A selection of the best beaches in and around Sydney and New South Wales, including maps, pictures, facilities and things to do.

Best beaches in Sydney

Sydney is blessed with literally hundreds of beautiful beaches scattered around the Harbour and along the coast.

White sandy beaches, surf beaches, secluded beaches that not many people know about, world-famous beaches such as Bondi and Manly, Sydney has a perfect beach for everyone.

10 Great Beaches in and around Sydney

Here is a selection of 10 of the most popular and best beaches in Sydney you should visit.

1. Bondi Beach

It’s no surprise that Australia’s most iconic beach tops the list. As crowded and hectic as it may be, Bondi Beach does have everything you would expect from a beach. Plenty of sand and green space to share, lots of cafes and restaurants and also many shops and markets nearby to get your shopping fix.

2. Manly Beach

Manly is Bondi’s biggest rival in Sydney’s north shore, and is also a must visit for every tourist. Catch a ferry from Circular Quay and spend a full day in one of Australia’s most popular beach side suburbs. Don’t forget to visit nearby Shelly Beach, a small strip of sand with calm waters, just around the corner of Manly’s main beach.

3. Palm Beach

Usually packed out on summer weekends, Palm Beach is Sydney’s most northerly beach side suburb. It’s no wonder Palm Beach always attracts big crowds, with one long strip of sand facing the ocean, and a smaller beach facing Pittwater. While you’re there, make sure you hike up the hill to visit the Barrenjoey Lighthouse.

4. Coogee

A bit smaller than Bondi, Coogee Beach a spacious strip of sand with usually gentle waves, great for swimming and sunbathing. Coogee has a range of facilities, such as an ocean pool, a women’s only pool, toilets and showers, and loads of cafes, restaurants and shops conveniently located just behind the beach.

5. Whale Beach

Whale Beach is a picturesque, 600m long strip of sand in Sydney’s northern beaches region, close to Palm Beach. Perhaps not as well known as its bigger neighbour, Whale Beach is usually much quieter with a very pleasant and secluded atmosphere.

Whale Beach

6. Freshwater

Popular with surfers, Freshwater is a 350m long strip of sand located just north of Manly Beach. Swimming can be somewhat hazardous here because of the waves and rips, but surfing conditions are usually excellent.

7. Bronte

Bronte is another popular beach destination in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, with a large park and lots of trendy cafes behind the beach. Bronte has great surf conditions and also has a lap pool for amateur swimmers and a natural rock pool for a fun splash.

8. Maroubra

One of Sydney’s most popular surf beaches is Maroubra, located south of Coogee. The beach is long and wide so that there’s always a free spot, even on warm and sunny days. Maroubra has excellent facilities such as free parking, toilets and showers, a large playground and many cafes and restaurants.

9. Cronulla

Located in the Sutherland Shire, Cronulla has a very strong beach culture with several large and smaller strips of sand to choose from. Popular with surfers, swimmers and families, Cronulla has lots of free parking space and also a train station.

10. Balmoral Beach

Located in Sydney’s north shore facing the Harbour, Balmoral is a popular beach destination for families and sunbathers. With its very calm waters, Balmoral Beach is perfect for swimming, stand-up paddle boarding and snorkeling.

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Gordons Bay, a Secluded Oasis North of Coogee

Located just moments away from Clovelly and Coogee beach, Gordons Bay is a small piece of paradise along the coastal walk between Bondi and Coogee.

Protected by a reef, the bay is a popular spot for fishing, swimming, diving and snorkeling, away from the crowds at the large beaches close by.

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Ettalong, Umina and Pearl Beach – Spend a Day Beach Hopping on the Central Coast

Escape the crowds at Sydney’s popular beaches and visit Ettalong, Umina and Pearl Beach on the Central Coast instead. Overlooking Brisbane Water and Broken Bay, these three family-friendly strips of sand are perfect for swimming and other water-based activities.

Ettalong, Umina and Pearl Beach are neighbouring beaches all within easy driving distance, so why not explore all three of them in one day?

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Bennetts Beach in Hawks Nest

Bennetts Beach is a beautiful 14km long strip of white sand on the Myall Coast in Hawks Nest. Popular with surfers, swimmers and sunbathers, the beach runs between Seal Rocks in the north and Yakaba Headland in the south.

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Sirius Cove Reserve, a Quiet Hideaway in Mosman

Sirius Cove Reserve is a dog-friendly hideaway in the suburb of Mosman in Sydney’s lower north shore. Often referred to as Little Sirius Cove, this charming natural treasure boasts a quiet beach, a playground and a large picnic area.

It’s also a great starting point for the walking trail going east to Taronga Zoo, Bradleys Head and Chowder Bay, or going west to Cremorne Point.

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Maitland Bay Track in Bouddi National Park

The Maitland Bay track is a short but steep bushwalk in Bouddi National Park that winds its way down from the Information Centre to the stunning beach of Maitland Bay.

Be mesmerised by the beauty of the national park as you hike through the rainforest all the way down to the yellow sand of Maitland Bay. Stroll along the beach to Bouddi Point and discover some of the remains of an old shipwreck.

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