Best Sydney’s beaches

Our favorite beaches in Sydney: a review

Warning! We didn’t try all the beaches!!!! There are too many beaches in Sydney and surroundings of the city. You’ll have a lot to discover.

We had a few very nice days with perfect blue sky or cloudy sky (the best if you want to have the beach for yourself!).

At the end of the post: a few tips for better pictures of the beach.

There is no particular reason in the presentation order. Those are all our favorite beaches!

The best beaches in Sydney, a review from Peregrination Gourmande

We could seperate surfers wavy beaches and kids friendly quiet beaches.

Tips for tourists: Beware to swim between the flags! Beware of the Blue Bottles and Stingers (all those nasty australian creatures!) that might leave very bad wounds.


The famous Bondi Beach

Very easy to go there by bus and metro. It’s a real must to do and to see.

We fell in love with Bondi Beach streetart.

I love Bondi street art on Bondi Beach

Paradise for surfers Bondi beach

Bondi is a typical australian beach with waves. Sometimes there is even no flags in between to swim. Meaning the currents are really strong. The beach is very well watched by the team of lifeguards but you’ll just have to be very cautious to stay between the flags. If you are with kids and/ or want to swim in quiet water, you could just jump in the swimming pool.

bondi beach swimming pool

Isn’t it the perfect swimming pool with beautiful surroundings?

Coogee Beach

South of Bondi there are several nice beaches. You just have to walk on the coastal trail to find them.

coogee beach

Bronte Beach

On this part of the coast, we really enjoyed Bronte beach that is less busy and smaller than the other beaches.

bronte beach

Balmoral Beach

Accessible by bus, kids friendly.

balmoral beach sydney

The perfect kids friendly beach on the other side of the bridge. This is a bay so the kids can swim easily. There is a special spot totally secured from sharks and other parental stress. And you can find there, a very good restaurant The Boat House (review on restaurant to come, stay tuned). We had a very good lunch there with my friend Sam.

balmoral beach

Watsons Bay

Reachable by ferry easily. Kids friendly.

Just go there for the view on the city and have the best fish and chips of Sydney at Doyles (very old restaurant, opened in 1885!). Order to take away and sit in the park trying to avoid the attacks of the seagulls. Thanks to Steph, we discovered this little piece of paradise and tasted the fish and chips.

watsons bay


Manly Beach and Shelley Beach

Easy access by direct ferry.

I’m sorry I didn’t take pictures from the beach. It was crowded and I was busy chatting with my friend Astrid. But I have a nice picture of us both (matching mother and daughter hats) waiting for the ferry. Thanks Astrid!


Shelly beach is a nice little kids friendly beach on the east of Manly beach. It’s a 10min walk to reach it and you’ll have the pleasure to eat the good food of the Boat House again! As it’s protected by the bay it’s quiet and perfect for kids.

The Northern Beaches

Let’s go further north.

A long ride by bus but you can take the ferry and the bus. And it’s worth it. Believe me! Go there on a week sunny day and you’ll have memorable images. The coastal trail offers amazing views. The beaches are everywhere from Manly to Palm Beach. My friend Chris drove us from beaches to point of views. It was a very nice journey.

northern beach

Whale Beach

whale beach

Ok someone is happy there!!!

We visited Sydney in summer (february) and couldn’t see some whales. But Whale Watching is a must to do if you are visiting there from may to november.

whale beach

Bonus: Tips to take the best pictures of Australian beaches (especially when you are from Northern Hemisphere) with a DSLR or Hybrid

  • Remember the light is strong, stronger than anylight you’ve experienced in the Northern hemisphere. You’ll have to use the lowest ISO possible on your camera. I put mine on 100.
  • Use wide angle to get the scenary. You can add some drama on your pics playing with wide angle distorsion. I used my new 28 mm. And I’m very glad about it.
  • Don’t forget your filters!!! DON’T!!!      ( I did it… yes I know I’m hopeless!)  When I didn’t forget it I used mainly a polarised filter. It helped me with the strong light and it gives more contrast to the different blue colors.
  • If the scenary is flat, try to place a subject on the foreground. It will help to bring some contrast and a better composition. I think my best pictures have been taken from above.
Do you have other tips to share? What is your favorite beach in Sydney?

I hope you enjoyed our australian adventure.

Keep calm and travel!


  • Wow. You got to so many beaches, so so glad. Your pics are gorgeous. My fave Sydney beach is Freshwater beach. In between manly and curl curl beaches and was where we got married. Cant wait for more Aussie posts and pics. Keep them coming! Xx

    • Yes we were very lucky to be following cookies advice! Just pointed Freshwater on google map! Added it to the to visit list for next trip! There are high cliffs there? I’m working on the posts. Next one is the 10/10! 😉 xx cathy

  • @dianaphotographyaustralia

    Great post. You were lucky to have such perfect weather. Sydney certainly put on a show for you. Now which beach was Miss L’s favourite? Xxoo

    • That’s a very good question!!! She usually loves to play at any beach so I’m not sure she has a favourite! But I will ask tomorrow… 😉 xx cathy

  • It looks like you had an absolutely wonderful time, Cathy! Your pictures are spectacular. It looks like the weather was divine. It must have been on its best behaviour, since it knew you two were coming! I’ve never been to Sydney, let alone its beaches, so I’m getting some serious Sydney FOMO here!! I love that mother daughter snap of you two, too – so sweet. Matching hats are the best!! 😀 xx

    • hehe Thanks dear! I would love to see some pics of the beaches at your place. Must look beautiful… I know our matching hats were veryyyyy popular! The weather was perfect except for one or 2 days. That’s the weather french people imagine australian summer will give them! xx cathy

  • You certainly made good use of your time in Sydney – look at all those beautiful beaches! It was love at first sight for me and Bondi, and I still love it so, but I think Balmoral is my new favourite! It’s on my side of the bridge, safe to swim and… of course, The Boathouse! I’m so pleased we got to go there together!

    • They are so different… I love them both and not for the same reasons! Bondi is more about the glitz and Balmoral more about the quiet retreat (except for sunny week ends!). Don’t you think? I can’t wait to discover Maroubra haha!!! xx cathy

  • I’m sure you get lots of different opinions on the best Sydney beaches, as we are certainly spoilt for choice. You did get such great beach weather whilst you were here, so nice that L got to hang out at the beach multiple times.xx

    • Haha sure! Like ask a parisian what is his fav neiborhood? You will assist to riots! I can’t wait to feel the winter beach breeze! xx cathy

  • Gorgeous photos! You certainly packed a lot into your trip!

  • Beautiful photo’s. My favourites are Bronte and Balmoral with Bondi coming in close behind. I also really like Whale Beach & Shelly Beach but I have happy memories of all the Sydney beaches as I’ve spent time at most of them!! We got married at Manly. My favourite photo though is of the two of you!

    • A wedding in Manly! wow! a dream spot… Thanks a lot. The beaches are so inspiring…
      xx cathy