Sydney may be renowned for its surf beaches, but its harbour beaches are even more beautiful, and Balmoral Beach is the jewel in the crown. Boasting stunning calm waters that can be enjoyed all day long, linger longer for waterside restaurants with unbeatable views.
Things to do
The waters at Balmoral Beach may be as calm as those of an indoor pool, but they have all the benefits of being part of the ocean so you can still go snorkelling, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and sailing. Learn to sail with Balmoral Water Sports Center or simply hire kayaks and stand-up paddleboards to explore the sheltered bay. Windsurfing lessons are also available.
Explore one of the area's many foreshore trails, there are lots of options in Sydney Harbour National Park and the Balmoral Beach to Middle Head track introduces you to colonial fortifications and stunning views of The Heads – the harbour's entrance. You can also walk along the foreshore to Taronga Zoo.
Nearby is Sirius Cove, named after the First Fleet flagship and one of Sydney’s well-kept secrets with a charming beach and reserve. The cove is culturally significant – artists Arthur Streeton and Tom Roberts camped on the eastern side at various times in the late 1800s and painted some great works here.
Eat & drink
The heritage-listed Bathers' Pavilion is adjacent to the beach. Built in the late 1920s, it has recently undergone a multi-million-dollar renovation with multiple dining options. Choose from an acclaimed fine-dining restaurant complete with a chef's table for 12, a more casual bistro plus a deluxe rooftop champagne bar.
The Boathouse Balmoral Beach is right on the water and is a more casual option, but be prepared to queue. There's also a reason that people are happy to line up for takeaway fish 'n' chips at Bottom of the Harbour Seafoods. You can also BYO a picnic hamper and relax in the pretty parklands next to the beach.
Getting to Balmoral Beach is easy by public transport. Hop on a ferry at Circular Quay and glide across the sparkling harbour to Taronga Zoo in Mosman for a connecting bus. The total trip takes about 30 minutes.