The Best Beaches Near Sydney, Australia

There’s a perfect beach near Sydney for every type of beachgoer
There’s a perfect beach near Sydney for every type of beachgoer | © Australia Photography / Alamy Stock Photo
When spending a day at the ocean near Sydney, most people will head straight for Bondi, but there are actually many beaches to choose from near this bustling city.

Australia is world-famous for its beaches. From surfing to volleyball and BBQs, no summer in New South Wales is complete without some quality days on the sand. The metropolitan city of Sydney has a plethora of beaches to choose from, each with its own unique appeal. From diving, surfing, fishing, sunbathing or even just enjoying a beer near the shore, there’s a perfect beach near Sydney for every type of day out. Here are four of the most beautiful coastlines to explore.

Bondi Beach

Natural Feature

Australia’s most famous beach, Bondi has all the requirements of a perfect summer day: blazing sunshine, white sands and perfect waves. Even if you’ve never visited Bondi’s sands before, you will probably recognise it from the many films and TV shows that have filmed here over the years. People who visit this area of Australia frequently refer to the “Bondi Bubble”, as the area’s cafes, restaurants and bars provide enough entertainment to persuade visitors to remain beachside for their entire stay. After you have spent a day on the beach, head up to visit Sean’s Panaroma restaurant for some delicious home-cooked food and stunning views of the beach, before heading on to explore the many beachside bars.

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Accessibility & Audience:

Dog Friendly, Family Friendly

Atmosphere:

Touristy, Scenic, Crowded, Loud, Outdoors, White Sand

Manly Beach

Natural Feature

While Bondi Beach is the most popular of Sydney’s shorelines, some people argue that the lesser known Manly Beach is actually superior in many ways. Easily accessed by water on the Manly Beach ferry ride, Manly Beach is a quieter option to many of the other beaches in the area. Stretching for over three kilometres (1.9 miles), Manly has plenty of space for everyone to relax and catch some rays. The tide break here is gentler than other Sydney beaches, which makes Manly a great spot for beginner surfers to have a go in the waves. While visiting this beach, make sure to also take a stroll down The Corso, a wide and clean pedestrian-only street that hosts a selection of sculptures, buskers and palm trees. Home to Quicksilver and Billabong surf shops, browse the boards and bikinis before sitting down for a cocktail at The Glasshouse bar.

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Gordons Bay

Natural Feature

A secluded and rocky beach, Gordons Bay feels a little like a hidden gem among Sydney’s larger bays. While this secluded oasis isn’t suitable for sunbathing on the sand, it’s a popular spot for fishing and diving, as the bay is protected by a reef and home to many interesting sea creatures. Go for a dive at Gordons Bay and you will find much more than rocks and seaweed, as the bay has its own underwater nature trail, with a series of steel plaques attached to concrete drums, with information about the local sea life. Give yourself around an hour to complete the entire trail, which stretches for around 600 metres (2,000 feet) under the waves.

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Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Atmosphere:

Local, Quiet, Outdoors

Bronte Bay

Natural Feature

Located in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, Bronte Bay is a small but fun beach that is perfect for playing games and having picnics, with tables available along the rocky edge of the south side of the beach. The current can be quite strong in the water here, meaning that only confident surfers should attempt this break and that the water is sometimes difficult for swimmers. The rocks around the coastline form a smaller separate natural pool, however, that is perfect for younger children to paddle in and search for rock pool creatures. Just half a kilometre away from Bronte Bay is the home of Waves Surf School, where new surfers can book themselves in for a half-day or full-day lesson, for professional advice on how to pop on their board and successfully start riding the waves.

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These recommendations were updated on May 28, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.