If there’s a single tip that should serve as your guiding star for exploring Sydney’s coastal beauty, it would be: run you fools! Explore them all! Not a single shore nook is less than breathtaking, and they will make you fall head over heels in love with them, at first sight, let alone a dip into the playful ocean waters. They will inspire the surfer within you (even if you never knew it existed) to ride that perfect wave, and each walk from one beach to another will be chock-full of selfie-friendly spots.
Without further ado, put on your walking shoes, pack a bottle of cool water, ample suncscreen, a towel and and some snacks, too! Brace yourself – Sydney is about to whisk you off your feet with its unparalleled shoreline!
When it comes to the hidden gems of golden sand, nothing beats the strip of shore that hides in the embrace of the Botany Bay National Park and that goes by the name of Congwong. This small, graceful, and intact beach is the dream-come-true for those who would like to escape the hustle and bustle of Bondi and similar famous spots.
It’s lack of lifeguards, however, calls for extra caution even for the best of swimmers, so always make sure that the weather is friendly enough for a trip along the La Perouse Loop Road that leads to this stunning coastal nook.
Another beach less visited than its more popular counterparts, Whale beach has a reputation for serenity unlike any other Sydney beach. Once there, rest assured that you’ll be inspired to meditate, rest and abandon all your worries to the soothing sound of the crashing waves.
At both ends of this approximately 600-meter-long curve are two headlands that offer a picturesque panoramic view of the ocean and the surrounding area. The southern end peak, named the Careel Head, is home to the Careel House, a lovely 1931 bungalow that is also worth a visit.
North of the secluded Whale beach, the neighboring Palm beach (nicknamed Palmy by the locals) is the crown jewel of northern beaches, with its crystal-clear water, honey-hued sand and several cafes and restaurants with a breathtaking view of the ocean.
Its convenient location and distance from CBD make it a beloved getaway spot both for locals and tourists in the know (of which there are very few), where staying at the Gaelforce Palm Beach villa even for a single weekend is sure to recharge your batteries.
A favorite of the local surfers and those who simply like a balmy excursion away from the city rush, Avalon is an untamed, but friendly bank of sand just perfect for a family picnic or a book-reading afternoon in the sun. The rocky formations just amid the sand and the splash of waves give this beach a more rugged, untamed look, but the clear sandy shore provides ample room for its visitors to spend the day.
For those who aren’t too eager to bring their own bites, there are a few bars and restaurants with delicious menus of local cuisine just a brief walk away from the beach. The Different Drummer has a Friday and Saturday evening menu of burgers to make your belly rumble with joyous anticipation, while Yoda Food offers Thursday night jazz sessions spiced up with plates of fusion meals.
A great opportunity to skip the car ride and take the ferry from Circular Quay instead – Manly beach awaits on the other side, a collection of calm, playful and vast sandy streaks that are as inviting as the rest of Sydney shoreline.
Manly Cove is a beach often visited by families with kids, while Shelly and Fairlight beaches deserve a hike as well. But adventure lovers will not be disappointed, either, as the nickname of this stretch (Surf City) is a clear hint for those who are eager to catch a wave instead of sunbathing for hours on end.