Want to find out where the best beaches in Australia, Sydney are?
Then you’ve come to the right article as we’re about to show you the best beaches Australia’s Sydney has to offer.
Sydney is home to over one hundred beaches, so you’ll not have to venture too far to stumble across one.
In fact, you’ll likely struggle to find a place with more beaches than Sydney and the quality of them is practically unmatched.
But you want to find the best of the best, right? And since we run group tours in Australia throughout the year, we consider ourselves experts when it comes to Sydney’s beaches.
Whether you’re looking to lay on the sand and develop your tan or hit the waves on a surfboard, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for without any hassle in Sydney.
One of the best things about the beaches in Sydney is that there are coastal walks which connect a lot of them, allowing you to explore more than one beach a day.
After all, they say that if you visited one beach a day, you would need more than 32 years to visit every beach in Australia.
But without further ado, let’s crack on with the best beaches in Sydney, Australia.
Best Beaches in Sydney, Australia
Here’s a list of 15 of the best beaches that you can find in Sydney, Australia with lots of detail on why you should visit them all. We recommend you cram in as many beach days as you can while in Sydney as they have such great atmospheres and are the perfect environment for relaxation and sports.
1. Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach is perhaps one of the most famous beaches in all of Australia, never mind in Sydney. It’s in many TV shows and movies, so you’ll likely have heard of Bondi Beach at some point in your life.
Sydney’s Bondi Beach is pretty reliable for having some great waves for surfers and of course, you’ll experience the stereotypical Australian surfer atmosphere at this beach.
The perfect combination of the bright, sandy beach and the bright blue water is dream-worthy and you’ll be itching to return to Bondi Beach at every chance you get.
It’s one of the best things to do in Sydney, no doubt about it.
The beach is surrounded by lots of top spots including trendy cafes and coffeehouses. You should dine out in one of the many burger joints close to the beach if you’re looking to find a new favourite meal. The “Bondi Burger” is very popular- it’s delicious!
In fact, the area surrounding Bondi Beach is so good that when we visit the beach during our Sydney group tours, we leave some time for you to explore the suburb too.
2. Manly Beach
Manly Beach is one of Sydney’s most famous surfing beaches having hosted many championships in recent decades. It is home to the Australian Open of Surfing every year in February with people flocking from all over the continent to watch master-surfers take on the huge waves.
Manly Beach is absolutely huge covering a distance of around 1.5 km, so it’s a pretty huge beach! It stretches from South Steyne to North Steyne and Queenscliff. Queenscliff has a submerged reef which is responsible for all of the great waves that Manly Beach offers pro-surfers.
But you don’t have to be a championship winner to surf at Manly Beach, you’ll see many surf schools operating close to the shore and even complete beginners can take some classes.
At the North Steyne section of the beach, there is a sectioned area for visitors who wish to partake in sand sports like volleyball and like at any good beach, equipment is available to hire.
3. Coogee Beach
Coogee Beach is the perfect beach for families and beginner surfers. The waves are typically very calm allowing for more relaxed water activities. Children and less-experienced swimmers may benefit from a visit to Coogee Beach to allow them to gain more confidence in the water.
Coogee Beach is a really beautiful spot covering a very large area, so while it’s a super popular beach, you don’t feel too cramped on the golden sand. That’s why we love beaches in Sydney- they’re all huge!
A pedestrian walkway takes you along the whole length of the beach and gives easy access to some of the many fish and chip shops that entice customers after a relaxing day. For the Brits reading this, you’ll feel right at home here!
But going back to the beach itself, Coogee Beach is phenomenal and if it wasn’t for Sydney having some outstanding beaches, it would definitely top the list in any other destination.
4. Bronte Beach
Bronte Beach is located outside of the centre of Sydney on the eastern side and sits on Nelson Bay, surrounded by a luscious park. Set against a backdrop of rocky cliffs, Bronte Beach is a local favourite and not as well-known as some of the others on this list. It’s a great beach where tourists and locals mix.
And if there’s one thing we’ve learnt from our group tours, it’s that the Aussies are lovely people!
Multi-dollar homes line the coastline, perched perfectly over the valley of Bronte Park with its beautiful arrangement of trees and grasslands.
Bronte Beach has a large area of golden sand but as you enter the water, you have to be prepared to explore some rocky areas and pools. But don’t worry, there’s also a swimming pool too if you want to swim properly.
The beach has a very large range of facilities suitable for the entire family. There are playgrounds for children, BBQs and picnic pavilions with sheltered areas away from the hot sun. All in all, it’s a great day out.
5. Tamarama Beach
Tamarama is another popular beach for surfers but bodyboarders have it pinned as their favourite. While Tamarama Beach is quite small, it offers the perfect environment for bodyboarding due to the swells and currents.
