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Best Beaches Around Sydney

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Welcome to one of the world's only cities where clear water, soft sand and intoxicating sunshine can be found side by side with sophisticated dining and shopping scenes, the CBD and public transport. There are enough list-worthy beaches in Sydney to fill at least a dozen guides, but here are some of my favourites.

Good for
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • LGBT
  • Beach Goer
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Trendsetter
  • Like a Local

10 Places

3 City Tips

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Map

10 Places

Bondi Beach

Beaches

Bilgola Beach

Beaches

Bronte Beach

Beaches

Camp Cove

Beaches

Clovelly

Beaches

South Cronulla Beach

Beaches

Freshwater Beach

Beaches

Manly Beach

Beaches

Murray Rose Pool

Beaches

Tamarama Beach

Beaches

Margarita P's City Tips

  • Check each beach for the best transport solution; both public transport and parking can be difficult at some beaches.
  • Always pack sunscreen and a hat — the UV rays are fierce.
  • Few beaches have umbrellas for rent, so bring your own if you're hoping for shade.
  • Bondi Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Margarita P Says:

    She’s Australia’s most iconic beach, and she sure knows how to put on a show. If you will allow a bit of cliche: Bondi is more than just sand and surf — it’s a lifestyle. Some call it the 'Bondi Bubble' because you could spend one day here or you could spend a month. Shopping, dining, relaxing, drinking... The Bubble has all the ingredients needed for a good old Aussie time.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • LGBT
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • On the beach, consider where you lay your towel. You're most likely to find surfers down the south end, people with stereos in the middle, and cool kids or mummies up north.
    • Surfing lessons run regularly and are a must-do for anyone with the inclination.
    • Weekend markets at the primary school (Campbell Parade) are not to be missed. Saturday (9am-1pm) for the farmers market, and Sunday (10am-4pm) for everything else.
    • Drop-in outdoor yoga classes at Bondi Icebergs are open to aspiring yogis of any level.
    • There are regular festivals and public events happening at Bondi Beach all year round — Google your dates before you arrive to see what's on.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #50 of 500 things to do in Sydney
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Nice beach 18/12/2018
    • Musst see 18/12/2018
    • Bondi Beach
    Address:
    Queen Elizabeth Drive
    Sydney, New South Wales 2026
    Australia
  • Bilgola Beach
    Beaches
    Margarita P Says:

    Visiting Bilgola Beach feels like you’re escaping to a small, tropical reserve. It’s a little harder to find parking around this one, but the benefit is fewer people and more privacy.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • This is an ocean beach, so be prepared for rough surf.
    • There is one café, but no other shops to distract from the beach.
    • The nearby Newport Arms Hotel is one of the best places in Sydney to enjoy the sunset (and a beverage or two).
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Bilgola
    • A pearl on the necklace 25/03/2018
    • Nice beach 04/01/2018
    • Bilgola Beach
  • Bronte Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Margarita P Says:

    Although it’s one of our smaller beaches, Bronte is a versatile destination that suits families, pets, big groups, fitness buffs and café-lovers. The grassy reserve, which is filled with huts, grills and play spaces for kids (including a little train ride on the weekends), is spacious enough for those wanting to kick a ball or blast some music. For those after some peace and quiet, you’re welcome to park yourself in the rock pool or on the more distant sandy areas.

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • The Bondi-to-Bronte walk starts or ends here. It’s about 45 minutes each way and well worth it for the views alone.
    • Towards the north end there are cliffs that offer shade, in case you need some respite from the sun and don’t want to leave the beach.
    • Parking is difficult after 11am, and the inspectors are ruthless. Consider opting for the 378 bus that starts at Central Station.
    • Probably the best (and definitely the most well known) café is a short distance up the hill: Three Blue Ducks (141 Macpherson St). You must try the Ocean Trout breakfast.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Bronte
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • My favorite beach in Sydney 14/12/2018
    • Great ocean flood swimming pool 12/12/2018
    • Bronte Beach
    Address:
    Bronte Road
    Bronte, Waverley, New South Wales NSW 2024
    Australia
    Other:
  • Camp Cove
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Margarita P Says:

    Tucked away in a not-so-easy to access residential neighbourhood, Camp Cove is one of the city's best coastal secrets. There are no waves to surf, and it’s as though the calm water sends a relaxing energy through everyone who steps foot onto this small beach. Since there is no whisper of cars or traffic, you’ll be forgiven for forgetting you’re still in Sydney.

