Sydney is renowned for its beautiful coastline. Think the Bondi to Coogee walk, that’s five beaches right there…and there’s plenty more (I actually looked it up and there are apparently well over 100 beaches in Sydney!!)
Everyone loves the beach right? And taking a day to soak up the sun and splash around in the sea doesn’t cost a penny – result!
Anyway, let’s not get caught up on how stunning and how wonderful these beaches are – that’s a given – let’s get on with the list…my top 5 beaches to visit in Sydney (and yes, they are in order of favourites):
Hands down my favourite beach on the East Coast.
Located in Manly, Shelly Beach really is a slice of paradise. Hidden away in Cabbage Patch bay, set just around the corner from Manly’s main beach is where you’ll find it.
As it is home to a protected marine reserve, the beach is ideal for trying your hand at snorkelling and as it is sheltered in a cove, the sea is much calmer than the main beach.
Behind the beach is a restaurant called The Boathouse (which is pretty pricey) buuuttt, there is a separate kiosk to the left-hand side that serves cheap chips and delicious smoothies. Make sure to try the berry smoothie!
TOP TIP: Take a stop off at Fairy Bower sea pool on your way round.
Palm Beach is the most northern of Syndey’s Northern Beaches. You can hop on a bus in Sydney or Manly and it’ll take you up the coast to the peninsula.
With two beaches in one; surf on one side and the calm, warm waters of Pittwater on the other, you’ve got the best of both worlds!
The walk to Barrenjoe Lighthouse is a must – it is a hot and sweaty one, so be prepared – but the views at the top are totally worth it.
If you’re feeling peckish at the end of the hike, The Boathouse cafe on the Pittwater side of the peninsula is a lovely spot for a coffee/cold drink.
TOP TIP: If you’re going between May and November (late June and early July is said to be the best time), keep your eyes peeled for migrating whales.
Part of the Bondi to Coogee walk is Bronte Beach; my personal favourite of this particular stretch of beaches.
The sea here can be pretty rough and ready if you catch it on one of it’s off days (rough as in you can’t even stand in the shallow of the waves without being toppled over by the pull of the waves) but nevertheless, the beach itself is a great place to chill out if you’re not a fan of the crowds on Bondi.
TOP TIP: If you’re more of a swimmer than a ‘let’s flail and jump around in the massive waves’ kinda person, there is also a sea pool here.
The first beach North of Manly is where you’ll find this beauty.
Freshwater is sheltered by sloping dunes at the back of the beach and provides a lush spread of white sand, much less busy than Manly main beach, but with the same surf and water temperatures.
TOP TIP: The water here is not actually ‘freshwater’, it’s just the sea. You may have already gathered this, but I made this mistake when I first visited!!
Of course, the famous Bondi had to feature somewhere on this list.
However, there is a reason I have placed it at last place. For some reason, I just didn’t see what was so special about this place. Perhaps it was the fact a bird pooed on my back the second I led down, or maybe it just didn’t live up to my expectations…something just wasn’t doing it for me.
Saying that, it is a must-see; a visit to Sydney isn’t complete without ticking this beach of your list.
TOP TIP: The Iceberg pools are crazy photogenic but, if you’re keen to take a dip, be prepared for FREEZING water temperatures.