Sydney Australia Beaches

Sydney abounds in white sandy beaches, including world-famous attractions such as Bondi Beach. For a tranquil stretch of sand inside Sydney Harbor, try Balmoral on the northern side or Redleaf on the eastern side. At the most popular beaches, you’ll find beach-side cafés, bars and restaurants, or pack a hamper for a picnic on a beach.  Sydney is blessed with many beautiful sandy beaches, from tranquil bays and coves in Sydney Harbor to some of the world’s best surf beaches where you can enjoy curling waves and relax on the fine white sands.  Here are the best Sydney Australia beaches:

Bondi Beach

Watch a glorious sunrise at world-famous Bondi Beach before an invigorating swim in the turquoise waters or a stroll along the white sands. Roll out a beach towel and relax on the fine sands while enjoying spectacular views of the vast Pacific Ocean. You can also learn to surf at an accredited surf school. And there are plenty of things to do beyond the iconic beach. Fine dining, eclectic shopping markets, gorgeous coastal walks and a buzzing nightlife can all be experienced in Bondi year-round.  Surfers of all skill levels head to Bondi Beach to try out the waves. If you’re a beginner, there are several excellent surf schools that offer lessons year-round. Protected areas make it easy for novices to learn, while the more experienced surfers head to the south end of the beach. With beach life so ingrained in Bondi’s culture, it’s no surprise that the area is a haven for beach and swimwear shopping. On Campbell Parade, you’ll find a number of swimwear shops, including Labyrinth, The Big Swim, Sunburn and Bikini Island, which has been a local favorite since 1981.

Bondi Beach, Sydney Australia

Bondi Beach

Manly Beach

After arriving from the 30-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay, there’s a sign at Manly Wharf that reads: “Five miles from the city, a million miles from care.” Such is the lifestyle of “God’s Country.”  A cosmopolitan mall and promenade add to the sight of young, hip, beautiful and sun-kissed bodies. A day trip here is enough reason to consider relocating to the northern beaches. Whether it’s from the beach itself, or one of the nearby cafés, Manly is a pleasing place to catch a wave or simply to people-watch.

Manly Beach, Sydney Australia

Manly Beach

Tamarama Beach

Known as ‘Glamarama’ for the eye-catching locals sun-baking on the beach –- it’s traditionally been a haven for the gay and modeling communities.  Parking near the beach is impossible, but it’s worth the fight because the beach is as beautiful as the locals adorning it. Being small and intimate adds to the feeling that this is an exclusive beach reserved for the lucky ones.  A word of warning, though: it’s also one of Sydney’s most dangerous beaches, with two rips coming in from either side of the bay. While this makes it a haven for surfers catching waves from the northern head adjoining nearby McKenzies Beach, it can be tough if you’re not a strong swimmer.

Tamarama Beach

Tamarama Beach, Sydney Australia

Bronte Beach

Bronte’s sea pool offers a protected ocean swim and is regarded as one of the best in Sydney — and much like beach culture itself, it’s free.  The nearby parkland has spacious barbecue areas for gatherings and is the most family-friendly beach in the eastern suburbs. On public holidays, the park becomes a sea of frenzy as parties take place.  Bronte’s east-facing beach picks up plenty of swell and swimming can be tricky at times thanks to the bulky headlands and underwater rocks. Waves can dump close to the shoreline.  But the vibes and views on offer make it ideal for those looking to laze around on the popular beach.

Bronte Beach, Sydney Australia

Bronte Beach

Nielsen Park Beach

It still calls itself the city’s “hidden secret” despite near-impossible parking and a crowded beach, but Nielsen Park is a little gem. The more adventurous can walk along the harbor foreshore through a national park to reach it.  It feels secluded, even though it’s packed, and has a quaint charm because it’s not touristy — you won’t find a backpacker in sight.  The views back across the bays to the city center are impressive. A net, which makes it a family picnic or snorkeling special, encloses the swimming area.

Nielsen Park Beach Sydney Australia

Nielsen Park Beach

Balmoral

Balmoral, on the north shore’s Middle Harbor near Taronga Zoo, has an air of peaceful serenity. Life moves at a more leisurely pace here. If it’s loud and proud you’re after, this isn’t it.  What Balmoral does have in spades is impressive views. And its calmness makes it a great swimming spot for families.

