Visit one of these relatively secret Sydney Harbour Beaches and get off the beaten track!
Every guidebook you read will tell you that you must visit Bondi and Manly but if your itinerary allows it why not try to visit one of these less known Sydney Harbour beaches and see just how lucky we Sydneysiders are.
Collins and Store Beaches Manly
This secluded little spot on Sydney Harbour is a great place to spend an hour or two escaping the rat-race. After a short bushwalk past a lovely small waterfall, you reach the flat sandy beach. The shoreline is home to a fairy penguin colony so keep an eye out and see if you can spot one. While it is almost deserted during the week, it can get a little busy on weekends when boats anchor nearby for parties. There are no facilities at all so make sure you bring water with you.
Getting there: Collins Beach is a 15-minute uphill walk from Manly Wharf.
Website: Sydney Harbour National Park – Collins Beach
Tip: While you are in the area visit the Manly Visitor’s Centre for maps and guides of more great walks in the area.
Once a nude beach, a visit to Reef beach is only for the hardy. Access is via a bush track through Sydney Harbour National Park, but your efforts will be rewarded with an almost deserted beach and looking across the harbour to Manly. The facilities are basic with bush toilets, cold showers and tap water available.
Getting there: It is a 15 minute (1km) walk along a bush track from Forty Baskets Beach
Tip: Don’t miss the wildflowers on the trail above the beach in Spring.
Perhaps better known as Nielson Park, Shark Beach is also part of Sydney Harbour National Park. This small shaded beach is popular with families and provides sheltered swimming in beautiful surroundings. There is a cafe for snacks and plenty of trees offering shade on hot summer’s days. Parking can be difficult, but there is a bus service from Bondi Junction or the city that drops you off at the entrance to the park behind the beach.
Getting there: Bus 325
Website: Sydney Harbour National Park – Shark Bay
Tip: This beach is suitable for disabled visitors with a little effort.
Woollahra Council Parsley Bay Website.
Tip: the net is only in place in summer so take care swimming at other times of the year.
Located along the well known Manly to Spit Bridge walk Clontarf beach is an excellent spot for families. There are bbq’s, a playground, a great cafe and a pool. There are also some great views looking across Spit Bridge so bring your camera.
Getting there: 400m from the 132 or 171 bus stop on Beatrice Street. Free and paid parking is available a short walk from the beach.
Website: Manly Council – Clontarf Beach
Tip: This is a dog-friendly beach so as long as it’s on a leash, you can bring your pet.