Secret beaches in Sydney
Hidden within beautiful Sydney Harbour, tucked away in national parks and along Sydney’s glorious coastline, you‘ll find an abundance of beautiful secret beaches. With amazing views and soft sands perfect for relaxing and picnicking, seek out these Sydney beaches that are secluded, private and worth the adventure!
Secret beaches in Sydney’s East
You can reach many of Sydney’s secret beaches on walking trails. The Hermitage Foreshore track begins in Nielsen Park, Vaucluse and winds past the heritage-listed Strickland House to Milk Beach, a small sandy oasis. The trail offers spectacular views of Shark Island and the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Redleaf Beach, Double Bay
Situated closer to the Sydney CBD, Redleaf Beach provides a great family-friendly harbour setting. With panoramic views of the city and Darling Point, Redleaf is an idyllic setting providing calm ocean swimming at Murray Rose Pool. The pool is netted with access to toilets and a cafe. Take a stroll around the wrap-around pontoon, which will give you harbour views of the boats and lead you to enjoy a meal at Redleaf cafe. Other beaches closer to the city include Double Bay or Lady Martins Beach, Point Piper. These harbour beaches are family-friendly perfect for a picnic or a dip into the calm waters of the harbour.
Lady Martins Beach, Point Piper
The charming Lady Martins Beach is nestled among Australia’s most expensive harbour-side homes in Point Piper, between Double Bay and Rose Bay in Sydney’s east. A lane off Wolseley Road leads to the pretty beach, named after the wife of Sir James Martin, a colonial NSW premier and chief justice. This family-friendly destination has a long strip of sand, boasting a small jetty where you can relax and take a dip. The beach is dog-friendly, and owners can bring their furry friends but it is restricted to on-leash. There are strategically placed poles and fences along the shoreline, allowing visitors to tie their dog while they enjoy a swim.
Secret beaches in Sydney’s North
Sirius Cove in Mosman are sheltered beaches and great for families. These beaches are the perfect place for a family gathering or picnic, while you enjoy a relaxing swim. There are a number of secluded beaches around Manly and North Head. Collins Flat Beach has great harbour views and even has its own waterfall. Nearby is Store Beach, which is only accessible by boat.or
Store Beach, Manly
On the harbour side of Manly‘s protected North Head, Store Beach is so secluded it’s only accessible by water. Store Beach was originally the site where ships would unload provisions for Sydney’s old Quarantine Station, which was used to isolate arriving passengers suspected of carrying infectious diseases. Now part of Sydney Harbour National Park, the quarantine buildings have been transformed into the Q Station boutique accommodation. You can reach Store Beach via a challenging rock hop at low tide from nearby Collins Flat Beach, but most people make their way here by boat. Hire a kayak or paddleboard from Manly Kayak Centre and paddle your way there in about 20 mins. Keep an eye out for little penguins, which use the reserve as a breeding ground.
Turimetta Beach, Narrabeen Head
Turimetta Beach is a 30-min drive from Manly on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, it’s so secret, it actually disappears at high tide. Low tide exposes a small stretch of sand, interesting rock formations and carvings. It’s bordered by Turimetta Head to the north and Narrabeen Head to the south, with access from the Bicentennial Coastal Walk or via the rock platform from Narrabeen Beach. Backed by steep cliffs, the beach is popular with surfers. It’s not patrolled, and the surf is strong, but the south end’s large, flat rocks and rock pools are great for kids to explore.
Resolute Beach, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Deep in the heart of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, a 45-min drive north of the city centre, the secluded, beautiful Resolute Beach is your reward for a steep walk along the Resolute Track. Resolute’s calm, clear water, densely forested fringes and views out to Pittwater and Barrenjoey Headland make it an idyllic spot you may have all to yourself. The Resolute Track, which starts at the Resolute Picnic Area, passes through bushland and the famous Red Hands Cave with its Aboriginal handprints. You can also take a detour down some steep stairs to West Head Beach, which is just as secluded as Resolute, but rockier.
Secret beaches in Sydney’s South
In southern Sydney, there is a hidden gem at Congwong Beach, a quiet little paradise on the La Perouse-side of Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Nearby is Little Bay Beach, a great spot for snorkelling and swimming. Or take a ferry from Cronulla to enchanting Bundeena and walk to Jibbon Beach in the Royal National Park.
Little Congwong Beach, La Perouse
The short, paved walk from the better-known Congwong Beach takes you to a secluded stretch of sand in the La Perouse section of Kamay Botany Bay National Park, a 30-min drive south of the city centre. The calm water at this little beach makes it great for a snorkel or paddling with kids. Surrounded by lush vegetation, the cove feels miles away from the city, although there’s also easy access from a nearby road if you don’t want to walk from Congwong Beach, and there is plenty of parking nearby. Bring a beach umbrella, though, as there is limited shade. Little Congwong was previously an unofficial clothing-optional beach, although this is now discouraged.
Oatley Park, Oatley
Combine a swim with a bush walk at Oatley Park, a 30-min drive from the city centre in the leafy southern suburb of Oatley, near Hurstville. Here the 45-hectare bushland reserve hums with cockatoos and other birds drawn to the native flowers and trees, while the paved and unpaved walks through the bush offer lovely views of the Georges River. Head to Oatley Park Castle, a quirky sandstone lookout (complete with a solid sandstone parapet) built during the Great Depression, and you’ll see a sandy beach through the trees. This is Oatley Baths, a 200m-long netted swimming enclosure with change rooms and picnic tables. Swim a few long laps of the enclosure, or simply laze on the pontoon and watch the cockatoos fly overhead.
Gunnamatta Park and Darook Park, Cronulla
Four famous surf beaches make up the long stretch of sand at Cronulla, a 50-min drive south of central Sydney. But just a 10-minute walk from the cafe and shopping strip at the heart of this laid-back suburb you’ll find two calm estuary beaches on Gunnamatta Bay, on the Port Hacking River side of the Cronulla peninsula. Both beaches boast plenty of shade, particularly in the morning, and the only waves are generated by passing boats, making them perfect for families with young children. At Gunnamatta Park you can swim in the bay or the netted tidal pool, enclosed by a picturesque wooden jetty. There’s a playground in the park, as well as toilets and change rooms. A couple of minutes’ drive further south, you’ll find an even more secluded beach at Darook Park. Here trees line the narrow strip of sand, casting shade right over the water in the morning, so you can minimise your sun exposure while still having a leisurely dip.
Burning Palms Beach, Royal National Park
There are some great little beaches in the Royal National Park, an hour’s drive south of Sydney. Garie and Wattamolla beaches are the most accessible, but there are plenty of others to seek out, including Burning Palms Beach. Park at Garie Beach and walk south along the Coast Track, past North and South Era beaches, or brave the steep 20-min walk from Garawarra Farm car park. The northern end of the beach’s headland is dotted with historic beach shacks, built by miners from nearby Helensburgh in the 1930s. Note that the surf can be strong, and the beach is not always patrolled. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can walk around the rocks at the end of the beach to reach the Figure 8 Pool.