15 Best Beaches in Sydney

The beaches of Sydney truly have something for everyone, from the throngs of sun-kissed bodies strutting Bondi Beach to the surf-spectacular Manly Beach to the secluded stretches of sand found along the mountainous coastlines of protected national parks. Here are our Sydney faves, from the well-known to the hidden gems. Slap on some sunscreen, Grab a GoGet and start exploring today.

Sydney’s Best Beaches

Bondi Beach

No Sydney list would be complete without the iconic Bondi Beach. Located 8 kilometres from Sydney’s CBD, Bondi is a paradise for surfing, swimming, sunbathing, and taking a grid-worthy photo for the ‘Gram. Swim in the picturesque Icebergs pool, perched over the southern end of the beach, or grab a special-occasion lunch with a view at the Icebergs Dining Room and Bar.

Bronte Beach

Bronte Beach, Bondi’s quieter younger brother, boasts one of Sydney’s best natural ocean pools. During Sydney’s scorching summer weather (when La Nina’s not around that is), families swarm to the safe swimming areas, and the lap pool at the southern end of the beach. The grassy park beyond the beach has plenty of space for picnics, or weekend BBQs. Although there are fewer surfers here than in Bondi, if you’re a beginner it’s better to leave the heavier swells to more seasoned pros as it can get quite rough.  

Marley Beach

Looking to avoid the crowds? A journey to Marley Beach is certainly worth the effort for anyone who has ever imagined taking a solitary stroll along the dunes. With its crystalline waters, sheer cliffs, and undulating sand dunes, Marley Beach is a vision of untamed beauty. Located in the Royal National Park, this is a bit further away than other beaches on this list, and is only accessible by foot, but it’s worth the effort we promise! Take the Bundeena to Marley Beach walking track starting from the National Park gate at the end of Beachcomber Avenue in Bundeena. It’s around a 4.5 kilometres stroll along the lovely coastline path.

Resolute Beach

Another national park beach, this time to the north of the city and located in the beautiful Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Like Marley Beach, this is only accessible on foot, but it’s worth the climb! Accessed via the gorgeous Resolute Walking Loop, this 6km trail starts and ends from the Resolute Picnic Area. It’s rarely crowded and with amazing view across to the Barrenjoey Headland and lighthouse, Resolute Beach should definitely make your list.

Camp Cove Beach

The calm harbour waters and beautiful views make Camp Cove the perfect spot for a relaxing day at the beach. A short walk from Watson’s Bay, you can catch the ferry from Circular Quay and take in some of Sydney’s best sights along the way. As if the clear waters and million-dollar views aren’t enough, there’s an added extra for history buffs. Some undated shell-midden deposits can be found in a rock shelter at the beach’s northern end, demonstrating the Gadigal people’s long-standing ties to the area.

Manly Beach

Flanked by tall Norfolk Island Pines, Manly is one of Australia’s most recognisable beaches. the hub of the surfing community in Sydney. It is the epicentre of Sydney beach culture, including swimming, surfing, and snorkelling. The Australian Open of Surfing is held there in February. Watch the surfers at work while you unwind on the dunes, or improve your wave riding technique by enrolling in lessons at one of the nearby surf shops. Or check out the Corso strip, a vibrant pedestrian street dotted with restaurants, bars and shops, offering a respite if it gets too hot.

Keen swimmers should join the informal Manly to Shelly return swim that takes place at 7am every day come rain or shine. It’s 1.5km return, but you can opt to walk back from Shelley if you get tired halfway.

Shelly Beach

Shelly Beach, a small but stunning beach in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, is just a short walk from Manly. Follow the pathway from the surf club at the southernmost part of Manly, or swim the 750 metres across. Even better, bring your snorkelling gear along too and explore the crystal-clear waters of this small cove which sits within Cabbage Tree Bay’s marine reserve. You might be lucky enough to spot rays, gropers, dusky whalers and wobbegongs. Surfers can ride the renowned shallow-breaking surf wave known as “The Bower,” by heading out from the western side of the beach.

Milk Beach

Milk Beach, a small beach in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, is not only a peaceful hidden treasure, but it also provides some of the best views of Sydney Harbour. Make sure to stick around for the sunset, with the city skyline as an unbeatable backdrop to the setting sun. Although there are no amenities here, Shark Beach in Nielsen Park, which includes picnic sites and restrooms, is only a 15-minute walk away. Make a day of it and explore a number of hidden beaches and bays by hiking the Hermitage Foreshore from Rose Bay to Watson’s Bay.

Nielsen Park & Shark Beach

Further along the Hermitage trail you’ll find Nielsen Park, a tranquil beach retreat with a wide variety of amenities in Vaucluse. The park, which is bordered by Shark Beach, includes shady picnic spaces and expansive lawns. The shallow, quiet waters here are ideal for swimming and kayaking. Upgrade works are taking place, so make sure to check that the beach is open before you visit.

Freshwater Beach

Better known as Freshy, this is a Sydney fave for a reason. It’s a bit more relaxed and less touristy than nearby Manly, but no less beautiful. It also happens to be the birthplace of surfing in Australia, when the famous Hawaiian, Duke Kahanamoku, gave an exhibition of wave riding on a solid wood surfboard all the way bay in 1915. It, unsurprisingly, remains a popular surf spot to this day, with the largest break at the southern end of the bay. The northern end of the beach is great for snorkeling, though make sure to check conditions before you go as entry from the rocks can be hazardous when its rough.

Tamarama Beach

One of the less celebrated Eastern suburbs beaches, Tamarama is a bit of a hidden gem. Just a few hundred metres from Bronte Beach along the coastal path, Tamarama is only 80 metres long, yet it has beautiful, silky sand and excellent surfing waves. Make sure to visit in late October for the famous Sculpture by the Sea festival.

Palm Beach

Palm Beach (or Summer Bay to Home & Away fans), is one of Sydney’s most beautiful beaches. Found at the tip of Sydney’s northern beaches it’s a bit of a trek to get to, but worth the drive! This 2.3km beach stretches all the way up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse – do take the hike up to the lighthouse if feeling energetic! The 30-minute climb is steep, but the views over the Barrenjoey headland are more than worth it.

Whale Beach

Another Sydneysider northern beaches fave. Located just south of the famous Palm Beach, the beautiful Whale Beach tends to be a bit quieter. Its home to “The Wedge,” a famous Sydney surf break at its northern end, though this is best left to experienced surfers. If you’re looking for a seriously special occasion meal or hotel stay, the iconic Jonah’s can also be found here.

Cronulla Beach

One of Sydney’s only beaches easily reached by train, this is a great option if you’re looking to avoid parking congestion on a hot summer’s day. Those with kids should look out for the Cronulla Rock pools, found between Cronulla Beach and North Cronulla Beach. A sizable grassy area with a playground and lots of shade can be found behind the beach, perfect for a picnic lunch.

Gordons Bay

Nestled in between Clovelley and Coogee beaches, Gordons Bay is absolutely worth a stop along the Bondi to Coogee coastal track. It’s home to the Gordons Bay Underwater Nature Trail, a self-guided scuba or snorkeling trail that takes place under the surface. The 600m trail will take around 40 minutes to traverse, and you’ll find plaques underwater with information to guide you as you go. The bay is very rocky, with only a tiny strip of beach, so if you are looking to laze on the sands for the day, you’re better off heading to one of the neighbouring beaches.  

Get out and explore

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GoGet Writing Team

The GoGet writing team is a mix of ex-journalists, novelists, and experts in future mobility and smart city design.


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