Local Escapes

Sydney’s Best Harbour Beaches

By Jessica Best
12th Dec 2017

sydney's best harbour beaches

Summer in Sydney means one thing—harbour beaches! If you’re keen to sidestep the hour-long search for a parking spot, the (sweaty) shoulder-to-shoulder sun baking and the little humans who run around kicking sand on to total strangers (aka you)—this article is for you.

Upgrade your beaching potential, here are Sydney’s best harbour beaches.

Nielsen Park


This one’s actually a local goodie and a total must if you’ve never been. If big, busy beaches aren’t your thing, Nielsen Park is your go-to. Cue harbour views, rocks to jump off and beautiful walking tracks to explore. Plus, the water is ridiculously blue and 100% grammable (that’s important).

Milk Beach


Score front seats to Sydney’s best harbour and city views and set yourself up on Milk Beach. It’s tucked into the base of Hermit Bay with easy access to the Hermitage Foreshore Walk and is the ultimate seaside nook for fishing, snorkelling and swimming.

Store Beach


Located around little Manly point, Store Beach is only accessible by boat or a little rock climbing over the rocks from the nearby Collins Beach (provided the tide is low). This harbour gem is the perfect place for a secluded picnic and there are no crowds in sight—we’ll fist pump to that.

Murray Rose Pool

Double Bay

Don’t be fooled by the name, the Murray Rose Pool has a nice sandy strip for those keen to make the most of… well, those authentic beach feels. But for those of you who’d rather live a little, there’s a boardwalk that runs around a shark netted area plus two sought out pontoons (jumping off them is must).

Cobblers Beach


If you want to feel like you’re on a mini holiday, Cobblers Beach is the picturesque little cove ideal to escape that Sydney buzz. And hey, if you forget your swimmers don’t worry, it’s a designated nude bathing spot.

Rose Bay Beach

Rose Bay

If you’re not the bodyboarding type, Rose Bay Beach is for you. Its shallow waters make it the ideal location for a bit of SUP-ing and a leisurely walk up the shoreline.

Kutti Beach


Palm trees, sailboats, beachfront mansions and a secret pathway. Sound like your type of beach? It probably is. Kutti Beach is the totally hidden oasis tucked away between Parsley Beach and Watsons Bay. And when the sailing club is closed, their deck makes a great sneaky spot to lap up all the beach vibes.

Clifton Gardens


For some of Sydney's best harbour beach vibes, Clifton Gardens serves up a long stretch of sand, a lengthy jetty, swimming enclosure, picnic tables, basketball court and a grassy reserve. Plus there’s a cafe handy at the end of the beach for when you start to get the munchies.

Fairlight Beach


A favourite swimming spot for the locals, Fairlight Beach boasts a seriously scenic walkway (we’re talking massive panoramic views of Sydney Harbour), a grassy and shaded area to eat all the food and a tidal pool.

Northbridge Baths 


Locals flock to Northbridge Baths as soon as the sun comes out and we can see why. By the beach is the perfect picnic spot for a BBQ and a few beers—summer plans sorted (you’re welcome). 

Chinamans Beach


Just before the Spit Bridge lies the white sand haven of Chinamans Beach. With 10/10 picnic spots, off-leash dog areas and a bangin’ view of the harbour, Chinamans Beach is your next sunny day go-to. 

If you prefer hidden beaches, read this.

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