Matt Keane

15 Best Beaches in Sydney | Man of Many

Arguably the world’s most famous beach, Bondi is our most popular stretch of sand. Just 8km from Sydney CBD, it’s an easy trip on public transport or you can drive yourself and hunt down a parking spot.

1. Bondi

Freshwater is a stunning beach a short walk north of Manly that is wedged between two headlands. A renowned surfing spot, it is even listed as a world surfing reserve! To the north end of the beach is an eight-lane, 50m saltwater pool which is a popular spot for swimmers. Overlooking the beach is a restaurant and several cafes, perfect for that post-swim morning coffee.

2. Freshwater Beach

Located a kilometre south of Bondi, Bronte beach is great for experienced board riders and families alike. You’ll find some solid waves along most of this east-facing beach, but the best waves on the beach break along the rocks on the southern headland. Because of this and the underwater rocks, you’d want to be a confident surfer before paddling out.

3. Bronte

Tamarama Beach is a tiny stretch of sand along the Bondi to Coogee walk. With just 80m of shoreline nestled between two prominent headlands, Tamarama is an awesome surf beach. It can be prone to strong currents though, so be sure to swim within the flags. Surrounded by parklands with a playground and amenities, the locals often refer to it as ‘Glamarama’ because it’s where the insta-famous choose to hang out.

4. Tamarama

If you’re not a fan of getting thrown around by waves, you will enjoy a harbourside beach like Redleaf. Located in Double Bay, the area (now known as Murray Rose pool) offers you a tidal enclosure to swim in and pontoons to jump off.

5. Murray Rose Pool

Known for its popularity among surfers and board riders, Avalon is a 40-minute drive north from the Sydney CBD on the Northern Beaches. With surfing spots for every skill level, including ‘Little Avalon’ that sucks up hard on the south cliff to produce fast barrelling waves, it’s the perfect spot if you want to make a surfing day trip. There’s even a 25m ocean rock pool to swim in and a shady park with barbecues, picnic tables and a skate park.

6. Avalon

Named one of Australia’s top surfing beaches by the National Surfing Reserves, Maroubra is a kilometre long strip of golden sand just 10km south-east of Sydney.

7. Maroubra

Head south along the coastal walk from Maroubra and you’ll wind up at Coogee beach. Coogee is a calm, family-friendly beach with ocean pools on both ends of the sand, one man-made and one natural.

8. Coogee

Jump on a short ferry ride across the harbour and you’ll arrive at Manly Beach. Fun fact, the world’s first-ever surfing contest was held on this beach in 1964, making it one of Australia’s most famous beaches and a part of surfing history.

9. Manly Beach

It may not be the most famous, but Clovelly could definitely be Sydney’s coolest beach to swim at. The beach is located at the mouth of a narrow bay set between two rocky ridges, with concrete platforms built on either side and a saltwater pool to the southern end.

10. Clovelly

Located in Sydney’s Northern Beaches area, Palm Beach is the filming location for Australia’s longest-running TV show, Home and Away (yes, that’s where it’s filmed!)

11. Palm Beach

Located just a short walk from Watsons Bay ferry wharf, Camp Cove offers stunning views of Sydney and a tranquil bay to float in. A great place to swim and even snorkel, Camp Cove is a family-friendly patch of sand to unwind and take in the harbour views.

12. Camp Cove

Bilgola Beach is a beautiful stretch of sand on the Pacific Ocean side of the Barrenjoey Peninsula. With a 500m stretch of sand nestled between two headlands, Bilgola is a renowned place to watch the sunrise and fall. Permanent rips along the beach can be trouble for swimmers, so be sure to swim between the flags or in the 50m saltwater rock pool to the southern end.

13. Bilgola

In what seems like a juxtaposition to Manly Beach next door, Shelly Beach offers you a calmer, more relaxed vibe. A short walk around Cabbage Tree Bay, Shelly Beach is a nature reserve with rock pools and protected wildlife meandering around the area. It’s also a popular place to snorkel or learn to dive, with Blue Gropers frequently in the area.

14. Shelly Beach

Chinamans Beach is one of Sydney’s premier inner harbour beaches. It really is the ideal location for a swim in the turquoise waters of Cobblers Bay or to lay on the pristine sand along the shoreline. Parkland behind the beach allows for picnics and room for the kids to run around, and the beach has remained largely unspoilt for decades.

15. Chinamans Beach

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