15 best beaches in Sydney

When it comes to the best beaches in Sydney, it's hard to...

Posted: Apr 4, 2018 10:17 AM
Updated: Apr 4, 2018 10:17 AM

When it comes to the best beaches in Sydney, it's hard to know where to begin.

Around 100 beaches are speckled around the harbor and along the coast, both north and south of the Harbour Bridge. The only vex for travelers and locals can be picking the best destination.

To make it easy, this list of the 15 best beaches in Sydney showcases our picks for the top of the top.

1. Manly Beach

After alighting from the 30-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay, there's a sign at Manly Wharf that reads: "Five miles from the city, a million miles from care." Such is the lifestyle of "God's Country."

A cosmopolitan mall and promenade add to the sight of young, hip, beautiful and sun-kissed bodies. A day trip here is enough reason to consider relocating to the northern beaches. Whether it's from the beach itself, or one of the nearby cafes, Manly is a pleasing place to catch a wave or simply to people-watch.

Manly Beach, South Steyne, Manly.

2. Tamarama Beach

Known as "Glamarama" for the eye-catching locals sun-baking on the beach --- it's traditionally been a haven for the gay and modeling communities.

Parking near the beach is impossible, but it's worth the fight because the beach is as beautiful as the locals adorning it. Being small and intimate adds to the feeling that this is an exclusive beach reserved for the lucky ones.

A word of warning, though: it's also one of Sydney's most dangerous beaches, with two rips coming in from either side of the bay. While this makes it a haven for surfers catching waves from the northern head adjoining nearby McKenzies Beach, it can be tough if you're not a strong swimmer.

Tamarama Beach, Tamarama Marine Drive, Tamarama.

3. Bondi Beach

Australia's most famous beach is more than 100 meters wide and stretches for well over a kilometer. This allows plenty of space for the overwhelming amount of tourists -- and locals -- that park themselves along the sands. On a good day every grain of sand is covered with bodies, with crowds swelling into Bondi Park and into nearby bars and cafes.

It's sometimes criticized for being too big, too busy, and too touristy --- but it's also the hot spot for fashionable Sydneysiders and travelers and lots of fun.

Bondi Beach, Campbell Parade, Bondi.

4. Bronte Beach

Bronte's sea pool offers a protected ocean swim and is regarded as one of the best in Sydney -- and much like beach culture itself, it's free.

The nearby parkland has spacious barbecue areas for gatherings and is the most family-friendly beach in the eastern suburbs. On public holidays, the park becomes a sea of frenzy as parties take place.

Bronte's east-facing beach picks up plenty of swell and swimming can be tricky at times thanks to the bulky headlands and underwater rocks. Waves can dump close to the shoreline.

But the vibes and views on offer make it ideal for those looking to laze around on the popular beach.

Bronte Beach, Bronte Marine Drive, Bronte.

5. Nielsen Park Beach

It still calls itself the city's "hidden secret" despite near-impossible parking and a crowded beach, but Nielsen Park is a little gem. The more adventurous can walk along the harbor foreshore through a national park to reach it.

It feels secluded, even though it's packed, and has a quaint charm because it's not touristy -- you won't find a backpacker in sight.

The views back across the bays to the city center are impressive. A net, which makes it a family picnic or snorkeling special, encloses the swimming area.

Nielsen Park, Greycliffe Avenue, Vaucluse.

6. Balmoral

Balmoral, on the north shore's Middle Harbor near Taronga Zoo, has an air of peaceful serenity. Life moves at a more leisurely pace here. If it's loud and proud you're after, this isn't it.

What Balmoral does have in spades is impressive views. And its calmness makes it a great swimming spot for families.

Balmoral Beach, The Esplanade, Balmoral.

7. Shelly Beach

Shelly Beach is just around the corner from Manly on the north head. If Manly gets too crowded -- as is often the case -- then this is your nearby destination.

Because it's protected from the ocean swell, you'll see lots of scuba divers under the water and paddle boarders gliding along the surface.

And they won't be the only ones making the most of the ideal visibility and calmness of the water, with swimmers flocking to the beachfront as well.

Shelly Beach, Bower Street, Manly.

8. Milk Beach

Located behind the heritage Strickland House on Vaucluse Road, this intimate and tucked-away beach gets pretty busy during the summer months, but is near deserted throughout the rest of the year.

A great spot to impress, Milk Beach is a little-known spot that still packs a mighty punch when it comes to commanding views of Sydney. And you'll often see a lot of kayakers moored to take in a spot of lunch.

It's also been the scene of some thumping parties during summer, so you could find yourself walking into a beachy dance floor.

Milk Beach, Vaucluse Road, Vaucluse.

9. Bilgola Beach

Descending down the windy roads that lead to Bilgola Beach from the headlands that surround it, you instantly feel you're travelling a path not well trodden.

The rips crashing into the northern end of the beach create some great surf for "waxheads" living on the "insular peninsula."

Bilgola isn't mentioned much and is kept as a relative secret by locals. Quiet and unspoilt, the beach is a real in-the-know spot.

