My Favorite Beaches in Sydney
During the past three months I have come to find out that Sydney is home to some of the best beaches Australia has to offer from the world famous Bondi beach to the hidden gem that is Watson’s Bay all offering there own special features for all beach lovers. Upon arriving in Sydney (if you don’t have your own car) your first purchase should be an Opal card, this is your ticket to some of the stunning beaches available easily accessible on Sydney’s public transport system. Once you’ve packed your umbrella and swimming trunks your ready to go – so lets look at some of my favorite beaches Sydney.
Hopping on the ferry at Circular Quay the ferry trip alone is quite special, running alongside Sydney Opera house and getting amazing views of the Harbour Bridge and Sydney’s skyline – 30 minutes later you arrive in Manly a buzzing seaside town with restaurants, bars and some great shopping to keep you busy with plenty of options to tame your hunger such as the ever popular Manly Vine a cool beachfront bar and restaurant offering imaginative cocktails and seafood in a quirky space or grab a fish and chips from one of the local cheerful takeaway joints on offer along the beach front. This beach also has an array of water activities available for everyone -Try a stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking tour Manly Kayak Centre will guide you around exclusive beaches and stunning scenery and even offers a picnic. Everything is provided and it’s perfect for beginners. Learn to surf in Queenscliff (which is at the northern end of the beach) with Manly Surf School or perhaps an amble along to the south end where you can swim and snorkel in the calm waters of the beautiful Shelly beach; it’s a great place for kids to swim. With the beach being 1.5km means there’s enough room for everyone even on the busiest of days so if your not feeling active set up stall and enjoy a swim and a nap on this beautiful beach.
Next up is the smaller but ever popular Bronte Beach – around 7km from Sydney’s CBD you can again access this beach by bus with your opal card or make your own way down to this family friendly fun filled beach! Nestled in between Bondi and Coogee beaches Bronte offers a more family friendly vibe with beautiful sandy havens and seaside parks which are perfect for picnics or take advantage of the public BBQs and enjoy a feast on the beach or if your feeling lazy the seafront is brimming with quaint cafe’s and fish and chip shops where you can tame your hunger. Then go for a relaxed swim in the rock pool known as the ‘Bogey Hole’ perfect for children with its crystal clear waters great to chill out in and watch the waves crash against the shore. Or if you fancy a spot of snorkeling then you’ve come to the right place home to a colourful collection of marine life such as blue groper, which locals nickname Bluey. Just south in in the aquatic reserve is Gordons Bay, a great diving spot with rocky reefs, sandflats and kelp forests.
Bondi beach doesn’t really need much explaining – one of the most famous beaches on the planet people tend to stay around for a couple of nights to really experience the ‘Bondi Bubble’ with a whole host of bars, cafes and restaurants to keep you entertained until the early hours of the morning! Now onto the beach – although it may be one of the busier beaches on the weekend there is enough room for everyone due to the sheer size of Bondi beach you can perch up on the beach itself or take advantage of the grassy perch in surrounding areas with great views of the whole beach the perfect place to watch the surfers glide across the waves or try it yourself at one of the local surf clubs!
My personal favourite Coogee is a relaxed broad beach perfect for swimming and surfers alike and is also very family with lovely ocean pools and seaside parks with barbecues and playgrounds. Families with young children are drawn by the flat surf conditions and pools such as McIvers Baths, Australia’s last remaining seawater pool for women and children only getting to this beautiful beach is easy with buses all over Sydney dropping you as close to the beach as possible or if your feeling active you can arrive at the beach on the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, a 6km trail with spectacular views along the way. Coogee also has a number of bars, cafe’s and fast food to take advantage it really is a great day out for all the family!
Narrabeen Beach is one of Australia’s iconic surfing and swimming beaches. Over three kilometres of sand stretch from Long Reef in the south to the Narrabeen Lagoon entrance in the north. This beach is a real treat for the more purer beach lovers, it has the best of both worlds with a stunning calm lagoon which is a popular place for snorkeling and fishing alike compared to the huge waves along the beach making it one of the best places in the world to surf -there are plenty of options for surf lessons or surf hire if you fancy trying your luck on this famous surfing beach or just sit back and watch some of the best surfers in Australia glide along the waves. Or for less of an extreme experience the newly built lazy river going from the lagoon to the sea will keep you entertained for hours as well as the huge rock pool in which you can have some leisurely lengths to keep fit. Make sure you pack a picnic as Narrabeen Village doesn’t sit right on the shore it is a good ten minute walk from where the bus drops you – it is also around a 30 minute bus journey from the city center with some pretty amazing views on the way.
Located 11 km north east from Sydney’s CBD a simple ferry ride from Circular Quay or take the stunning clif edge drive with amazing views of the famous Sydney coastline with some of the most stunning houses the city has to offer. It is Australia’s oldest fishing village at the southern entrance to Sydney Harbour with some of the best views any beach in the world could offer of the city in the distance. Swimming at Watson’s Bay is very popular with small waves making it a more relaxed place to visit and not very popular with local surfers – take a dip in the enclosed Watson Bya Baths and enjoy the beautiful views of Sydney Harbour.
Or if you can’t sit still there is a number of scenic walks you can complete from beach to beach…
BONDI TO BRONTE WALK
Three of Sydney’s most beautiful beaches, Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte, are connected via a short yet spectacular cliff top trail. The Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk stretches for four kilometres (2.5 miles) with plenty of opportunities to swim, eat or simply pause and take in the views.
MANLY TO SPIT BRIDGE SCENIC WALK
This 10km walk, combined with the ferry ride to Manly Beach, is often recommended to tourists but rarely endeavored by locals. Still, it is one of the best and most easily accessible treks in Sydney, and comes so highly endorsed for a reason. This varying coastal walk of bush and ocean views makes the entire trip compelling and a true Sydney experience that shouldn’t by missed by even the most seasoned veterans.
BONDI TO COOGEE
No list is complete without including this 6km trail, which gives tourists and locals alike a true sense of Sydney’s coastal beauty. The trek’s steep gradients are well spaced between the city’s most loved beaches, making this trip part workout, part beach bum afternoon. While the walk could be completed in as little as a two hours, it is best enjoyed with long breaks by the ocean.
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