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Beaches

Chinamans Beach, Mosman: Sydney’s Best Beaches

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia
The beautiful residential suburb of Mosman, on Sydney’s north shore, is home to several stunning beaches including Chinamans Beach. We happened upon this little gem on a hot summer’s day, when we weren’t able to find parking at nearby Balmoral and thought we’d give its smaller neighbour a try instead.

Chinamans Beach is a smaller beach, a 250m stretch of sand that sits inside Middle Harbour. The result is a quiet, calm beach with very gentle water, perfect for families with little kids.

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

It was named after the areas local Chinese residents who once organised market gardens in the park.

If you want to visit both beaches, Balmoral is only a 1km walk around the rocks to the south. On the day we visited the water was too high so we didn’t attempt it, but it is possible.

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

There is no shade on Chinamans beach, so bringing an umbrella or tent is advisable. We were lucky enough to score a spot at the south end of the beach under a tree up on some rocks near the path. Not an idea spot, but at least we had some shade.

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

You also won’t find any cafes or kiosks on Chinamans Beach, so bring plenty of water and food (and sunscreen!). A very enterprising person was selling beach patrons snacks and ice blocks from his little boat when we visited.

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

There are no lifeguards at Chinamans Beach, however the water is so calm that it’s considered a very safe beach. It does, however, get quite deep as it goes out further into Shell Cove, the bay in front of the beach that is popular for yachts to park.

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

At the south end, the rocks that lead to Balmoral Beach are fun to climb on and have small rockpools with sea life in them. Be careful as the rocks are slippery and have sharp barnacles on them.

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

Behind the beach is Rosherville Reserve, a large, quiet park area, perfect for picnics or barbeques. It has plenty of trees and shade, a small playground and decent shower and toilet.

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

Getting to Chinamans Beach

CAR
The park has a very small car park which is metered (paid). You can also park for free on the streets surrounding Rosherville Reserve, which has a path to the beach.

PUBLIC TANSPORT
Catch a bus that goes through Mosman from the Sydney CBD and Neutral Bay. Check bus timetables here.

More things to do in Sydney

Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids here.

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

Check out things to do in Sydney on a rainy day here.

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

First time visiting Sydney? Get tips for first time visitors to Sydney here.

Sculpture By The Sea 2017

Sculpture by the Sea, Sydney, Australia

It’s time for the 21st annual Sculpture by the Sea, the largest free to the public sculpture exhibition in the world. This year in Sydney, Sculpture by the Sea runs from 19 October – 5 November 2017, along the cliff top walk from Tamarama Beach to Bondi Beach.

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017

While the majority of the sculptures are not able to be touched, each year there are several that are designed to be interacted with by visitors, be it walking through them, on them or climbing over them – the placards in front of the sculptures let people know which ones are able to be touched and which ones are too fragile.

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017

This year we found that there weren’t any interactive sculptures like in previous years sadly, but still some that could be crawled through and touched.

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017

Please enjoy the photos of this spectacular exhibition, and scroll down to the bottom for tips on attending.

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Tips for attending Sculpture By The Sea

  • Go early, like 6am early. Last year we arrived at 7am and it was perfect. This year we arrived at 9:45am and it was absolutely packed.
  • Parking is a nightmare. Go early and look for a spot around Tamarama or Bronte.
  • Bring lots of water, sunscreen and a hat. The sun is brutal on the walk and there is no shade.
  • Bathrooms are located at Tamarama Beach, Mark’s Place and Bondi Beach.
  • Food is also located at Tamarama, Bondi and Mark’s Place. In 2017 there is a new fast food service at St Mark’s Place serving basic breakfast food from 7am-10am like granola, fruit salad, croissants and quiche, and, from 10am, pies, sausage rolls and quiche plus burgers, gnocchi and fries. There are also sweet treats and drinks including freshly squeeze juice. Kids meals: nuggets and chips, tuna wrap, ham and cheese toastie.
  • The walk is not stroller friendly at all. If you cannot bring your child in a baby carrier, walk/drive to Mark’s Place – it’s the only stroller accessible point of the walk.
  • Try for dawn or sunset for pictures with truly stunning light and less people around.
  • There are two kids’ playgrounds on the walk – one at Tamarama Beach and one at Mark’s Place.
  • Week days are much less busy than weekends.
  • Keep an eye on small children. Not only is the walk crowded, it runs along the cliff tops where there are no guard rails or barriers to stop children from falling over the edge.
  • Not all sculptures are designed to be touched. Please respect the signs and only touch those that are designated for interaction.

