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Sydney beaches

Highlights

Sydney's best beaches

With hundreds of beaches to choose from, you don't need to go far to find the perfect wave or claim your own place on the sand in Sydney. For the ultimate in surf and sand head to Bondi, Coogee, Tamarama, Manly, Queenscliff, Clovelly, Narrabeen and Palm Beach.

Must Do

Beaches from Palm Beach to Cronulla

Ocean pool, Palm Beach

Sydney is a city like no other – its unique urban buzz mixes seamlessly with laid-back coastal living. Visitors can choose from dozens of surf beaches and harbour coves to find your ideal spot. You’ll find locals and visitors hitting grabbing their boards throughout the year and the waves suit novice and pro surfers alike. The cafes, bars and restaurants surrounding the beaches provide great vantages point for people watching and wave watching.

The most iconic of these is Bondi Beach. A mix of golden sand, great surf and a multitude of seaside dining spots make it a city favourite. Nearby are Tamarama, Bronte and Clovelly. The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk has spectacular views and is a great way to explore the area.

To the south, you’ll find Cronulla , one of Sydney’s most expansive beaches and an ideal choice for long lazy walks along the shore. Cronulla is the only city beach directly accessible by train, making it perfect for a daytrip on a Sydney stopover.

North of the city centre is Manly. Regular ferry services head to Manly from Circular Quay, allowing for some wonderful views of Sydney Harbour during the scenic 30-minute ride. Once at Manly, visit Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary for one of the best indoor marine experiences around. 

Other highlights along the north coast include Dee Why, Mona Vale and Palm Beach.

Best places to surf in Sydney

If learning to surf is one of your dreams, most surf beaches in Sydney offer lessons year-round. Bondi and Manly are good choices for novices, while Narrabeen and Dee Why are known for their great surf breaks. To the south of Bondi Beach, the narrow inlet of Tamarama offers more of a challenge for board riders and is better suited to the more advanced. Cronulla and Coogee are also popular surf spots.

Learn to surf, Bondi Beach
Learn to surf with 'Let's Go Surfing' at Bondi. Image Mikala Wilbow for Let's Go Surfing

Family-friendly beaches

Sandcastles, surf, and fish and chips by the sea make Sydney’s beaches an ideal option for a day out with the family or a longer family holiday. Some of Sydney’s most kid-friendly beaches include Coogee with its gentle waters, Manly with its many beachside eateries and Balmoral, which has plenty of shade, parklands and calm waters.

Barranjoey Headland at Palm Beach. Image Hamilton Lund

Palm Beach escape

Palm Beach sits on a beautiful peninsula an hour north of Sydney – with the ocean on one side and tranquil Pittwater on the other. Palm Beach is the perfect place for dining out, with options ranging from luxurious Barrenjoey House to the shabby-chic Boathouse. Fans of the iconic Australian TV show Home and Away will know Palm Beach for its starring role as Summer Bay.

Sydney's coastline features a series of outdoor pools carved out of cliffs and rocky headlands offering a unique swimming experience surrounded by ocean and sky. They're the perfect alternative to the surf, great for lap swimmers and toddlers. Some, such as Andrew Boy Charlton, are in Sydney's city centre, while others, like Wylie Baths, are beside popular beaches.

Enjoy Sydney’s beaches like a local by following these simple beach safety tips.

Stay safe at the beach

Always swim between the red and yellow flags - surf lifesavers have identified this area as the safest spot to swim in the water. It’s also a good idea to always swim with a friend.

Make sure you ready any safety signs at the beach and you are always welcome to ask lifeguards for more safety advice. If you find yourself needing help in the water, stay calm and attract attention.

Check conditions before you go and find a patrolled beach by visiting www.beachsafe.org.au.

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