23 Best Things To Do In Palm Beach Sydney 2024 Guide

Next time you’re looking for ideas for a day trip from Sydney, check out our guide for the best things to do in Palm Beach in Sydney! You’ll soon realise there’s much more to do than walking up to the top of Barrenjoey Lighthouse, having lunch at the famous nearby The Boathouse, or visiting the Summer Bay Surf Club!

In this guide, you’ll discover plenty of fantastic things to do in Palm Beach in the Northern Beaches which will keep you busy for your next few weekends in Sydney.

Plus! We have loads of awesome guides and videos for more things to do in the Northern Beaches which we’ll mention in this guide too.

How To Get To Palm Beach


You can easily get to Palm Beach on the 199 bus from Sydney CBD. It’s a direct line and will take about 1h30m to get there. If you’re driving, it takes an hour.

On holiday in Sydney or don’t have a car?

Check out the following tours to choose from:

5 hour Sydney to Palm Beach Tour from Manly
– Includes Home & Away set locations

7 Hour Sydney to Palm Beach & Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park tour from Sydney CBD
– See all of the sights including Aboriginal rock art

Best Things To Do In Palm Beach


Feel like you’re a million miles away in an almost sub-tropical setting, complete with sky high palm trees surrounded by water and beautiful views, and you might just want to make it as a Sydney weekend getaway! There’s loads of things to do in Palm Beach in Sydney, you won’t have any problems deciding what to do when you’re there!

And, there’s quite a few cool places to visit on the way up to Palm Beach so we’re putting them in this guide for you to stop off and check out either on the way up there or on the way back.

Palm Beach Beaches To Visit

There’s plenty of beaches to visit in the Northern Beaches and around Palm Beach. While we used to just make a beeline to Palm Beach and stop off at Bilgola Beach on the way up, we’ve recently spent more time discovering some of the little gems around for you to explore more of.

1. Palm Beach


We couldn’t start this Palm Beach guide without mentioning the famous beach you may have grown up watching on Home & Away. Check out the famous Home & Away fences, the jaw-dropping homes and of course the Palm Beach beach, complete with a rock pool to swim in.

2. Mona Vale Beach


Mona Vale Beach has become an Instagram sensation because of the incredible rock pool and its unique setting. If you’re stopping off in the area on the way up to Palm Beach, head over to Pittwater Mini Golf  for some putt putt fun. It’s pretty cheap and won’t disappoint.

Families will love The Flying Fox Park in Mona Vale’s Winnererremy Bay. There’s a cafe with water views and the adventure park has a flying fox and climbing challenges for children of all ages as well as a bike path.

3. Bilgola Beach


Bilgola Beach is one of the best beaches near Palm Beach. It’s definitely not as crowded as some of the other beaches and we love it for its beauty, the amount of dolphin spotting & whale watching (during the whale migration season) along the beach.

Make sure you head up the hill to the Bilgola Lookout and you’ll be able to see sweeping views of Bilgola Beach and Avalon Beach.

4. Whale Beach


Another one of the best beaches in Sydney is Whale Beach. It’s a quieter alternative to Palm Beach with a gorgeous long stretch of sand waiting for you to spend the whole day. Make sure you stop off at Whale Beach Deli which is a sister cafe to the famous Boathouse – perfect for a quick bite and a coffee.

5. Paradise Beach


Paradise Beach in the Northern Suburbs is one of those hidden gems we randomly found on Google Maps. Hidden away in Clareville on the Pittwater Side of Avalon, it’s a stunning little beach with a swimming pool and views overlooking Pittwater. It’s not very big but it’s literally a little slice of Paradise to discover.

Palm Beach Activities

With loads of things to do in Palm Beach, it’s not all about the beach here! Let’s show you some beautiful activities to make the most of your day trip from Sydney.

6. Find The Home & Away Set Locations 


Home & Away is a bit of an institution for those of us growing up in the 1990s in Great Britain. We sat at home admiring the beaches of Summer Bay, so discovering the set locations is definitely a pinch me moment that you’ve finally made it to Australia.

