Surrounded by golden sands and cabbage palms, Bilgola Beach is a reliably great surf spot just off Barrenjoey road. At less than a kilometre in length, it’s much more compact than nearby Avalon and Newport beaches, with permanent rips at the far ends plus the occasional strong shore break.
But otherwise, it’s fine for general swimming and body surfing between the flags. The rockpool on the south end also provides a stress-free option when conditions are rough. The nearby cafe is an excellent retreat after a morning swim.