Thursday, May 17, 2012
In addition to iconic landmarks like its Opera House and the steel bridge spanning the harbour, Sydney is home to famous beaches where visitors can choose to relax or indulge in some of the various activities and watersports on offer.
 
Spending time on the beach is a quintessentially Australian pastime and a 'must-do' for many travellers intent on making the most of their time in this unique country.

 
Bondi
View Larger Map
 
One of Australia's best-known seafront hotspots, Bondi Beach is situated 7km east of central Sydney. The destination provides an array of entertainment and activities throughout the year, including surfing competitions, kite flying shows and markets.
 
Visitors can try their hand at surfing, relax on the sand to get some sun or explore the shops and other amenities on offer in the surrounding suburb of Bondi Beach.
 
The south end of the 1km beach is generally reserved for surfers, with the northern part more suitable for swimmers owing to its gentler currents. Visitors are advised to swim between the yellow and red flags that mark out the safest areas. 

 
Manly
View Larger Map
 
Manly Beach is part of the coastal suburbs north of Sydney's city centre. People staying in the heart of Sydney can reach the destination by taking a ferry from the harbour to Manly Wharf, which is a unique experience in itself.
 
The main beach comprises three sections - Queenscliff, North Steyne and South Steyne - which are popular for swimming, surfing and other watersports. There are many other coastal locations waiting to be discovered in the area, including hidden coves and Aboriginal sites.
 
Holidaymakers can explore the rest of Manly to check out attractions such as Oceanworld and Manly Art Gallery and Museum, as well as the various shops, restaurants, walking routes and outdoor activities on offer in the area.

 
Coogee
View Larger Map
 
Coogee Beach is another popular seaside location in the Sydney suburbs, about 8km south-east of the city centre.
 
The beach itself is highly popular for swimming and provides access to a network of coastal walking routes affording impressive views of this scenic part of New South Wales. Other highlights include children's play areas and parklands with free outdoor barbecue and picnic facilities.
 
Visitors exploring the suburb of Coogee can also see a memorial at Dolphin Point commemorating the 20 Australian victims of the 2002 Bali bombing and take a short walk north to see Gordon's Bay, which is a popular location for snorkelling.

 
Balmoral
View Larger Map
 
Balmoral is an affluent area in the Sydney suburb of Mosman that is famous for its beach. As well as the luxury houses and yachts, visitors can see views stretching across Sydney Harbour National Park and through the Heads - points of land which form the entrance to the harbour.
 
There are plenty of ways for travellers to enjoy their time here, such as cycling along the seafront, tucking in to some fish and chips as the sun sets and visiting the shady park located at the northern end of the beach.
 
A designated area is available for swimmers, enclosed by shark nets and a boardwalk.
 
Balmoral also boasts a number of dining establishments on the esplanade and hosts annual events such as the Shakespeare by the Sea festival, which is held every summer.

 
Tamarama
View Larger Map
 
Tamarama, an eastern suburb of Sydney located 7km from the central business district, is one of the most stylish and trendy seaside destinations near the city. Indeed, locals have dubbed it 'Glamarama' to reflect its popularity with fashionable types who gather there to see and be seen.
 
While swimming is a popular activity in the area, there are often strong rip currents that can be dangerous. The beach is sometimes closed to swimmers and when it is open visitors are advised to follow the directions of lifeguards.
 
There are plenty of fun activities on offer outside the water, such as walking along the rocky coastline to search for wildlife. The beach is often less crowded than nearby destinations such as Bondi, making it a good option for people who want to do some quiet sunbathing.