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Best Sydney Beaches

Updated on February 7, 2011

Best Sydney Beaches

It is no secret that Sydney hugs a magnificent harbor and the city of Sydney is blessed with many glorious white or pink sand beaches, bays and inlets. Going to a beach is a must do activity for visitors.

Spending time at the beach is a quintessential Sydney activity, particularly when temperatures soar, and with Sydney’s excellent transport system it is easy for visitors to join the throngs.

This article outlines some of the great Sydney beaches. Also included are some details on a cheap TravelPass option visitors can purchase.

Here is a selection of some of Sydney's finest beaches along with ideas of how to reach them.


Bondi Beach

A must see for tourists to Sydney is the famous Bondi Beach. Locals hold Bondi Beach in high esteem and it’s easy to see why. It’s a suburb favored by those on working holidays and there is plenty to enjoy at this popular swimming and surfing beach.

Bondi Beach pulsates with energy, especially in summer and people flock to the area to enjoy the vibe on this arc of white sand.

It’s a cosmopolitan area and cultural contrasts abound.

Across the road, great restaurants mix easily with casual takeaway food outlets and shops.

From the city take a train to Bondi Junction (approximately 15 minutes) and then, from the same station, take a short bus ride to the beach. The transfer area is very well signposted.

Manly Beach

Enjoy a ferry ride to Manly Beach and ogle the stunning Sydney Opera House and Bridge from the water as you cruise past.

On a nice day, this trip will leave you breathless and wanting more. As the boat leaves busy Circular Quay, the cityscape high rises recede, and the utterly compelling sights of – the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge - unfold.

These views are followed by peeks at numerous beaches on the half hour journey to Manly.

Manly is another great white sandy beach easily identified by the tall Norfolk pine trees standing straight and tall.

Once at the pier, follow the recently disgorged crowd as everyone, it seems, does straight to the beach. After taking a dip in the crystal clear water, enjoy a meal and a beer at one of the many cafés close to the beach. Surf boards are available for hire.

During one of my visits I was sitting at a cafe and I was amazed to see several whales on their annual migratory journey. It was truly amazing.

The Manly ferry leaves Circular Quay (at the bottom of the city) every half hour during peak times.

More information after this....

Manly - one of Sydney's best beaches
Manly - one of Sydney's best beaches
Sydney Opera House from the harbor
Sydney Opera House from the harbor
From Sydney's famous Bondi Beach along the coast to other great beaches.
From Sydney's famous Bondi Beach along the coast to other great beaches.
Cronulla is another of Sydney's best beaches
Cronulla is another of Sydney's best beaches
Maroubra a less visited Sydney beach
Maroubra a less visited Sydney beach
Maroubra seems isolated because of the green headland
Maroubra seems isolated because of the green headland
Visitors with lifeguards on Bondi Beach
Visitors with lifeguards on Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

Coogee

A wide, white crescent shaped beach, popular with locals and day trippers. This patrolled surf beach is also a favorite with families. Nearby rock pools provide an alternative for those who want calmer waters to cool off in. See the Maroubra photo for a rock swimming pool.

Conditions dependant, hopeful black sheathed surfers line up to wait, hoping for the perfect wave.

Like Bondi Beach, Coogee’s cafes and bars make this area a magnet, particularly (but certainly not exclusively) for the young.

Maroubra

Although Maroubra Beach sports some high rise apartments, the area feels considerably more isolated and less touristy that the other beaches mentioned in this article. It offers a wide sandy beach which is good for swimming and surfing.

One of the reasons this beach feels more isolated is because in one direction there is bush covered headland. Just over the hill from this headland there are a number of golf courses with some of the most spectacular views in Sydney.

Buses from the city will take you to Maroubra Beach.

Cronulla

Cronulla is a one hour train ride from Sydney and it is an excellent swimming and surfing beach.

From the train station, wander past the cafes and shops to the beach. Here you can walk one way along a white arc of sand on the beach, or in the other along a wide smooth path high above the water.

Swimming

Many of these beaches are surf beaches and are sometimes dangerous. Undertows or rips are common.

Surf lifesavers patrol beaches at particular times and swimming between the easily identifiable flags is strongly recommended.

Transport Pass

Public transport around Sydney is excellent and easy to use.

If staying for a week, consider purchasing a 7 day transport pass which is available from many convenience stores and at stations.

For transport planning information see www.131500.com.au. Or, if you would like more information, ask me a question. I've been visiting Sydney's best beaches for some time now. Also included is a link to Marisa Wright's excellent article on best places to stay in Sydney.

Time to see just one beach?

If you have time to visit one beach, consider going to high profile, Bondi Beach. However the ferry ride from Circular Quay to Manly Beach is also outstanding and the trip packs a lot of punch because of the many sights seen from the water.

Sydney is known the world over for the beauty of its harbor. The city and its views can be enjoyed from land or water and visitor’s fortunate enough to visit this city will find there is something to please everyone.

**This article and photos are copyright Travelespresso.  Respect my work and if you wish to use it, please ask me.**

Best Sydney Beaches

show route and directions
A markerBondi Beach -
Bondi Beach, Australia
get directions

B markerCoogee Beach -
Coogee Beach, Australia
get directions

C markerMaroubra Beach -
Maroubra Beach, Australia
get directions

D markerCronulla Beach -
Cronulla Beach, 2231, Australia
get directions

E markerManly Beach -
Manly Beach, Australia
get directions

Comments

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    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Awesome! I wanna go!

