Best Beaches in Sydney

Updated January 21st, 2022


Most cities are lucky to have even one great beach. Sydney? We have more than 100. But we’ve got more than just quantity going for us: it’s the sheer diversity of Sydney’s beaches that make us one of the world’s great coastal cities.

We have beaches with pumping swells and beautiful breaks; sheltered, hidden harbour coves that are perfect for picnics; and dozens of inlets and bays filled with keen ocean swimmers doings laps – regardless of the time of year.

Then there’s the fact that most of Sydney’s best beaches are true, accessible city beaches. Cronulla has its own train station, and it’s pretty incredible – for locals and tourists alike – that you can take a ferry trip from the heart of the CBD’s financial district to Manly in just over 30 minutes.

And while there are plenty of tourist traps to dodge, many of Sydney’s best restaurants, bars and cafes can be found right by its best beaches, too. There are dining institutions, such as Sean’s and Icebergs in Bondi, Bather’s Pavilion in Balmoral and Jonah’s at Whale Beach. Then there are reinvigorated classics, such as Mimi’s at the Coogee Pav, or the Harbord Hotel, over in Freshwater. Not to mention the countless beach-fronting cafes that can sort you out with a coffee after your morning swim.

This summer, refresh yourself by getting outside – these Sydney beaches will make you feel new.

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  • Undeniably one of the best beaches in the world, Bondi brings it all home. Its sand and surf are unrivalled and its thriving hospitality scene counts institutions such as Bondi Icebergs. Start here for a famous coastal walk that leads all the way to Coogee.

  • Sydneysiders and expats flock here for a reason: waterfront dining, beachside pubs and some of the best conditions for surfing and swimming. The ferry ride from Circular Quay is essential.

  • Colossal pines, a huge stretch of sand, some truly brilliant surf and plenty of bars and eateries worth staying for. It’s also the only beach in Sydney with its own train station.

  • This rugged stretch offers swimming, beach fishing and excellent conditions to surf in. Best of all, you’re still technically in Sydney. It's the highlight of any good day trip to the Royal National Park.

  • The one-time residence of pro-surfer Kelly Slater. The small-town energy of nearby Avalon village draws in sea-changing Sydneysiders by the barrel-load.

  • A spectacular rocky cove on the Bondi to Coogee walk. It's a little bit bohemian with a splash of Mediterranean energy. Come here to experience the best of both worlds.

  • No sharks, just good times and Vaucluse vistas towards the city skyline. This beach is right next to Nielsen Park, making this one of the city’s best recreation areas.

  • The last stop on the famous coastal walk from Bondi, Coogee has two of the most decked-out beachside boozers in the city. Not to mention some of the best swimming in the east.

  • The side-story to Manly’s main attraction is a favourite for swimmers and families looking to have a picnic. It forms part of an aquatic reserve teeming with marine life, so bring your snorkel.

  • The often rough conditions are redeemed by a sparkling ocean pool and some gorgeous parkland. One of the best places to picnic in the eastern suburbs.

  • The birthplace of Australian surfing; “Freshie” is ever-popular for its consistently good breaks year round. Also home to a northern beaches icon, the Harbord Hotel.

  • Rough conditions don’t hinder locals from sprawling across Tamarama’s pristine sand. “Glamarama,” as it’s known, is just one beach over from Bondi on the coastal walk leading all the way to Coogee.

  • Part beach, part swimming pool – Clovelly is two concrete promenades either side of the bay. There’s a family-friendly shore, plus a kiosk and lap pool thrown in for good measure.

  • Bordered by lush greenery, middle’s harbour’s jewel of a beach is picnic nirvana. Balmoral is also home to an institutional Mosman eatery.

  • Seasoned surfers prefer Narrabeen over Collaroy – Narrabeen is the northern stretch of the same coastline, with more advanced conditions and a sizable lagoon for paddleboarding.

  • A hotspot for beginner surfers. This fully accessible beach has excellent facilities plus one of the city’s great art-deco monuments, the United Cinemas.

  • World-beating surfers cut their teeth in Maroubra’s wild waters. It’s one of the best surfing beaches in Sydney, but not one for amateurs.

  • The longest-serving cast member on beachside soap opera, Home and Away. Home to an iconic lighthouse and some of the best surf on the peninsula.

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  • This spot is in the top tier of Sydney's city beaches – complete with premium views of the city skyline. It's also the inspiration behind the name of a popular Melbourne rock band.

  • The northernmost beach on the Barrenjoey Peninsula – the name is a red herring (whales are, sadly, not a common occurrence) but you can expect reliably good surf and a petite ocean pool instead.

  • A compact surf spot halfway up the Barrenjoey Peninsula, with stellar conditions and a swimmable rock-pool at the southern end.

  • Tucked away behind a golf course, this sheltered cove is delightfully swimmable from one end to the other. Don’t forget your snorkel.