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Sydney beaches

Wanna get the most out of the coast? Here are the best things to do, places to eat and cocktails to drink at our best stretches of sand

Photograph: Daniel Boud

From Sydney’s most famous stretch of sand to the hidden bathing spots around the harbour, here’s our ultimate guide to our city’s beaches.

Surf and sand

The best secret beaches in Sydney
Attractions

The best secret beaches in Sydney

Not feeling the crowds at Sydney’s most popular places to sunbake? Try seeking out these hidden stretches of sand for a more private party in the sunshine. Some are surprisingly close to the CBD with stunning harbour views, others require a little more planning but the privacy alone is worth the extra effort.

The best nudist beaches in Sydney
Attractions

The best nudist beaches in Sydney

Drop your towel and bare all on these clothing-optional beaches around Sydney. 

The best gay beaches in Sydney
Gay and lesbian

The best gay beaches in Sydney

Queer-friendly stretches of sand that are perfect for a bake, a perv and maybe even a pick-up.

Our favourite places to swim
Things to do

Our favourite places to swim

Hate sand? No problem. Can't make it to the beach? An after work dip is still totally do-able.

Where to enjoy the water if you don't like sand

The best waterfront bars in Sydney
Bars

The best waterfront bars in Sydney

We are a city blessed with a truly ludicrous amount of waterfront real estate. These are our favourite places for drinks with a water view.

The top snorkelling spots in Sydney
Sport and fitness

The top snorkelling spots in Sydney

We enlisted the help of the good people at Snorkel Safari, who run scuba-diving courses and snorkel trips from several locations across the city. They gave us their picks of the five best places to bury your face in the water in Sydney, from a strange little island in La Perouse to Shelly Beach at Manly.

The best ferry trips in Sydney
Things to do

The best ferry trips in Sydney

The jewel in Sydney’s crown is its harbour – always has been, always will be. This love affair with the crushed sapphire liquid expanse of the Harbour dates back many, many thousands of years to when the Gadigal people of central Sydney paddled their canoes around the bays, into the coves and across the open seas in search of fish or en route to ceremonial sites or neighbouring settlements. Today, those journeys of discovery are provided by Sydney Ferries. Indeed, no trip to Sydney would be complete without clambering aboard one of the picture-postcard green-and-yellow ferries that ply their trade much as they have for the past century-and-a-half. More than 14 million people cross Sydney Harbour by ferry every year, chugging out from the main hub of Circular Quay to head west up the Parramatta River, north on the legendary voyage to Manly or east to Watsons Bay. It’s a well-known fact that when Sydneysiders want to drink and dine in Balmain, shop in Double Bay, sightsee at Taronga Zoo or camp convict-style at Cockatoo Island, a Sydney ferry is the way forward. All up, there are 28 ferries (from the stately old-schoolers Freshwater, Lady, First Fleet models to the sleek, fast catamaran fleet of RiverCats, HarbourCats and SuperCats) connecting Sydneysiders with 29 wharves across 37km of harbour. All offer spectacular views and plenty of room on deck to soak up what is arguably the cheapest, coolest and most quintessential local experience of all. Here are Time Out’s six f

The best camping near Sydney
Travel

The best camping near Sydney

Natural beauty is one of Sydney's best assets, so it makes sense you'd want to experience a night or two in the city's great outdoors. Fortunately, camping around Sydney is not only possible, it's often very affordable. Check out our edit of the city's best camping sites for the chance to wake up next to the Harbour, adjacent to crashing waves, or deep in a national park.

Find the best things to do around town

The Sydney Bucket List
Things to do

The Sydney Bucket List

Time Out Sydney's editors have selected our favourite things to do in Sydney right now, from activities that show off our city at its best – like kayaking on the harbour or taking high tea with a view – to our favourite weekly treats.

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