The locals use the serpantine road winding to the Northern Beaches (Palm Beach, Avalon, Bilgola, Whale Beach) as almost a last deterrent to mainstream tourism. But after a few turns (and really, its no more than that) you come across the most magnificent and laid back part of Sydney. Awesome village life, some spectacular sites, brilliant food from fine dining to a pie and chips. This is one of Australia's best places to visit and you can spend a long time just chilling out, surfing, eating, walking, watching and it's only about 40 mins from the city (with lots inbetween to see along the way). Not many hotels, but great private villas - most with amazing views.
40 mins north of Sydney, over the bridge. Stayed in Kamekura Residences. A beautiful house and pool overlooking Pittwater. www.kamekuraresidences.com
+61 412 953980
Another recommendation to add to the 'used by Bondi locals' list. Full breakfast here comes on two plates for the really serious to keep your toast free of egg or tomato leakage. This is the king of breaky that keeps you going all day - the veggie one comes highly recommended as well... Mmmmm.
The menu for the rest of the day is pretty good too, but in Bondi breaky is king - after a swim and before a trip to the Sunday markets.
Gould Street Plaza (leads onto Campbell Parade), Bondi Beach
Google map: tinyurl.com/pfh6yn
I'm a Bondi beach local and am saddened when I see the Brits packing the cafes on Campbell Parade (the slightly dingy strip behind the beach) when no self-respecting resident would ever stop there. Get with the locals and try Jeds, Gusto, Le Paris Go, Speedo, Wet or Three Eggs for your morning bacon. You won't regret the change!
Take a 30 minute ferry from Circular Quay to the surfers’ community of Manly! Away from chaotic downtown Sydney, there’s a bit more privacy and great views over the ocean. It’s still vibrant though – from the Quicksilver shops to the busy Manly Beach.
For the views, go right along the beach from the Corso around Fairy Bower to Shelly Beach.
Google map: tinyurl.com/lgoplc
Parsley Bay is a small, secluded beach surrounded by bush in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, on the Harbour (not the ocean).
Go there for an early morning swim (there's a wire mesh net across the mouth of the bay to keep sharks out!) then have breakfast at the cafe there. If going on weekends, get there before 9.00 or else the small car park (with its narrow, steep, one-lane driveway) is full and you have to park way up the hills on either side and walk down. As well as a beach there's a large grassy area for picnics, and a children's playground.
Other pleasant places to swim and eat in the area include Camp Cove and Nielsen Park.
There's more cafe choice at Balmoral on the north side, but weekend parking is even more impossible - get in by 8.00!
Bronte beach is smaller than the other beaches in Sydney's eastern suburbs, with a great ocean pool if you don't like swimming among the waves. The best way to get there (though by far not the quickest) is to walk along the ocean promenade from Bondi. The views are stunning and it's good exercise too. Once you're done, stop at any of the cafes that line the park and treat yourself to a fruit smoothie, some ricotta pancakes or a couple of slices of banana bread.
Avoid the crowds found in Manly and travel on the bus 15 mins up the coast to find one of the best beaches and surf in Sydney.
Uncrowded family beach and great open air fresh water swimming pool.
Loads of restaurants and bars are on the beach front as well as what I think is the best fish and chip shop in Sydney (forget Doyles!) - you can eat them on the grass park in front of the beach underneath large trees.
Take the bus from Manly pier direct to the beach front at Dee Why - takes about 15 mins.
Depends how you wake up - hungover or feeling fresh. Either walk or run from Bronte to Bondi north. Grab breakfast at brown sugar and after showering etc ... head to Tamarama beach (if you cannot bodysurf well stay on the beach and play beach volleyball - it can get pretty rough in there).
After an afternoon here, stop by icebergs in Bondi on your way back home for a drink. Make your way down to the botanic gardens to watch the sunset with a picnic dinner. Finally, grab a few mates and get into your car and head up to palm or whale beach for the night. Relax there the whole next day doing whatever you please...
guide books??? google these places...
Seriously funky beach town which is said to be "7 miles from Sydney and a thousand miles from care". The town of Manly is built on a naturally formed sand spit and contains two beaches, which are an absolute must visit. As is the town's beach side Fish and Chips shop. Manly is best reached via the Manly ferry which departs from Circular Quay and offers beautiful views as you joiurney to and from the beach town.
Perhaps best known as the location for the TV soap "Home and Away", Palm Beach, an hour and a half's bus ride from the city centre offers stunningly beautiful scenery. Pastel yellow soft sand, surrounded by high cliff tops and the deep blue Tasman Sea.
Hour-and-a-half bus ride from the bus station outside Sydney Central Station.
Everyone who goes to Sydney raves about the beaches at Bondi and Manly and rightly so - they are iconic Sydney beaches.
Yet any trip to Sydney would not be complete without a visit to Cronulla Beach in Sydney's south. This is a beach in wide-scape with something for everyone.
