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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.

Sydney's best beach kiosks
Restaurants

Sydney's best beach kiosks

Half the fun of heading to the coast is summertime treats after a day in the sun. Happily, Sydney boasts a collection of beach kiosks ensuring your beach day features the requisite icy poles, hot chips and cold drinks that complete the picture. 

A guide to the Royal National Park
Things to do

A guide to the Royal National Park

It's less than an hour's drive from the CBD, yet so many Sydneysiders haven't stepped foot in the pristine 15,091 hectares of bushland that lines the coast south of Sydney. Whether you want to swim, trek, picnic, swim, bike ride, swim or just GTFO of Sydney for the day, the Royal National Park will provide an outdoors, adventure-filled day out. 1. Get the ferry from Cronulla to Bundeena While driving is the easiest way to access the Park, the ferry from Cronulla is much more picturesque and endearing. A single ferry – which is Australia's oldest commuter ferry, the ‘Curranulla' – motors back and forth between Cronulla and Bundeena, departing on the hour, daily. Once you're at Cronulla station walk under a tunnel and towards the marina. You'll see a small pier – it doesn't look like your typical transport hub. Keep your eye out for the wooden yellow and green boat and make sure you have cash with you to buy your ticket. Hop on and you'll be in Bundeena in just over 20 minutes. 2. Venture along the cliffs The full Royal coastal walk is 26 kilometres and takes two days – but you can explore portions of it to get a taste of each part. Starting at Bundeena and walking to Little Marley Beach is a great option for first time National Park adventurers. It's easy enough for inexperienced bushwalkers, but still offers beautiful vantage points, a mixed bag of terrains and plenty of happy snap ops. The route navigates winds along the coastline, taking you over sandy red soil, through s

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 waterslides in Sydney
Kids

The best waterslides in Sydney

Slides, flumes, shoots and tunnels – we’ve found the best places to make a splash in and around Sydney. For more ways to entertain the kids, we've got fun things to do indoors, rainy day activities for kids and best skate parks in Sydney. 

Sydney's best beachside suburbs

Bondi
Things to do

Bondi

Manly
Things to do

Manly

Coogee
Things to do

Coogee

Bronte
Things to do

Bronte

Cronulla
Things to do

Cronulla

Mosman
Things to do

Mosman

Neutral Bay
Things to do

Neutral Bay

Double Bay
Things to do

Double Bay

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.

Tourist attractions that don’t suck
Attractions

Tourist attractions that don’t suck

Just because they’re popular doesn’t make them tacky... These tried-and-tested tourist attractions around Sydney range from thrill seeking adventures to scenic tours of our city's peaceful gardens and parks. We think there's something for everyone, but if you need more inspiration check out our list of the 50 best restaurants in Sydney or the best places to see Aboriginal art in the city. 

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