Best Beaches in Sydney
With more than 100 beaches across greater Sydney, the city has no shortage of places to swim, surf or simply relax with a good book. And with the beach lifestyle firmly entrenched in the Sydneysider identity, there’s no better way to experience Sydney like a local than seeking out some sand and sea. Here are our Concierge’s top picks for the best beaches in Sydney.
Sydney’s most famous beach is usually packed with locals and tourists, but don't let that daunt you. A stunning coastline is accompanied by some of the best waves in the area. Nearby Campbell Parade is a hotspot for shops, restaurants and cafés., the most popular of which is Icebergs. Grab a balcony seat overlooking the pool and the beach, order a glass of refreshing champagne and soak up the view!
One of the best family-friendly beaches in Sydney, Coogee also boasts our favourite ocean pool, Wylies Baths, with a grand wooden platform and a great length for laps. One of the Eastern Suburbs beaches, Coogee is close enough to the University of New South Wales for students to chill here between lectures.
The charm of Manly lies in how you get there. Catch the ferry from Circular Quay along the Harbour to Manly, and you’ll see Sydney from the best vantage point – on the water. Manly is one for the sporting enthusiasts – whether you fancy paddleboarding, kayaking or jetboating, there’s a plethora of activities to choose from. Those less athletically inclined may want to stroll down the North Steyne for a cool ice cream.
A quiet inlet just south of Manly, Shelly Beach is the perfect place for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Because it’s protected from the ocean swell, there are little waves here, perfect for the kidlets, as well as plenty of sand to make sandcastles on the shore. The famous Shelly Beach Kiosk and Sandbar Café serve beachside breakfast, lunch and dinner.
One for the celebrity spotters, Palm Beach is home to the rich and famous. It is even used to film exterior scenes for one of Australia’s longest-running soaps, Home and Away. You’ll probably spot bronzed Australian actors and actresses, who even relax here on their days off. Of course, the picture-perfect landscape is the next best thing to watch.
Best for snorkellers, Clovelly is a small, tranquil beach that lies between two rocky ridges. Dive to explore what lies beneath the ocean’s surface, or swim in the ocean pool if you like shallower depths.
Fondly known as “Glamarama” to locals for its stylish and suave residents, this small beach is nestled between Bondi and Bronte, and you’ll see many walkers, runners and strollers along the beach doing the Bondi-Bronte trail. Although it’s a small beach, the waves can be huge – the reef breaks create some of the best surfing conditions for Sydney’s buffed and bronzed.
Just north of Manly lies “Freshie,” the birthplace of Australian surfing. In 1915, Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku brought his board to the surf of Freshwater, introducing generations of Australians to the sport. Today, it’s still a popular surfing beach, but there are also options for non-surfers. Our favourite: lunch at the spectacularly placed restaurant, Pilu.
The end point for the famous Bondi to Bronte coast walk, this is the perfect place for a breather from the hour-long journey. Refresh yourself in the sea pool or at one of the many cafés and restaurants surrounding the beach. It’s easy to head back into Sydney via taxi or public transport, or you could have a fish and chips lunch before you prepare yourself for the walk back to Bondi.