Couples are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a Sydney beach: the city boasts more than 30 beaches within metropolitan Sydney.
Elsewhere, Greater Sydney offers more than 150 beaches, including those on the Manly peninsula to the north of the city.
To the south of Sydney, a coastal track from Bondi to Coogee offers the opportunity to escape the bustle of Bondi and mix with local residents on smaller beaches.
Nestled in a cove between two headlands, beautiful Bondi is a wide, kilometre-long crescent of golden sand that is renowned for reliable year-round surf of both left- and right-hand beach breaks.
With its bustling carnival atmosphere, Bondi is a see-and-be-seen beach, a favourite with locals as well as overseas visitors who relish the stunning setting for sunbathing, swimming and surfing.
This small and fashionable beach is set in a pretty landscape between rocky headlands and is nicknamed ‘Glamourama’ by the locals.
One of the best beaches for a quiet sunbathe and swim. However, you do need to be aware of the sometimes dangerous rips.
Just a 10-minute walk from Bondi, Tamarama is a favourite for surfers in spite of the rips and the fact that the beach is only 50m across.
Next along the trail is Bronte, a gorgeous crescent of golden sand overlooking Nelson Bay and surrounded by a park of Norfolk pines and palm trees.
A local favourite, the beach can get crowded on the weekends as it is sheltered from big seas and preferred over nearby Bondi for swimming.
Known as ‘Cloey’, this beach sits at the end of a long inlet. It’s a popular spot for locals, featuring a large rock pool that creates calm waters for swimming and snorkelling.
A reef protects this pleasant crescent of golden sand, creating calm sea conditions for swimming.
Coogee is popular for swimming, snorkelling, body boarding and surfing and is close to cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels. There is also a children’s playground overlooking the beach.
The northern end of the beach, known as Dolphin Point, features a memorial to local residents who lost their lives in the 2002 Bali bombing.
Further south of Coogee lies a 1km-long beach offering some of the region’s best surf conditions, while also offering a less hectic atmosphere than either Bondi or Coogee.
Rivalling Bondi to the south, Manly Beach is a 2km-long crescent of golden sand popular with locals and tourists alike. Go swimming, surfing and roller blading or play a game of beach volleyball.
The nearby Corso Plaza offers a range of entertainment, while the Outdoor Arts and Crafts Market offers a wide range of local handicrafts every weekend.
This pretty crescent of beach offers sheltered swimming, snorkelling, diving and is also known for providing one of Sydney’s cleanest surfing waves, which breaks on the western point of the beach.
Facilities include showers, toilets, free barbecues and a restaurant. A bush track around the headland provides spectacular vistas over a string of northern beaches.
Known to the locals as ‘Palmy’, Palm Beach features a long stretch of beautiful white sand shelving into a pretty bay on one side of a peninsula that separates Pittwater from the Pacific Ocean.
Often used as a set for the soap opera Home and Away, the beach offers good surfing, windsurfing, scuba diving and swimming. Hike to the lighthouse at the northern end of the beach for great views.
Escape the crowds on this vast 3km-long beach that hosts four surf lifesaving clubs and is great for surfing and swimming between the flags.
In 2007, workmen found the remains of a 4000-year-old indigenous Australian here who had apparently died from a spear wound; he was later named the ‘Narrabeen Man’.
Within Sydney Harbour lie several good beaches, including…
Regarded as the best of the inner-harbour beaches, this 700m-long beach is a great spot to swim or windsurf.
Adjacent to the beach lies The Esplanade, featuring several upmarket restaurants, takeaway fish and chip shops and cafes.
Set beneath the lush woodland of Sydney National Park in Mosman and facing Sydney Harbour, this tiny shelf of beach is popular with nudists and topless sunbathers.
Lady Jane Beach
Probably the most accessible and secluded nude beach around Sydney, this small beach offers safe swimming with no surf and is located inside South Head.
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