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The 5 best family-friendly beaches in Sydney

by Silke Elzner

Sydney is blessed with lots of beautiful beaches, most of them well organised, with surf rescue facilities, toilet blocks and ice cream vendors. But some of the beaches can be very tricky, outright dangerous and are probably better left to skilled swimmers and surfers, rather than babies and toddlers.

There are of course also beaches that with much calmer seas, ideal for unstable stubby legs and building sand castles in the mud. Here’s my personal selection of the best kids friendly beaches in Sydney.

Shelly Beach with Boat Ramp

Shelley Beach, Manly

Our favourite is probably Shelley Beach in Manly, a sheltered bay facing north that is nice and shallow and has all the facilities needed by families. In summer, this is also a popular snorkelling spot. The Boathouse is one of the best restaurants and lunch spots in Sydney, and you will find it right on the beach!

Balmoral Beach, Mosman

Balmoral Beach is a harbour beach, lined with excellent restaurants and not far away from Little Sirius Cove, where you will not only find a netted tidal pool but also a playground! Even though this is one of the posher suburbs of Sydney, you don’t need to spend a fortune here. Just grab a coffee and let the kids have a play in the soft white sand – a wonderful fun activity anytime of the year!

Bronte Beach, Bronte

Of the Eastern suburbs beaches, Bronte is probably the winner of all kids friendly beaches. At least this is the impression you get when you have a look at the people that frequent this beautiful beach. Bronte is extremely popular with local families, as the rocks have created a sheltered pool that is ideal for little people.

There is plenty of parkland bordering the beach, so make sure you pack your barbecue stuff for a sausage roll after the swim.


Pittwater Beach, Palm Beach

In Palm Beach, rather than watching the big waves rolling in on the Pacific side of the peninsula, we usually head to the Pittwater side north of the Boathouse Restaurant. The sand here is soft and the beach very shallow, great for building gigantic mud castles and looking at strange marine creatures!

You can even float something inflatable here, as the are is well protected from currents. Plus the views onto the national park to the other side of the bay are spectacular.

Shark Beach, Vaucluse

Lastly, Shark Beach in Nielsen Park may have a terrifying name, but is luckily protected by a shark net in summer. Although hidden away and almost a secret spot that is not frequented by many tourists, this beach is fully equipped with all the necessary facilities such as toilets and a little romantic cafe.

From the top of Nielsen Park you have fantastic views of the Sydney skyline, and there a number of massive fig trees that offer cool shade in summer.

These are just a handful of personal suggestions for families who are looking for the ideal Sydney beach for kids.

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