Sometimes we just need to escape the crowds of Bondi and Manly and find a quiet beach in Sydney. I hear you laugh, a quiet secluded beach in Sydney? Does that really exist? Yes! We’ve searched high and low to find you our favourite secret beaches in Sydney!
Looking for Sydney city beaches?
If you’re looking to get way off the beaten track, check out our secret wild swimming spots in Sydney where you’ll be surrounded by some awesome landscapes.
We’ve kept our top 10 secret beaches in Sydney list away from the Eastern Suburbs as there are some proper gems out there worth exploring. If you’re looking for some quiet secret beaches near Bondi, check out how to beat the beach crowds in the Eastern Suburbs here.
Top 10 secret beaches in Sydney
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1.Washaway beach, near the Spit to Manly track
One of our biggest surprises was finding Washaway Beach which sits right near the Spit to Manly walk in Balgowlah Heights. We found it just by looking on Google Maps but it was amazing that no one had even heard of it who actually live nearby! Apparently Washaway Beach is the most secret beach in Sydney!
You’ll be gobsmacked at how you’ll be able to look on over at Balmoral and the ferry’s heading to and from Manly, yet you’ll pretty much get the entire beach to yourself. This is the perfect quiet beach in Sydney.
Tip – be warned, it’s best to visit in the morning as the tide comes in and you may have sit on the rocks to sunbake. We did see a few people in the nude (which is fine as you’ll have plenty of room not to be too exposed to it out on the rocks).
I also wouldn’t recommend families going as getting down to the beach requires a bit of rock climbing.
Washaway Beach is a great secluded beach if you want some peace right in the middle of Sydney. You might find a few nudists around too. Not great for families as getting down to the beach can be tricky. Please be careful when going to this beach
How to get to Washaway Beach
Drive over to Balgowlah Heights and park on either Cutler Road or Barrabooka St and walk down on the Lighthouse Track. The first left will take you onto Washway Beach Track. It takes five minutes or so to get there from your car. From Town Hall it will take 30 minutes by car.
If you’re wondering how to get to Washaway Beach by public transport, you’ll need to get three buses from Town Hall, then walk fifteen minutes from Alma St. It’s going to take around 1h20m to get there from Town Hall.
2. Ghosties Beach, near Moonee, Central Coast
The incredible Ghosties Beach in Central Coast is one of those wow moment beaches. Ghosties Beach is a deserted beach near Sydney which also has some of the best walk through caves in Australia. It has to be up there as one of our favourite beaches near Sydney.
Exploring the caves at Ghosties Beach
Ghosties Beach is great for explorers and people who like to feel like they are a million miles away from Sydney. There’s quite a few hidden caves in this area but you’ll find the main one easily at the end of the beach.
It’s a great beach for the family to enjoy with access to the amazing caves. You’ll need to walk along the beach from Moonee Beach which will take a good 10 minutes or so, just be prepared if you want to bring children with you.
How to get to Ghosties Beach
It takes 1h30 to get to Moonee Beach from Town Hall. Make sure you park at Moonee Beach and NOT Timber Beach. Trust us, we went the Timber Beach way and spent ages bush bashing to get to Ghosties Beach. There’s a much, much easier way to get there via Moonee Beach and just walk over along the beach from there.
Unfortunately if you want to go to this beach, you’ll have to hire a car.
3. Maitland Bay, Bouddi National Park
(Location: 1h 30min north of Sydney)
Our absolutely favourite beach in Sydney is Maitland Bay which is situated in Bouddi National Park. It’s a 15 minute walk down on a safe track to the beach near the Bouddi National Park Information Centre on the Scenic Road. With flat, crystal clear waters, you’ll wonder if you’ve been transported to the Mediterranean.
There are some awesome little shaded spots to sit near and this has to be the best gem I have come across to date! It’s also good for families too as the track wasn’t difficult and we saw a couple of kids down there (although it’s up hill on the way back) so don’t bring a pram.
If you’re looking for a secluded beach in Sydney, it doesn’t get much better than this!
Maitland Bay is the perfect beach for anyone wanting to feel like they are in Paradise. It is a 20 minute walk on a good path downhill to get there so try not to bring too much with you and make sure you wear trainers at least.
How to get to Maitland Bay
Drive 1h30m from Town Hall up to the Bouddi National Park Information Centre car park and walk 14 minutes down to the beach.
You have the option of two routes to get to Maitland Bay via public transport. Either go up to Palm Beach and take the ferry over to Wagstaffe, then a bus out to Wagstaffe and walk 14 minutes from the Bouddi National Park bus stop, or a bus out to Gosford, change there for another bus to Bouddi National Park.