The northern part (known locally as Wanda Beach) is a haven for surfers, fishermen, kite-flyers and groups of young lads who simply want to impress the hordes of bikinied blondes who gather there for the sake of being impressed.
The southern part is the elevated end of Cronulla, adjacent to The Royal National Park, and it's a spot where families picnic in the parks high above the beach.
In between these two points is Cronulla central - where the beach meets the restaurants, cafes, nightclubs and cinemas. By day a place for families to enjoy a stroll along the boardwalk and, after dark, a gathering place for the beautiful people of southern Sydney.
Plane-spotters will also enjoy fabulous views of aircraft landing at, and taking off from, Sydney's Mascot Airport from all parts of Cronulla Beach.
Parking can be a problem. Visitors staying in the Central Business District of Sydney are best advised to take the train to Cronulla from Martin Place (platform 2), Town Hall (platform 4) or Sydney Central (platform 25). Trip time about 50 minutes each way for just a few quid return. A taxi will cost about 20 pounds each way.
Sydney's biggest and most spectacuar city beach is admittedly a 'must see' for many visitors to the city. However, Bondi Beach occupies a huge space and you can avoid the crowds of lobster-red tourists by heading for the quieter north end of the beach, where the locals go. Catch Bus number 380 from Circular Quay, and hop off at the top of Campbell Parade and walk down, taking in some of Sydney's most spectacular beach views as you go.
Bondi Beach, Campbell Parade, Bus 380 from Circular Quay and other stops along the way.
Got kids? Need to relax but keep an eye on them? Get on the Manly Ferry - so easy to use, and great fun as well as a super view of Sydney. When you get to Manly get off and turn left and keep walking until you can go no further on the beach and you'll be at a cove called Shelly Beach. This little horseshoe is for parents and kids - the water is cyrstal clear and about 8"-12" deep for a good 100 yards, so ideal for little ones with no menace, unlike the big surf furhter along.
Then, when you are all famished, wander 25 yards to 'The Kiosk' the misleadingly named and wonderful restaurant on the front there, and eat your fill of Morton Bay Bugs, Sushi, etc, etc for buttons. Great easy day. The other thing you could do is peel off to Manly market and buy a tray of mangos to eat on the beach - it will add half an hour to the journey out there though! Again, costs buttons as do most things out there.
Ferry leaves from Sydney harbour every hour.
For a beautiful way to spend a day, get yourself to Bondi and then start to walk along the cliffs that line the sea. From the right-hand edge of Bondi beach as you look at the sea, you'll find a path that runs past Tamarama, Bronte, and all the way to Coogee. You can stop along the way for a game of footie, a barbie, a beer or two and, of course, a swim. All the best bits of Sydney and some exercise too.
Bus from Bondi Junction to the beach then start walking!
A beautiful, almost tropical, beach in Sydney. Seems to be missed by most visitors, who stop when they get to Manly, but well worth the short walk.
Go to Manly on the ferry. Walk through to the beach and then turn right and walk along the seafront. You will end up at Shelly beach.
Tourists tend to rush for the drama of the ocean beaches - Bondi, Manly, Bronte, Coogee, Palm Beach - but there are dozens of beautiful little harbour beaches, which are better for tentative swimmers. The harbour is beautifully clear and clean (except for two days after torrential rain when the storm water turns it brown). Shark Bay at Nielson Park, Vaucluse, has a net and is very child friendly. And while tourists swarm like wasps around the over-hyped fish restaurants at Watson's Bay, you can stroll 500 yards through the old fishing village to the peace of Camp Cove, the best of the harbour beaches. (It's not that camp: the gay harbour beach, Lady Jane Beach, is the next one along.)
Little Bay is a beautiful and protected beach in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. Drive through the old close Prince Henry hospital ground, walk through a golf course and head down the stairs. It's an un patrolled beach but has a small nature reef that protects it from the elements. Great for kids and dogs and has heaps of over hanging rock ledges for shade.
South east of Randwick in Sydney and is bounded by Malabar to the north Chifley and Phillip Bay to the west, and La Perouse to the south.
For a mere $6.20 (about £2.50/45-minute journey) catch the train south from central Sydney to the lesser known beachside suburb of Cronulla. Often overlooked in favour of its northern cousins, Cronulla beach is the longest stretch of sand in Sydney, and makes a refreshing change from the crowded city beaches.
After submerging yourself in the south Pacific, head across the road to Northies pub, to quench your thirst, whilst enjoying stunning sea views. Get here early on a Sunday, as the place gets packed, especially during the summer months when things can get quite rowdy.
If your on a budget or just want to make the most of the perfect climate and coastel location, follow the cliff path to south Cronulla beach and continue about 500 metres past Cronulla Point until you get to the tranquil Shelly Park. Here you can take advantage of the communal barbecue area, whilst enjoying the ocean views with a beer.
An essential Sydney experience.
Catch the Bondi Junction to Cronulla train from any city station. (It's the blue line, by the way.)
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