Reef Beach at Dobroyd Head in Sydney’s North Harbour is a secluded strip of sand, with scenic views of the Harbour and Manly Cove on the opposite side.
How to Get to Reef Beach
Street parking is available on Beatty St or Geddes St. From there you walk about 400 metres to Reef Beach via the Spit to Manly walking trail. More parking is available at Tania Park on Dobroyd Scenic Drive. The walk from there to the beach is a bit longer.
Various bus routes pass through Balgowlah Heights from Manly and the City via Neutral Bay. Check the bus timetable on the NSW Transport Info website.
What makes Reef Beach attractive is its secluded location with picturesque views that make for a very relaxing atmosphere.
Facing north-east, towards Manly Cove, the beach itself is only 80 metres long and not very wide. Both the beach and the water are very clean, surrounded by bushland and rocky platforms.
Just behind the beach runs a wooden walkway with a bench that is part of the Spit Bridge to Manly walking trail. At low tide, Aboriginal rock carvings are visible but you would need to go look for them.
in the 1970’s and 1980’s Reef Beach used to be a very popular nude beach, with big crowds of nudists and naturists visiting the beach on warm summer days. But since 1993, nude bathing has been prohibited.
Since then, Reef Beach has been a very quiet and somewhat secretive spot to go sun bathing and swimming. For many this is considered to be a great benefit as it’s becoming increasingly difficult in busy Sydney to still find a quiet beach in the weekends.
Nearby beaches are Forty Baskets beach further north and Washaway beach and Clontarf beach towards the south and west. These are all on the Spit to Manly walk.
Toilet and shower facilities are available a bit further behind the beach.
Reef beach can be reached by walking a small section of the famous Manly Scenic Walkway from the big parking area at Tania Park or from one of the suburban streets further north.
This section is also known as the Reef Beach Track.