4. Little Marley and Big Marley Beach
Little Marley Beach
Located in the Royal National Park, Little Marley and Big Marley are two absolutely stunning beaches in Sydney. Both beaches are located next door to each other and you can get to them by either walking from the popular family beach at Wattamolla or from Bundeena. Both take about an hour each.
If you’re coming via public transport take the Bundeena track and you’ll get to walk past the popular Wedding Cake Rock. You can only get to Wattamolla with a car. Both hikes are absolutely beautiful as you’ll walk right along the coast.
At Big Marley, you’ll find some sand dunes and a lagoon right behind them although there’s not a great deal going on in the lagoon. It’s nice to explore the area though. Little Marley is unsurprisingly a smaller beach.
Big Marley and Little Marley is the perfect day out. If you want to combine an amazing hike with a brilliant, rewarding gorgeous beach to finish then this is the hike for you. Remember it takes an hour to walk from both Bundeena or Wattamolla to get to Big Marley and Little Marley beaches. Make sure you wear hiking boots on this walk and take loads of water.
How to get to Big Marley and Little Marley Beach
From Bundeena – Drive drive down to Beachcomber Avenue or Eric Street to park up. Then start your hike along the Wedding Cake Rock route. Shortly after passing Wedding Cake Rock, you then come to Big Marley Beach.
From Wattamolla – It takes about an hour to drive to Wattamolla car park. Then walk past the picnic area and onto the Coast Track. Just stay on this path until you reach Little Marley beach in about an hours time. Always stay close to the sea and don’t turn off.
The only way to get public transport to the Royal National Park is by getting the train from Town Hall to Cronulla, then take the ferry over to Bundeena. From here you can walk over to Beachcomber Avenue and start the track over to Wedding Cake Rock and Big Marley. It will take around 1h30m to get to Bundeena, then leave another hour to get to Big Marley beach on your hike.
5. Chinamans Beach, Mosman
This is actually busy for the beach – we took this on a very hot day just before Christmas
If you’ve lived in Sydney for at least a year, you probably would have been to Balmoral beach by now. It’s a great family beach on the north side of the bridge as it’s known for its flat water, but it gets really busy full of families and parking can be a complete nightmare.
So if you’re looking for an uncrowded beach in Sydney then just head just around the corner from Balmoral Beach to Chinamans beach. Not only is the water flat (I know us Brits aren’t massive fans of the waves!)
From above: Chinamans Beach is a quiet, secluded beach in Sydney.
Good for: Chinamans Beach is a fantastic quiet beach in Sydney and is great for everyone to visit. There’s also Rosherville Reserve right next to the beach which is perfect for a picnic spot.
How to get to Chinamans Beach
It’s only about a 15 minute drive from Town Hall to get to Chinamans Beach (without too much traffic!). Just park up along Mclean Crescent and pop on over to the beach.
You can get to Chinamans Beach by public transport. It takes around 45 minutes and all you need to do is take the Taronga Zoo bus to the Spit Junction from Town Hall, then walk for 20 minutes and you’ll be at Chinamans Beach!
6. Resolute Beach, Ku-ring-gai National Park (opp Palm Beach)
(Location: 1 hour drive, then 20-30 minute hike)
Paradise at Resolute Beach near Sydney
When you visit Resolute Beach, you feel like you’ve hit the jackpot!
The reason we love this beach is because it makes you feel like you’re on a deserted island with flat, turquoise water. It’s baffling to know that the busy Palm Beach is just over the water. It really is spectacular!! Either hike down is safe for families but obviously don’t bring a pram and kids to be old enough to walk along a track.
Resolute Beach is the ultimate beach near Sydney. If you’re looking for a beach that will make you feel like you’ve found the perfect hideaway, then this is it! Good for explorers.
How to get to Resolute Beach
It takes an hour from Sydney to West Head Lookout (which has amazing views of Palm Beach) in Ku-ring-gai National Park. Then walk 20 minutes down the hill to Resolute Beach.
Alternatively you can ditch the hike down and take the ferry over from Palm Beach to Great Mackerel Beach. It’s then a 30 minute hike on the Mackerel Track but it’s beautiful and right next to the water.
You’ll need to take the bus up to Palm Beach, then take the ferry over to Great Mackeral Beach as mentioned above and hike from there. It should take around 3hours from Town Hall to get to this beach (2 hour bus, 30 minute ferry, 30 minute hike).
