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.
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.
Take the easy cliff-top walk from Bondi beach to the smaller and more intimate Bronte. The view is beautiful and you get away from the noise and clamour of Bondi.
If you face the Pavilion on Bondi Beach, turn left and follow the path around along the sea front.
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.
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.)
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