Beach lifestyle in Sydney


Some of Sydney's best beaches are within a 10 km radius from the city centre. Explore the popular beaches of Bondi and Manly, go further afield to Sydney’s Northern Beaches, or discover some hidden gems inside Sydney Harbour. At popular beachside destinations, you’ll find exceptional waterside dining, cafés and bars, great shopping and vibrant night-life.

  • Friends at Bondi Beach, Sydney
  • Surfing, Palm Beach

The best of Sydney at the beach

Wriggle your toes in the soft white sand. Relax in the sun after an invigorating swim. Watch board riders and bodysurfers catch a wave or yachts glide across sparkling waters. Enjoy a picnic on the sand. It’s all part of the beach lifestyle that makes Sydney such an enticing destination.

Discover the abundant sandy choices, from world-famous Bondi Beach to a tranquil oasis inside the majestic Sydney Harbour. At the beaches, there are plenty of things to see and do including boating, swimming, surfing and exhilarating walks along sandstone headlands for spectacular views.

Surfing, Palm Beach

At Bondi, one of Sydney’s most popular beaches, you’ll find locals and tourists alike walking, jogging and swimming. Many visit the beaches just to soak up the lively vibe and enjoy the beachside dining options and vibrant night-life, or watch a glorious sunrise over the splendid Pacific Ocean.

Manly is another favourite destination. The Manly ferry from Circular Quay makes for a magnificent ride across one of the world’s greatest natural harbours. Enjoy a fun trip to Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary, where you can even dive with sharks. Hire a bike in Manly and tour the coastline, from Shelly Beach at the southern end of Manly Beach to Freshwater Beach found around the northern headland. 

For some more tranquil beach options, head to Clovelly and Coogee. Coogee connects to Bondi with a beautiful six-kilometre coastal walk. Grab a coffee or hot chocolate at a café on either as you take in the stunning views.

In Mosman, on the northern side of Sydney Harbour, you’ll find picturesque Balmoral Beach. At Dee Why, stay connected with free Wi-Fi and surf from a beachside café. Farther north is Palm Beach, the setting for many scenes from iconic Australian TV show Home and Away.

The beaches also offer plenty of water sport activities. Learn to surf at one of the accredited surf schools at popular beaches. Snorkelling in the harbour or around rock platforms in the ocean is popular, too. At popular beaches you can hire kayaks, surfboards, beach chairs and umbrellas.

Dive and snorkel the bays and beaches of Sydney

Cabbage Tree Bay, Sydney

The rock-lined bays and beaches of Sydney’s coastline offer superb conditions for divers and snorkellers. Need lessons? Local dive schools and snorkel safari guides can put you where the action is.

Just offshore at Botany Bay’s La Perouse, Bare Island has some of the city’s finest diving. Sea dragons, seahorses, cuttlefish, blue grouper, crayfish, abalone, octopus and huge bull rays are among the species found here, at depths of between 12 and 20 metres.

South of Clovelly Beach in the eastern suburbs, Gordons Bay offers exceptional conditions for novice divers, with a depth of 12 metres and just a short walk from the beach car park to the drop-in along a level, paved footpath.

A short walk from Manly Beach, Shelly Beach is a protected marine environment, ideal for snorkellers, with easy access and clear waters. Prime location is the reef off the northern side of the beach.

Manly’s Cabbage Tree Bay is another snorkelling hotspot, an aquatic reserve between the southern end of Manly Beach and the northern tip of Shelly Beach Headland. Visibility is typically excellent and the marine life includes flounder, flathead, goatfish, old wives, fiddler rays and wobbegongs.

  • Surfing at Bondi


    Surfboards and summer in Sydney go hand in hand. Take on the challenges of Sydneys world-famous breaks or sign up for surf lessons at Bondi Beach. 

  • Sailing, Broken Bay

    Boating and sailing

    One of the best ways to see Sydney Harbour is from the deck of a yacht. The city's many coastal routes offer plenty of options for a daytrip or overnight cruise.

  • Curl Curl Ocean pool, Sydney

    Pools with a view

    Sydney's coastline features a series of ocean pools carved out of cliffs and rocky headlands, offering delightful swimming experiences. 

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

Surf Life Saving

Always swim between the red and yellow flag; 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.

Pay attention to the advice of the lifesavers and safety signs. Visit SharkSmart to understand any potential risks in the area you are swimming. 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. You can also find patrolled beach by visiting