The 25+ Best Sydney Beaches

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It is probably true to say that Sydney has more fantastic beaches than any other city on earth. With well over a hundred beaches in the Sydney area to choose from it is a somewhat daunting task to pick out the very best. And who's to say that is the best for anyone else - the sheer choice means, to use a cliche, there's a beach for everyone, whether you are a surfer, swimmer, snorkeller or sun-worshipper.

For many people one word springs to mind when you mention beaches in Sydney, and that's Bondi. OK, few would argue it isn't a great beach, and it's certainly iconic, but dig a little deeper and you'll discover there are any number of beaches to rival (and surpass) Bondi.

  • 1. Bondi Beach

    Bondi Beach

    Bondi is possibly Australia's most famous beach and to many sums up the Australian way of life. This iconic Sydney beach is every bit as cosmopolitan as the city with a beach scene encompassing everything from surfing to cafe society to lively nightlife. As long as you know what to expect Bondi will not disappoint - it's busy, it's bold and it's brash, but most importantly Bondi is what you… read more »

  • 2. Camp Cove Beach

    Camp Cove Beach
    © Diliff / CC BY
    Great for:
    • Family
    • Swimming

    Camp Cove sits on the inner coast of South Head, the headland guarding the entrance to Sydney Harbour. As such the beach is not only sheltered but commands spectacular views back over the harbour and towards the city.

    read more »
  • 3. Dee Why Beach

    Dee Why Beach
    © Merbabu / CC BY
    Great for:
    • Swimming
    • Surfing

    Located in the heart of the Northern Beaches, Dee Why Beach is about 22 km from Sydney's CBD, just north of Curl Curl and south of Long Reef Point. The sandy 1.2km spit of beach backs onto the Dee Why Lagoon and Wildlife Refuge.

    Dee Why Beach has excellent facilities for families including an ocean swimming pool for safe swimming on the point, picnic areas and a special toddler play… read more »

  • 4. Garie Beach

    Garie Beach
    © Maurice van Creij / CC BY

    The Royal National Park, just south of Sydney is home to more than ten beautiful, pristine beaches of which Garie beach is widely recognised as the finest. A one km stretch of golden sand backed by the steeply rising forested vallies of the park this beach has changed little over the centuries.

    Despite its stunning natural beauty Garie Beach is not without its dangers and strong rip currents can make swimming unsafe.… read more »

  • 5. Hungry Beach

    Hungry Beach

    Hungry Beach gets its memorable name from a fisherman who took shelter in the cove for three days while waiting for a large shark to leave the area. I guess his overwhelming thought was hunger, hence the name. The area was historically known as a prolific fishing area for shark, turtle and mulloway.

    Hungry Beach is on the north side of Sydney in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. The densely vegetated… read more »

  • 6. Malabar Beach

    Malabar Beach
    © Adam.J.W.C. / CC BY
    Great for:
    • Fishing
    • Swimming
    • Surfing

    Malabar Beach is one of the less well-known beaches in the south of Sydney, not far from the airport. The name comes from one of two shipwrecks that lie in the bay: the MV Malabar, with the other being the the Goolwa.

    Facing southeast, Malabar Beach is enclosed by rocky headlands at either end with cliffs providing shelter from offshore winds. Generally it's ideal for all types of watersports as the… read more »

  • 7. Palm Beach

    Palm Beach
    © Alex Proimos / CC BY

    Palm beach sits on a narrow spit of land at the far end of Sydney's North Shore, roughly 40km from the city centre. The beach is overlooked by the imposing bulk of Barrenjoey Head to the north. It's well worth a climb to check out the lighthouse and take in the fantasic views back over the sands and beyond.

    "Palmy", as the beach is known locally, is really two beaches in one.… read more »

  • 8. Bronte Beach

    Bronte Beach
    © eyeintim / CC BY

    Bronte beach is situated in Sydney's eastern suburbs between Bondi and Coogee beaches. From either of beach it is an easy walk of about 2km along the paved clifftop path. However, if you fancy a swim there is an anual swim held every December between Bondi and Bronte.

    For those who feel they aren't quite ready to take on the open ocean Bronte offers a couple of other swimming options. For… read more »

  • 9. Coogee Beach

    Coogee Beach
    © Sardaka / CC BY
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling
    • Swimming
    • Surfing

    Coogee Beach is one of the oldest beachside suburbs south of Sydney. Well developed, it has all the trademarks of a beach lifestyle with good amenities. These include the last remaining women's and children's ocean baths in Australia known as Wylie's Baths and McIvers Baths!

    The inviting white sands and generally calm surf are popular with families. It is perfect in all seasons for walking, swimming, surfing and snorkelling and the… read more »

  • 10. Manly Beach

    Manly Beach
    © Enochlau / CC BY

    With a regular ferry running between downtown Sydney to the North Shore suburb of Manly it is no surprise that this long stretch of fine sand is as popular as ever. The town here is very much centred around the beach and this in turn attracts travellers from all over the globe who come here to soak up the sun, party and ride the world-famous waves. 

    Perhaps Manly beach's most iconic… read more »

  • 11. Tamarama Beach

    Tamarama Beach
    © eyeintim / CC BY

    Next door neighbour to Sydney's most famous beach, Bondi, is the dimunitve Tamarama beach. This little beach is possibly deeper than it is wide, although at only about 80 metres that isn't too dificult.

    Often referred to as 'Glamarama' the beach here is where the beautiful people come to top up their tans. The nickname however dates back to the 1980s when Tamarama was known as the gayest beach in Sydney.… read more »

  • 12. Wattamolla Beach

    Wattamolla Beach
    © Greg070189 / CC BY
    Great for:
    • Fishing
    • Swimming

    Located in Royal National Park, Wattamolla Beach is a popular sandy beach in Sydney South. The beach has soft white sand with ocean waves on one side and calm lagoon waters on the other. The name "Wattamolla" comes from the Aboriginal "place near running water". Although apparently the beach was first discovered by English cartographer Matthew Flinders in 1796. There is a waterfall next to the parking area and jumping… read more »

  • 13. Obelisk Beach

    Obelisk Beach
    © Ernest McGray, Jr. / CC BY

    Situated within the greenery of Sydney Harbour National Park is a secluded, pretty little sandy cove. Obelisk Beach is tucked away behind Middle Head, only a stone's throw from Mosman and neighbouring Balmoral Beach. However, this hidden beach feels a world apart being sufficiently off the beaten track to rarely attract a crowd.

    Getting to Obelisk beach involves at least some walking including a long set of steps. It is probably… read more »

  • 14. Currawong Beach

    Currawong Beach
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    Ideal for swimming, sunbathing and relaxing, Currawong Beach is a sweeping bay with calm sheltered water. This is thanks to its sheltered position, facing southeast into Pittwater. This pretty beach hideaway is located just south of Mackerel Beach and separated from it by Sinclair Point.

    This area of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is popular for hiking and bushwalking and has some significant aboriginal rock art to look out for.

    The… read more »

  • 15. Avalon Beach

    Avalon Beach
    Great for:
    • Swimming
    • Surfing

    Away from the more popular surfing meccas in Sydney, Avalon Beach is a secluded surfer surburb just north of Newport Beach on the Northern Beaches peninsula. Once inhabited by native Garigal people, and more recently a hippy haven, Avalon Beach has gone full circle. It now attracts celebrities and stars including Nicole Kidman, Elle Macpherson and 11 times ex-world surf champ, Kelly Slater.

    The beach is a swathe of golden sand… read more »