Travel Hack: what can I do in Palm Beach?
Whether you want to laze on the sand, hike a headland or have a day of food indulgence, Palm Beach delivers again and again.
Palm Beach is as far north as you can go along Sydney’s coastline before falling into the water at Broken Bay near the Hawkesbury River’s mouth. It has an unbeatable location at the end of a 13km peninsula, with sheltered Pittwater inlet on one side and the Pacific Ocean, flanked by a 2.3km curve of beach, on the other.
The classic spot to admire this superb coastline is Barrenjoey Head, presided over by heritage-listed Barrenjoey Lighthouse. The walk is only a kilometre long, or you can tackle the even shorter, more lung-testing Smugglers Track. The reward is a spectacular view and, during migration season, the likelihood of spotting whales.
If the lighthouse and panorama give you déjà vu, that’s no surprise. Palm Beach has been the film location for television show Home and Away since 1988, and stands in for fictional Summer Bay.If you’re a fan, join to learn more about the production process and see iconic filming spots such as Summer Bay Surf Club and Alf’s Bait Shop. Some tours even give you the chance to meet a Home and Away actor.
With water on nearly every side, Palm Beach is a great getaway for beach-going, swimming, fishing and surfing. The beach’s northern end is a prime surfing spot, while the southern end suits swimmers. You can enjoy the scenery without getting wet at the nine-hole , which looks deceptively easy but offers golfers a decent challenge.
The golf club’s restaurant is a dining option, as is nearby whitewashed, laidback Dunes Palm Beach for Mediterranean-inspired foods. For classic breakfasts and fish and chips, try , or if you’re keen on a more upmarket lunch or dinner, visit the heritage-listed .
Equally elegant, Jonah’s Whale Beach is a Sydney institution for its sophisticated Italian-inspired cuisine, refined wine list and sweeping views. The accommodation is top-notch as well.
While in the area, be sure to explore glittering Pittwater. Pittwater Kayak Tours showcases the bush beauty of this setting, its secluded beaches and crystal-clear waters; early risers will appreciate the tranquillity of a sunrise tour. Skippered yacht experience Taylor Made Escapes takes you out either for a few hours or overnight.
And just across Pittwater is Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Hop on the public ferry to The Basin to see Aboriginal art, have a bushwalk or camp overnight – this part of the national park is inaccessible by road and wonderfully peaceful. You might spot swamp wallabies, and certainly colourful bird life.