In Sydney’s Sutherland Shire, 25 kilometers from the CBD, lies Cronulla. This beachside suburb is a world unto it’s own, with many locals never going north of the Captain Cook Bridge into Sydney but preferring instead to stay in the “Shire” as it’s known. And with a beach like this one, they might just be onto something. You can get here easily enough by car, but to beat the traffic and the parking hassles the train is a great option taking only 50 minutes from the city.
This beach is one of the largest in Sydney and is actually has 4 beaches. The most northern beach is Cronulla Beach and is the longest strip along Bate Bay. Next is Wanda Beach, which is home to the Cronulla Surfing Academy and is a great spot to take surfing lessons. The final strip of sand along that stretch and past the delicious Summer Salt restaurant is North Cronulla Beach. A short walk further south and closer to the main part of town and you arrive at the comparatively tiny South Cronulla Beach. This is the closest beach to the station, and with calmer waters is popular with young families.
At all of the Cronulla beaches, you will find the facilities that you would expect – toilets, changerooms, BBQs and picnic areas are located in a few places along the bay so you are sure to find the perfect spot to spend your day. There is also no shortage of cafes, kiosks and restaurants to keep the hunger pangs at bay after hours enjoying the sun and the sea. Depending where you set up for the day, takeaway fish and chips from South Beach Seafood is a great option, but watch out for the seagulls – they won’t hesitate to steal a meal right from your hands if they get a chance!
Cronulla is a favourite among surfers. It offers great variety at different points along the bay and great quality waves. For experienced surfers, there are a few spots here to check out, but Cronulla Point and Wanda Beach are great for beginners or those looking for a more relaxed day. For swimmers, there is no shortage of options here too. Most of the bay is swimmable actually, but as with all Sydney beaches, conditions can change quickly and become hazardous, so it’s always best to swim between the flags. However, with surfclubs patrolling each of the 4 beaches, you can easily enjoy the water in safety. A little further south (about 1.5kms) is just one more beach. Shelly Beach is perfect for kids. There is a large reserve behind it with a fenced-off playground offering some much needed shade along with all the picnic facilities you need. The beach here is calm and shallow and there is also an ocean pool at the south end which is great for toddlers. So whether you are a pro surfer, a family with young children, or something in between, Cronulla has a beach perfect for you to enjoy a brilliant day in the Aussie sunshine.