Top 6 Sydney Beaches That Aren’t Named Bondi
Beyond the skin, sex and parking meters of Bondi Beach and the other classic Sydney swimming stops, there are plenty of other beaches, harbors, coves and hideaways to explore.
Some are little-known, while others sometimes attract small groups, but you can rest assured that none of them draw the crowds like that other infamous stretch of sand.
1) Camp Cove
Hidden past Watsons Bay, Camp Cove is the second-to-last beach on the southern side of the harbor before Lady Jane Beach (and the last where clothing is mandatory). Getting a parking spot at Camp Cove is spoken about with the same passion as a Sydney Swans win. I would suggest you walk, but a good gamble never hurt anyone, and the view you get when you pull your car up on the top of the hill overlooking this small, white sand beach is hard to beat. There’s great snorkeling, swimming and diving here, and there’s no better makeout spot in town (or so I’ve heard).
2) Redleaf Pool
Also on the southern side of Sydney Harbour is the famous Redleaf Pool, or “Murray Rose Pool” as it’s now officially known. The entrance is hidden behind the Woollahra Council Building on New South Head Road on the way to Rose Bay. While here you can swim out on the pontoons, dive off the jetty or hang out on the grassy hill. There’s even a kiosk for lemonade ice blocks if you’re curious what Aussie kids grow up eating. It’s best to swim here at high tide and calm days since the low tide and wind can stir up the water. But when it’s right, Redleaf is hard to beat for its easy access and good crowd.
Outside of the city — but close enough for a day trip — is Wattamolla, a lagoon and beach combo in the Royal National Park about 60 minutes south of the city where you can spend your time jumping off the rocks, snorkeling with the fish or just hanging out on the beach. It’s a great excuse to get out of the city and you can stop in at the famous surf beach, Garie Beach, on the way.
4) Milk Beach
With amazing views of the Harbour Bridge and City skyline, Milk Beach is hard to beat. There’s a New Years Day party here every year for those that don’t wipe themselves out the night before, and you can see why it’s the perfect spot to bring in the new year.
To the north of the city is Bilgola Beach, tucked in between Avalon Beach and Newport. Though it’s difficult to get to by public transportation, it’s easily the most attractive of the beaches north of the harbor (but to be fair, nothing’s easy to get to over the bridge). Make a day of it on your way out of town — the photo above should speak for itself.
It wouldn’t be a post about Sydney beaches without at least one Eastern Suburbs beach, and for many, Bronte is the top choice. The huge park area behind the beach offers BBQs, a ride-on train for the kids and there are plenty of great cafes to the south. But of course, the beach itself is the main draw: the water’s a unique color, the waves tend to be more aggressive and unpredictable than other beaches, and the rock pool offers a relaxing hideaway. You’re also less likely to feel like you’ve walked into a bodybuilding contest here than you would at Bondi.
By Matt Stabile
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Matt Stabile is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Expeditioner. The Expeditioner was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in New York City. You can read his writings, watch his travel videos or contact him at any time at TheExpeditioner.com. (@TheExpeditioner)