It’s hard to beat Sydney when it comes to successfully blending urban amenities with laid-back coastal living. The city has about 70 beaches suitable for surfing, along with even more peaceful harbour coves for sunbathing and swimming. No trip to Sydney would be complete without a visit to its famous Bondi Beach, where you can people-watch and catch a legendary wave. Yet popular beaches like Bondi, Manly, and Palm Beach can be crowded with throngs of visitors. If you want to get away from it all, try paying a visit to one of Sydney’s lesser known beaches.
Flat Rock Beach
A secluded sandy beach on the shores of Middle Harbour, Flat Rock Beach can be accessed by kayak, bushwalk through the surrounding Garigal Park, or car. There’s ample parking for up to 50 cars, but the lot is rarely full. Some care should be taken when swimming, as the beach is isolated and has a number of rocks in the surf. Flat Rock beach is best suited to taking a break and watching the boats as they drift by.
A popular beach with families and snorkelers, Shelly Beach is located in Sydney’s Manly suburb and is part of the protected Cabbage Tree Bay. One prime attraction of Shelly Beach is its snorkelling and diving opportunities. The maximum depth is only 12 metres, allowing marine life to thrive in shallow waters. Beginning surfers are also drawn to this peaceful spot, with its shallow surf break on the western end of the beach. Amenities for visitors include electric barbeques, toilets, and showers,
Lady Martins Beach
Tucked into one of the most exclusive suburbs in Sydney, Lady Martins Beach is accessed using a narrow lane next to the Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club. In addition to the beach’s charms, you can enjoy walking around viewing some of the ritziest Sydney real estate that you’ll see listed on Homesales. There are only eleven streets in Point Piper, putting nearby housing in high demand. This gives Lady Martins Beach an air of exclusivity, when you’re looking for a posh place to take a secret dip.
If you’re looking for a romantic spot, Milk Beach offers spectacular views of the city’s Harbour Bridge, Rose Bay, and skyline. Located in Sydney Harbour National Park, Milk Beach is a small getaway that sits at the base of Hermit Bay. It’s surrounded by the Strickland House property, which is heritage listed. The water is warm and shallow, making the beach ideal for fishing, snorkelling, and swimming. However, it’s perhaps at its best with a picnic and a loved one.
Located in the heart of Ku-ring-gai-Chase National Park, Resolute Beach is truly a hidden gem in Sydney. It feels like you’ve entered tropical paradise with the golden sands and bright blue waves, with the beach surrounded by dramatic cliffs and greenery. It’s possible to drive into the park, but you’ll need to hike eight kilometres from the car park to get to the beach, over uneven and steep terrain. For this reason, the easiest way to access Resolute Beach is via boat.
Rachel MacDonald is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer who has worked as a copywriter for businesses from Lima to San Francisco. She specializes in travel, design, and the arts