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, Australia

Photography tip: It might look like we were pretty much by ourselves on the walk but this was thanks to careful shooting and editing. For pics like these, be extremely patient and wait until other people leave the frame, or step around them and find an angle with no-one in it. If you can’t do either, then crop in close.

Sculpture By The Sea

28 Of The Best Beaches For Kids In Sydney

With hundreds of stunning beaches in Sydney to choose from, sun seekers are spoiled for choice! Take the kids for a dip at one of the best family-friendly beaches in Sydney, spread across the north, east and south. From calm, sheltered beaches and bays to bustling surf scenes, there are so many kid friendly beaches in Sydney that this list just keeps on growing!

Take your pick from some of the best beaches for kids in Sydney!

28 Of The Best Beaches For Kids In Sydney

Beaches in the North

Chinamans Beach

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

The beautiful residential suburb of Mosman, on Sydney’s north shore, is home to several stunning beaches including Chinamans Beach. We happened upon this little gem on a hot summer’s day, when we weren’t able to find parking at nearby Balmoral and thought we’d give its smaller neighbour a try instead.

Chinamans Beach is a smaller beach, a 250m stretch of sand that sits inside Middle Harbour. The result is a quiet, calm beach with very gentle water, perfect for families with little kids.

Get more tips on visiting Chinamans Beach.

Balmoral Beach

Balmoral Beach, Sydney, Australia

Often called the best beach for kids in Sydney thanks to the gentle water in the enclosed swimming area. Balmoral has a gorgeous view between the two headlands that form the gates to Sydney Harbour. It also features a wide boardwalk, plenty of cafes and bathrooms / change room facilities at the rear of the Bathers’ Pavilion. Balmoral is renowned as one of the best calm beaches in Sydney.

At the northern end, a short walk through the streets or around the rocks will take you to Chinamans Beach. Little Sirius Cove is also nearby – an under-the-radar spot with sheltered beaches, a playground and a netted tidal pool. To reach Little Sirius Cove follow the trail that leads to Taronga Zoo.

Get more info on visiting Balmoral Beach here.

Clifton Gardens

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

One of Sydney’s best beaches for families, Clifton Gardens features a gorgeous white sand beach, baths and a playground, excellent facilities and access to bush walks. The water is flat and calm, there is a wide path for scooters and bikes, plus a sheltered playground. A big grassy area is perfect for kite flying. At the southern end follow the path to take a short bush walk. Another of the best calm beaches in Sydney, Clifton Gardens is a beautiful spot all year-round.

Get more tips on a day at Clifton Gardens.

Collaroy Beach

Colleroy Beach, Sydney Australia

Collaroy is well-known for being a fully accessible beach reserve and playground. The recently upgraded playground is excellent – it’s gated, has partial shade and has equipment for children of all-abilities. Collaroy Beach also has public toilets, accessible picnic areas, rockpool and paths perfect for scooters, strollers and wheelchairs.

Visiting Collaroy with a wheelchair? Check out Have Wheelchair Will Travel for tips (also thanks for the pic!).

Curl Curl


One of Sydney’s best surfing beaches. At the northern end of Curl Curl you’ll find a lagoon which flows to the sea. Kids can walk through the shallow water in this area, look for sea life or play in the sand. At the southern end lies a family-friendly ocean swimming pool.

Dee Why Beach

Dee Why Beach, Sydney, Australia

A popular beach for families with its ocean swimming pool and toddler’s area, spots for picnics and plenty of beach cafes and boutique stores. Dee Why is located around 20km from Sydney’s CBD, to the north of Curl Curl. Ramps leading down to the beach make it easily accessible for strollers.

Image credit: Destination NSW

Manly Beach

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

One of the best beaches in Sydney period, Manly is a fantastic day trip for families. While the beach is famous for surfing – the first world surfing championship was held here in 1964 – it’s also a place to shop, dine and play. The easiest way to get to Manly is to catch a ferry from Circular Quay, near the Sydney Opera House, across Sydney Harbour to Manly Wharf (it takes 30 minutes). Walk from the wharf up the Corso, where you’ll find shops and cafes, to Manly Beach.

