Whether it’s in the heat of summer or the cool of winter, there’s nothing quite as invigorating as walking barefoot on soft, golden sand as the waves roll in and the sea breeze fills your lungs – and it’s even better when there’s no one else around. We know that escaping the crowds and finding a secluded beach in Sydney can be tricky, so we’ve found the top seven hidden beaches to save you the trouble.
Imagine this: a small, isolated beach with calm waters, plenty of picnic spots and a breathtaking view of the Harbour Bridge and city skyline. If you think it sounds too good to be true, head over to Milk Beach, tucked away at the base of Hermit Bay within the Sydney Harbour National Park, and you can discover this hidden gem for yourself. If relaxing by the water and soaking in one of the best views in Sydney isn’t enough, you can also enjoy fishing and snorkelling at this beach, or a walk along Hermitage Foreshore.
Collins Flat Beach
Escape the crowds at Manly and retreat to Collins Flat Beach, just a 15 minute scenic stroll away from Manly Wharf. Collins Flat Beach is nestled between North Head and Little Manly Cove; it offers gorgeous harbour views and overlooks the Majestic Sydney Heads. This secret beach is the perfect spot for a romantic picnic and a lazy swim on a hot day. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a fairy penguin on the shoreline. If you visit during the week, you may have the beach entirely to yourself.
Reef Beach is another secluded beach near Manly, yet worlds away from the crowds of tourists that frequent the more popular Sydney beaches. Pay a visit to Reef Beach at Dobroyd Head, and you’ll be treated to stunning views across Sydney’s North Harbour to Manly. It’s a great place to stop and take a refreshing dip as you’re making your way along the famous Manly Scenic Walkway. Why not pack a picnic and make a day of it? If you look carefully, you may even be able to see the Aboriginal rock carvings at low tide.
You can only get to this secret beach by boat or kayak, so you will feel truly secluded here. Located in North Head, Manly, this pristine beach is surrounded by native bush and steeped in history. Pack a food hamper, sunscreen and plenty of water, and bring along someone you love, because you aren’t going to want to leave once you reach this isolated oasis! Simply enjoy the feeling of the sun shining down on you as you lay on the fine sand and splash around in the cool water.
This lovely, calm bay is another one of Sydney’s best hidden beaches. Congwong Beach looks over Botany Bay, and is located within the Botany Bay National Park. You can get to the beach by La Perouse Road, and it offers the convenience of nearby public toilets and shops. This small beach is ideal for paddling and snorkelling, and the flat waters are great for families with young kids. Be mindful though that this beach is not patrolled by lifeguards, so take care when swimming.
Gordon’s Bay is a truly unique hidden beach characterised by its deeply incised gully and sheer sandstone headlands, making it a great spot for snorkelling and diving. Beneath the tranquil waters is a 600 metre nature trail, which you can follow to read a series of plaques that tell you information about the local sea life. It’s likely that you will be able to see starfish, sea urchins, cuttlefish and blue gropers – just remember to bring your mask and snorkel. This beach, north of Coogee Bay and south of Clovelly Beach, can only be accessed by the Coastal Walkway.
For a relaxing day on one of Sydney’s lovely secret beaches, look no further than Chinaman’s Beach, situated in the Middle Harbour on the northern outskirts of Mosman. The waveless water is great for a relaxed swim and snorkel, or even canoeing or kayaking, and the beach is clean with lovely white sand. Rosherville Reserve is just behind the beach – perfect for a picnic with ocean views. The locals love Chinaman’s Beach, and for good reason, but it is almost always a quiet and peaceful spot.