Exploring the Cronulla Beach Walk
This popular Cronulla Beach Walk explores the waterfront of Bate Bay and some of southern Sydney’s most beautiful beaches. It begins at Wanda Surf Life Saving Club and follows the Esplanade 4km to Bass and Flinders Point.
Kurranulla meaning ‘place of pink seashells’ is on Dharawal Country.
- Why you should do the Cronulla coastal walk this weekend
- Wanda Beach
- Elouera Beach
- North Cronulla Beach
- South Cronulla Beach aka Cronulla Beach
- Blackwoods Beach
- Shelly Beach
- Oak Park Beach
- Bass and Flinders Point
- Salmon Haul Reserve
- Darook Beach
- How to get to Cronulla
- More things to do in the Sutherland Shire
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Why you should do the Cronulla coastal walk this weekend
One of southern Sydney’s beautiful coastal walks, this is a lovely way to spend a sunny day. The walk takes in dunes, five ocean pools, two large and several smaller playgrounds and plenty of fabulous picnic spots overlooking Bate Bay.
Backed by the popular Don Lucas Reserve with playground and fitness stations, the walk officially begins here, and if you are driving, this is a great place to park. As long as you arrive early, especially in summer, although there are loads of spaces here, they fill quickly on warm days.
Four surf life-saving clubs patrol this 5.5km stretch of sand. Well known for rips, if you decide to take a swim while on your walk make sure you stick to the flagged areas.
Wanda usually offers the best surf along the beach and a great place to watch the surfers do their thing. It’s also an ideal spot to give your legs a workout by walking on the sand for the first part of the walk.
Elouera Beach is an escape when North Cronulla gets busy, and you want a patch of sand to yourself. The very popular Summer Salt restaurant overlooks the beach and is a lovely spot for a special lunch or dinner.
North Cronulla Beach
Dunningham Park has been a popular spot for picnics since the 1920s. The extensive park leads down to North Cronulla Beach, and if you have travelled by train, you can cheat and begin the walk here.
If you visit on a Saturday morning, you will find nippers out competing up and down the beach – if you have never watched them training before, grab a juice or coffee from one of the nearby cafes and sit for a while.
Two ocean pools sit on the rock shelf between North and South Cronulla. The North Cronulla pool is relatively shallow and the best choice for kids and best at low tide.
The South Cronulla pool is an excellent spot for swimming laps.
South Cronulla Beach aka Cronulla Beach
Most of the time, this is the busiest beach along the strip. It’s the closest to the station and is surrounded by cafes, takeaway food options and the Cronulla RSL with its large balcony. If hunger strikes, this is a goodplace to stop for a while.
The beach has a Beach Wheelchair and Mobi Mat service. Cronulla Park backs the beach and offers lots of shaded grassy places to relax.
The smallest beach along this section of the coast at only 40m is hard to see from the path, which is probably just as well cause I am not sure how families would feel about what they might see on this said to be “Clothing optional” beach. If you decide to swim here, watch out for the rocks underfoot, which can trip you up. Disappearing sand over the years seems to see this beach getting smaller all the time, sadly.
Like many of Sydney’s ocean pools, Shelly Beach Rock Pool was built by locals. The first incarnation appeared in the early 1900s, and in the 1930s, it was formally rebuilt. There is ramp access to the pool.
There is a lovely Art Deco style pavilion here and the second a little further along at Oak Park.
The huge playground at Shelly Beach is a big draw card for anyone taking kids to the beach. I love that it’s fenced; as a nana, I find it too stressful visiting unfenced playgrounds, lol.
This Cronulla beach walk is a great pram walk with almost all the trail flat.
Oak Park Beach
Looking very much like Shelly Beach, with a matching yellow pavilion and ocean pool Oak Park may not have a playground, but it has plenty of open space and two covered BBQs.
Oak Park Rock Pool offers flat entry to the water from the sand, but there are stairs to access the beach. A rock ledge below the path provides some shade later in the day, and there is a small patch of grass for those who don’t enjoy sitting on sand but like to be close to the water.
Facilities, which include showers and toilets, are usually pretty clean. If you arrive early, there is parking, but it can be a bit of a hike if you turn up at lunchtime.
Bass and Flinders Point
This sandstone monument commemorates a visit by Matthew Flinders and George Bass when mapping Botany Bay.
He wrote in his journal “sailed past this point in Tom Thumb II on 30 March 1796 and named it Port Hacking.”Matthew Flinders
The top of the monument was dedicated in 1947, and the area was renewed in 1998.
While the walk is official over, once you reach Bass and Flinders Point, we always keep going. Just 200m further, you come to a favourite local spot that many don’t bother continuing on to.
Salmon Haul Reserve
A brand new pirate ship adventure fort opened here last year, making this spot very popular for local families.
If you are looking to get away from the crowds mid-week on a sunny day at Cronulla, this is one of your best bets. Pack your snorkel and see what you can spot off the rocks here.
If you want to keep walking, we usually follow the path as far as it goes and then make your way up the path away from the water to join Nicholson Parade to Darook Park.
At the tip of the Cronulla peninsula is Hungry Point. Much of the point is home to the Marine Rescue Base, although there are some areas of reserve you can enjoy if you can find them!
Adjoining the park is the pretty little Darook Beach which is another popular picnic spot. With plenty of lawn and shady trees, it’s popular for picnics and get-togethers.
Darook Beach provides a safe swimming spot on the calm waters of Gunnamatta Bay.
If you need to get back to Cronulla Station, just follow Nicholson Parade to Gunnamatta Park. It’s about 1.5km all up and an easy flat walk.
How to get to Cronulla
Cronulla is a popular beachside area in Sydney’s south, 26 kilometres from the city centre. Sitting on a peninsula, the suburb is surrounded by water, with Port Hacking on one side, Bate Bay to the East and Botany Bay behind the sand dunes of Greenhills.
Cronulla train station is the only station in Sydney within walking distance of the beach
Public Transport: Cronulla is the last stop on the T4 train line. The trip from Central takes 55 minutes. There are also buses from Sutherland, Hurstville and Kurnell and a ferry service from Bundeena.
More things to do in the Sutherland Shire
- Visit Kamay Botany Bay National Park and explore the Kurnell Peninsula
- You can also see the landing place of Captain Cook
- Go four wheel driving at Boat Harbour
- Take a walk in the Royal National Park
- Visit the beautiful Camellia Garden at Caringbah
- Ride the Tom Thumb ferry from Cronulla Wharf to Bundeena and see the Aboriginal engravings
- Hike between the Cape Bailey and Cape Solendar Lighthouses – a great spot for whale watching, July and August are peak times but you can spot them right through to November.
Want more waterfront walks?
Try one of these:
- Manly and North Head Walk
- Maroubra to Malabar -one of the lesser known eastern suburbs walks.
- Bondi to Coogee walk in the eastern suburbs
- Federation Cliff Walk
Need more ideas? Join our Sydney Expert Facebook Group where you can ask questions, stay updated with what’s happening and meet a bunch of friendly locals just waiting to share their advice!
About the author: Paula Morgan, a born-and-bred Sydney resident, has been sharing this city and its secret spots for over 15 years. She’s not just about the iconic landmarks; she’s all about the hidden alleys adorned with street art, and the joy of discovering a new café or a fabulous restaurant tucked away in a corner you never knew existed.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned local, her articles have that special touch that can only come from someone who truly knows and loves their city. She’s your go-to source for all things Sydney and the Blue Mountains.