#Manly #Beach #Sydney With Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com

Walk south down the beach to Shelly Beach, a sheltered area that’s perfect for kids to paddle and swim, as well as being popular for snorkelling. Thanks to the calm waters, Shelly Beach is a particularly great beach for kids.

Get more tips on a day at Manly Beach.

Freshwater Beach

Accessible by foot from Manly Beach, Freshwater is popular with families thanks to its sheltered position. Freshwater also features public toilets with showers, a playground, BBQs, kiosk and picnic areas.

Narrabeen Beach

Narrabeen

Narrabeen Beach stretches over 3km from Long Reef to Narrabeen Lagoon. It features some of the most beautiful rock pools of all the northern beaches. North Narrabeen Beach is particularly family friendly with Narrabeen Lagoon and Birdwood Park adjacent, featuring grassed spaces and a small playground.

Narrabeen Lagoon is flat and calm – perfect for kids to paddle around on a boogie board or paddle board.

Palm Beach

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

Famous for its starring role in the TV show Home & Away, Palm Beach is also the northernmost suburb of Sydney. Just over an hour’s drive from Sydney’s CBD, Palm Beach is also home to the historic Barrenjoey Lighthouse and keeper’s cottages (which can be accessed by foot if you feel like a good walk). The southern end of Palm Beach has a protected section of water suitable for small kids as well as the ocean tidal that graduates from shallow to deep. We enjoy following the trail past the tidal pool to climb on the rocks. We love Palm Beach and rate it as one of the best beaches for kids in Sydney cos it’s just such a great day trip as well as having lots to do.

Get more tips on a day at Palm Beach.

Whale Beach

Whale Beach, Sydney, Australia

A small beach located 40km from Sydney’s CBD, Whale Beach features a smaller pool and a natural rock pool area to explore.

Image credit: Andrew Gregory; Destination NSW

Pittwater Beaches

Pittwater, Sydney, Australia

There are several beach options in Pittwater, located an hours drive from the Sydney CBD. The flat water in this area is a major draw for families. Try The Basin, a calm lagoon best reached via ferry from Palm Beach, Clareville Beach with its tidal baths, Salt Pan Cove which has a playground and Paradise Beach, a little gem of a spot that has a swimming enclosure. With such flat water in the area, kayaking is a popular sport.

Image credit: Destination NSW

Greenwich Baths

This fully-enclosed harbour beach is located at the tip of Greenwich Point and is the only privately operated swimming spot on the list. For a small admission fee, visitors can access the beach and change room facilities, as well as enjoy the provided beach toys and sun-loungers. A kiosk supplies food all day. Greenwich is often called one of the most kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Read more about visiting Greenwich Baths.

Beaches in the East

Clovelly Beach

Clovelly Beach, Sydney Australia

A small and tranquil beach, Clovelly is popular with families and snorkellers, as well as being home to plenty of marine life. A Blue Groper nicknamed “Bluey” frequents the area. With access steps into the water, Clovelly resembles a large ocean pool more than a beach. At the southern end of the beach you’ll find a saltwater lap pool.

Image credit: Andrew Gregory; Destination NSW

Bronte Beach

Bronte Beach, Sydney, Australia

A gem of a beach only 2km south of Bondi, Bronte has a beautiful park with picnic and BBQ facilities, plenty of cafes and can be used as a base to start the coastal walk to Bondi Beach and beyond.

While the surf conditions might now always be suitable for small kids, at the southern end of the beach lies an area where rocks create a sheltered paddling area for kids, plus the Bronte Baths, an ocean pool constructed in 1887. Bronte Beach is one of our fave kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach #Sydney via christineknight.me

Sydney’s most iconic beach is always busy – and for a good reason. For many reasons, Bondi is always regarded as the best beach in Sydney. With plenty of great cafes to grab a bite, the stunning Bondi to Bronte coastal walk at the south end, plus a gated playground near the surf club and a children’s ocean pool at the north end, it’s the perfect family beach in Sydney.

Parking is difficult so allow plenty of time to find a spot, or catch the bus. Despite it’s popularity with tourists and constant business, we love Bondi and think it’s one of the best beaches in Sydney for kids.

