Secret Sydney beaches

Secret Sydney beaches

Avoid the well-trodden sand of Bondi and Manly -- here are the city's most hidden and secluded harbor and coastal beaches
Parsley Bay, Sydney
Secluded Parsley Bay -- perfect for family picnics.

Let’s face it, living in a city full of famous beaches is fabulous -- until you struggle for a towel spot on a hot day. But with almost one hundred beaches, sandy days don't have to involve crowds and celeb spotting.

Such a choice can be overwhelming, particularly if you’re indecisive. So let's narrow it down to five -- but please remember -- try and keep it a secret.

Parsley Bay, Vaucluse

Neighboring houses are only accessible to multi millionaires, but Parsley Bay is available to all for nix. (So make sure you make some noise to annoy them).
The harbor inlet is set on bushy surrounds, so it is perfect for family picnics.
The more footloose gather on the rocky northern side -- a popular snorkeling spot.

Congwong Beach, La Perouse

If optional clothingis your thing, forget Maroubra Beach. You might upset the locals. Continue along Anzac Parade and find Congwong Beach in Botany Bay National Park.
Follow the walkway around to Little Congwong -- it’s been a council-sanctioned nude beach for decades.
Bring your own picnic and watch you don’t drop your ice cream in your lap (sales on weekends only).

Gordon's Bay, Clovelly

Near Bondi, this patch of ocean doesn’t really have a beach (unless large flat rocks count), but it does have its own dive club.
The Gordon's Bay Scuba Diving Club have been looking after the bay’s 500m Underwater Nature Trail since 1990, and regularly meet to check out gropers and wobbegongs.
To get there, hit the concrete car park at Clovelly and go about 200m south.

Chinaman’s Beach, The Spit

Visitors typically head to Balmoral, but the harbor foreshore near Middle Head has quieter choices: Obelisk (near Chowder Bay Road) or Cobblers (across Middle Head oval) for snorkeling.
But the worst ‘best kept secret’ is the 250m Chinaman’s Beach.
This sheltered spot off Rosherville Reserve is a one-kilometer walk from the cafes of Balmoral -- a coastal route only possible during low tide.
A favourite of families thanks to a grassy park and distinct lack of waves.

Store Beach, Manly

The penguin breeding ground of Store Beach on Little Manly Point may be only 20 minutes from Manly’s corso, but there’s a catch: you can only reach it by water.

Rent a kayak from Manly Kayaks (near Oceanworld), and the 20 minute paddle will reach the sands.
This one’s a better kept secret on weekdays -- yachties have discovered the spot and hover nearby on weekends.

  • Suggested reading: Andrew Short's "Beaches Of The New South Wales Coast."

When freelance writer Sue White leaves her office in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, she’s typically on the hunt for the cheapest, slowest, greenest happenings her home town has to offer. 


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