There’s no denying that Sydney’s famous beaches – Bondi, Manly, Coogee – are beautiful and on every ‘Things to do in Sydney’ list for a reason, but here are some fantastic beaches locals can recommend that will really take your breath away.
Milk Beach – Vaucluse Road, Vaucluse
Eastern Suburbs beaches are among the busiest in the city, but the relative seclusion of Milk Beach has saved it from the crowds. Nestled in the grounds of historic Strickland House, the beach is accessible by boat or public transport and offers very limited parking. There are panoramic views of the Harbour Bridge and city to admire, lovely shaded picnic spots and kayaks for hire. If you get tired of lazing by the water, the historic house’s grounds are open to the public daily or you can go exploring along the Hermitage Foreshore.
Wattamolla Beach – Little Marley Fire Trail, Royal National Park
If you’re looking further afield than the inner city, you’ll find some gems hidden in suburbs a little further south. Cocooned by the Royal National Park, Wattamolla is a pristine swimming spot only accessible by car. The beach is unpatrolled and can be rough but is surrounded by bushland and backed by a calm freshwater lagoon. This offers the perfect spot for a bit of snorkelling or a workout, and the Wattamolla Falls creates the perfect backdrop for some very memorable pictures.
Whale Beach – Whale Beach Road, Whale Beach
Smaller than its famous neighbour Palm Beach (aka Summer Bay), Whale Beach is less pretentious and less crowded although still smacks of the good life. Bring your surfboard because the beach is a great one to visit it you like your waves a little rough and it is home to the well-known Whale Beach Wedge surf break. There’s a leafy picnic area and a rock pool at one end just waiting to be explored. The beach isn’t hard to get to and is accessible by either car or bus.
Chinamans Beach – McLean Crescent, Mosman
If you want in on the secrets of what to do in Sydney, follow the North Shore locals past the more well-known and glitzier Balmoral down to Chinamans Beach. Being a harbour beach, the water is flat, blue and inviting, perfect for snorkelling with the kids or canoeing.
Travel secret: If the sun gets too hot at Chinamans Beach, you can escape to the leafy Rosherville Reserve, which fronts the beach. Here you’ll find a small playground for the kids and excellent amenities. The beach is best accessed by car, or cab if you’re not driving.
Little Bay Beach – Coast Hospital Road, Little Bay
If you like a good game of golf, Little Bay Beach is the one for you. Flanked on both sides by The Coast Golf Club, it’s the perfect spot to cool off after 18 holes. If you’re not one for hitting a ball, never fear. The sheltered position protects swimmers from the swells often found along the coast, and schools of colourful little fish make for some great snorkelling. There are plenty of rocks to climb and rock pools to explore, so the kids will be kept busy, and the golf course clubhouse has some delicious meals for when you’re feeling a bit peckish.