Get more tips on a day a Bondi Beach.

Visiting Bondi with a wheelchair? Check out Have Wheelchair Will Travel for tips.

Coogee Beach

Coogee Beach #sydney #australia via christineknight.me

With calm surf, a flat path along the water’s edge for scooting and plenty of kid-friendly places to eat like the Coogee Pavilion, Coogee is a local fave hangout for families. At the southern end is a great playground with bathrooms. You can also make Coogee your starting point for a coastal walk – a few hundred meters past the beach lies Wylie’s Baths, a beautiful ocean tidal pool. Coogee is is one of the best Sydney beaches for kids!

Get more tips on a day at Coogee Beach.

Nielsen Park 

Nielson Park, Sydney, Australia

In the suburb of Vaucluse you’ll find some the most family-friendly beaches in Sydney. Shark Beach at Nielsen Park, located in the Sydney Harbour is a haven for families, with a netted swimming area in its placid bay, large fig trees for shade, plus a beautiful pavilion with bathroom and changing facilities that was built in 1932.

Bring a picnic lunch or try the Nielsen Park Kiosk. Parking can be tricky to find so arrive early. This is one of the most kid-friendly beaches in Sydney, so it’s always popular.

Milk Beach

Milk Beach, Sydney Australia

Milk Beach is located at the base of Hermit Bay in the Sydney National Park, in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. A small, isolated beach, Milk Beach is known for its breathtaking views of Sydney. The beach has calm water thanks to protection on both sides, its gentle waves making it great for kids to splash around. While there are no bathrooms or cafes at this beach it does feature a rock shelf, rock pools and a wave cave, making it one of our faves to stop by in any season to explore.

Get more tips on a day at Milk Beach here.

La Perouse Beaches

La Perouse is a little gem of a spot, with three beaches to choose from all on the one little peninsula. The three beaches, Frenchmans Bay, Congwong Beach and Little Congwong Beach are all calm, sheltered beaches, making them perfect for kids. 

Frenchmans Bay

Frenchmans Beach, La Perouse, Sydney

In terms of accessibility, Frenchmans Bay wins first place, located right next to the road with only a few steps needed to be taken to reach the soft sand. It’s also closest to amenities including public toilets and cafes. 

Read more about La Perouse Beaches including Frenchmans Bay.

Congwong Beach

Congwong Beach, La Perouse, Sydney

Congwong Beach requires a 100m walk down through the bush and down stairs, so is best suited to older kids. 

Read more about visiting Congwong Beach.

Parsley Bay Reserve

Parsley Bay: Sydney's Best Beaches For Kids via christineknight.me

A personal fave our ours with the calmest swimming waters we have ever encountered thanks to the bay’s sheltered position. The water is also very shallow, making Parsley Bay the perfect kids beach. Behind the beach you’ll find bathrooms (they’re a bit of a walk), a little kiosk, shady trees, a playground and a short bush circuit that’s perfect for kids. You might even spot an Eastern Water Dragon sunning itself.

A small carpark is accessible from Parsley Road (Horler Avenue) but we found a great spot on the street last time we visited. Parsley Bay Reserve is stunning and one of the best beaches for kids, as well as being one of the best beaches for toddlers in Sydney.

Get more tips on a day at Parsley Bay.

Watsons Bay

Sydney's Best Family Day Trips: Watson's Bay via christineknight.me

A perfectly calm beach in Sydney, with a stunning view! Catch a ferry from Circular Quay to Watsons Bay and enjoy fish and chips on the beach from the famous Doyle’s. Splash in the ocean, play in the gated and shaded playground, or picnic in the large park. Kids can also take a tip in the recently renovated and completely enclosed Watsons Bay Baths. The harbour views from Watsons Bay are stunning and a reason to go on their own. The perfect day trip for locals and visitors alike, Watson’s Bay is a super kid-friendly beach.

Get more tips on a day at Watsons Bay.

Camp Cove Beach

Camp Cove Beach

This gorgeous little beach around the corner from Watsons Bay has calm, flat water and an abundance of sea life. There is very little shade so take an umbrella or beach tent. Camp Cove Beach has no lifeguards so keep a close eye on kids. Parking is limited so get there early.

Get more tips on visiting Camp Cove Beach.

