A day trip to Cronulla: What to see, eat & do

With four kilometres of coastline – including four beaches and five ocean pools – Cronulla makes for a relaxing coastal day trip of beachside bites, coastal walks and water activities. You’ll feel world’s away from the city at this surfer’s paradise.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Jun 2024 -
min read

Morning: Surf & sand

Once you arrive by train to Cronulla, it’s a short stroll to Cronulla Beach, known as South Cronulla to locals. Coming out of the station, walk towards Beach Park Avenue, which will lead you right to the beach in about five minutes. From there, go ahead and choose your own beach adventure – catch some waves (or book into a lesson with Cronulla Surfing Academy if you are still learning), take a leisurely stroll along the Esplanade or simply relax on the golden sand. Perhaps grab a coffee from Barefoot on the Beach cafe – situated right on the beach. 

Cronulla is home to five ocean pools tucked along the coastline and the tidal pool at Cronulla Beach is close to the Esplanade. It’s an immense tidal pool (think Olympic-sized) with a sandy bottom and lovely flat rock formations and natural pools surrounding it. Swim where the locals swim and soak up the fresh air and sunshine. 

Bird's eye view over Cronulla Rockpool, Cronulla

Cronulla Rockpool, Cronulla

Afternoon: Brunch & hikes

Dining in Cronulla is all about ocean views, light and colourful brunches, and innovative cocktails. Next Door is the perfect combination of everything that Cronulla cuisine is all about, and it’s right on South Cronulla beach. The all-day brunch menu traverses the globe, with something for everyone. Try the jalapeno corn fritters with eggplant caponata, herb labneh and yuzu sesame; nasi goreng; or green chilli baked eggs with pita bread.

Next Door Cafe, Cronulla

Next Door Cafe, Cronulla

Work off lunch with a walk to Bass and Flinders Point to learn all about the history of these intrepid explorers and their rowing boat, Tom Thumb II. Follow the Esplanade past Cronulla Park, Cronulla Lifesaving Club and Zimzala restaurant. Look out to sea and spot Shark Island and walk past the beautiful green space of Shelly Beach. Once you reach Oak Park ocean pool, it is a little further to your end point, which has a detailed monument about the famous explorers from Captain Cook’s ship, who mapped out Port Hacking way back in 1796. 

Couple walking through the sunlit Cronulla Park, Cronulla

Cronulla Park, Cronulla

Evening: Cruises & cocktails

Before the sun sets, take a cruise along Port Hacking River with Cronulla Ferries. Sit back and relax while you learn about colonial explorers and local Aboriginal cultural heritage, and marvel at the beauty of this peaceful place, before heading back to the coastline for pre-dinner drinks before a big night out. 

The Cronulla to Bundeena ferry returning to the Tonkin Street Public Wharf - Cronulla

The Cronulla to Bundeena ferry returning to the Tonkin Street Public Wharf, Cronulla

First stop: Cony's for aperitivo – this petite drinking hole is a coffee shop by day and transforms into a small cocktail bar by night. Nibble on South American-style tapas and order one of their uniquely flavoured cocktails – try the Spicy Mamacita or the Lychee Blossom. 

For dinner, The Pines is the dining space du jour with a fashionable Hamptons-style interior and even more fashionable crowd, with windows facing the ocean. Executive chef James Metcalfe has worked in Sydney and London for more than 25 years in double hatted and Michelin-star restaurants. Settle in on the Beach Bar Terrace with freshly shucked oysters with Champagne granita, local NSW lamb or Noosa spanner crab, or the decadent macaroni cheese with lobster.   

Your night is just about to vibe up with a gig at The Brass Monkey – one of those rare long-running live music venues that still draws the crowds every weekend with its vibrant line-up of local and international rock and jazz, comedy acts and electric atmosphere. Housed in an old-fashioned basement lounge, the food (think generous Mediterranean tasting plates) and efficient service is also a bonus. 

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