When you arrive into Palm Beach, on the far left you’ll see the wooden fence, a classic nod to one of the Home & Away filming locations. Just up from the fence is the Palm Beach kiosk, which is also known as the Summer Bay Surf Club and Kiosk. This is actually open all day long and you can buy Home & Away merchandise from there as well an Alf Stewart t-shirt!

Another one of the famous filming locations for Home & Away is at The Boathouse which is used for exterior shots for the show as well. If you’re lucky, you might see them filming at some of these locations if you visit during the week like we did once!

Prefer to do a Home & Away tour from Sydney? You’re in luck! Make sure you check out this full day tour with a guide who will more than likely know where the crew are filming on the day you go!

7. Walk Up To The Famous Barrenjoey Lighthouse

It sure looks like a mammoth hike but Barrenjoey Lighthouse is only a 15 minute walk from the car park to the top. Be prepared because the car park costs $10 an hour. We recommend planning 1h30m to walk up and down from the lighthouse including photo stops.

There’s two ways to get to the top of Barrenjoey Headland, either via the steps or the gradual climb up. We recommend taking the gradual climb up even though it says on the signs it will take a few minutes longer as a lot of the great photo opportunities are located on this side. Then take the steps on the way back for a different views. Also, make sure you stretch when you get back down as your legs might feel a bit like jelly after those steps!

When you’re up at the top of the Barrenjoey Headland, you’ll be able to see 360 degree views, even up to the Central Coast!

8. Visit The Secret Bible Garden In Palm Beach

Gerald Hercules Robinson planted every single plant mentioned in the Bible to create Bible Garden in memory of his wife in 1960s. It’s a ver popular spot for weddings and christenings and best of all has a beautiful view overlooking Palm Beach.

This gorgeous Bible Garden is a beautiful place to visit when you’re in Palm Beach and even makes a cracking proposal spot too (we saw someone propose here). Check out our guide for the Best Places To Propose In Sydney if you’re looking for some inspiration!

9. Mackerel Beach To Resolute Beach Walk

We filmed a recent trip to Resolute Beach from Mackerel Beach for you!

One of our favourite things to do in Palm Beach is to take the ferry from Palm Beach Wharf over to Mackerel Beach and hike to Resolute Beach. As one of the most beautiful beaches in Sydney, Resolute Beach feels like a million miles away from Palm Beach.

It takes an hour total to get to this slice of paradise and it’s not a difficult hike either. We do however recommend wearing trainers or hiking boots and there’s a tiny bit of climbing over a few rocks along the way.

Resolute beach is stunning and it’s mind blowing to think of how quiet this spot is when you’re looking out to Palm Beach just the other side of the water. This beach will really top it off as being a great romantic getaway from Sydney!

10. Take The Palm Beach Ferry to Ettalong or Wagstaffe

Why not jump on the ferry to Ettalong Beach or Wagstaffe in the Central Coast? The ferry ride alone is beautiful and you’ll have all the holiday feels for doing something a bit different.

When you get to Wagstaffe, hike over to Tallow Beach, it’s a stunning spot you must see in person. If you’re keen for it, book a spot at the campground here too. Pearl Beach is also worth visiting and is absolutely beautiful.

11. Palm Beach To The Basin Ferry

As mentioned in the accommodation section, you can camp at The Basin but you can also just visit for the day as it has a great space for picnics, a netted swimming lagoon, toilet facilities, BBQ areas and also great hikes in the area to historic aboriginal sites. Check the ferry schedule here to line up a booking.

12. America Bay Walk In Sydney


There are loads of hiking trails in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, so why not check out our Easy 20 Minute Hike To America Bay Guide which is on the way up to West Head Lookout. It’s a lovely walk the whole family can do, which provides knockout views when you reach America Bay.

13. West Head Lookout


If you’re spending a couple of days in Palm Beach, we recommend heading over to Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park for an amazing lookout point over to Pam Beach, beautiful secluded beaches and awesome hikes. Even if you’re looking for a day trip from Sydney, you could easily spend the entire day up at Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

Palm Beach Restaurants

If you’re wondering where to eat in Palm Beach, make sure you try out one of the following places which are all amazing!

