Dee Why & Curl Curl
It's easy to skip Dee Why beach and, just to the south of it, Curl Curl beach but that's precisely the reason why they deserve your attention. These popular spots don't come with the crowds of Manly or Palm Beach but are still wonderful locations for surfing, swimming and relaxing on the soft white sand.
Things to do
Dee Why is a popular surf beach, with swells at Dee Why Point holding up to 4m. The waves are lower inside the point, making it a great spot for learners. BYO board or sign up for lessons with Line Up Surf Schools, which caters to all ages and abilities. The beach also hosts a number of local sporting events such as the Sun Run and Cole Classic.
Dee Why is also popular with families thanks to a fenced children's playground as well as outdoor tennis table, something you don't often find at the beach, at Ted Jackson Reserve. There are also picnic tables, barbecues and accessible toilets.
The southern end of the beach boasts a rock pool and at the northern end of the beach is Dee Why Lagoon, a wildlife sanctuary for birds since 1973. Long Reef Beach curves northeast from the lagoon to a golf course and Long Reef Point, taking in the oldest aquatic reserve in NSW. You can spot whales from the lookout between May and November.
South of Dee Why is Curl Curl Beach. Divided into North Curl Curl and South Curl Curl, there is a surf lifesaving club at both ends. As the beach faces east-southeast, it averages 1.6m waves, making it a popular surfing destination. An ocean pool and cafe are located at the southern end of the beach.
You can rent bicycles from Manly Bike Tours and Hire if you want to explore this stretch of coastline, casually cruising from one beach from the next. It's also a great way to take in fabulous ocean vistas on a section of the 10km Bicentennial Coastal Walk between Manly Beach and Narrabeen Beach.
Eat & drink
The majority of restaurants and cafes in Dee Why are located alongside the beach. It's an enticing selection and includes Sandbar, SeaChange Cafe, On Shore Cafe Brasserie and Wockbar. The South Curl Curl Lifesaving Club has a great café on the water and plant-based eaters make a beeline for Emelia's Vegetarian Restaurant.
It's easy to get to Sydney’s Northern Beaches by public transport. Take a scenic ferry ride from Circular Quay to Manly for a connecting bus or hire a bicycle in Manly and pedal north along the spectacular coastline. Boutique places to stay are available for a variety of budgets and suit everything from a short getaway to longer sojourn.