Gordons Bay

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

This secluded beach is best for older kids as there are no lifeguards or bathrooms and access is a bit tricky. It is, however, a calm bay to swim in, teaming with aquatic life, and has a fantastic rock shelf for climbing.

Read more about visiting Gordons Bay.

Beaches in the South

Cronulla Beach

Cronulla Beach, Sydney Australia

Located 50 minutes by train from Sydney’s CBD, Cronulla is a thriving beach community. Enjoy the rock pools at both the north and south ends of the esplanade or try one of the many kid-friendly cafes. Cronulla’s Shelly Beach has a rocky shoreline with a rock pool for swimming that’s popular for younger children, plus a large grassed area with a fenced playground.

Image credit: Destination NSW

Malabar Beach


A lesser-known beach, Malabar is a local hangout particularly for families. With placid surf conditions, a rock pool located on the southern foreshore below Randwick Golf Club and a park directly behind the beach with a playground and public toilets, it’s easy to see why.

Maroubra Beach

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

A popular spot for both expert and beginner surfers, Maroubra, which is easy to access by bus from Central Station. The beach also features a shaded kids playground and a skate park in Arthur Bryne Reserve, adjacent to the beach. Walk to the northern headland to Jack Vanny Reserve, and follow the steps to Mahon Pool, a popular rock pool.

Get more info on visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool.

Visiting Maroubra with a wheelchair? Check out Have Wheelchair Will Travel for tips.

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

Tips for visiting Sydney beaches

Go early or off season
Sydney summers are brutally hot and the beaches get packed in peak season. If you’re going in summer particularly on a weekend arrive early if you want to be able to park your car anywhere remotely near the beach. I particularly love Sydney’s beaches in spring and autumn as there are less people and they’re also less hot!

Be prepared for the heat
Pack well with long-sleeved rashies and cotton cover ups, plus wide-brimmed hats and slip off shoes (Natives or Crocs are good).

Slap on sunscreen
Not just once: reapply SPF 30+ sunscreen every 2 hours or after swimming.

Stay hydrated
Take large bottles filled wiht ice cubes or frozen overnight. We have insulated water bottles that stay cold for 12 hours.

Swim between the flags
Particularly with kids, stay in parts of the beach that are patrolled by life savers and stay within the flags.

Take a break at high noon
When the sun is at its most brutal, get out of the heat. Have lunch at a cafe or sit under a tree with books or games.

The Best Beaches For Kids In Sydney Australia

More things to do in Sydney

Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids.

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

Explore the best Sydney gardens and parks.

Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

Check out things to do in Sydney on a rainy day.

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

First time visiting Sydney? Get tips for first time visitors to Sydney.

Cool down at one of these free water parks in Sydney.

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

The best things to do in Western Sydney and Parramatta with kids.

Visit the most beautiful Sydney gardens.

Explore Sydney’s best parks.

Find things to do in Wollongong.

Sydney’s Best Beaches: Clifton Gardens Beach, Baths & Playground, Mosman

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

Yet another stunning beach in Sydney! Clifton Gardens is a suburb in Mosman, on Sydney’s north shore. The beach is where the suburb meets the sea, and it’s a gorgeous little secret that the locals have kept well for years.

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

Clifton Gardens Mosman

Clifton Gardens Reserve features a gorgeous, sheltered beach, including a section with a shark net. There are minimal waves, making it perfect for kids. Large trees offer plenty of shade and there are BBQs available as well as picnic tables with shelter. As well as having plenty of facilities, Clifton Garden is one of the most beautiful beaches in or near Mosman.

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

On the northern side of the beach is Bacino Café, offering coffee, juice and snacks. We brought out own and set up a picnic underneath the trees and next to the large, sheltered playground.

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

The beach has a big block of bathroom amenities for public use.

Clifton Gardens Parking

Driving is the easiest way to get to Clifton Gardens, but be warned that the metered parking is extremely expensive. On a Sunday it cost us $20 for three hours parking. If you can park further up on Morella Road parking is free, but it’s a bit more difficult if you have a kid in tow.

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

There is a flat path to ride scooters and bikes, and a walking trail from the south end of the beach that leads up into the bush-covered headlands and gives amazing views of the harbour. The view plus calm waters are the reason people flock to Clifton Gardens in Sydney!