Although the beach is small in size, it can be pretty dangerous, with more calls to the rescue services from Tamarama than any other beach in Sydney. Don’t be fooled by its beautiful setting – you’ll need to have your head in the game to surf or bodyboard at Tamarama.
But it really is beautiful, the contrast with natural beauty and man-made beauty in the background is amazing.
6. Maroubra Beach
Maroubra Beach is a popular beach due to having such easy access and a large expanse of sand. It is manned during daylight hours by council lifeguards, offering some reassurance to those who want to swim or surf in the rip-riddled ocean. That’s another great thing about beaches in Sydney, most of them have lifeguards which means you’re completely safe.
There are lots of things to do at Maroubra Beach including visiting the outdoor gym for a workout, it’s not quite Muscle Beach, but it’s still good. The skate park is the perfect place for boarders to take on the ramps and there’s also a large children’s playground too.
Lots of visitors like to take advantage of the free BBQ facilities, unfortunately, you do have to bring your own food though 😢. There are also shower and changing facilities at Maroubra and the kiosk at the centre of the beach is very good for providing well-needed snacks and refreshments.
7. Palm Beach
Palm Beach is affectionately called ‘Palmy’ by the locals and lies at the end of the very long peninsula. The beautiful sand and clear water have encouraged many rich locals to invest in huge mansions close to the beach.
Palm Beach has been very popular with travellers due to the series ‘Home and Away’ that has run for many years and has been the filming location from the beginning.
Palm Beach has been rated as having good surfing conditions, particularly at the northern end with a strong shorebreak at all times. The ocean is at its best when the wind is blowing northeasterly. If you’d prefer to swim then head to the southern end of the beach where the waves are more sheltered and there is a 35 m ocean pool.
But the area is what makes Palm Beach so amazing- it’s simply beautiful in every direction. There are panoramic views for days, it’s a beach that defines the word “paradise”.
The only downside is that you’ll have to be prepared for a bit of a road trip if you’d like to visit Palm Beach as it is the furthest beach from Sydney at 41 km. But for Australia, is that even that far??
8. Shelly Beach
Shelly Beach is particularly popular with divers and snorkellers due to the huge variety of marine life located quite close to the sea surface. The beach is a protected marine reserve meaning that life close to the shore is booming, and shouldn’t be missed on if you know how to snorkel or dive.
The beach is listed as one of the best for a picnic with family or friends and the water is crystal clear and calm.
Shelly Beach has showers, toilets, BBQs and a cafe making it a great location for a day out. The Boathouse Cafe has some great reviews and is the perfect spot for a more sit-down meal after a day at the beach.
But the main attraction to Shelly Beach is the snorkelling- it’s some of the best in Australia for sure, excluding the Great Barrier Reef, of course.
9. Cronulla Beach
Cronulla Beach is unique in that it is the only beach in Sydney that can be reached by train, allowing you to save money on parking – great bonus if you’re visiting on a budget or working holiday visa.
You can rest assured knowing professional lifeguards from Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club are stationed all year round close to the sand. There is also a cafe and restaurant nearby. Behind the beach is a large grassed area with plenty of shade to take a break from the heat and like most of these beaches, there is also a playground.
Cronulla Beach is well-known for its vast number of rock pools, great for kids and adults alike to explore the marine life living among the boulders.
Cronulla Beach also stands out from the rest as it is wheelchair accessible with disabled facilities on site, a beach wheelchair available and a Mobi Mat Service.
And although all of Australia has beautiful sunrises and sunsets, Cronulla Beach is a personal favourite of ours. When the sun has that orange haze, the beach is beautiful.
10. Freshwater Beach
Freshwater Beach is a small family beach wedged between two headlands. Swimming at the beach has been a popular activity for over one hundred years with waves being predictable.
Surfing can be done along the entire length of the shore but there are sections best suited to how good you are at surfing. The break towards the northern section of the shore is an ideal sport for less-experienced surfers.
Freshwater Beach doesn’t have very large waves so the most advanced surfers may not get what they’re looking for in comparison to other beaches along the Sydney shoreline, but the waves still promise a decent surf session. Take a look at the picture below…
And at the north end of the beach, there is a 50m saltwater pool with eight designated lanes for swimming, making it a good spot for those who like to swim routinely for some exercise. And as is the case for all of these beaches, several cafes and a restaurant overlook Freshwater Beach in Sydney, Australia.
11. Dee Why Beach
Dee Why Beach is the perfect weekday spot as it is typically very quiet, but its large size of 1.2 km allows everyone their own space to stretch out even at the busiest of times.
There’s a common theme throughout all of the best beaches in Australia Sydney, and that is that there’s an opportunity to surf.
Dee Why is classed as another surf beach, home to many competitions. It is also used for hosting Australia Day and New Year’s Eve firework displays. If you find yourself in Sydney on either of these occasions then you should make an effort to visit Dee Why Beach.
