Sydney is the beach side city
If you’re searching for sun, sea and sand, Sydney is the place for you. Australia’s largest city has easy access to over 100 beaches. To put that into perspective, it would take you almost two years to see them all if you visited a new bay every single week. This plethora of choice means there’s something for everyone, from calm waters in family-friendly coves to stretches of sand devoted to party-goers. Sydney has plenty of surf beaches and many famous seaside developments to visit. Like any major developed city, a lot of the beaches you do need to travel to, but the robust transport links can help make that an easier task.
For many who immigrate to Australia, they have an idyllic view of what life could be like down under. Sipping a beer and tucking into some freshly caught seafood while scanning the evening sky reflected in the Pacific Ocean. This slice of heaven is a reality for the fortunate souls who count the best Sydney beaches as their home. These escapes are as much of a pull as its bustling urban culture and employment opportunities.
Must-see Sydney beaches
Bondi is the most iconic and famous beach in the whole of Australia. Although it’s only 7km from the busy city centre, it maintains a laidback seaside vibe. Surf, scuba, swim, stroll, shop, eat, drink and chill, Bondi is a beach that has it all. You should expect crowds here as it is incredibly popular. If you want a bit more space to yourself, locals avoid the tourists and go to Bronte Beach, which is a short 40 minute walk up the coast from Bondi. If you want to learn to surf, Let’s Go Surfing is a great school to enrol in; they have over 25 years of experience teaching newbies the waves.
A smaller secret beach tucked around the peninsular where Nielsen Park and Shark Beach can be found. The city views of the Harbour Bridge and skyline are breathtaking. Many hikers enjoy getting out on the Hermitage Foreshore Walk, the route taking you from Queens Beach to Hermit Point and then up to Milk Beach. This secluded spot acts as a welcomed respite for weary Sydneysiders on the weekends.
This family friendly beach is super safe, clean and beautiful. Praised by many young parents for gentle currents, younger children often favour this location due it being easier for those learning to swim. The Balmoral Baths is an enclosed ocean pool perfect for the little ones first seaside dips. Balmoral has a number of nice seaside cafes and restaurants too. A coffee and a cake in the Balmoral Boathouse overlooking the bay is a great way to spend an afternoon!
Located 41km north of Sydney, Palm Beach is a beautiful sharp peninsula that has a lot to offer. Used in Aussie TV shows such as Home & Away, it is a golden, picturesque location and residents live life with their feet paddling in the cool blue ocean. There are several bays, points, heads and parks to explore around the peninsula so give yourself ample time there. If you’re driving up and need a stop, we’d suggest Bronze Beach Kiosk. Grab a coffee and stretch your legs, and perhaps wander over to two other beaches, Mona Vale and Basin, maximising your beach day and getting the most sand time for your money!
This bay is the ultimate beach getaway from the city. Praised for its snorkelling, the reef of Gordons Bay is protected and home to some incredible marine life. Sandwiched between Coogee beach and Clovelly beach, Gordons has one of the world’s first underwater nature trails!
Situated south of the centre, Maroubra Beach is simple and well kept. It’s popular with locals to escape crowds and attracts surfers and swimmers. While you’re there, take a walk round Malabar Headland National Park and see the stunning cliffs steeped in reds and oranges at sunset. It truly is one of the best Sydney beaches.
You can get to Manly via the ferry from Circular Quay. This is one of the most easterly peninsulas close to Sydney. Manly beach has some beautiful restaurants, chic seaside apartment buildings and some serious water sports. Smaller, more secluded Shelly beach is a little further up the bay and is better suited for families, picnics, snorkelling and scuba divers. The area is home to hundreds of different marine species, so it’s an amateur naturalist’s playground!
Other beaches worth a visit
Camp Cove is a quiet family friendly beach and great for snorkelers.
Avalon Beach has a big surf scene, a lush ocean pool and beautiful scenery.
Tamarama Beach has 80 metres of stunning shoreline and great surf conditions.