Things to Do by the Beach

summer wonderland, Sydney effortlessly mixes the buzz of Australia’s largest city with a cosmopolitan beach lifestyle. You’ll be amazed by the many things to do by the beach, from scenic walks to delicious places to eat, markets, theatre and festivals. Or simply relax on the soft sand and admire the beautiful scenery.

Sydney beach events, festivals and markets

Check out the vibrant summer events calendar for beachside markets, ocean swims, surf carnivals and fun festivals. For fresh produce and gourmet treats, the Bondi Farmers Market is every Saturday and the Palm Beach Market is held monthly on a Sunday in idyllic Palm Beach.

Morning sun rising over Palm Beach in Sydney's northern suburbs

The Narrabeen Lakes Festival in December is a weekend of live music, carnival rides, food and more in Narrabeen. Join in the Christmas joy at Carols by the Sea in Bondi, and enjoy classic plays at several waterside locations including Avalon, Balmoral, Bondi and Cronulla with the Bard on the Beach.

Food at Sydney beaches

A beachside BBQ is a tasty way to enjoy a sunny day at a gorgeous beach with family and friends. You’ll find gas and electric BBQ facilities – free and coin-operated - in pretty parks and reserves adjacent to many beaches in Sydney. Popular beaches with BBQ facilities include:

Couple enjoying a picnic with harbour views on Shark Island, Sydney Harbour


Or bring a hamper for a beach picnic. There are many enchanting beaches without BBQs that have lovely parks and reserves with picnic tables. Dotted around Sydney Harbour are charming beachside picnic spots too, such as Balmoral Beach in Mosman and Nielsen Park in Vaucluse.


Sydney swimming safety

NSW has a wide range of wonderful swimming options including beaches, ocean pools, harbourside pools, lakes, rivers, and swimming holes at the bottom of waterfalls. However, to ensure maximum safety and enjoyment, swimmers should follow this general advice:

Look for patrolled beaches. This is where lifesavers are on duty; you will see red and yellow flags that indicate this. You should always swim between the red and yellow flags as they mark the safest place to swim.

Never swim alone at night, or under the influence of alcohol, or directly after a meal.

Always check water depth, as rocks or trees could be submerged, and never run and dive into the water from a beach, riverbank or another surface.

Check for signs regarding advice on water conditions at your chosen swimming spot and at any natural swimming hole. Always proceed with caution as surfaces could be slippery and water conditions may not be immediately apparent; particularly if the area has recently experienced heavy rain or flooding.

Pay attention to the advice of the lifesavers and safety signs. Visit SharkSmart to understand any potential risks in the area you are swimming. 

Events by the Beach