Milk Beach and Strickland House in Vaucluse
Milk Beach is a tiny, secluded strip of sand right in front of the historic Strickland House in Vaucluse, facing the beautiful Sydney Harbour.
If you prefer to avoid the big crowds in Bondi, Coogee and Manly, try Milk Beach for a lazy afternoon in the sun.
How to Get to Milk Beach
Milk Beach and Strickland House are on the Hermitage Foreshore Track, so following this walk is the best way to visit the beach.
Limited street parking is available on nearby streets such as Vaucluse Rd, Wentworth Road and Carrara Rd. Be mindful though that in weekends street parking may be hard to find.
Various bus routes pass through Vaucluse with stops on Vaucluse Road (number 325). Check the bus timetable on the NSW Transport Info website.
Milk Beach is one of those picturesque beaches that the tourists don’t yet know about, despite the fact that you can enjoy the best views.
Overlooking Hermit Bay and Sydney Harbour, this 50 metres long and 5 metres wide strip of white sand is quietly tucked away in Vaucluse, one of the most expensive suburbs in Australia, minutes away from busy Bondi Beach.
Located halfway along the Hermitage Foreshore Walk, Milk Beach is the perfect spot to spend a relaxing Sunday afternoon.
But as secluded as Milk Beach may appear, it does get crowdy at times, especially on hot summer days, with families and young people enjoying a swim and a nice cold beer. Yachts typically rock up in front of the beach as well.
Being such a small strip of sand, there are no cafes or shower facilities at the beach. Nielsen Park and Shark Beach a bit further north do have these amenities if you need them.
There are picnic tables located in the Strickland House parkland right behind the beach though, so it’s a good idea to bring your own food with you. Dogs and loud music unfortunately are not allowed at Milk Beach.
Milk Beach is also a great (and free) vantage point for the famous Sydney NYE fireworks. With the CBD skyline and Harbour Bridge ahead of you, the views are pretty good.
There are a few more beaches close to Milk Beach that are worth visiting. Queens beach and Tingara beach are located at the other side of Hermit Bay and are just as small and secluded as Milk Beach is, if not smaller.
Shark Beach is a family friendly beach further north and can get very busy in summer weekends. Nielsen Park, right behind the beach, is one of Sydney’s most popular recreation areas. Parking is very hard to find here so it’s best to come early on warm summer days.
Strickland House is a heritage listed mansion located right behind Milk beach, overlooking Sydney Harbour.
Designed and built in Victorian Italianate style in the 1850’s, the 3 storey sandstone house was the home of Sydney’s first lord mayor, John Hosking.
If you’re visiting Strickland House coming from Vaucluse Road, the official address is number 52 Vaucluse Rd. Simply walk through the gates (open from 9AM til 5PM daily) and follow the winding road down to the impressive mansion.
Make sure you wander around the grounds of the house to get a good feel of what it must have been like to live there back in the day.
The atmosphere and the views make this also a very popular wedding venue. And with several tables under shady trees, you can hardly find a better place to enjoy a picnic in Sydney.
The grounds around Strickland house form an urban park, open 7 days a week. Strickland House itself is only open to the public 1 day a year, during the National Heritage Week.
History of Strickland House
More than 150 years old, Strickland House is of exceptional historical significance to the state of New South Wales.
The site was first owned by William Charles Wentworth, as part of an early land grant, who gifted it to his daughter. The site was eventually sold to Charles Lowe who started building the house in 1854.
John Hosking, the first Lord Mayor of Sydney, purchased the site in 1856 and completed construction of Strickland House which was then named “Carrara”. John Hosking lived in the mansion from around 1858 to 1876.
After buying the foreshore strip of land in 1912, the Government finalised the purchase of the remainder of the site including the house in 1914. In 1915, Carrara was officially opened as Strickland Convalescent Home for Women. In 1933, Strickland House became a hospital for both women and men.
Strickland House was closed for hospital use in 1989 and has been in public use since 1994. Because the cost of maintenance of the house and grounds is so high, there has been talk about allowing commercial uses for the site, such as a cafe or restaurant, but no plans have yet been implemented.
Time will tell what the future brings for beautiful Strickland House.
Milk Beach Map
The best way to get to Milk Beach is to simply follow the Hermitage Foreshore Track from either Rose Bay or Watsons Bay.
If you prefer to go directly to the beach and Strickland House, parking is available in the surrounding streets of Vaucluse.
Alternatively, bus route 325 goes through Vaucluse with stops on Vaucluse Rd.