Don thy sunscreen and leave your troubles behind ‘cause we’re getting away from this hum-drum, snapchat selfie life and relaxing damnit.
Because we love you, here are 10 beautiful beach getaways near Sydney, if you’re feeling like you need a little relax.
Mollymook may sound like the latest in a long list of bizarre celebrity child names, but this blessed weirdo is actually the location of one of Sydney’s more luxurious beaches. A three-hour drive from Sydney, Mollymook is perfect for surfers, wave boarders, and those of us still cool enough to rock a boogie board and rash vest. There’s also a pretty fancy golf club, and Bannister’s Pool Bar treat guests to live music on the first, third, and fifth Friday of each month (plus alternating Sundays) so prepare to feel super-cool and cultured as you sip on a Bannister’s Breeze cocktail with vodka, strawberry liquor, lime, and pineapple juice.
Where to Stay: Bannisters, 191 Mitchell Parade, Mollymook NSW 2539.
Ah, Avoca Beach, a pure and simple Central Coast classic. The name conjures images of flat sand, a calm seaside lagoon, and, let’s be honest, the majority of Hot Dog or Legs’ Tumblr posts. Whether you’re an activity-based beach goer keen on kayaks and peddle boats or a sun baker in search of a place to lie down, Avoca has a spot for you. On the fourth Sunday of every month, the Heazlett Park Foreshore hosts a 110-stall market filled with art, skincare, jewellery, and general good vibes. Grab one (or more) of Point Café Avoca’s 20 all-day breakfast options to fuel up—with more vegetarian options than you can through a celery stick at, they’re an easy favourite.
Where to Stay: Avoca Palms Resort, 194 Avoca Drive, Central Coast NSW 2251.
Palm Beach is easily one of the more b-e-a-utiful beaches surrounding Sydney. In fact, one glimpse can elicit a “#nofilter” from even the biggest of social media curmudgeons. Located an easy hour or so from the city, Palm Beach is ideal for sand dwellers and those terrified of even the mildest of waves, thanks to calm waters on one side and ocean waves on the other. Make sure to get up nice and early for a fitness paddle with Kayak and Dive Adventures or a round of golf at the Palm Beach Golf Club—between hikes to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse that is. When all is done, visit The Boathouse for simple, scrummy lunch at its best.
Where to Stay: Jonah’s, 69 Bynya Road, Whale Beach NSW 2107.
Best buds with nearby Patonga and Umina but delightfully secluded, Pearl Beach is a 90-minute road trip from the city, and well worth the time spent listening to show tunes. For those who need a little more than a sand-side setup, strap on your joggers and hike to the Mt. Ettalong Lookout. Need a place to retreat and nurse your sunburn? Pearls on the Beach will soothe even the sorest of shoulders with a fancy drink or two from their extensive wine list and a plate of Affogato Al Caffé.
Where to Stay: Walamba House, 2 Diamond Road, Pearl Beach NSW 2256.
Killcare is a beach for everyone regardless of preferred getaway activity thanks to an outcrop of rock pools—for holidaymakers who can’t sit still—and plenty of bushland to keep any misanthropy in check. Visit the Fat Goose for a coffee as you scour the deli and bakery selection or pop into Garden 2 Plate for a sustainable eco-snack. Hardys Bay Yacht Charters, a quick jump across the way, will take brave skippers on a Taste of Sailing experience and the Bouddi National Park coastal walks will push your Christmas Fitbit to the limit—if you can drag yourself from lazy beach-side bliss, that is.
Where to Stay: Bells at Killcare, 107 The Scenic Road, Killcare Heights NSW 2257.
It doesn’t get much more secluded than Pacific Palms – except perhaps those private celebrity islands we keep hearing about. Pacific Palms, a breezy three-hour drive from Sydney, is a collection of six white-sand beaches blessed with clear blue waters from the Tasman Sea and Wallis and Smiths Lakes. Boomerang Beach is perfect for surfing/getting your Blue Crush on, or tip toe into Seal Rocks to visit Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse (or pet a grey nurse shark if so inclined). Finally Booti Booti National Park will provide a hike and a half plus some hilarious, not-so-original photos of you and your mates posing ass-first next to the ‘Booti Booti’ sign.
Where to Stay: There are a number of holiday houses up for grabs but we like A View House at Banksia Street, Blueys Beach thanks to its tip-top views.
Bundeena, so much room for activities! Visit the practically ancient national park, give your Instagram a workout with an arvo of PaddleFIT or visit the Bundeena Maianbar Art of Living Festival with good music, good food, and, if you’re lucky, good friends from March 13 to 15. The three-hour Bundeena kayak eco tour is sure to teach inquisitive minds a thing or two plus provide an upper body workout on any loose Olive Oyl arms. Did we mention it’s only an hour south of Sydney? Bundeena delivers, folks!
Where to Stay: Bundeena House Boat Adventures.
Located just ten minutes south of Kiama and a 30-minute drive from Jamberoo Action Park (where you control the action hurt yourself in the name of childhood dreams) is Gerrigong. Our ideal Gerrigong getaway involves a round of golf at the Gerrigong Golf Course, a sweat-soaked stroll along the Kiama coast walk, getting a little crooked at the Crooked River Winery, and exploring our future cheesemaking careers at the Schoolhouse. If you have a spare moment, check out Perfect Break Vegetarian Café on Fern Street (opposite the town hall) for a veggie burrito before visiting Natural Necessity, Australia’s ultimate surf shop.
Where to Stay: Tanderra Bed & Breakfast, 21 Saxonia Road, Gerrigong NSW 2534.
Hyam’s Beach in Jervis Bay is easily one of the more idyllic beaches out there. In fact, the Guinness Book of World Records has declared their sand to be the whitest around. The aptly named White Sands walk promises only the prettiest of views and the Scribbly Gum track is more about nature and less about wayward Sharpies/vandalism than you might think. Visit the Hyams Beach café and general store (fancier than it sounds, we promise) for meals made with care and pride like roast pumpkin bruschetta and housemade baked beans. If the weather’s just right you can take a dolphin or whale watching tour, too. Hyam’s is our favourite beach-to-not-write-home-about (you’ll want to keep it all to yourself).
Situated on the Eurobodalla coast and hailing back to its days as a dairy town (bad news, soy fans) is Moruya Heads. Congo and Bingi beaches are perfect for those whose inner hermit lurks just below the surface and if you enjoy your herbs straight from the garden and seafood plucked from the sea, you better pop over to The River Moruya. We’ve got grins at the ready for their crab filled zucchini flowers and not-to-be-missed pork belly. Moruya Heads also hosts one of the oldest cemeteries around (the earliest recorded burial is from 1858) and by all accounts there’s a pretty decent lookout there for travelers who want to stare into the distance and get lost in #yolo thoughts.
Where to Stay: Crop up a tent opposite Dolphin Beach at the Big4 Moruya Heads East’s Dolphin Beach Holiday Park, South Head Road, Moruya Heads NSW 2537.
Image credit: Beachy Mermaids