The beach is used primarily by swimmers and surfers with patrolled areas blocked off from the open sea as shown below. There are also sections specifically for children with gentler waves to help learners gain more confidence with sea swimming.
12. Narrabeen Beach
Narrabeen Beach is absolutely huge at 3 km long. Its golden sand extends on and on, seemingly forever.
You can probably guess by now, but Narrabeen Beach is most well-known for the North Narrabeen Break, which has bred some of the world’s most famous surfers, including world champions.
North Narrabeen is also a popular spot for fishermen with many different environments to scour for fish and other marine animals. Inlet, rock and beach fishing can all be done at Narrabeen Beach.
But like any good beach, there are plenty of places to relax and soak in the sun too.
13. Long Reef Beach
Long Reef is the ideal beach that you imagine in your head with wonderful stretches of white, perfect sand and crystal water.
One of the biggest draws of Long Reef Beach is the collection of shipwrecks along Long Reef Aquatic Reserve. Many of these shipwrecks were deliberate; ships were sunken to create artificial reefs to promote biodiversity. But that doesn’t make it any less cool!
Diving in this area is highly exciting and is an unforgettable experience, where else in the world can you dive through shipwrecks?!
It’s one of the most unique beaches in Australia that Sydney has to offer, no doubt about it.
14. Collaroy Beach
Collaroy Beach is very close to Long Reef Beach and you can walk between them using the coastal path. It is a popular beach among all age groups and group types, including visitors with low mobility.
The beach is entirely accessible with ramps, disabled toilets and accessible picnic tables. It is particularly popular with families with disabled children as the playground is fully adapted to wheelchair users. It’s great to see somewhere so accessibility-friendly.
Collaroy Beach itself is a pretty standard beach in terms of appearance. There aren’t any unique landscapes or anything, but it’s still a really nice beach. One of the best beaches in Sydney, that’s for sure.
It’s pretty common to see pelicans here too, which is pretty cool!
15. Balmoral Beach
Last but by no means least of the best beaches in Australia, Sydney is Balmoral Beach.
Balmoral Beach is the perfect location for any water sports enthusiasts. The waves are so calm that they could be compared to a swimming pool! Balmoral Beach is great for many sports that would just not be feasible at other points along the coastline.
Many visitors enjoy paddleboarding and kayaking at Balmoral Beach along with the likes of bodyboarding. You can learn to sail with the Balmoral Sailing School or take a scuba diving tour should you be interested in trying something new.
Pretty much anything you can think of to do in the sea, you can do it at Balmoral Beach.
Equally, many visitors enjoy just relaxing on the shore and working on their tans.
There are plenty of cafes and restaurants along the seafront of Balmoral Beach, all with different price points and cuisines. You are guaranteed a good meal after a day out on the ocean.
Best Beaches in Australia Sydney: FAQ
Below are some questions relating to the best beaches in Sydney along with our answers to each question.
Sydney is home to many beautiful beaches and it can be hard to pick out which one is the nicest.
If you’re looking for great surf then definitely head to Manly Beach to replicate the routes of champion surfers. The nicest beach for families in Sydney is Coogee Beach while the best beach for all-around fun and atmosphere would likely be the infamous Bondi.
Sydney, Australia is renowned for its nice beaches! The list is pretty endless of beaches that you could visit while staying in Sydney and there are different options suitable for many different activities, of course, the most famous is Bondi Beach. You’ll likely visit many beaches during your trip to Sydney.
Palm Beach has some of the clearest water out of all of the beaches near Sydney. Most beaches promise beautiful, glistening water but Palm Beach stands out for having crystal-clean waves and beautiful swimming spots.
You are permitted to swim at most beaches in Sydney. There are many beaches that are lifeguard patrolled and at these ones, you are advised to stay within the flags. If you are not confident with your swimming ability then you should opt to swim at smaller beaches that have rescue teams available should something go wrong.
No, Bondi Beach is not the biggest beach in Australia – that title goes to The Coorong. Bondi Beach is often considered the most popular beach in Sydney though and definitely deserves a visit while you’re there, particularly as it is closest to the city.
Final Thoughts: Best Beaches in Sydney Australia
And there you have it, a complete list of the best beaches in Australia, Sydney.
To summarise, Sydney is fit to burst with the number of gorgeous beaches that line its shores.
The best beaches in Sydney allow for a huge range of activities and group types. Whether you’re looking to surf, swim, sunbathe or dine by the ocean, there are lots of beach options to consider.
Our personal top 3 are Bondi Beach, Manly Beach and Coogee Beach, but the truth is, all of these beaches are amazing!
Remember, if you want to explore Sydney while making a new group of friends, check out our group tours in Sydney.
Whether you’re looking to travel solo or bring a friend along for the ride, our group tours in South East Asia & Australia are the perfect balance of culture, adventure, chill time & nightlife. You’ll arrive as strangers and leave as the best of friends.