This seaside haven is southern Sydney’s answer to Manly, a central hub that boasts a beautiful beach and relaxed lifestyle with the cosmopolitan vibe of fantastic bars and delicious waterside dining. Cronulla is wonderful destination for a relaxing escape and it’s equally suited to outdoor activities such as water sports and bushwalking.
Things to do
The laid-back beach lifestyle is alive and well here. The long esplanade connects Cronulla Beach with North Cronulla Beach, both are patrolled and popular with boardriders, bodyboarders, kitesurfers and bodysurfers. All along the esplanade you’ll find white sandy beaches, ocean rock pools which make for calmer swimming spots and pretty parklands.
Cronulla is a famous surf beach and you too can learn the thrill of riding a wave into shore at various local surf schools. You’ll find plenty more activities, from snorkelling to stand-up paddleboarding, sailing and fishing. Deep sea fishing charters depart from Cronulla Wharf, where the ferry leaves for pretty Bundeena and the Royal National Park.
Cronulla Ferries also offers various cruises of the splendid Port Hacking and Hacking River, including a three-hour discovery tour where you'll learn about colonial explorers, historical settlements and local Aboriginal cultural heritage. Champagne breakfast and sunset dinner cruises are popular too.
Majestic humpback whales migrate along the coast between May and November. A great vantage point to spot them is Cape Solander. To get there, board a bus for Kamay Botany Bay National Park from Cronulla. If you prefer to hang out at Cronulla Beach all day, you might be lucky and see dolphins playing in the waves.
Cronulla’s fantastic surf beach hosts various sporting events, including Iron Man and Iron Women events. Check out the events calendar to see what’s on. There are also a number of festivals on throughout the year. If art is your thing, ensure you have enough time to visit the Hazelhurst Gallery in nearby Gymea.
Eat & drink
There are plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from. Start with fantastic coffee and Greek delights at Ham, enjoy craft beer and a relaxed café menu at Blackwood Pantry and upscale Thai at Alphabet St. The Brass Monkey is a local institution and popular live music venue serving up Middle Eastern plates.
One of Cronulla’s biggest attractions is that it’s the only Sydney beach directly accessible via train, which means you don’t have to worry about battling traffic or finding a parking spot. It’s a 50minute ride from Central Station. You’ll find accommodation options, from B&Bs to hotels, which suit all kinds of budgets.