Northern Beaches

Between Manly and Palm Beach lies a fantastic stretch of coastline known as the ‘Northern Beaches’.

As you would expect with such a name, the beaches in this region are absolutely sensational. But the area is also known for its laid-back outdoor lifestyle, great surfing, urban sophistication and lovely architecture too.

Although it is only about 40kms from the Sydney CBD, the Northern Beaches may as well be a world away. I highly recommend you visit here, as it always makes a nice change up from the frenetic energy of the city.

If you do, please consider checking out the following.

Manly Beach

I love going to Manly Beach! It is such a beautiful stretch of sand which comprises of three sections running from Queenscliff at the very north of it, past North Steyne in the middle to South Steyne.

At 1.5km it is a decent length of beach to walk on, and I love looking at the Norfolk Island pines that line it.

The beach is actually famous for being the host of the world’s first surfing contest back in 1964 (no, I wasn’t involved!) and that surfing culture is still massive here today.

If you are an accomplished surfer, or are interested in learning to surf, is a great place to do so. But if your idea of a good beach time is sipping a latte whilst watching the waves crash on the shoreline, then there are lots of excellent cafes that will enable you to do so.

Whale Watching

Every year, over 35,000 whales swim from their base in New South Wales, along the ‘Humpback Highway’ for their annual migration to the warmer birthing waters of Queensland.

The Northern Beaches has some excellent spots to see these magnificent creatures in transit, and a number of tour companies run whale watching excursions around the area. These tend to take place from May until November and afford the opportunity to spot the likes of humpback whales,  southern rights, orcas, blue whales, minke whales and sperm whales.

Its always a real thrill to see one of these beautiful marine mammals, and the chance to view them up close and personal is something that should be on everyone’s bucket list.


If you love to swim in stunning poolside locations then you should definitely go for a dip in the Northern Beaches region.

With no less than 15 wonderful beachside pools of various shapes and sizes to choose from there are many splendid options in the area. All of which provide a safe place to swim away from the crashing waves, oceans rips and wet sands of the beach.

These pools are all free to use and provide sensational views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounds. Some of my favourite rockpools to swim at are the ones at Avalon Beach, Bilgola Beach and Mona Vale. If you get a chance you should definitely visit them.

Surf Club with a View

One of my favourite things to do is take the wife and grown up kids out to a Surf Club for a meal or drink with a view.

The Northern Beaches has three excellent surf clubs at Avalon Beach, North Narrabeen and Narrabeen, which I tend to alternate between on a regular basis.

They all do great food, mainly modern Australian classics with the odd Asian inspired dish thrown in, and offer a fabulous range of alcoholic beverages too.

Looking out at sweeping, uninterrupted views of the ocean from their open deck, with a coffee or ice cold beer and some delicious food, is one of the most pleasant ways to spend some quality time with loved ones.

Palm Beach

You can’t come to the Northern Beaches and not visit Palm Beach. Especially if you are a fan of the famous TV show Home & Away. For this is the beach that doubles up as Summer Bay!

Nestled on a narrow peninsula, with jagged cliffs and lush bushland, Palm Beach is framed by water on 3 sides. It is such a gorgeous landscape; you will no doubt take hundreds of photos of it!

Stretching for about 2.3km this beach is a great beach to walk on. It is also renowned for having a fantastic surf pool and the wonderful Barrenjoey Lighthouse – a heritage listed building that conveys spectacular views of the full length of the beach.

About Me
Hi There! I’m Jamie. After travelling throughout Asia, Europe and North America, I wanted to share everything that I love about Sydney - my home town! That's why I created Sydney City Guide - join me on the adventure as I explore the beautiful city of Sydney.