Beach culture is a huge part of Sydney life, so it wouldn’t be a proper visit without a stop-off — and dip-in — at the city’s best.
Australia’s iconic beach is a perfect introduction to the laid-back Sydneysider lifestyle. Spend a lazy day sunning yourself or wandering the shops before hitting the waves with a lesson from Let’s Go Surfing. Grab an early dinner at The Corner House or North Bondi Italian Food, two killer Italian spots, or cap off the day with a local brew at Bondi Hardware.
This is a quieter beach where big waves are ideal for surfing and natural rock pools make it safe for children. If you’re lucky, your visit will coincide with a rare open-house weekend at Bronte House, home to one of Sydney’s finest colonial gardens. Locals line up for the fish and chips from Bronte Chippa, and foodies come from all over to eat at Three Blue Ducks.
Sydney’s second most popular beach is a quieter alternative to Bondi. Stop by Lived in Coogee for a Turkish beach towel or take a dip in the historic Wylies Baths, one of the city’s most beautiful ocean pools.
A popular surfing beach, which is fitting since this is where the sport was introduced to Australia in 1915. Fine dining with water views can be found at Sardinian hotspot Pilu at Freshwater. Call ahead to order the roasted suckling pig, or try the condensed panino version at their more casual offshoot, The Kiosk.
Hop a ride on the ferry and head across the harbor to this seaside resort with an abundance of places to sleep, eat, and drink: An old quarantine station, a fun Mexican joint, a literary-themed bar, and a kitschy hangout with lots of wine.
One of the city’s grittier neighborhoods, it's known for strong surf culture, great waves, and a local gang who inspired the hit surfing documentary Bra Boys: Blood is Thicker Than Water.
Palmie, as it’s known to locals, is where Aussie celebs like to go for a little R&R. Book a 20-minute seaplane ride to The Boathouse for their signature fish and chips; do the Barrenjoey Lighthouse walk; spend the night at Jonahs in nearby Whale Beach.
Cheekily nicknamed Glamarama for the abundance of pretty people that dot its shoreline. Throw a barbie at the public facilities or grab a freshly squeezed juice at the beach café. The rip currents make it one of the city’s most dangerous beaches, so stay between the flags set up by the Tamarama Lifesavers.