    • travelespresso profile image
      Author

      travelespresso 7 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      Hello habee...thanks for your comments. They are much appreciated. Come on over, the weather's mighty fine!

    • apricotmousse profile image

      apricotmousse 7 years ago

      I remembered nemo (movie: finding nemo) with those pics. thanks for sharing!

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 7 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Hi travelespresso, my favourite beach on your list is Coogee and I love the cliff walk around to Bondi. I also like Bronte. Not a lot of beaches in Hertfordshire though!

    • travelespresso profile image
      Author

      travelespresso 7 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      Hi CMH - Yes, I too like the walk from Coogee to Bondi Beach. Did you see my sculpture by the sea hub which shows some of the amazing sculptures displayed along that walk? I also enjoy the walk from Maroubra around the cliffs and through some of Sydney's best golf courses to La Perouse. Often you get the track to yourself! Thanks for stopping by.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Those are really great place for traveling. I never heard about those beach before. I'll go there someday. And my dream is going to Australia.

    • travelespresso profile image
      Author

      travelespresso 7 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      These are really great beaches and there are many more. I hope you realise your dream to come to Australia. I'm a visitor here and its a wonderful country. Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      Sydney Getaway Guy 7 years ago

      These are all really good beaches, well done! There's also some really good beaches north of the harbour as well and even some secret hidden beaches around Sydney that make for a good place to for some quiet time. Looking forward to more posts about Sydney.

    • travelespresso profile image
      Author

      travelespresso 7 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      Glad you like my Sydney best beaches hub. Thanks for stopping by SGG. You might also enjoy reading my Best Sydney Markets hub.

    • SidneyMorgan profile image

      SidneyMorgan 7 years ago from Australia

      Our best beach in Sydney is Freshwater Beach just near Manly. It has great sand, is well shielded from the wind and has relatively small waves making is a great beach for younger kids.

    • travelespresso profile image
      Author

      travelespresso 7 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      Thanks for your comment SM. I didn't get to Freshwater Beach but glad you've added it to the list.

    • jasonycc profile image

      jasonycc 7 years ago from South East Asia

      I love beaches and the ocean. Personally I prefer less crowded and more secluded beaches. From your article, Maroubra beach is my best pick. Love reading your travel hubs.

    • travelespresso profile image
      Author

      travelespresso 7 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      I'm glad you enjoy reading my travel hubs jasonycc. I think you would like Maroubra beach too.

      Did you check out my NZ Papamoa beach hub - now THAT is quiet in many places. Its a very very long beach so you can ALWAYS find somewhere away from other people. Thanks for your lovely words.

    • andygrant profile image

      andygrant 6 years ago

      I have been to Sydney 3 years ago and these beaches are really great to spend time. Nice pics.

    • profile image

      Sydney Getaways Guy 6 years ago

      Hi travel espresso I've just been browsing and (although its taken 4months)I finally got to check out your best syndey markets hub, ha! am I slow or what? ...anyways... I left a comment for you.

      the sydney getaways guy

    • travelespresso profile image
      Author

      travelespresso 6 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting SGG.

    • profile image

      sarahsherlock 6 years ago

      I love Sydney. My husband proposed to me on a beach in Manly! I really admire your life of travel - sounds fantastic.

    • travelespresso profile image
      Author

      travelespresso 6 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      That's so romantic SS - what a lovely memory you have there. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • PierrePierre profile image

      PierrePierre 6 years ago

      Great. Beautiful Sydney beaches. I'm eager to have a chance to enjoy the beaches and sunshine there .

    • charlesroring profile image

      charlesroring 6 years ago

      I like going to the beaches especially the ones that are still in pristine condition with coral reef thrive near them. Snorkeling over the "tropical rainforest" of the sea is highly recommended for those who are interested in learning the beauty of the marine environment so that they will appreciate nature and change their lifestyle to live more friendly with the beach or marine environment as a whole.

    • travelespresso profile image
      Author

      travelespresso 6 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      What a lovely phrase "snorkeling over the tropical rainforest of the sea"! Australia has plenty of beaches like that, but not necessarily those close to the city.

      Thanks for your comment and for stopping by.

    • kcreery profile image

      Kevin 6 years ago from Whistler Canada

      Great hub. I miss the Sydney beaches. I lived in Australia for 8 months in 2000. It was a great time. We went to Bondi Beach lots.

    • travelespresso profile image
      Author

      travelespresso 6 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      The Sydney beaches are great and they are so accessible. Hope you manage to get back to Sydney sometime kcreery and enjoy them some more!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • rai2722 profile image

      rai2722 5 years ago

      Wow, I didn't realize that Australia's beaches are so awesome! Thanks for sharing. Voted up!

    • aboutaustralia profile image

      aboutaustralia 5 years ago from Newcastle, New South Wales

      Thanks for sharing this info, very informative. Thanks, voted up!

    • travelespresso profile image
      Author

      travelespresso 5 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      Sydney beaches are amazing rai2722! Thanks so much for the rating up and also aboutaustralia.

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