Sydney Beach Guide
Couples enjoying a beach holiday or romantic getaway in Sydney are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing the best beach: the city boasts more than 30 beaches within metropolitan Sydney.
To the south of Sydney, a coastal track from Bondi to Coogee offers the opportunity to escape the bustle of Bondi and mix with local residents on smaller beaches. Here are some local beach favourites:.
Bondi Beach – Nestled in a cove between two headlands, beautiful Bondi is a wide, kilometre-long crescent of golden sand that fronts deep blue water renowned for reliable year-round surf of both left- and right-hand beach breaks.
With its bustling carnival atmosphere, Bondi is a see-and-be-seen beach, a favourite with locals as well as overseas visitors who relish the stunning setting for sunbathing, swimming and surfing. Read more about Bondi Beach . . .
Tamarama Beach – This small and fashionable beach is set in a pretty landscape between rocky headlands and is nicknamed ‘Glamourama’ by the locals. One of the best beaches for a quiet sunbathe and swim, you do need to be aware of sometimes dangerous rips.
Just a 10-minute walk from Bondi, Tamarama is a favourite for surfers in spite of the rips and the fact that the beach is only 50m across.
Bronte Beach – Next along the trail is Bronte, a gorgeous crescent of golden sand overlooking Nelson Bay and surrounded by a park of Norfolk pines and palm trees. A local favourite, the beach can get crowded on the weekends as it is sheltered from big seas and preferred over nearby Bondi for swimming.
Clovelly Beach – Known as ‘Cloey’, this beach sits at the end of a long inlet. It’s a popular spot for locals, featuring a large rock pool that creates calm waters for swimming and snorkelling.
Coogee Beach – A reef protects this pleasant crescent of golden sand, creating calm sea conditions for swimming. Coogee is popular for swimming, snorkelling, body boarding and surfing and is close to cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels. There is also a children’s playground overlooking the beach.
The northern end of the beach, known as Dolphin Point, features a memorial to local residents who lost their lives in the 2002 Bali bombing.
Maroubra Beach – Further south of Coogee lies a 1km-long beach offering some of the region’s best surf conditions, while also offering a less hectic atmosphere than either Bondi or Coogee.
Elsewhere, Greater Sydney offers more than 150 beaches, including those on the Manly peninsula to the north of the city. Here are a few of the northern beaches not to miss:
Manly Beach – Rivalling Bondi to the south, Manly Beach is a 2km-long crescent of golden sand popular with locals and tourists alike. Go swimming, surfing and roller blading or play a game of beach volleyball. The nearby Corso Plaza offers a range of entertainment, while the Outdoor Arts and Crafts Market offers a wide range of local handicrafts every weekend.
Shelly Beach – This pretty crescent of beach offers sheltered swimming, snorkelling, diving and is also known for providing one of Sydney’s cleanest surfing waves, which breaks on the western point of the beach.
Facilities include showers, toilets, free barbecues and a restaurant. A bush track around the headland provides spectacular vistas over a string of northern beaches.
Palm Beach – Known to the locals as ‘Palmy’, Palm Beach features a long stretch of beautiful white sand shelving into a pretty bay on one side of a peninsula that separates Pittwater from the Pacific Ocean. Often used as a set for the soap opera Home and Away, the beach offers good surfing, windsurfing, scuba diving and swimming. Hike to the lighthouse at the northern end of the beach for great views.
Collaroy – Narrabeen Beach – Escape the crowds on this vast 3km-long beach that hosts four surf lifesaving clubs and is great for surfing and swimming between the flags. In 2007, workmen found the remains of a 4000-year-old indigenous Australian here who had apparently died from a spear wound; he was later named the ‘Narrabeen Man’.
Within Sydney Harbour lie several good beaches, including:
Balmoral Beach – Regarded as the best of the inner-harbour beaches, this 700m-long beach is a great spot to swim or windsurf and is backed by The Esplanade, featuring several upmarket restaurants, takeaway fish and chip shops and cafes.
Obelisk Beach – Set beneath the lush woodland of Sydney National Park in Mosman and facing Sydney Harbour, this tiny shelf of beach is popular with nudists and topless sunbathers.
Lady Jane Beach – Probably the most accessible and secluded nude beach around Sydney, this small beach offers safe swimming with no surf and is located inside South Head.
Best time to visit
any Sydney Beach? The best time to visit any Sydney beach is in summer between December and February, but you can swim or surf the waters year round. Of course, Sydney is a great destination to visit any time.
For more climate info: Sydney Weather Guide