26 Awesome Things To Do In Palm Beach Sydney In 2023
Next time you’re looking to escape the city, check out our guide for the best things to do in Palm Beach in Sydney and you’ll soon realise there’s much more to do than walking up to the top of Barrenjoey Lighthouse, have lunch at the famous nearby The Boathouse or visit 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 the your next few day trips from Sydney.
Sydney’s Northern Beaches most famous suburb of Palm Beach brings tourists and Sydney locals here on the daily. Let’s break it down and share the main attractions in Palm Beach which bring people here.
Take a scenic flight from Sydney Harbour to Palm Beach
Take advantage of the Palm Beach ferry and go exploring!
Do the classics and hike up to Barrenjoey Headland and have lunch at The Boathouse
Find the beautiful Bible Garden
And seek out the Home & Away set locations
How To Get To Palm Beach
You can easily get to Palm Beach on the L90 bus from Sydney CBD. It’s also a direct bus but takes about 1h30m to get there. If you’re driving, it takes an hour.
And if you don’t have a car and need to hire one, find the best car hire deals in Sydney here.
Arrive in style to Palm Beach
If you want to go all out, then we obviously recommend getting a seaplane with Sydney Seaplanes from Rose Bay in Sydney over to Jonah’s which also flies over Sydney Harbour. Just wait until you get out to the heads, flying around them is absolutely spectacular.
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 Bigola 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. Bigola Beach
Bigola 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. There’s also a fantastic rock pool and cafe at Bigola as well, a good coffee stop over.
Make sure you head up the hill to the Bigola Lookout and you’ll be able to see sweeping views of Bigola 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. There’s some holiday accommodation on the beach we would personally stay at for a weekend away from Sydney for sure.
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.
So, 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! Please note, the lighthouse itself isn’t open to visitors.Watch Our Video To Barrenjoey Lighthouse Below!
Watch Our Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk Video!
We filmed our walk up to the top of the Barrenjoey Headland to show you what to expect.
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!
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 over 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!
You can reach Resolute Beach two ways – either go via Palm Beach as we suggest or if you’re going out to West Head, there’s a well worn short track from there down to this beach.
Watch Our Video To Resolute Beach In Sydney Below
We filmed a recent trip to Resolute Beach from Mackerel Beach for you!
10. Tony Henry’s Stand Up Paddle Boarding
With the beautiful flat water on the Pittwater side of Palm Beach, it would be weird if there wasn’t a SUP rental place near Palm Beach. .This is a great family activity in Sydney and takes 3 hours to show you around all of the hidden gems in Palm Beach area.
11. Tackle The Bloody Long Walk
Did you know you there’s a continuous footpath from Palm Beach to Manly? The 35km hike passes by 23 beaches and takes about 15hrs to complete. Why not bring your friends and family along and tackle it the charity The Bloody Long Walk?
12. 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.
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.
14. America Bay Walk In Sydney
There are loads of hiking trails in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park but we recommend America Bay which is on the way up to West Head Lookout. It’s a lovely 20 minute walk the whole family can do that provides knockout views when you reach America Bay.
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.
Make sure you drive over to West Head Lookout to see a different perspective of Palm Beach. It’s definitely worth the effort. You can also hike down to Resolute Beach from the lookout or head over to Flint and Steel Beach as an alternative.
If you’re wondering where to eat in Palm Beach, make sure you try out one of the following places which are all amazing!
In Palm Beach
16. 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 (Manly’s Shelly Beach and Balmoral), 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.
17. 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.
18. Barrenjoey House
Barrenjoey House is an historic Palm Beach restaurant run by The Boathouse peeps. 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.
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.
Just outside of 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.
20. 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!
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.
22. 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.
23.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!
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.
25. 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!
One of the top attractions in Palm Beach is the legendary Jonah’s Restaurant & Boutique Hotel. While it’s not cheap to stay here, you can book in for the restaurant like we did. We’ve written a Jonah’s restaurant review when we visited for breakfast a while back, but a special occasion coming here for lunch or dinner would be fab for a fine dining experience. They serve up contemporary Australian cuisine with knock out views overlooking Whale Beach to match.
Palm Beach Accommodation
While there are so many incredible places to stay in Palm Beach, here’s our top picks!
Little Black Shack – the Northern Beaches hidden gem and the cutest beach shack everyone will be envious of right on the beautiful Mackerel Beach