Balmoral Park Beach, Sydney Australia

Balmoral Park Beach

Shelly Beach

Shelly Beach is just around the corner from Manly on the north head. If Manly gets too crowded — as is often the case — then this is your nearby destination.  Because it’s protected from the ocean swell, you’ll see lots of scuba divers under the water and paddle boarders gliding along the surface.  And they won’t be the only ones making the most of the ideal visibility and calmness of the water, with swimmers flocking to the beachfront as well.

Shelly Beach, Sydney Australia

Shelly Beach

Milk Beach

Located behind the heritage Strickland House on Vaucluse Road, this intimate and tucked-away beach gets pretty busy during the summer months, but is near deserted throughout the rest of the year.  A great spot to impress, Milk Beach is a little-known spot that still packs a mighty punch when it comes to commanding views of Sydney. And you’ll often see a lot of kayakers moored to take in a spot of lunch.  It’s also been the scene of some thumping parties during summer, so you could find yourself walking into a beached dance floor.

Milk Beach, Sydney Australia

Milk Beach

Bilgola Beach

Descending down the windy roads that lead to Bilgola Beach from the headlands that surround it, you instantly feel you’re traveling a path not well trodden.  The rips crashing into the northern end of the beach create some great surf for “waxheads” living on the “insular peninsula.”  Bilgola isn’t mentioned much and is kept as a relative secret by locals. Quiet and unspoilt, the beach is a real in-the-know spot.

Bilgola Beach, Sydney Australia

Bilgola Beach, Sydney Australia

Camp Cove

Close to the mouth of the harbor, Camp Cove has some of the most breathtaking views of Sydney. It’s also westward facing so gives east-coasters the chance to watch the sunset over water.  It’s close to a large park, children’s playground, pub and institutional fish and chips –- what more do you need for a day on a harbor beach?  Views also open up in the opposite direction to the vastness of the Tasman Sea, in contrast to the city vista. Quiet, secluded, and quaint, the picturesque Camp Cove is a stunning swimming spot and the elevated promenade gives visitors a chance to languidly take it all in.

Camp Cove, Sydney Australia

Camp Cove

North Narrabeen Beach

Boasting some of the best and most consistent surf, the beach attracts board enthusiasts from all over Sydney. Surfers have no qualms making the 15.5 mile trip north of the city center to get to the nearly 2-mile-long beach.  The northern end of the vast, sandy strip is protected from the northeasterly winds and is a surfer’s destination, while the rest of the vast beach is ideal for swimming.

North Narrabeen Beach, Sydney Australia

North Narrabeen Beach

 

28 Comments

  1. Yvonne

    Shelly Beach and Bronte Beach look beautiful. Going to Australia is on my bucket list. I can imagine myself with my family having fun there and it doesn’t look too crowded. When is the best time to go?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I don’t think there is a bad time to go to Australia. But, if you want warm weather, sunshine and warm water, then it really depends on what part of Australia you head to. Their winters and summers are opposite of the U.S. seasons. Yet, each coast on Australia, experiences different weather. If you tell me where in Australia you would like to go, then I can tell you the best time to visit. I know that didn’t really answer your question as it does vary. Thanks for reading about Sydney Australia beaches.

      Reply
  2. Santana

    I have been to Bondi and it’s pretty awesome their.
    But some of the other places you mentioned I haven’t. I didnt even know.
    Will have to visit my friends in Sydney and get them to take me around to them.
    Great post.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Glad you enjoyed reading about Sydney Australia beaches. And yes, Bondi beach is probably one of the most visited and great, but you do need to venture to some of the other great beaches 🙂 Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com

      Reply
  3. Arianna

    Wonderful beaches!
    Nielsen Park Beach and Shelly Beach are my favorite, I’ll chose them because they are not touristic and I don’t like crowded beaches 🙂

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I would have to agree. I live on Clearwater Beach, Florida. It is the #1 ranked beach in the US. And because of this, it is always SOOO crowded. I will drive a half an hour down to St. Pete Beach, where I can find parking and it is so much less crowded. Thanks for reading about the Sydney Australia beaches.

      Reply
      1. Arianna

        You’re very welcome Leahrae, it was a pleasure reading your post! Thank you for sharing about these wonderful beaches 🙂

        Reply
        1. Leahrae (Post author)

          So glad you enjoyed Arianna!

