Activities & Itineraries

12 Of Sydney’s Best Secret Beaches To Explore This Summer

By Jessica Best

sydney secret beaches west head

Beat the crowds this summer and hit up these Sydney/Eora beachscapes, some of which are so secret that even Google Maps has a hard time finding them. They’re tucked away and totally 'grammable, so you don’t have to worry about anyone else getting in your shot (unless they’re reading this article too).

Here's Urban List's local guide to the best Sydney secret beaches to visit this summer.

Castle Rock

Clontarf

sydney secret beaches castle rock clontarf spit manly
Image credit: Destination NSW | Eugene Tan

Castle Rock really is the ultimate secret Sydney beach—you’ll get to this secluded sanctuary by driving to the end of Ogilvy Road, or hitting the Manly to Spit Bridge walk. Surrounded by rainforest, this super-secret beach is the perfect spot for a swim and picnic (there are no nearby shops or facilities so it’s up to you to BYO all of the snacks and water—you’ve been warned).

Little Bay Beach

Little Bay

This secret Sydney beach is like something from the very far North Coast of NSW. A popular one with anyone who lives around the area, Little Bay Beach is well protected from large coastal swells so she’s the perfect place for children and still-water swimming (you can literally do laps from headland to headland) and snorkelling.

This one can only be accessed by a timber staircase from Pine Avenue, which leads past a beachside chapel and down to the sand but, even though it's a pretty secluded spot, there's a cafe, toilets and parking nearby.

West Head Beach

Ku-Ring-Gai Chase

sydney secret beaches west head ku-ring-gai chase
Image credit: Destination NSW | Daniel Tran

Looking out to Pittwater, West Head Beach is a secluded but accessible secret beach in Sydney's north. 

We recommend taking the Aboriginal Heritage Walk from West Head before doing the short walk to West Head Beach and cooling off with a swim in the calm, clear waters, with plenty of shady spots thanks to overhanging trees and rocks.

Milk Beach

Vaucluse

sydney secret beaches milk beach vaucluse
Image credit: Destination NSW | Andrew Gregory

Milk it for all it's worth—this secret Sydney beach boasts one of the best views of the CBD at sunset in town. Hit the Hermitage Foreshore Walk from Rose Bay or Watsons Bay to find this spot, or head in from the historic Strickland House's Vaucluse Road entrance.

Milk Beach's complete seclusion will make you believe there's still such thing as calm in the middle of Sydney. Clean and clear-watered, you won't regret a trip to the East for a swim at this pretty beach.

Store Beach

Manly

sydney secret beaches store beach manly
Image credit: Destination NSW | Daniel Tran

Head to Manly, rent a kayak and paddle your way to Store Beach—this secret Sydney beach is only accessible by water. Keep an eye out for the resident little penguins (yes, really) between May and February.

Kutti Beach

Vaucluse

Palm trees, sailboats, beachfront mansions and a secret pathway. Sound like your type of secret beach? It's ours too.

Kutti Beach is a totally hidden oasis tucked between Parsley Beach and Watsons Bay, with the only way in through a tiny set of steps to the side of the sailing club. Even better? This beach is dog friendly.

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Collins Flat Beach

Manly

If some serious wow factor is what you’re looking for, you need to hit up Collins Flat Beach. Not only is it secluded and boasts stunning harbour views, this little secret beach also has its own waterfall, creating a unique setting for a memorable picnic day or detour from the nearby Q Station.

Chinamans Beach

Mosman

sydney secret beaches chinamans beach balmoral
Image credit: Destination NSW | Andrew Gregory

You know Balmoral Beach right? Well, this isn't it. Just a cheeky one-kilometre walk away is the flat, secluded secret stretch of beach, Chinamans Beach. Its flat conditions are ideal for water sports, whilst a large grass patch and playground make it great for families.

Lady Martins Beach

Point Piper

Point Piper is known for its majestic harbour views and palatial properties, but beneath it all lies Lady Martins beach.

Understated, hidden and easy to access, Lady Martins is a little secret beach offering uninterrupted vistas, privacy and a low-key afternoon in the sun, and dogs on leash are welcome too.

Queens Beach

Vaucluse

sydney secret beaches queens beach vaucluse
Image credit: Destination NSW | Paul McMillan

You’ll strike up one of the best vantage points in Sydney at this secret stretch of sand. Getting down to Queens Beach can be done either via its narrow walking track from the street or from the Hermitage Foreshore walk.

This harbour cove is one of the nicest spots to go for a fish and a dip, and you need to stay and watch the sunset over the city skyline from this west-facing secret beach.

Washaway Beach

Grotto Point

The name might be a dead giveaway, but this one is so secret that sometimes you can’t even see it. At times, this beach gets washed over by the tide making it disappear completely (so you’ll have to time your trip perfectly).

This little secret Sydney beach means you’ll have to jump off the Spit to Manly track, and trek through some bush. But the best part is, you’ll score a solitary swim.

Shark Beach, Nielsen Park [Currently Closed]

Vaucluse 

sydney secret beaches shark beach nielsen park vaucluse
Image credit: Destination NSW | Andrew Gregory

Nielsen Park and its stunning, secret Sydney Harbour beach, Shark Beach, are local goodies and a total must if you’ve never been. 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).

Editor's note: Shark Beach is currently closed until at least 2024 due to a seawall replacement project.

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Main image credit: Destination NSW | Daniel Tran

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