First of all there are over 37 beaches (yes that many!) in the Greater Sydney area. They are located along the entire coastal belt of the city on the Pacific Ocean. You'll also find beaches in the bays, rivers and harbours of the city. The warm climate all year round generally makes the beaches, with their white and golden sands, a popular place to hang out - whether its surfing, resting on the warm sand, or indulging in a spot of sea fishing from the rocky shore.
Actually wherever you are in Sydney, you're never more than a 30 minute drive from a beach. These 37 beaches can all be easily accessed either by hiring a car or by public transport.
The beaches can be divided into ones on the northern and southern sides of the city. On the northern shores the most popular beaches are Palm Beach, Whale Beach, Avalon, Vilgola, Mona Vale, Dee Why, North Curl Curl, Curl Curl, Queenscliff and Manly Beach. On the southern shores, the main beaches are Bondi Beach (one of the most famous beaches in the world!), Bronte, Coogee, and Cronulla.
How to get to the most popular beaches in Sydney...
Palm Beach - Is located 41km to the north of Sydney's Central Business District, in the Northern Beaches Region. Palm Beach is famous for filming of the popular Australian soap opera "Home and Away" and attractions here include the famous Barranjoey Lighthouse, with its spectacular views
Palm Beach is a very affluent area and home to many luxurious houses. To get there, take the peninsula road north of Sydney, from George Street, and get on the Pittwater Road. Once you reach the Barranjoey Road you are in the area. Note that it can take over an hour to reach Palm Beach, depending on traffic.
Whale Beach - Is located 40km north of Sydney. To get here head north on George Street and continue onto Military Road. The road you need to get on from here is the Pittwater Road. When you see the signs for Barranjoey Road, veer left onto Whale Beach Road.
Avalon Beach - Is located 35km north of Sydney city centre. The Avalon area is a vibrant community with plenty to do and see, and has a perfect beach for relaxing and waves for surfing!
To get to Avalon, take George Street to the north, and then onto the Manly Road, and north on the Pittwater Road. At the junction to Barranjoey Road, take a left and then onto Avalon Parade. Follow the road to the beach!
Manly Beach - Manly is a suburb in the north east of Sydney, located 17km from the city centre. Manly Bech has a long stretch of sand on the ocean side, which follows all the way from Queenscliff Beach to North Steyne Beach and down to Manly Beach. There are other rock pools and beaches in the area called Fairy Bower and Shelley Beach.
What to look out for! If you can take your mind off the scenic beauty and the sea you will notice that the beaches in the area have pine trees dotted around the landscape and as such are a popular symbol of the area.
To get here, again, take the route from George Street and travel north to get onto the Military Road and then Manly Road. Take a right when you come to Sydney Road, and then left at Central Avenue, and right at North Steyne and you'll be at the wonderful and enchanting Manly Beach!
Bondi Beach - Bondi Beach is a national Icon of Australia, and you're probably well aware of it, either from a photo image or a travel documentary on TV! It's the perfect place to be during the warm, summer days, with so much to see and explore, or just relax on the warm sands.
Bondi Beach is about 1km long, and is located around 7km from Sydney's Central Business area. To get here, drive along Oxford Street from the city, to Syd Einfeld Drive at the Bondi Junction Bypass. Go straight ahead along Bondi Road, which veers left just before Campbell Parade. Enjoy!
Bronte Beach - Located 8km to the east of Sydney, Bronte is about 2.5km south of Bondi Beach, and you take the same route from Sydney to get here. It's less populated here than at Bondi, and it is a popular surfing destination as well!
Coogee Beach - Is located 8km to the south east of Sydney Central Business District, and in the Randwick Area. It's a great beach for surfing, swimming and fishing, and boasts wonderful coastal views.
To get here, take the same route as to the Bondi Junction Bypass, and follow the signs for Coogee. You should take note of the signs for Randwich as Coogee is in the juradistiction of the area.
Cronulla Beach- Cronulla (known in Aborigine as the "Place of the Pink Seashells") is a beachside area located 26km south of Sydney city centre. It's situated on a peninsula surrounded to the north by Botany Bay, the south by Port Hacking, the west by Gunnamatta Bay, and to the east by Bate Bay.
The Cronulla area is home to many beaches and rock pools and it is a growing tourist destination, for swimming and surfing, especially at Shark Island.
To get to Cronulla from Sydney, drive south past Sydney International Airport along Botany Bay and follow the signposts to Cronlla.
Hope our guide helps get you to the picturesque beaches of Sydney
By Mairead Foley