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Things to do by the beach

Highlights

Summer beach action

Sydney comes alive in summer, with its vibrant beach culture. There are countless ways to have fun at the beach, from taking to the water, sunning on the sand or finding a nice beachside cafe or bar.

Must Do

Things to do in Sydney's summer

Snorkelling at Shelley Beach, Manly. Image James Pipino

Sydney is the perfect destination during summer holidays, effortlessly mixing the buzz of a large city with a cosmopolitan beach culture. With so many things to see and do by the sea, you can make the most of this beach lifestyle with friends and family. 

Build sandcastles, take a dip, snorkel, dive, play some beach volleyball, run along the sand, take a scenic coastal walk, sunbathe … the beachside activities are only limited by your imagination.

Always wanted to hang ten? Summer is the perfect time to learn to surf at one of Sydney's many famous surf beaches. Get started or hone your skills at surf schools in Bondi, Manly or Maroubra. Many of the city's beaches have surfboards for hire, too.

Want to try something a bit different? Stand-up paddleboarding is a great way to see the beach and keep fit! Several spots around the city offer instruction and board hire, including Manly, Bundeena and Mosman.

Looking for something to do when you rinse off the salt and sand? Visit one of the many waterside cafes and restaurants around the city. In Manly, you'll find food and drink aplenty by the water. Afterwards, visit Manly Waterworks to enjoy the waterslides or to the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary to check out the marine life.

If you prefer to scope out marine life with a snorkel or a tank, Manly is also a great place for underwater adventures. Gordon's Bay near Clovelly is another top spot for beneath-the-surface encounters. Book in for a Snorkel Safari if you want an expert guide to help you.

While you're enjoying yourself at the beach, remember to play it safe. Regularly reapply your sunscreen and always swim between the yellow and red flags where the surf lifesavers patrol.

Keep in mind that many attractions have school holiday deals, giving you and your family the chance to explore more of the city for special package offers.

Get fit outdoors

Kayaking at Cabbage Tree Bay in Manly, Image Andrew Gregory

It's the perfect time of year in Sydney to get outside for your exercise. Kayaking is great for your core, cardio fitness and strength training. If you like your sun salutations, find a beachside yoga class. Try Mysan Yoga at Manly, the Mosman Yoga Co-op at Balmoral Beach, or Yoga by the Sea, which offers seaside classes at Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama. Pedestrians can set out on one of the city's longer coastal walks, or go for a run around the harbour. If you're really keen, get in the harbour for the Great Sydney Swim in January.

Snorkeling at Gordon's Bay, Image 3 Stroke Photography
More outdoor summer fun

There is plenty of outdoor summer fun in Sydney in Summer. Visit the Sydney Markets for a bit of open-air shopping. On a warm summer evening, pack a picnic and watch a film at one of Sydney's outdoor cinemas. Venues include the Royal Botanic Gardens, Bondi Beach, Centennial Parklands, and Sydney Olympic Park

Exploring the marine life at Chowder Bay in Mosman. Image James Pipino
Things to do at Chowder Bay

Secluded Chowder Bay, along with Middle Head and Georges Heights, form the beautiful Headland Park near Mosman and Balmoral. There are plenty of things to do in the bay's calm waters, including swimming, paddling, snorkelling and diving. After your time in the water, enjoy a harbourside meal at Ripples at Chowder Bay or high tea at Gunners Barracks.

Cycling around Manly, Image James Pipino
Cycling in Sydney

Cycling is popular in Sydney, with some great cycleways around the city and harbour. All you need is a bike, a helmet and you're set to go. Bike hire is available at a number of locations around the city. Favourite cycleways include a winding 35 km through Homebush Park near Sydney Olympic Park, the 8-km ‘bay run' around the harbour via Rozelle and Drummoyne, and a ride around beautiful Centennial Parklands.

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