Exploring Sydney's Best Beaches
There's a reason why Sydney is known as Harbour City. The cosmopolitan metropolis dazzles people with its stunning nightlife, architecture, culture and diversity; however, one of its biggest draws is the miles of coast lined with soft, clean sands and sparkling waters. Visitors interested in soaking up some sun, surfing the waves or taking a dip can choose from hundreds of waterfronts, from Cronulla to Palm Beach. In fact, there are so many spectacular spots that it can be hard to choose one. Check out these top beaches before your next Sydney holiday.
One of the most popular spots in the Sydney suburbs is Bondi, stretching more than a kilometre along the water where tourists and locals gather for surfing, swimming and lazing on the beach. Some complain that it's too big and busy, but it's one of the most fashionable spots in the Sydney metro area. In fact, the area contains a plethora of exciting nightlife options, including trendy lounges, hip cafes and exciting entertainment venues.
Younger swimmers may want to stick to the northern end of the beach, where the waters are gentler, while those seeking a more exhilarating experience can head to the south end for the renowned rip current. Keep in mind that it can become very crowded on both weekends and weekdays, particularly when it's hot out, so it's best to arrive early to claim a good spot on the sand. For an escape from the masses, take a pleasant stroll along the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, a 6.4-kilometres path that takes you along the craggy coast and introduces you to other smaller beaches.
On the opposite end of the Coastal Walk is another large southern patch of sand: Coogee Beach, a spot that's less popular and crowded than Bondi but arguably just as entertaining. There are ample playgrounds, two historic ocean baths and plenty of sunny spots to lay out your beach blanket and relax. Explore the south end to find the Ross Jones Memorial Pool then head north near Dolphins Point to bogey hole, a surfer's paradise.
Another interesting fact: This is among the few public waterfronts where you can enjoy a refreshing brew or glass of wine at the a beachside park. Visitors can make it a full afternoon barbecue - the site offers a free grilling area for patrons. Or, you can just head to one of the many bars and eateries on Coogee Bay Road.
A bit out of the way is Palm Beach. It's situated on the northern peninsula, and due to its location jutting out into the harbour, the waves can be very intense at spots. That's why it attracts so many surfers and water sport adventures. But youngsters can also have fun here - at the southern end of the beach, you'll find small rolling waves and shallow waters perfect for those new to swimming. Other hot activities at Palm Beach include diving, sailing, fishing and golfing.
Palm Beach attracts visitors not only for its pristine sands and crystal clear waters, but also its media appeal. This is the setting for the television series, "Home and Away," and it's a good spot for spotting celebrities. No matter what draws you here, be sure to admire the breathtaking sights on the drive up - it's filled with scenic views of the saltwater lagoon and lush green bushland looming over the harbour.
During your visit, take some time to stop by the Barrenjoey Head Lighthouse on the beach's northern side just a kilometre walk from Palm Beach. The historic structure was erected in 1881, and from the top you can see a 360-degree view that shows you the northern Sydney coastline, Broken Bay and Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
For a more secluded beach experience, make your way to Tamarama. This small waterfront location is almost like an exclusive club. The currents are quite strong, providing plenty of opportunities for invigorating surfing and swimming (note that this is one of Sydney's most dangerous beaches with waves that reach up to 15 feet high). It also means that families and people looking for an easy swim tend to avoid Tamarama and flock instead to calmer waters.
At the quietest hours, you can enjoy a pleasant walk or game of volleyball on the soft sands without bumping elbows with hundreds of other beachgoers. This isn't the place to go for an abundance of amenities, but there's just enough to make your visit enjoyable and convenient, such as a pleasant cafe and back-of-the-beach park. Note that during the peak hours, it can become crowded with sunbathers. In fact, the site has been nicknamed "Glamarama" for the multitude of attractive socialites that lay out on the sands when the sun is at its brightest.