Lucky me, since returning from living in a land-locked European country I have tried to visit as many Sydney beaches as possible. So listen up & take my advice!
SBC - Sydney Beach Criteria.
- Clean & safe - no syringes, no pollution, no excess amount of washed up seaweed, no motor crafts, no jellyfish/bluebottles/stingers & would like to know there is a shark net.
- Cheerful & picturesque - There is no point in me driving far to see some average looking beach. I go to the beach also to refresh my love of Sydney beaches.
- Adequate & relatively cheap parking - Its the beach, not some money making scheme or a day out to frustrate me.
- Good range of dining & shopping - well I may as well make a day of it. Its not like I will just pop down for a swim.
The all-rounder, good swimming beach is Bondi.
Great looks, nice walk, shops, cafes and a truly great cosmopolitan atmosphere.
The beautiful bronzed bodies, the little kiddies, Indian ladies in their salvar's and the people who want to blend in with the crowds.
Nice little patch of grass for picnics, Bondi to Bronte beach walk, Sunday markets & really great coffee joints.
There are other good beaches for picnicking. I recommend Bronte beach, Shelley beach & Nielson Park. If you are lucky to have the arvo off, I would also throw in Balmoral beach.
Palm beach. Nice to look at & walk but don't swim. Sure they have the hammerhead headland but the sand is thick
and red, it gets stuck everywhere & they film
Home&Away there. Need I say more?
Clovelly beach to me is not really a beach. It reminds me of Croatian beaches cos there is no beach, its just concrete slabs. The little bit of sand they do have is mixed with dirt so its a horrible brown. Another minus for Clovelly is that there are rocks, seaweed, fish swimming around you. I don't want anything swimming where I cant see! The only plus is the cafe but I've had better.
Manly Beach is a good afternoon out. No trip is complete without a walk along the corso and to Shelley Beach. However, the reputation of swimmability at Manly is going down. Most recently a huge mass of seaweed washed up on the beach and literally caused a stink. The glamour is not there but its peaceful and pleasant at sunset.
Not much is said about the southern beaches, in fact they are generally excluded when people think of Sydney beaches. Don't ever swim at Brighton-le-Sands unless you want to grow extra fingers. That said, its great for plane watching cos Sydney Airport is directly across the bay and you can see the whole length of the runway. So pop into one of the areas nice cafes nearby to keep you entertained.
La Perouse is notorious for shark spotting so that's out but you can hire kayaks there.
Cronulla is quite nice for swimming, its family oriented, good parking, good for walking, nice beach front cafes, no show-offs but somehow is still tainted from the 2006 issues. Its only drawbacks for me is the time it takes to get there and the concrete wall up along the beach.
Remember that the Harbour beaches are different to the coastal beaches, biggest differences including waves and motor crafts. So happy trip to the beach or if you are not a Sydney sider, happy living vicariously through my photos. Something there for any occasion and any appetite. Aren't we lucky to live where we do?
(http://www.beach.org.au/Images/bondi.jpg - 18/04/09) & others taken by myself.