Beaches and ocean baths in Newcastle remained open on Sunday, but four beaches in Lake Macquarie were closed.
Despite pleas from authorities for social distancing, some were not following the instructions.
Officials in Newcastle decided to keep the beaches and baths open, while monitoring crowds to ensure compliance with a NSW government ban on outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people.
Some lifesavers were harassed at Sydney beaches, but Hunter Surf Life Saving president Henry Scruton said people had been "very polite" to lifesavers in the Hunter.
Lake Macquarie City Council temporarily closed on Sunday its four patrolled beaches - Redhead, Caves, Blacksmiths and Catherine Hill Bay.
Lake council's Brad Sutton said the closures were done so the council could plan "how it can comply with the new restrictions and not put the community or lifeguards at risk".
"We know how much our community loves the water and we want to do all that we can to keep everyone safe," Mr Sutton said.
"However the water safety message of 'swim between the flags' is essentially encouraging people to congregate in close proximity, contravening the NSW government's restrictions."
Cafes were busy around the Newcastle beaches on Sunday morning. Bar Beach and Merewether baths were the busiest swimming areas.
City of Newcastle said it worked with Hunter Surf Life Saving to monitor crowds. People were advised to "practice social distancing, including maintaining a 1.5-metre space from others ... to limit the spread of COVID-19".
The NSW government moved on Saturday to temporarily close Bondi Beach.
Alissa Jones, of the City of Newcastle, said local beaches rarely see crowds as large as those at Bondi.
Mr Sutton said Redhead and Caves beaches reached the 500-people restriction on Saturday, before the closure decision was made for Sunday.
Steven Pearce, CEO of Surf Life Saving NSW, asked beachgoers to heed the advice of volunteer lifesavers on the beach.
"Our volunteer lifesavers are on the beach to protect the community and to save lives. We ask that beachgoers abide by the social distancing order put in place by the NSW Government, limiting gatherings in any environment, including the beach, to 500 people," Mr Pearce said.
"It's important to respect any advice given to you by a surf lifesaver to vacate a beach. It's for your own safety and the safety of the community as a whole."
As well as those in Lake Macquarie, beaches were closed at Bondi, Coogee, Bronte, Clovelly, Tamarama, Freshwater, Dee Why and Maroubra in Sydney.