The top sunny shores Down Under for travelers of all types
When it comes to beaches, Sydney is nothing less than a world-class destination. This vibrant Australian city has generally incredible weather from September all the way through May — which means beach season is way more than just a season. While beaches are popular almost the whole year, the absolute peak season is December to February, with average temperatures around 78°F (25°C). Here are some of the best beaches in Sydney, from popular icons to lesser-known treasures.
The most popular beach — in not just Sydney but in all of Australia — is, understandably, the busiest. More than 100 meters wide and spanning well over a kilometer in length, Bondi Beach has sheer size on its side — and incredible beauty, to boot. Geared more toward travelers than locals, it’s surrounded by a number of popular restaurants (from the super-fresh seafood- and produce-focused menu and laid-back vibe of Sean’s Panaroma, to the more upscale Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, with its private beach club vibe).
Manly Beach is just a half-hour ferry ride from Circular Quay, but it feels like worlds away. In contrast to the extroverted vibe of Bondi, it has a slightly more relaxed feel, with many travelers enjoying relaxation time on the fine, soft sand and in its tree-lined promenades. It’s also one of the best surfing beaches in Australia (the first world surfing championship was held here in 1964). If you’re looking to scuba dive, Dive Center Manly offers everything from beginner courses to guided dives — and if you’re up for an activity near the water but not in it, bike along the coastline on a tour led by Manly Bike Tours.
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With calm waters and a more low-key vibe than the ocean beaches, the harbour beaches are little oases with particularly spectacular views (many including the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, one of the city’s most iconic sights). If you only have time for one, head to the idyllic Camp Cove, next to Watsons Bay — a prime spot dotted with spectacular waterfront homes nearby. Get some homemade sorbet (in tropical flavors like rockmelon and coconut) from the beach kiosk — and enjoy this little cove’s rarefied-yet-casual vibe.
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