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach SydneyClifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

Clifton Gardens Beach (often misspelled as Cliffton Gardens or Clifton Beach NSW)
Get directions
If you are travelling by bus, the best way to get there is by bus number 228 which stops near the entrance or alternative take bus number 233, 238 or 247.

Want to see more Mosman beaches Sydney? Try Chinamans Beach (click here for info)

Looking for more Sydney beaches to visit? Click on over here.

Get more info on Mosman parks here.

Wattamolla Beach, Royal National Park, NSW, Australia

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

One of the absolute best things about living in Australia is the stunning natural environment we live in. A hour and 15 minutes south of Sydney is a gorgeous spot called Wattamolla, located in the Royal National Park.

Wattamolla Beach Royal National Park

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

While it’s well-known as a spot to swim, snorkel, picnic and generally laze about, it’s also an historic area, with “Wattamolla” being the name the local Aboriginal people gave it many years before Europeans arrived.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

“Wattamolla” means “place near running water” – a highly appropriate name for an area that is a cove, lagoon and beach. In 1796 Matthew Flinders, George bass and William Martin came across the cove while exploring, and recorded its name as “Watta-Mowlee”, but is today spelt Wattamolla.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Today, Wattamolla is a popular spot for families, as well as groups of all ages, due to the wide variety of activities to do there. The beach has sparkling clear water, edged by rocks that are fun for climbing.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Then there’s the Wattamolla lagoon deeper into the cove, which is perfect for little kids to swim in. It’s shallow and calm, so kids of all ages can paddle, swim and play at its shore safely. Adults love to bring giant floats and canoes to the lagoon and wile away the day floating around.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

The pretty Wattamolla falls flows over the rocks at the back of the lagoon, and is a popular spot for daredevils to jump from into the water below, despite a large fence being erected and big warning signs cautioning people not to dive or jump from the rocks.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Tips For Visiting Wattamolla
Arrive early! Wattamolla is extremely popular and there is limited parking near the beach. We arrived at 10:30 and the parking lot was almost completely full. I would suggest arriving no later than 9:30 to enjoy the beach with few people there.

It’s a 250m walk from the car park to the beach along a narrow rocky path with lots of stairs.
There is no stroller access or paved path on the beach.

The lagoon is edged with plenty of trees to set up a blanket and picnic spot, but many visitors choose to bring their own tents with them.

There is no food available at Wattamolla, so bring a picnic with you down to the beach, or use the free barbeque areas near the parking lot to make your own lunch.

There is also no water available, so bring plenty with you.

While there are bathrooms at Wattamolla, they are located next to the parking lot so go before you walk down.

The beach is free to visit but entry to the Royal National Park costs $12 per vehicle per day and payment is cash only.

There is little to no mobile reception at Wattamolla.

The Royal National National Park is open 7am to 8.30pm but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents.

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Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Royal National Park Wattamolla Beach
Royal National Park, Coast Track, Sutherland Shire NSW 2232
More info on visiting Wattamolla here.

Get more info on Royal National Park beaches here.

How to get to Wattamolla Beach
Driving is your best bet, although parking is tricky.
Get Directions here

Find more beautiful Sydney beaches to visit here.

Sculpture By The Sea, Bondi 2016

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, Australia

Sculpture By The Sea is the largest free public sculpture exhibition in the world, and in 2016 celebrated its 20th anniversary. The exhibition runs for two weeks every year in October/November, along the cliff top walk from Tamarama Beach to Bondi Beach.

While the majority of the sculptures are not able to be touches, each year there are several that are designed to be interacted with by visitors, be it walking through them, on them or climbing over them – the placards in front of the sculptures lets people know which ones are able to be touched and which ones are too fragile.

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, Australia

A big hit this year was the ship with wooden blocks that were able to be manipulated, so visitors were able to change the shape of parts of the ship.

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, Australia

Please enjoy the photos of this spectacular exhibition, and scroll down to the bottom for tips on attending.

