Sydney beaches - they are one of the greatest features about the city. When combined with the city’s climate, it is the perfect environment for a thriving beachside culture.
There are over 60 beaches around Sydney to choose from: 23 northern beaches, 27 southern beaches and 14 Harbour beaches.
Regardless of your beach definition, the majority of the beaches are exactly what you would expect – sand, surf and grassed areas around the beach. Sydney’s beaches are much more than going for a swim; they’re also great for picnics and lazing about.
Indeed some of the best Sydney beaches are the most popular, the obvious choices being Bondi Beach and Manly Beach.
Others offer features including a smaller intimate feel, ideal family beaches, snorkelling opportunities, netted swimming areas, and fewer crowds.
From the city, public transport services the major beaches. The easiest way to find your route is via the Sydney public transport planner. Other beaches can be trickier to access without the use of a car.
Today Sydney has four recognised surfing reserves: Manly Beach, North Narrabeen, Cronulla and Maroubra.
According to the National Surfing Reserves website, these beaches qualify as such because they are ‘'iconic' places of intrinsic environmental, heritage, sporting and cultural value to a nation’.
A big part of Australian beach culture is the Surf Lifesaving volunteers. Each major Sydney beach has its own Surf Lifesaving club. They patrol beaches during peak swimming periods.
The surf lifesaving institution began in Sydney during the early 20th century, with the abolishment of laws prohibiting daytime swimming, and the subsequent multiple drowning of members of the public.
Concerned volunteers banded together, and were trained in lifesaving methods, whilst developing surf rescue techniques. The first surf club that was established was Bronte in 1903. The second was Bondi in 1907.
Beyond rescue services, Surf Lifesaving clubs are a huge part of the beachside community, mixing competitive sport with lifesaving training, and youth clubs that are affectionately known as the ‘nippers’.
Bondi Beach is certainly the city’s most famous beach. It’s an action packed place with surf, sand, a skate park, grassed areas, cliff top walks, and a myriad of dining and shopping venues.
It has many similar features as Bondi, and some that set it apart including the beautiful Sydney Ferries transport option, the availability of both surf and sheltered harbour beaches, and Harbour National Parks close by.
The major beach is broken up into 3 parts - South Steyne, North Steyne and Queenscliff Beach.
|Photo courtesy of Chris Burchill.|
This is a northern Sydney beach. In fact it is the city's most northern beach. It is where the rich and famous are known to live and hang. The area is also used to film the outdoor scenes of the soap opera Home and Away.
A Sydney favourite, and a popular place for families. The beach area is more compact and accessible than other Sydney beaches, with parklands and paved areas located around the beach, and shops, cafes and pubs located close by.
And don’t forget the famous Coogee Baths just south of the beach- McGivers Ladies Baths and the mixed Wylies Baths.
This is the city’s southern-most beach side area. It is accessible by City Rail from the city centre, and is the gateway to the Royal National Park, which is accessible by Cronulla Ferries to Bundeena.
Sydney’s Harbour beaches are a popular place for locals, visitors and families to enjoy a picnic and a swim. These beaches often adjoin parkland areas, and a cafe or restaurant is typically close by, to relieve that ice cream or fish and chip yearning.
These are some of the most popular habourside Sydney beaches:
An historic Harbour beach located in Mosman. Features of the beach include a netted swimming area, a historic rotunda and bathers pavilion and barbecue facilities.
The Bathers Pavilion cafe and restaurant is
available for food and beverages. And there are other cafes, drink vendors and fish and chip shops to choose from.
A shady park and harbour beach area located in Vaucluse. There is a netted swimming enclosure, a restaurant and cafe.
This beach is very popular with families due to its lovely setting and lack of surf. There are beautiful walk through sections of the Sydney Harbour National Park that can be accessed from the beach.
Located in Mosman this is a former naval area, with parklands, historic buildings, large parkland and beach areas, and bushland walks. There is a netted swimming enclosure. Cafes and bars are available for food and beverage.
When you want to go for a swim in the surf, catch a few waves, or hang on the sand or at the local beach café, which Sydney beach do you choose?
There are so many Sydney beaches that we would love to hear about your favourite, and what keeps you going back.
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
Mona Vale Not rated yet
Being from the Blue Mountains means that we do not get to the beach often. Usually it is when we are on holiday, and that is generally away from the city. …
Gordons Bay Not rated yet
Situated between the highly popular Coogee and Clovelly Beaches, Gordons Bay is something of a not-so-secret hidden gem these days. It's a protected aquatic …
Manly For Sure! Not rated yet
The thing that I love about Manly Beach is that it offers so many varied things to do. I don't live on the North Shore, so the ferry ride from Circular …
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