This paper reviews approaches to assessing vulnerability of coasts to climate change and gives details of one of the approaches, coastal vulnerability index (CVI). The CVI ranks the following in terms of their physical contribution to sea-level rise-related coastal change: dune height, barrier type, beach type, relative sea-level change, shoreline erosion and accretion, mean tidal range and mean wave height. These variables are seen to be more useful to the Australian coast. The ranking for each input variable were combined and an index value calculated for selected beaches on the Illawarra and Batemans Bay coasts. The results are presented here.