14. Visit The Boathouse In Palm Beach


The Boathouse is a bit of an institution in Palm Beach. Although the restaurant chain has a few other restaurants around Sydney, you’ll find their deli in Whale Beach, a home shop in Palm Beach and the famous restaurant itself that is also used as the exterior for some of the Home & Away sets.

It gets super busy here and we’ve often had to go and find somewhere else to eat because you can’t book a table here.

15. Dunes Palm Beach 

Dunes in Palm Beach sits opposite the Summer Bay, just off the beach. It’s a long running restaurant and offers up affordable Australian menu including burgers, salads and fish & chips.

16. Barrenjoey House


Barrenjoey House is an historic Palm Beach restaurant run by The Boathouse group. This upmarket restaurant sits opposite Palm Beach Wharf and as someone who has personally eaten here, it’s a great place for a special occasion.

17. Cheaper Options


The convenience shop opposite Palm Beach Wharf serves up burgers and chips for around $9-$15.

Palm Beach Fish & Chips apparently do THE best fish & chips in Sydney which you can takeaway and eat over at the Wharf.

Restaurants near Palm Beach

After living near to Palm Beach for three months, we realised there’s a lot of amazing places to eat just outside of Palm Beach in Sydney.

18. Check Out The Nearby Avalon Restaurants


If you’re looking for some cheaper options, I recommend stopping off at Avalon Beach on the way to Palm Beach. You’ll find this village style suburb with loads of fantastic places to eat. We love it so much we’ve written a complete guide on where to eat in Avalon Beach you should check out!

19. Ferry Palm Beach To The Boathouse Patonga


When visiting Palm Beach, why not jump on the ferry to Patonga for a long lunch at The Boathouse? There’s something just so lovely about Patonga which is also known as a bit of a secret gem.

You can also camp in Patonga too as mentioned in our budget accommodation section further down this post. But as always, it’s best to book early.

20. Whale Beach Deli 


As the sister cafe to The Boathouse Palm Beach, Whale Beach Deli is a lovely little place you can sit outside and enjoy a coffee and a bite to eat in the quieter Whale Beach.

21. Waterfront Store & Cafe 


We love Waterfront Store & Cafe which sits in Church Point in Pittwater. It’s actually located next to the ferry wharf to Scotland Island and it’s a beautiful little gem!

22. Pasadena


Pasadena is located next door to Waterfront Store & Cafe and is a brilliant place for a few sundowners and they do a good fish & chips too! The outdoor beer gardens is really good too.

23. Newport Arms 


Newport Arms is a fantastic and huge pub nestled in the middle of Newport run by Merivale Group. It still boasts the original pub out the front but what you’ll find out the back is like a huge magical garden with various food menus, seating areas and a big kids playing area.

When we visited, they had an outdoor cinema on which is pretty cool. This is a fantastic place to spend a Summers day at, you’ll just struggle to leave!

Palm Beach Accommodation


While there are so many incredible places to stay in Palm Beach, here’s our top picks!

  1. Luxury: Amalfi Villa By Palm Beach Holiday – a jaw-dropping stunning four bedroom house right on the water.
  2. Luxury: Poolside at Iluka Resort Apartments – fantastic option just 350m from the beach with a swimming pool.
  3. Mid Range: Palm Beach Bed & Breakfast – located right in the heart of Palm Beach and includes breakfast!
  4. Budget: Scotland Island Lodge – stay near Palm Beach on the beautiful Scotland Island like we did and feel like you’re a million miles away from the city.
  5. Hostel: Sydney Pittwater Eco YHA – fantastic hostel in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Jump on the ferry and you’ll be in Palm Beach in no time!
  6. Camping: Camp at The Basin – jump on the Palm Beach ferry and spend the weekend in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park away from it all.

More Northern Beaches Guides


Check out our full list of Northern Beaches guides to help plan your next trip up to Palm Beach and the surrounding areas.

Best Things To Do In Palm Beach Sydney

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