We have worked hard over the summer testing Sydney’s beaches so we could being you a list of the top 5. A surprisingly taunting task having to rate something which all Australians, Sydneysiders in particular, take very seriously; their beaches!



Number 1 on our list is Manly beach! From Dawn to late at night Manly is a great beach to either go for a swim or spend the day. Three surf life saving clubs patrolling different areas means there is plenty of swimming room between the flags. Great Cafe’s, restaurants, ice-cream stores and bars have to covered will keep your belly full and thirst quenched. BBQ areas are also available making it a great location for family and friends to get together and share a meal.

Explore the coastline on a bicycle from Manly Bike Tours, heading north to Freshwater Beach, the historic home of Australian surf culture. Both Manly and Freshwater beaches are on the National Surfing Reserves as significant surfing locations.

Eating out, learning to surf, exercises or relaxing Manly has you covered.


Bronte is just over a kilometre’s walk south of Bondi. The beach itself faces east and picks up swell from any direction, and is hugged by headlands. The sheltered pool is great for parents with young kids, while an ocean-fed lap pool tucked in beneath the south headland provides one of Sydney’s finest saltwater swim experiences. A park behind the beach has barbecues and picnic tables on a large open grass area.



Tamarama Beach sits between two prominent headlands on the Bondi to Coogee Walk, with 80 metres of shoreline. It has great surfing condtions, but it is prone to strong currents. It is surrounded by parklands. There are great cafe’s near by and a playground, barbecue area and amenities available for picnics.

Tamarama Beach. Image: Andrew Gregory, Destination NSW


Gordons Bay

Gordons Bay is a little oasis tucked between Clovelly and Coogee beaches, and is home to a 500 metre (1,640 foot) underwater nature trail, guiding divers past reefs, sand flats and kelp forests. The best lounging positions are up on the rocks, but you’ll have to get here early, this place gets packed during summer. Post swim, walk around the corner from Gordons Bay to takeaway burger joint Out of the Blue on Clovelly Road, where the fish burger is legendary.


Watsons Bay

Watsons Bay is Australia’s oldest fishing village at the southern entrance to Sydney Harbour. You can catch the ferry here from Circular Quay or take the cliff-hugging drive past the mansions of Vaucluse. Take a dip in the enclosed Watsons Bay Baths, with its beautiful views across the harbour, then walk up to The Gap and Macquarie Lighthouse. Afterwards eat fish and chips from Sydney’s famous Doyle’s Restaurant or enjoy drinks in the buzzy beer garden of Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel, where you can also stay the night.


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