Sydney beaches have become as iconic as the sails of the Sydney Opera House or the arch of the Darling Harbour Bridge, and if you’re wanting to know what the best beaches in Sydney are, you’ve come to the right place. We make it our business to investigate beaches, like, every weekend. 😉
From family friendly stretches, to rugged coastlines perfect for dogs, secluded coves for privacy, and glamorous sugar sand shores where you can show off your tan, there are plenty of Sydney beaches to choose from.
What are the best beaches in Sydney?
- Bondi Beach
- Tamarama Beach
- Shelly Beach
- Little Manly Beach
- Dee Why Beach
- Bronte Beach
- Maroubra Beach
- Obelisk Beach
- Coogee Beach
- Clovelly Beach
- Camp Cove Beach
- Cronulla Beach
1. Bondi Beach
How can we talk about Sydney’s best beaches without a nod to the most iconic of the lot? Bondi is busy, beautiful, and filled with beachcombers of all types. You can easily spend an entire day swimming in the sea, surfing, getting some vitamin D, and ducking in and out of the boutique and hip cafes and bars that line the promenade. You can also binge watch the once-popular TV show, Bondi Rescue, before your arrival and try to spot your favorite lifeguards while you’re there. This is the place to be for solo travellers, fitness buffs, and even families thanks to the enclosed sea pool.
Best Sydney beach for: a little of everything
2. Tamarama Beach
Tamarama Beach is a prime spot for getting away from the mega-crowds of Bondi while still staying close to all the city’s action. Here, you can throw a towel down on the light tan sand, go for a swim, and surf the popular left-hand reef break. It has a truly local feel to it, attracting Sydney’s residents instead of solely backpackers and tourists like many of the city’s other beaches. With its newly-renovated food stand, Tamarama Beach also makes for a great stop on the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, a trail that takes you past a host of Sydney beaches.
Best Sydney beach for: getting away from the crowds
3. Shelly Beach
Shelly Beach is secluded, quaint, and one of the go-to getaway Sydney beaches for beachcombers craving some relaxation without any hassle. It’s one of the best places to snorkel and scuba dive in Sydney, thanks to its clear, flat water and easy shore-to-sea accessibility. Divers often spot the site’s sunken motorcycle, weedy sea dragons, cuttlefish, and even dusky whaler sharks. There are public toilets, free barbecues, a children’s park, showers, and a kiosk to foster a picnic atmosphere, too.
Best Sydney beach for: snorkelling
4. Little Manly Beach
Little Manly Beach in the Sydney Harbour is an ideal hangout for families with kids of all ages. The water is calm, clean, and there are plenty of grass areas to roam around. When the little ones are done splashing and swimming, they can head over to the playground areas for even more active excitement. If you’re feeling hungry, there is the Little Manly Beach Kiosk to pick up some snacks and a cold drink. Get there by catching the Manly Ferry, a boat ride that takes you through the Sydney Harbour. Of all the Sydney beaches, we have to say, this one forces you to make a spectacular entrance.
Best Sydney beach for: kidsFind accommodation in Sydney
5. Dee Why Beach
No matter if you’re based on the north end of Sydney or just looking to go somewhere new, Dee Why is an incredible beach ideal for families and those in search of a relaxed atmosphere. It’s long stretch of sand is bordered by tranquil waters. Since the beach is so large, there is almost always a secluded spot to throw down a towel away from everyone else. With two swimming pools, a colorful playground, toilets, showers, and a string of nearby cafes, what more could you ask for? One of the best Sydney beaches, especially if you’ve got little ones.
Best Sydney beach for: families
6. Bronte Beach
Bronte Beach is a crowd pleaser for all types of beach bums. There’s a challenging surf break for more experienced surfers, a lap pool for swimmers, and a natural rock pool for children to splash around in. Of course, all of this is easily accessed by a pristine beach that typically doesn’t draw as big of a crowd as its more popular neighbors like Bondi or Coogee. If you’re with group of people with mixed interests, there’s no better place to go than Bronte Beach.
Best Sydney beach for: water activities
7. Maroubra Beach
Take a surf lesson, rent a board, or paddle out with your own surfboard at Maroubra Beach, one of Sydney’s best surfing beaches. It’s a long stretch of shore that is rarely crowded and has a vibe that might have you feeling that you’ve left Sydney altogether. When the surf is up, be sure to swim only between the flags as the currents can get heavy. In terms of how it ranks among Sydney beaches, many coastal walkers also cite this stretch as being a favorite. The beach has nearby eateries as well as a playground, free parking, and toilet facilities.
Best Sydney beach for: surfingCompare Flights to Sydney
8. Obelisk Beach
Love to let it all hang loose? This Sydney beach has a bit of a cheeky reputation (no pun intended), there’s no need to feel inhibited at Obelisk Beach, a beach with a reputation for being clothing optional. It’s located on the southern side of Middle Head and is a prime spot for snorkelling, paddling, swimming, and of course, getting an all-over tan. The water is flat and there are a few shady trails nearby to explore when you need some respite from the sun.
Best Sydney beach for: nudists and naturists
9. Coogee Beach
Hip and filled with those donning the latest trends in swimwear, Coogee Beach, is only really second to Bondi when it comes to famous Sydney beaches. This gorgeous and spacious stretch comes complete with calm water, an ocean pool, a women’s only pool, and tens of nearby cafes and boutique shops. It’s easily accessed by public transportation and is often the beautiful beginning or end point for those going on a coastal walk. There are toilets, showers, a grass hill, and a playground area for kids.
Best Sydney beach: for coastal walks and cafes
10. Clovelly Beach
Clovelly is different from typical Sydney beaches, because one of its main appeals is not the light tan sand luring its visitors close, but rather, the large promenades on either side of the water that you can sunbathe on. It’s intimate, small, and you can easily spend a few hours rotating from the sun to the sea, especially since there is so much sunbathing real estate right by the water. Pack a snorkel too, the cove is known for hosting all types of sea life like gropers, octopi, rays, and more.
Best Sydney beach for: spotting marine life
11. Camp Cove
Secluded, rarely crowded, and relaxed, Camp Cove is perhaps the most underrated of Sydney’s beaches. But that’s okay, because it simply means you’re likely to have a generous patch of sand all to yourself. Pack your snorkel, the calm water makes for prime skin diving conditions. It’s a great escape from the hectic pace of downtown Sydney, but still close enough to Watson’s Bay to check back in whenever you need.
Best Sydney beach for: relaxation and great viewsCompare Flights to Sydney
12. Cronulla Beach
Out of all of the Sydney beaches, Cronulla is the only beach in the city that can be reached by train, making it the perfect stop for sunny days that are sure to lure everyone from the region down to the beach. It’s famous for its surf, large stretch of sand, and family-friendly atmosphere. Use Cronulla as a base for the Cronulla walk, a two-hour trek that weaves you through other nearby beaches, pools, local flora, and viewpoints.
Best Sydney beach for: access and long walks
Ready to tick some Sydney beaches off your bucket list? Skyscanner Australia can help you find the cheapest flight, book a hotel room, and hire a car.
|Little Manly Beach||Manly|
|Dee Why Beach||Dee Why|
|Camp Cove Beach||Woollahra|
Looking for things to do in the evening too? Read our great guide on all the free things you can do in Sydney.
Love beaches? Read about the best beaches in Southeast Asia, perfect for when winter rolls around and our own Sydney beaches get a little chilly!
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