. The small jetty is popular with swimmers and fishers. Right behind the reserve is a resort hotel and shopping centre, with a caravan park just up the beach. The beach is backed by a 500 m wide foredune ridge plain which has been largely developed. The central section is occupied by Albany golf course, with the northern half called Emu Beach, which has a large caravan park and the northern suburb of Emu Point. The point forms the boundary between Oyster Harbour and the Sound, with a narrow inlet linking the two.