Famous Bondi Beach is a National Surfing Reserve and a great place to learn how to surf, along with Maroubra Beach and Cronulla’s beaches, further south. You can take a ferry from Cronulla to Bundeena, a gateway to the Royal National Park. Or drive into the national park to explore beautiful wild beaches such as Wattamolla Beach and Garie Beach.
In the city’s north are the fantastic Northern Beaches, including Narrabeen, Dee Why and Avalon Beach. Manly and Freshwater make up another National Surfing Reserve, with the latter being the birthplace of surfing in Australia. For fun and TV memorabilia, join Flamin’ Galah or Northern Beaches Tours on a tour to Palm Beach, featured in the hit TV drama Home and Away.
Sydney Harbour is full of pretty, sheltered beaches, many with tidal swimming enclosures. Camp Cove and Shark Beach (better known as Nielsen Park) in Vaucluse are good for swimming, and nearby Milk Beach has great views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You can take your dog for a paddle or hire a kayak at nearby Rose Bay Beach.
On the northern side of the harbour, Balmoral is a beautiful beach near Mosman, with a great selection of cafes, bars and restaurants lining the water. Families will love Chinamans Beach, Little Manly Beach, which is partially netted, and Greenwich Baths, a fully enclosed beach which is perfect for kids. Between May and February, keep an eye out for Little Penguins, which nest around the North Harbour beaches.
Getting to the beach
Getting to most of Sydney’s most popular beaches is easy by public transport. Bondi Beach is 40min from Town Hall in the city centre by train and bus. Buses frequently run from the city to Coogee and also take around 40min. You can take a ferry from Circular Quay across one of the world’s finest natural harbours to Manly. And the train from Central Station to Cronulla takes one hour.
Before heading to the beach, check Beachsafe for the latest updates.
Enjoy Sydney's beaches by following these safety tips
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 beaches by visiting beachsafe.org.au.
Destination NSW acknowledges and respects Aboriginal people as the state’s first people and nations and recognises Aboriginal people as the traditional owners and occupants of New South Wales land and water.