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Tips for attending Sculpture By The Sea

  • Go early, like 6am early. We arrived at 7am and it was already really busy. If you arrive at midday, forget about being able to get near a sculpture without 20 people right on top of you.
  • Parking is a nightmare. Go early and look for a spot around Tamarama or Bronte.
  • Bring lots of water, sunscreen and a hat. The sun is brutal on the walk and there is no shade.
  • Bathrooms are located at Tamarama Beach, Mark’s Place and Bondi Beach.
  • Food is also located at Tamarama, Bondi and Mark’s Place. In 2015 and 2016 The Grounds of Alexandria had a pop-up cafe at Mark’s Place.
  • The walk is not stroller friendly at all. If you cannot bring your child in a baby carrier, walk/drive to Mark’s Place – it’s the only stroller accessible point of the walk.
  • Try for dawn or sunset for pictures with truly stunning light and less people around.
  • There are two kids’ playgrounds on the walk – one at Tamarama Beach and one at Mark’s Place.
  • Week days are much less busy than weekends.
  • Keep an eye on small children. Not only is the walk crowded, it runs along the cliff tops where there are no guard rails or barriers to stop children from falling over the edge.
  • Not all scuptures are designed to be touched. Please respect the signs and only touch those that are designated for interaction.

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, Australia Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, Australia

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, Australia

Photography tip: It might look like we were pretty much by ourselves on the walk but this was thanks to careful shooting and editing. For pics like these, be extremely patient and wait until other people leave the frame, or step around them and find an angle with no-one in it. If you can’t do either, then crop in close.

Sculpture By The Sea

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

With hundreds of stunning beaches running up and down the NSW coast, it’s hard to choose which one to visit.

On a sparkling Sunday we chose Palm beach, the northernmost suburb of Sydney, for a day trip. It’s an hour’s drive from the Sydney CBD, making it the perfect spot to get away from the hustle of the city without an epic drive to get there.

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

Palm Beach is often called the “jewel” of the Northern Beaches. Situated on a peninsula it has a gorgeous combination of lush evergreen bushland, beaches with soft golden sand and surrounded by the bright blue Pacific Ocean on one side, and calm Pittwater waterway on the other.

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

The beach might look very familiar if you watch a lot of soap TV – in particular Home & Away. The show has been filmed on location here since its beginnings in 1988. As a result the beach has been a popular tourist attraction, particular for Brits.

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

There’s plenty to do at Palm Beach to spend a gorgeous day outside. The main beach is soft and inviting – be sure to swim between the flags, or take kids to the south end to paddle where the water is most shallow.

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

If swimming in the waves isn’t your cup of tea, try a dip in the 35m ocean pool. It’s perfectly designed for both lap swimmers and also paddling with children in the shallow end.

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

For more exploring, follow the path around the pool where there are rock pools to be found. Be careful with the timing of your rock pool walk, however, as it can be unsafe when the tide comes back in.

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

When it’s time for lunch there are a few cafes to try. We enjoyed a late breakfast at 2108 Espresso, with an Aussie standard dish of toasted sourdough, avocado, fresh tomato and feta for $14 (eggs an additional $3).  For the kids there is a grilled cheese toastie and babyccino with a cute blue marshmallow.

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

For dessert, we decided to give the cafe next door that serves scooped ice cream a miss and go old school with Gaytimes.

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

To walk off the ice cream there are a few options for the afternoon. Nearby is a large grassy park with a sprawling playground. While there were picnic tables in the park we didn’t spot any bathroom amenities, and the playground equipment didn’t have much shade.

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

The more athletic option for the whole family is to take the scenic 1.2km walk from the beach to Barrenjoey Head to visit the historic lighthouse that sits on Sydney’s most northerly point. It’s a 25 minute walk each way so take water and go to the bathroom before hand (no bathrooms at the top!). From the top you’ll have a great view of Broken Bay, the Central Coast and the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

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Get Directions
 to Palm Beach

Sydney’s Best Family Day Trips: Watson’s Bay

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With stunning harbour views and gorgeous beaches, Watsons Bay is a great place for a day trip with kids.

Sydney's Best Family Day Trips: Watson's Bay via christineknight.me
Where to eat: Doyles on the Wharf Seafood Takeaway & Bistro

Doyles is famous for their seafood. Being vegetarian this isn’t a great option for me, but if you do like your fish and chips, Doyles is the place to go in Sydney.