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • If you're planning to stay all day then equip yourself with a beach umbrella and a picnic basket (although there is a kiosk for snacks and cool drinks).
    • Bring a snorkel – the shallow waters are perfect for beginners.
    • For a proper meal or drink, head to nearby Watson’s Bay. The refurbished Watson’s Bay Hotel is all the rage.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #96 of 500 things to do in Sydney
    • Camp Cove beach and Kiosk- sensational 13/12/2018
    • Perfect. 14/10/2018
    • Camp Cove
  • Clovelly
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Margarita P Says:

    Love the idea of immersing yourself in the salty ocean and warm sunshine without getting any sand in your bathers? Well, Clovelly is the place for you. It may sound a bit strange, but this local favourite is a sort-of bay — flanked by cliffs and concrete for your sun baking/diving pleasure. The snorkelling brings swimmers to Clovelly all year round, although unfortunately most tourists will never even hear of it.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • You'll need a snorkel if you’d like to meet Bluey, the famous blue groper, or his eel and fish friends.
    • There is a fairly spacious all-day car park if you arrive via Clovelly Rd.
    • There are two sun-protected BBQ huts on the side without the car park.
    • On your way home, stop by Out of the Blue (272 Clovelly Rd) for some of Sydney’s best burgers and hot chips (waiting in that line is worth it).
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #44 of 500 things to do in Sydney
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A must see for snorkelling in Sydney 11/12/2018
    • The best snorkelling spot for beginners 07/11/2018
    • Clovelly
    Address:
    Clovelly Rd.
    Sydney
    Sydney, New South Wales
    Australia
  • South Cronulla Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Margarita P Says:

    Cronulla is Sydney’s most famous southern beach, and the only one which can be reached by train. Its esplanade — with cafes and resting benches — complements a beach that suits both families and surfers.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    Tips
    • The "Cronulla Walk" is a two hour stroll that showcases the area beautifully, encompassing beaches, ocean pools and scenic lookouts.
    • North Cronulla, Wanda and Elouera beaches are popular surf spots.
    • South Beach Seafood (20 Gerrale Street) is a local institution and home to the best Fish & Chips in the area.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #65 of 500 things to do in Sydney
    • Perfect beach 20/10/2018
    • One of our favourites 27/07/2018
    • South Cronulla Beach
    Address:
    22R Gerrale St
    Sydney, New South Wales 2230
    Australia
    Phone:
    +61 2 9710 0333
    Other:
  • Freshwater Beach
    Beaches
    Margarita P Says:

    The water at Freshwater, or 'Freshie' as the locals call it, is the most magical shade of blue-green. A protected beach that also manages to have great waves, Freshie is a favourite amongst families, and generally, hard to fault.

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • This is one of the most family-friendly beaches; the northern end has child-friendly rock pools for when the waves are too strong.
    • The adjacent park is a top spot for BBQs.
    • The first beach north of Manly, Freshie is close to the action but more intimate.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #128 of 500 things to do in Sydney
    • Always a winner! 14/12/2018
    • Such a gorgeous beach 19/11/2018
    • Freshwater Beach
    Address:
    Ocean View Road
    Sydney, New South Wales 2004
    Australia
    Other:
  • Manly Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Margarita P Says:

    The Manly peninsular is home to several incredible northern beaches. The best way to arrive is via ferry, which is an experience in itself and lands at Manly Wharf, the harbourside part of Manly Beach. This is only a short walk away from the main ocean beach, where surfers and swimmers enjoy one of Australia’s best-known tourist landmarks.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • The restaurant and small bar scene has really flourished in Manly. Grab a Bonsai (a gin and lime-mint slurp in a jar) at Donny’s if you need refreshing.
    • If you’re there on the weekend, leave some time to meander through the Manly Market Place (10am-5pm) for a sweet mix of local fashion, gifts and produce.
    • The Manly Corso is a pedestrian mall in between the wharf and ocean, packed with surf shops, cafes and pubs; it's an easy one-stop-shop for anything you may need.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #25 of 500 things to do in Sydney
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful beach 18/12/2018
    • Musst see beach! 18/12/2018
    • Manly Beach
    Hours:
    Sun - Mon
    6:00 a.m. - 6:00 a.m.
    Other:
  • Murray Rose Pool
    Beaches
    Margarita P Says:

    A popular one for those not wanting to venture too far from the city, Redleaf is a truly unique harbourside beach.The small stretch of grass and sand benefits from a wrap-around boardwalk — perfect for lazing around on or diving off of. In the middle of this U-shape water enclosure are two more floating pontoons, just in case you need a nap mid-paddle.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • LGBT
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Since it’s so sheltered, Redleaf is best when it’s a little cooler or windy. With no ocean breeze, it can get too hot in the peak of summer.
    • There is a second small car park underneath the street-level plot — just head down the driveway on the left.
    • The café is elevated over the beach, serving up a gorgeous view with your iced coffee.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 29 things to do in Woollahra
    • Beautiful even in winter 07/07/2018
    • Rustic and Historic great Harbour retreat 13/02/2018
    • Murray Rose Pool
    Address:
    536 New South Head Rd
    Sydney, New South Wales 2028
    Australia
    Phone:
    +61 2 9328 2018
  • Tamarama Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Margarita P Says:

    Nicknamed 'Glam-arama', Tamarama is an intimate beach with a delightful park space attached. Packed with some of Sydney’s most fabulous, Dolce & Gabana-wearing beachgoers, this is the place to go when you’re just as interested in 'the scene' as the sea.

    Good for
    • LGBT
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    Tips
    • Watch out on windy days — the waves can get rough and swimming is sometimes forbidden.
    • Tamarama is positioned in the middle of the Bondi-to-Bronte beach walk, so consider it for an extended pit stop.
    • Gordon’s Bay, another trendy hangout, is just around the corner if you want to go adventuring.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 9 things to do in Bondi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • great art festival 12/12/2018
    • Tamarama has some history 27/11/2018
    • Tamarama Beach
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