          Reply
  4. Wil

    This is awesome. I’ve been wanting to travel and Australia is literally number 1 on my list. I want to see the beaches as well as the exotic animals. I appreciate the detail. My second choices are Africa and Hawaii. I just need to save a bit more money so I can make the journey. 😀

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Well, it is worth it for sure. I have not been to Africa….only to the Canary Islands which are off the coast. But I’d love to go there to see the amazing wildlife.

      Reply
  5. Gina Hohmann

    I love the pictures and the descriptions of the beaches. It absolutely looks breathtaking and captured my attention. I think you did an amazing job promoting paradise in Australia. I also didn’t know that about the airline to get the best deals and what time or days to buy tickets. thanks for the tips.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Gina. Glad you enjoyed!

      Reply
  6. Jim

    Wow, I am amazed at how many beaches there are in that area. But I guess if you’re in a country that’s surrounded by ocean, that’s to be expected. I really do love the beauty of beaches. I’ve had the good fortune to visit Hawaii, and the Caribbean. Both of course having absolutely beautiful beaches. Hawaii was the best though. But then I’ve never been to Australia yet. I would like to go there and see all the wonderful sites there, most especially the beaches. Thanks for the “rundown” on all the cool places to go.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Jim. If you have been to the Caribbean and to Hawaii, than Australia is a must see. You will love it there!

      Reply
  7. Craig

    Hey Leahrae,

    I really love this site! I have always wanted to travel to Australia and found your guide really inspiring!

    I am always looking into travelling new places; this year I was travelling the east coast of the United States and we did a lot of it by road trip.

    Would you recommend road trips around Australia or is it better to fly city to city?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Flying is going to be your best bet. Too long of a drive in between. Personally I would not want to spend all my time driving 🙂 Thank you for reading and enjoying!

      Reply
  8. Marjan

    I always knew Sydney as destination in Australia. I didn’t knew that there is so many amazing beaches. Should visit them when I will have next trip to Australia.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      It is a must go place for anyone that likes beaches, sand and sunshine 🙂

      Reply
  9. WealthandHealth2016

    You’re right, now looking back at it there probably isn’t a for sure way to find out unless I have dates in mind, which I am not sure why I don’t have them in mind yet haha

    Hopefully I’ll find the hot deals not just on hotels but flights, since I am about 22 hours flying away from Australia, and that’s WITHOUT adding all the time waiting in the airport for connecting flights.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yea, it takes a full day really to get there. But hey, then you can lounge at the beach and sip on a tropical drink or a cold beer! What could be better? If you do decide you are ready to go and know some dates, let me know. I know how to find the deals 🙂

      Reply
  10. Angela

    What a wonderful site that you have here expaining about the Australia beaches things to do places to go and experiences to have. I have to say, amazing! have never been there and I doubt in my lifetime that I will probably never get there. at least I can enjoy it through your pictures and writings.

    Is the water really that color of blue?

    Angela

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, the water is really that color blue 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed reading Angela!

      Reply
  11. WealthandHealth2016

    You know, I am glad that I found this post, because I always wanted to go to Australia but I am a little overwhelmed to which area to be in for the best beaches, since it is a country that has endless beautiful beaches.

    This question might be a bit off topic, but any articles you suggest where I can be in a nice area with nice beaches but affordable hotel prices? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad my information is helpful. Boy, I really can’t answer that question because there is always a hotel deal to be found in Australia. You would have to look at the best deals for when you’d like to go. I did some checking for you and there appeared to be no rhyme or reason as to what area was more affordable for hotels.

      Reply
  12. Bob

    I absolutely love your site! It’s so full of fantastic information, that I’d have to be on here for hours to absorb all this information. And all the beautiful pictures make me wish I could go right now! You have done such a great job on all aspects of your site that I’m almost speechless. What a tremendous job you have done with extreme detail! If anyone should be proud of their accomplishments on a website, it’s definitely you…Bob

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Bob! Such kind words 🙂

      Reply
  13. Peter

    Hi I’m looking to visit family in Sydney in the near future and looking to put together an itinerary for the trip, youv’e made all of the beaches above sound amazing but for shallow safe swimming which would best suit young children?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Ok, the best family friendly beaches for children are going to be Nielsen Park, Balmoral Beach, Coogee Beach, and Wylie’s Bath. All are good to go to 🙂 Enjoy!

      Reply

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