Northern Beaches

This beautiful coastline curves from Manly to Palm Beach, a popular destination for fans of TV soap Home and Away. Enjoy the casual ambience and natural beauty of the Northern Beaches, one of Australia’s most famous surfing meccas. You’ll find deliciously enticing places to eat and drink, too.

The National Surfing Reserves are Manly, Freshwater and North Narrabeen beaches. Long stretches of golden sand are perfect for soaking up sunshine and fresh ocean air. If you and your kids or friends want to learn how to surf, then Manly Surf School and Manly Surf Guide are two options.

Surfer riding a wave at Manly Beach, Sydney

For a sheltered beach, try Shelly Beach in Cabbage Tree Bay, Manly. The bay is a protected marine reserve teeming with colourful fish such as blue groper and cuttlefish. Snorkelling and diving are popular here in the crystal-clear waters. By the pretty beach is the charming Boathouse, a cafe.

Another delightful place is the Newport, a beautifully renovated heritage pub on the Pittwater foreshore. For spectacular aerial views and a romantic day trip, fly from Rose Bay on a seaplane and land on the sparkling Pittwater and then enjoy lunch at Jonah’s at Whale Beach, near Palm Beach.

Scenic ocean views from Jonah's Restaurant and Boutique Hotel at Whale Beach, Sydney

On the western Pittwater foreshore is Australia’s second-oldest national park, Ku-ring-gai Chase, where the Red Hands Cave walking track meanders to ancient Aboriginal ochre hand paintings. A lovely way to get to the park is on a Palm Beach ferry across the Pittwater, alighting at the Basin.

Walking and cycling trails weave and wind all along the Northern Beaches. Around the tranquil Narrabeen Lagoon is a wonderful bushwalking and cycling circuit. There are great scenic lookouts dotted along the coast from North Head to Barrenjoey Head, Sydney’s northernmost seaside point.

Other things to do include whale watching and fun tours, such as EcoTreasures’ wildlife discovery and Flamin’ Galah’s Home and Away adventure. On the vibrant events calendar is the Narrabeen Lakes Festival, markets and ocean swims. The Northern Beaches is full of wonderful experiences.


Sydney Beach safety


Always swim between the red and yellow flags; 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