Bilgola Beach, The Serpentine, Avalon

10. Camp Cove

Close to the mouth of the harbor, Camp Cove has some of the most breathtaking views of Sydney. It's also westward facing so gives east-coasters the chance to watch the sunset over water.

It's close to a large park, children's playground, pub and institutional fish and chips -- what more do you need for a day on a harbor beach?

Views also open up in the opposite direction to the vastness of the Tasman Sea, in contrast to the city vista. Quiet, secluded, and quaint, the picturesque Camp Cove is a stunning swimming spot and the elevated promenade gives visitors a chance to languidly take it all in.

Camp Cove, Victoria Street, Watsons Bay.

11. Clovelly

Arguably one of the best options for snorkeling and exploring what lurks beneath the water's surface, Clovelly is a small and tranquil beach that's noted for its unique narrow bay between two rocky ridges.

Instead of a long sweeping beachfront, Clovelly is protected and therefore provides a tranquil swimming experience away from the hustle and bustle of its busy neighboring beaches.

It's a good base for Gordons Bay, where you can check out snorkeling routes through the waters, or take a coastal walk to Bondi or Bronte.

Clovelly Beach, Donnellan Circuit, Clovelly.

12. North Narrabeen Beach

Boasting some of the best and most consistent surf, the beach attracts board enthusiasts from all over Sydney. Surfers have no qualms making the 25-kilometer trip north of the city center to get to the three-kilometer-long beach.

The northern end of the vast, sandy strip is protected from the northeasterly winds and is a surfer's destination, while the rest of the vast beach is ideal for swimming.

North Narrabeen Beach, Ocean Street, North Narrabeen.

13. Freshwater Beach

Flanked by headlands on both sides, excellent surf is often produced at "Freshie."

Perhaps fittingly, Freshwater is also the location where Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku first introduced surfing to Australia in 1915. The beach is only 350 meters long and is a popular destination for surfers. It's also the perfect spot for a sunset body surf.

There's also an eight-lane rock pool at the northern end.

Freshwater Beach, Moore Road, Freshwater.

14. Garie Beach

Located in the Royal National Park, 54 kilometers south of Sydney, Garie Beach isn't one for beach-lovers without a car. The large beach is spectacular, though.

It's well preserved and is the perfect spot for a relaxing day at the beach away from the city and the "same old" spots. The facilities are top-notch and there's a great fishing spot off the east-facing rocks.

Garie Beach, Garie Beach Road, Royal National Park.

15. Palm Beach

Part of Sydney's "insular peninsula" in the far north, it's the scene of the long-running "Home and Away" TV series and endless celebrity spotting.

The great views take in a salt water lagoon, typical of beaches of the north side of the harbor.

On a sunny day, Palm Beach is a postcard-perfect sand destination -- even though it's 45 kilometers north of the city center. As with so many beach journeys in Sydney, it's worth a drive as you'll catch some breathtaking views along the way.

Palm Beach, Ocean Road, Palm Beach.

Editor's note: This article was previously published in 2011. It was reformatted and republished in 2017.

West Lafayette
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: °
Kokomo
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 43°
Rensselaer
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 43°
Fowler
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 43°
Williamsport
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 41°
Crawfordsville
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 42°
Frankfort
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 41°
Delphi
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 44°
Monticello
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 44°
Logansport
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 45°
Below normal temperatures & patches of frost in the north & northeast.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 108646

Reported Deaths: 3478
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20341757
Lake10013312
Elkhart6198106
St. Joseph586796
Allen5785198
Hamilton4600109
Vanderburgh318126
Hendricks2607120
Monroe224336
Johnson2241122
Tippecanoe211313
Clark205056
Porter197843
Cass19209
Delaware180159
Vigo169621
Madison153075
LaPorte134837
Floyd127961
Howard125163
Kosciusko116717
Bartholomew113257
Warrick104134
Marshall97423
Boone93846
Dubois92118
Hancock89242
Noble86432
Grant85132
Henry73424
Jackson7259
Wayne72214
Morgan68038
Shelby65529
LaGrange62811
Daviess61627
Dearborn61428
Clinton59111
Harrison54824
Putnam5098
Lawrence49928
Montgomery49421
White47114
Knox4659
Decatur44739
Gibson4344
DeKalb42511
Miami4202
Greene40935
Fayette40413
Jasper3732
Scott34410
Steuben3447
Sullivan32612
Jennings30512
Franklin29225
Posey2900
Clay2855
Orange27924
Ripley2768
Carroll26713
Wabash2547
Washington2491
Whitley2456
Wells2422
Starke2387
Jefferson2363
Adams2303
Fulton2292
Tipton21522
Huntington2073
Randolph2047
Perry20014
Spencer1984
Jay1640
Newton16411
Owen1621
Martin1560
Rush1484
Pike1331
Vermillion1210
Fountain1152
Pulaski1121
Blackford1072
Crawford980
Brown933
Parke902
Benton880
Union760
Ohio757
Switzerland660
Warren381
Unassigned0225

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events