Emergency services are looking for the man at the South Curl beach in Sydney, where he vanished on Saturday.
The 31-year-old decided to go for a swim at about 19:00 local time.
“It’s well known locally that it has a fairly consistent and strong rip along the beach which could carry you out,” said inspector Pickering.
The man had been in Australia for a week and had been fishing with a friend.
When he did not return his friend called emergency services, who began the search.
“The search hasn’t been completely called off. We are conducting a search again today using a number of resources but we will be continuing regular patrols, said Pickering.
“From local experience, I’d probably say it’s one of the more treacherous of our beaches.”