7 Best Beaches in Sydney - According to a Local
When you hear the words “Sydney” and “beach”, we’re betting the first place that pops into your head is Bondi. And we don’t blame you – it’s an icon for a reason. It’s massive enough to hold every British backpacker in a 20km radius, picturesque enough to get your Insta post hundreds of likes (#blessed) and surrounded by a ridiculous number of killer cafes and restaurants. But if you think it’s the best beach in our fair city, we’ve got a bit of a reality check for you.
The next time you fancy a dip or a romantic seaside wander, give one of these beaches a go instead.
1. Coogee Beach
Coogee is just like Bondi, but way less touristy. It’s also the stunning end point of the popular Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, a scenic stroll that every Sydneysider (and visitor) should do at least once in their lives. When you reach it, you’ll find golden sand, calm water, and the iconic Coogee Pavilion – the perfect place to indulge in some post-swim cocktails and pizza.
2. Palm Beach
It’s best known as the seaside setting of Home and Away, but don’t hold that against it. Frequently described as one of the most Instagrammable spots in the city, Palm Beach is huge enough that you’ll always be able to find a nice, quiet spot. Be sure to stop off at the equally beautiful Whale, Avalon and Bilgola Beaches on the way.
3. Balmoral Beach
One of the more calm, relaxing beaches in Sydney, Balmoral is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the iconic Taronga Zoo. With pristine white sand and flat blue water, it’s the ideal spot for families and those wanting to take a break from the hustle and bustle.
4. Milk Beach
If your idea of going to the beach is sitting on the sand with a picnic while overlooking the jaw-dropping Sydney skyline, look no further than Milk Beach. Located in ultra-luxe Vaucluse, this secluded spot is a favourite with kayakers and anyone wanting to show off our beautiful city to visiting friends and family.
5. Curl Curl Beach
In the Northern Beaches, Manly and Shelly get all the attention, but we reckon Curl Curl gives them both a run for their money. Far quieter than Manly and much bigger than Shelly, Curl Curl has some of the best surf in Sydney, with an average swell of 1.6 metres. It’s also one of Sydney’s most photogenic beaches, and as such, you’ll see plenty of photographers trying to get the perfect shot.
6. Cronulla Beach
Now, as a Shire native myself, I may be a little biased. But if you’re letting old stereotypes and one highly embarrassing incident (*cough* Cronulla riots *cough*) get in the way of visiting, you’re missing out on some truly spectacular beaches. Less than an hour’s train ride south of the city, Cronulla and its surrounding beaches are perfect for swimming, surfing, snorkelling and diving.
7. Garie Beach
If you’re willing to head a bit further out of the city, Garie is an absolute must. Located in the National Park, it’s also near Burning Palms and the Insta-famous Figure Eight Pools. Not only is it an amazing surf spot, but during winter and spring, it plays host to whales migrating along the coast – definitely bring your binoculars.