Sydney's Best Family Day Trips: Watson's Bay via christineknight.me

At Doyle’s on the Wharf, you can get fresh seafood in generous portions at reasonable prices – and enjoy a world-class view inside Doyle’s al fresco seating areas or picnic in Robertson park. A basic fish and chips is $13.80.
Doyles on the Wharf Seafood Takeaway & Bistro
Hours: Daily from 10am until 5pm.
Fisherman’s Wharf, Watson’s Bay

Sydney's Best Family Day Trips: Watson's Bay via christineknight.me

Where to play: Robertson Park
Right in the middle of Watson’s Bay is Robertson Park. A very large park with large trees and wide green spaces, it’s a popular place to picnic and for visitors to play games. The park has a breathtaking view of the harbour, too.

Sydney's Best Family Day Trips: Watson's Bay via christineknight.me

Families love the gated playground with shade cloth on top, positioned right next to bathrooms.

Sydney's Best Family Day Trips: Watson's Bay via christineknight.me Robertson Park
Marine Parade, Watsons Bay

Sydney's Best Family Day Trips: Watson's Bay via christineknight.me
Where to swim: The Beach or Watson’s Bay Baths
Sydneysiders have been bathing in this harbourside tidal pool since 1905. After a significant renovation in 2010, the baths now include a new Olympic-size pool with two floating turning board/sunbathing pontoons, boardwalk, better seating, Australia’s first deep water wheelchair access to a tidal harbour pool and increased views of the harbour.

Head to the adjacent Teagardens for shaded outdoor kiosk seating, toilets and change room facilities.
Watson’s Bay Baths
Marine Parade, Watsons Bay

 

Sydney's Best Family Day Trips: Watson's Bay via christineknight.me

Where to indulge: Gelatissimo
Gelato made fresh in store every day from an authentic family recipe. Flavours include Salted Caramel, Pistachio, Mango, Chocolate Truffle, Burnt Caramel & Pecan and Lychee. Ask for a tiny scoop for kids – it’s not on the menu and is slightly smaller than a regular single scoop and a bit cheaper, too.

Sydney's Best Family Day Trips: Watson's Bay via christineknight.me
Gelatissimo
Military Rd, Watsons Bay

Sydney's Best Family Day Trips: Watson's Bay via christineknight.me Sydney's Best Family Day Trips: Watson's Bay via christineknight.me

Watson’s Bay
Limited on and off street parking
Get there by car, ferry or bus

Sydney’s Best Beaches For Kids: Parsley Bay

Parsley Bay: Sydney's Best Beaches For Kids via christineknight.me

Parsley Bay Reserve in Sydney’s east is a tiny little slip of a beach at the very pointy end of Vaucluse. It’s right next to the very popular Nielsen Park, and yet has remained under the radar thus far. We dropped by on New Year’s Day, as is not only our custom, but most of Sydney’s, by the looks of how popular some of the beaches were that day.

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The bay is popular with local families due to the enclosed swimming area, picnic facilities and children’s playground. I also enjoyed the cafe that was happily open on New Year’s Day and the clean changing facilities.

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While most families set up their rugs and picnic chairs and bunker in for a day on the beach, if you’re more athletically inclined there is a short bushland circuit (15-20 minutes return), that takes you to a waterfall at the head of the gully. We did try to find it from one direction, but ended up back on the main road so I think we accidentally took a scenic exit rather than the circuit that leads to the waterfall. In any case, there are no signs to tell you where to go on the bush trails.

There was, however, a sign to also let us know that in summer Eastern Water Dragons sun themselves along the watercourse. We sadly didn’t see any water dragons, but that wasn’t too surprising considering how many small children were out that day.

 

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Parsley Bay: Sydney's Best Beaches For Kids via christineknight.me
Most people drive as it’s the easiest way to get to Parsley Bay. Parking in the eastern suburbs, however, is an entirely different matter. We were happily surprised at how quickly and easily we found unmetered street parking in the shade, right next to the stairs that lead down into the bay. There is also a small carpark available from Parsley Road (Horler Avenue).

If you park on the street like we did, there is pedestrian access available from The Crescent, Hopetoun Avenue and Horler Avenue.

Parsley Bay Reserve
Parsley Rd, Vaucluse NSW
Get Directions

More things to do in Sydney

Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids here.

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

Check out things to do in Sydney on a rainy day here.

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

First time visiting Sydney? Get tips for first time visitors to Sydney here.