Photo: Coogee Beach East Sydney Australia
From the Cronulla beaches in the south to Palm Beach in the north, beaches in Sydney have miles (kilometres for you locals) of glorious sand for relaxing, surfing and your enjoyment.
Beaches in Sydney are essentially divided into three areas, the Northern Beaches, bordered by the outlet to the ocean of Sydney harbour at Manly all the way up to Palm Beach. The East and Southern Beaches, stretch from Bondi all the way down to Cronulla on the south side of Botany Bay. Then of course, there are also a number of beaches on the harbour, popular for their calmer water conditions.
Amongst the best places: Bondi Beach, Coogee, Collaroy and Manly are the most well known Sydney beaches that have it all, sun, surf, sand, but also great restaurants, shopping and things to do for the whole family. They are also backed with bustling entertainment and nightlife, making them an interesting alternative place from the city to base yourself for a stay in Sydney.
Many, though not all, of the other beaches in Sydney also have their own collection of restaurants and eateries, boutique shopping and weekend markets, surf shops and all things beachy.
Sydney has other beautiful scenic beaches well off the normal tourist track and during weekdays, tranquil and relaxing. All have their own ambience, framed by the moods of the ocean and weather. You will find every Sydneysider has his or her favourite beach, yet you would be hard pressed to find someone that has been able to swim or surf at all of them at least once in their lifetime.
All the larger, more popular beaches have a surf club (Beach Safety: Surf Life Saving Clubs), change facilities and picnic areas, a number of them with free barbeque facilities, perfect for a day out with friends and family. A true Aussie experience.
Most beaches close to the city are easily accessible from Wynyard Bus terminal for the Northern Beaches, or Circular Quay, Town Hall and Central Rail Station for buses and trains to the beaches in the east such as Bondi Beach and the south, all the way to the Cronulla Beaches. You can even catch the train right down to Cronulla.
Map Showing location of Wynyard and Circular Quay:
Sydney has bright sunny days even during winter (June - August) so wear sun-protective clothing, especially between 10am to 3pm. Find a good SPF30+ sunscreen that is water resistant. Use shade and wear a hat, it all helps to stay looking young, healthy and beautiful, as you do.
Safety and enjoyment go hand in hand. Rule number One: Swim between the Orange and Yellow Flags set up by on duty lifesavers. If there are no flags, the beach is not being patrolled at that time.
If you are not familiar with Australian ocean swimming conditions, swim only at beaches in Sydney patrolled by a lifeguard during the weekdays, and the very experienced Surf Club lifesavers on weekends. Even strong swimmers can find themselves in difficult situations by making the wrong assumptions on beach conditions.
Red and Yellow Flags
Most of the Sydney beaches listed here have surf clubs and are patrolled by well trained, highly skilled volunteer lifeguards on weekends and public holidays during the pre summer, summer and post summer months.
They advise all swimmers to swim in the area between the Red and Yellow Flags that they set up for you and your family’s safety. Feel free to talk to one of them, they are happy to advise on water safety and local conditions.
Surf can get big to very big on different Sydney and Australia beaches at times, depending on which direction the swell is coming from, so please follow advice of lifeguards. If there are extraordinary conditions, such as strong undertows, or extremely rough conditions they will close the beach and signpost it accordingly.
Surfboard and surf-ski riders have their own area(s) marked apart for them, swimmers should stay away.
For the full facts go here Beach Safety from Surf Life Saving Australia.
Those closer to the mountains can have their share of fun at the water theme parks:
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Photo: Rollerblading at Bondi Beach