7. Great Mackerel Beach, Kur-ring-gai National Park
(Location: 1hr drive to Palm Beach, then 10 minute ferry ride)
If you can’t be bothered with the hike to Resolute Beach then stay at Great Mackerel Beach because this beach is stunning.
There’s a local shop and holiday apartments to rent on this gorgeous beach so if you’re looking for a weekend away from Sydney then this is your spot.
It’s a beautiful beach with a great peaceful energy to it. We always divide our time between this beach and Resolute when we catch the ferry over.
Great Mackeral Beach is great for families, a lovely day out or a weekend away from Sydney.
How to get to Great Mackeral Beach
Drive up to Palm Beach Wharf and get the ferry over to Great Mackeral Beach.
You absolutely can get to Great Mackeral Beach by public transport. Just get the bus up to Palm Beach Wharf, then the ferry from there. Trust me it will be worth it!
8. Frazer and Bongon Beach, Munmorah National Park, Central Coast
Based in Munmorah National Park, Frazer Beach is absolutely perfect for any surfers out there. It’s also got some awesome rock pools on both sides to the beach and it’s a popular family spot with a car park right next to the beach. You can also camp at Frazer Beach but book in advance as there’s only 6 spots available.
You can walk around from Frazer Beach to Bongon Beach. This is a much smaller quieter beach but there’s something quite magical about it and it’s one of our favourites.
Both beaches are also right near to Ghosties Beach as mentioned above. Around this area there are loads of sea caves to explore. You’ll need to do you research but just be very careful if you are on a mission to find them.
If you walk around Frazer beach to the right, you’ll also find loads of other rock pools just like this beautiful one we went to above.
These two beaches are absolutely incredible and definitely worth a visit.
Frazer Beach is a beautiful beach, perfect for surfers and families and there’s a toilet there but no cafe. If you’re up for an adventure then come to this beach as you’ll find loads of gorgeous rockpools!
How to get to Frazer Beach and Bongon Beach
It takes 1h30m to get to Frazer Beach from Town Hall and there’s a car park by the beach so there’s no extra walking involved. Result!
Unfortunately there isn’t public transport to Frazer Beach. Find out how to hire the cheapest car rental in Sydney below.
9. Gunnamatta Bay, Cronulla
(Location: 37 minutes from Sydney)
Gunamatta Beach is the best quiet beach in Cronulla. It’s got flat water, a great park nearby and it’s super quiet. It’s crazy to think it’s just around the corner from the busy Cronulla beach!
Everyone, especially families.
How to get to Gunamatta Bay
It should take around 40-50 minutes to drive from Town Hall to Cronulla.
It just takes an hour on the train from Town Hall to get to Cronulla. Then it’s an 8 minute walk and you’ve made it to Gunamatta Bay!
10. The Garie Beach, The Royal National Park
(Location: 1 hour south of Sydney)
This list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t include The Garie. Surrounded by bushland, you really feel like you’re away from everything. It’s big enough to have privacy and it’s a proper beach for surfers.
This is a family friendly beach with toilet facilities.
Good for: This is a family friendly beach with toilet facilities. The Garie is also a great beach for surfers as well.
How to get to The Garie Beach
You can drive right to The Garie Beach but you’ll need to pay the parks entrance fee when you arrive into the Royal National Park. Find out more about the fees here.
Unfortunately there’s no public transport to The Garie but you could get the train over to Waterfall, then get an uber from there. Otherwise if you’re feeling very adventurous, you can get to The Garie by walking 4 hours from Bundeena.
Some things I’ve learnt along the way…
A bit of an eye opener… the best beaches are always the nudist beaches!
Cobblers Beach, Obelix Bay and Lady Bay Beach
All 3 beaches are beautiful but to my amazement, none were of the type ‘oh if there’s one or two nudists, then I can handle it’ especially Cobblers Beach. This one is set literally around the corner from the popular family beach of Balmoral and I was gobsmacked at how many nudists were there. I didn’t have the balls (no pun intended!) to sit on this beach.
Obelix and Lady Bay looked absolutely stunning but again, at the sight of everyone on the beach in nude, we didn’t think they’d appreciate us in our swimmers and vice versa. A shame, but it’s a given that nudist beaches are the most secluded and beautiful right in the middle of Sydney.
If you’re happy to get it all out, then definitely check one of these gorgeous city beaches out because in our opinion Obelix Beach and Lady Bay are the best nudist beaches in Sydney.
What’s your go to secret beaches in Sydney? Let us know in the comments below!
This post was updated in February 2019.
Top 10 secret beaches in Sydney
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